1. THE GRILL ROOM AT THE OYSTER BOX
The Oyster Box is the Grande Dame of Durban hospitality and its Grill Room restaurant has been renowned for its five-star fine dining for almost 70 years. Beautifully decorated in blue and white, the thick carpets and artworks on the walls make it a luxurious haven in which to relax and enjoy a culinary treat and bottle of wine from their extensive wine list.
The service is outstanding with maître d’ Hendry Pakiri having presided over the dining room for 50 years. Executive chef Kevin Joseph’s menu is a combination of classic favourites - created by Bea Tollman president and founder of the Red Carnation Hotel Collection - the restaurant’s signature dishes and contemporary creations, inspired by current global trends. Unique touches include the authentic gueridon service, where food is prepared and presented at your table, and the vintage hors d’oeuvres trolley, with 18 “old world” appetizers to tempt your taste buds.
2. SUGAR CLUB AT THE BEVERLY HILLS
The iconic pink hotel perches right on the beach in Umhlanga and boasts myriad delights, not least of which is the Sugar Club restaurant. Open for breakfast, lunch, high tea and dinner, the food is consistent and delicious featuring plenty of seafood and decadent desserts prepared by dedicated pastry chefs. The elegant colonial-style decor makes for a stylish evening out and the great service adds to the ambience.
3. ERNIE ELS AT THE HILTON
Big Easy Winebar and Grill at Durban’s Hilton Hotel is designed with golfer Ernie Els’s philosophy of enjoying life to the full in mind. The focus is on relaxing and enjoying a meal and bottle of wine, in good company, and the welcoming atmosphere belies how good the food is. There’s an extensive menu which is matched by an excellent wine list, featuring many South African premier wines along with fine whiskies, craft beers and some of the world’s choicest cigars. With indoor and outdoor areas, there’s a space to enjoy come rain or shine and, for special occasions, there’s a private dining room.
4. GRILL JICHANA AT SOUTHERN SUN ELANGENI AND MAHARANI
One of several restaurants at the recently revamped Southern Sun Elangeni and Maharani, Grill Jichana serves flame-grilled premium cuts from the best local producers seasoned, infused and flavoured with tastes of the African East Coast spice route. Specially selected Karan Beef from Heidelberg joins free-range Karoo lamb and Dargle Valley chicken on the menu which boasts interesting sides and creative desserts. The decor is all stylish black-and- white checkerboard floors and chandeliers, making for an elegant night out.