Food · Restaurant review

My top KZN eateries

A short while ago I had to book somewhere for dinner with the family.

Now, everyone has their own tastes and preferences, so to try and please every person going out to eat can be very difficult.  It seriously got me thinking about the places I like to eat, and why I enjoy them so much, so I thought I’d compile a list of my favourite places to grab a bite in KwaZulu Natal.
Not all of these places are in central areas, and not all are established restaurants – there are a few little hideaways, so if you feel like taking a Sunday drive for something that is just gosh-darn delicious, then READ ON!
South Coast
The Waffle House – Ramsgate
I have been visiting the Waffle House for many years now.  I actually have friends who will even take a Sunday drive there (it’s roughly 2 hours away from where we stay), so you know that these waffles have got to be something pretty special!
They serve both savoury and sweet waffles, and the last time I took a drive there, I had planned on taking photos of our waffles before tucking in.  Needless to say, I was halfway through stuffing my face when I remembered.
They often have tasty waffles on special – I’m still kicking myself for NOT trying the Milk Tart Waffle with berry coulis.
Some dishes to try: – 
Cheese Sauce & Mushroom waffle R62

Decadent Orange Mousse waffle R62

 

 
North Coast

Beluga – Gateway, Umhlanga

 

A must have if you love sushi, they do half-price on Dim Sum, Sushi and Cocktails before 7pm.  Sure, it’s a little pricier than your Ocean Basket sushi, but you can really see and taste the difference.

Lovely to go for a birthday meal, or for cocktails and a bite to eat with your girlfriends after a day of shopping! The service is fantastic, they have the most amazing fresh bread on the tables for you to enjoy with some balsamic and olive oil, and their cocktails are delicious.

Some dishes to try: –
Duck, Honey & Ginger Pot Stickers R62 for 3
Bam Bam Rolls R124 for 6
Lime Bubbles cocktail R74
(above prices are before the half price mark down)



Tashas – Gateway, Umhlanga

I love the atmosphere, the decor, AND the incredible menu at all of the Tashas restaurants.  They have such tasty dishes available, and some lovely wine options.

This is a great place to go for brunch on the weekend, or to even grab a coffee during a shopping trip in the mall.

Some dishes to try: –
Jett & Luke’s mini breakfast rolls R82
Citrus Sunrise R79 (a breakfast parfait)
Rustic Chicken Liver Salad R98 (the world’s most delicious salad)
Cherry & Lemongrass granita R36

 

Upper Highway

Bellevue Cafe – Kloof

Possibly my all-time favourite restaurant, Bellevue is the perfect brunch eatery, but at night time, the fairy lights are turned on, and it’s a perfect date-night place too.

Delicious desserts and fresh pastries, tasty salads and mouth-watering pastas make this my anytime, any reason place to go.

I’ve also been to a wedding reception here, where the restaurant was booked out – gorgeous venue and fantastic food!

Some dishes to try: –
Eggs Benedict R70 (the best one I’ve ever had!)
Chicken Livers with toasted artisan bread R75 (also, the best I’ve ever had)
Penne Salsicce R80/R115 – Penne with slow cooked Italian pork sausage, bacon, white wine, chilli, garlic, fennel, tomatoes and light cream.

Oscars Cafe – Hillcrest

This seems like an odd one, with several Oscars restaurants, but the Hillcrest branch is truly the best.  The staff always remember you, you get greeted by nearly every member of staff as you enter, and they are always so quick and eager to assist you.

This restaurant is ALWAYS full.  For somewhere with such a varied menu, you’d expect them to have a dish or two that aren’t as great as the rest (you know the old, don’t order seafood at a pub/don’t order steak at a fish restaurant etc etc).  I have tried SO MANY dishes on this menu, and every single one has been perfectly cooked and is so delicious.  There’s a meal for ANY taste!

P.S. They even have a separate Banting menu!

Some dishes to try: –
Oscars Bagel R69
Gobstopper Burger R95
Falklands Calamari R139
Oscars Macaroni & Cheese R79
Their woodfired pizzas are also delicious!

Stretta Cafe & Grill – Hillcrest

Delicious Italian-style meals, and freshly made pizzas, this cafe also has a fantastic wine and craft beer list too.

If you’re on the gluten-free train, Stretta has some of the best gluten-free pastas I’ve tried, and their gluten-free pizza bases are not pre-made as a lot of other places are, they’re freshly made and taste like the regular bases do.

The staff are always so friendly, and you receive a complimentary garlic focaccia for the table when you dine there.

Some dishes to try: –
Carpaccio Involtino salad R80
Enzo pizza R120
Pollo Piccata R89

Lupa Osteria – Hillcrest

The first Lupa restaurant (there are now two more, in Westville and Durban North), they offer Italian meals that are just sublime.  Their pasta is all homemade, their pizza is woodfired and their service is fabulous.

Some dishes to try: –
The Sophie Bear pizza R95
Falkland Calamari, pretzel-dusted & shallow fried R160
Lupa cocktail

Gate of India – Waterfall

I love curries and rotis just like any other Durbanite, but I’ve seldom found an authentic place that does curry that I can actually eat (it seems that whenever they are ‘authentic’ they are so hot that you feel like you’ve taken a bite out of the sun).

This little Indian restaurant in Waterfall is fantastic!  You can get a huge variety of different Indian dishes, in a variety of heat-intensities, so there’s something for all taste buds.

Some dishes to try: –
Chicken Korma R80
1/4 Lamb Bunny Chow R50
Garlic Naan R18
Peshawooii Naan R30 (a sweet naan, with spices, nuts and dried fruit)

 

Midlands Meander

Gunther’s – Lidgetton 

Only seen by a little sign on the road, Gunther’s serves German sausages.  You choose from around 5 different sausages, and it comes served with a crispy roll, German potato salad, mustard and sauerkraut.

Also stocked are German beers, and all decor is to theme too.

All in all, a very quaint restaurant and delicious home-style food.

**UPDATE** Sadly, it seems that Gunther’s has now closed.  According to Trip Advisor, there is a new and similar-styled restaurant next door, which is not of the same standard.  However, the view is beautiful, and perhaps therefore worth a try.

Granny Mouse – Balgowan

Situated in the heart of the KwaZulu Natal midlands, Granny Mouse is a hotel, spa, wedding venue, and a place to grab a spectacular meal.

The Bistro restaurant is open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner, so you can pop in while meandering for a quick bite, or have dinner there while staying at the hotel.

Some dishes to try: –
Lamb Chops R95
Whole Midlands trout R60
Homemade sorbet trio R45

The Eaves restaurant is perfect for those with a taste for fine-dining.  You can either order off of the Ala Carte menu, or go for the Tasting menu – a 5 course meal that you can have either with the paired wines R595 pp, or without R385 pp.  If your budget can afford it, go for the full 5 course with paired wines, as it’ll be a meal you’ll never forget – the Culinary Artist’s at Granny Mouse are known for this tasting menu, and each dish is immaculately presented and well thought out.

I know they’re in the process of switching over to their winter tasting menu, so if they have, give the following a try, if you’re not too keen on the full tasting menu: –
Chickpea & Garlic puff pastry parcel
Dill & Verbena Sous Vide Kingklip

P.S. You can read my FULL REVIEW on the Winter Tasting menu at Granny Mouse HERE.