Durban, being a harbor city on the warm Indian Ocean, does not disappoint when it comes to eating seafood. Just add lemon, or peri-peri (chilli) if it's prawns.
Allen Gardiner Harbour Cruise Restaurant
Take a two-and-a-half hour cruise around the calm waters of the large working, river-mouth harbor while you enjoy the sights and a good meal - breakfast, brunch or dinner. One house (or houseboat) speciality is the American-style brunch.
But we suggest dinner for a more memorable experience. If you can get on the boat on New Year's Eve it will be a truly magical experience of Durbs; or Christmas Day if you're far from home and feeling a bereft of family.
Embark from the Victoria Embankment.
Tel 084 456 4000
uShaka Marine World
There are two restaurants at Marine World - The Cargo Hold and Moyo (one of several Moyos in the country's main centres) - and to do the full tourist thing you should try them both. So impressive are the respective settings you might not remember the food that well, but we can assure, it was just fine. You'll find both at:
The Cargo Hold
Tables in "the Phantom Ship" abut the large glass panels of the main oceanarium tank, so when Mr Great White comes to spy on the fish and chips on your plate, other dinners won't even hear the screams when you shove your laden fork into your ear, rather than your mouth.
Seafood is a speciality, which is kind of logical and kind of macabre at the same time. There's a good selection of South African wines at a fair price. But ye olde verie fake maritime theme is a bit of a damp squid, as they say around here.
The Phantom Ship, Ushaka Marine World, Point Waterfront
The thing about Moyo, here at Ushaka or elsewhere, is the Afro-chic vibe.
The food is African with a twist of international flair and the wine list extensive by any standard. As you enter you'll get your face livened up with some small dabs of paint, just to get you in the mood and there is always live music, and sometimes other entertaining acts as well. Curry aside, this one of the absolute musts on my holiday list.
1 Bell Street, Ushaka Marine World
The New Café Fish
Did we say Durban was a fishy place? Yes, we did, and this is the place to find it. Even better, this kaif is situated right in the yacht basin so even if you don't get covered in salt spray, you'll feel like you might with its uninterrupted views of yachts, sea and sky. If you are not into seafood, simply don't go there because there's not much else; but what there is is fresh and plentiful, from simple hake and chips to shellfish platters. The wine list is short but intelligent.
31Yacht Mole, Victoria Embankment
Be a SASSI Eater
We all know about the plight of the bluefin tuna, which are now so rare and endangered you simply should not eat them (Japanese readers take note). But the tragedy is that much of the sea's resources are endangered. SASSI (South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative) is a local initiative to bring this situation to the public's notice: seafood is categorised as green (go ahead and indulge), orange (scarce or seasonally scarce) or red (don't touch).
Any good restaurant will be able to tell you the status of their seafood items. If you're not sure SMS the name of the fish to local number 0794998795 and you'll be sent its SASSI status automatically.
Where to Eat International Cuisine in Durban ...