Durban, the warmest place, is always a big hit on the road. The weather is good, the beach is warm and of course, the food is delicious. If you are in town, then you can’t leave without getting some good spices in your belly.
While in Durban over the Tourism Indaba, our Travel Massive team indulged in three categories of spiciness. Great vegetarian, Indian street food at the Spice Emporium, hot and spicy Mexican at Four15 and a plethora of meat curries at Impulse by the Sea.
The Spice Emporium
The Spice Emporium keeps it in the family with its Spice store and snack bar in the Durban CBD. The warehouse style shop is filled with spices, chai tea, rice and pretty much all the ingredients you’ll need to make a tasty curry. They also sell premixes with easy directions, which will allow you to toss that Rajah in your cupboard and make something more authentic.
The snack bar serves ‘Chaat’ or Indian street food which was a lot of fun to eat. Fun because I usually just have what I know and this was completely different from the Indian food I’ve eaten. The various items we tried were very colourful, with a variety of complex flavours and textures. The menu describes each dish and the staff are on hand to give you further descriptions. To my surprise, the meal was quite filling (yes, I know you can get full on a vegetarian meal). I don’t know about the traditional cool drinks though, I tried a variation of a Bombay Crush (rose milk based) but I may have reached my experimental limit by then.
31 Monty Naicker Road, Durban, 4000
+27 31 332 5888
Four15, South Africa’s first Burrito Bar, is a really comfy Mexican restaurant with great food and cocktails and tequila. They have all the usual dishes you’ll find in a Mexican eatery (stuffed jalapeno – yay) and also the opportunity to create your own filling combinations. There is a great sauce stand with tasty variations from super hot and spicy to just herbs.
The staff was friendly and knowledgeable and I love that they answer the question “what’s good?” with actual options. (Nothing annoys me more than asking what’s good and the waiter says “everything is good.” What am I meant to do with that?) The food is good for sharing, the potions were filling and after a long day it was the best comfort food. Also, they have a bottomless soda machine which I thought was pretty cool.
41 Mackeurtan Avenue, Durban North, Durban
+27 31 564 0415
Impulse by the Sea
A little further out of town meat eaters and vegetarians alike will find great enjoyment at the Impulse by the Sea. They serve genuine Natal curries with rotis, papads, pickles and of course samosas. You can choose from their prawn curry, lamb, fish, crab & vegetarian curries but they also serve dishes like Chicken livers if you have a non-curry eater in your party. It being Durban, you cannot go wrong with a tasty Bunny Chow which you should do at least once in your life.
We ate so much food here and my favourite dishes were the seafood curry dishes. If you don’t like very spicy or hot food, you can ask them to hold the heat but I always like to just eat food the way the chef prepared it.
167 Sea View Drive
Tinley Manor Beach
+27 32 554 4626