Every month there are more new places to eat at, a testament to Durban’s growing eating-out culture and evolving culinary landscape. Those highlighted below are just some of the many!

Chilliplum

Vegans and vegetarians rejoice! Hillcrest is now home to a 100% plant-based eatery with a menu that is less an exclusion of animal-derived ingredients and more of a celebration of all things vegetable and flavourful. Despite the yoga-mat-loving, hemp-sandal-wearing, flavourless-tofu-scoffing misgivings the word ‘vegan’ may inspire in some, the food offerings here are eclectic and imaginative, challenging the culinary stereotype and serving up dishes that would lure most meat-lovers to the light side, even if just for a meal. Wild rice and confit vegetable dolmades baked in a tomato and chardonnay sauce, ‘macho tacos’, raviolis, moussaka and curries are just a sample of this festival of baked, fried, roasted, confited and carpaccioed vegan options.

Chilliplum_1

Poco Loco

This is an intimate little spot on Blair Athol Road in Westville, and it’s already attracting a large following. It’s cosy, humble and unassuming, serving up comfort food that is hearty and robust with flavours. The Hellfire sauce is home-made and its name offers up a challenge. The lamb shank on mash, the pulled-pork and the ‘Baconator’ – a towering ode to cheese-smothered porcine pleasures of the palate – is a strong indication that the owner-chef of the establishment, Chris, is serving up his favourites and they are echoed in the support of his patrons. It is presently a BYOB arrangement while the liquor license is still being sorted out.

Poco Loco

CaneCutters

The archetypal Durban food is the bunny chow and curry, and the spice used in these barely matches the heat in the debates that rage about where to find the best of both. Although being a newcomer, the bunnies and curries here are making an impact. CaneCutters on Helen Joseph (Davenport) Road serves up generous portions of very reasonably priced and well-flavoured fare. Expect to find traditional Durban Indian cuisine here, from the aforementioned bunny chows to the masala fish and the less conventional chilli mince and cheese pasta.

Canecutters

Who, What, Where:

Chilliplum

031 765 2590

Poco Loco

081 235 0311

CaneCutters

031 201 1603

Words & Images: Shirley Berko

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