Taste of the Dolphin Coast

What’s a holiday without treating the taste buds – visiting restaurants where you can relax and savour some interesting dishes.

Join The North Coast Courier‘s food guru David Hoehler on his search for the most delicious of our participating restaurants.

The winner will take the coveted title of ‘Taste of the Dolphin Coast’ for 2016.

Vote for your favourite restaurant!

Voting closes January 15. By voting you stand to WIN a dinner for two at the winning restaurant to the value of R500.

You may only vote once and you must remember to share this competition on Facebook to validate your entry.

 

Meet the contestants

Sushi Ninja

Sushi Ninja

Sushi Ninja

A recent addition to the Boulevard Centre, Sushi Ninja is the new baby of the owners of the popular Mo-Zam-Bik. It’s a compact venue with big personality. It’s amazing what the owners have done in such a small space.

I just love the feel – I felt like I was relaxing on a beach. I’m the first to admit that I’m no sushi expert, but I do know the basics and the basics for me are simple: the rice needs to be cooked just right and the fish must be smack-of-the-sea fresh and Sushi Ninja gets both right.

I tasted new types of sushi I have never had before, namely the salmon slider and battleships. The salmon slider was interesting – just think hamburger but with a sushi twist. Instead of buns they used rice and salmon replaced your standard patty. It was a little tricky to eat but was so enjoyable.

They have been doing some great specials lately, I would recommend liking them on Facebook to keep up to date with their menu. I foresee some spectacular specialty dishes coming out of there. Sushi Ninja is a solid bet for some great sushi!

Impulse

Impulse

Impulse

Every time I go back to Impulse I say so myself I need to come here more often. You will be hard pressed to find a restaurant that embodies Durban curry like Impulse does! Hands down I’ve had some of the best curries in my life at Impulse.

Their prawn curry will change your life! I decided to dine outside of my comfort zone and went with a fish curry. I’m so glad I did. They use fresh, locally caught fish in their curry. I had cob (locally known as salmon) in mine and it’s the perfect fish for a curry as its firm white flesh holds up well. The flavours were on point with the right amount of heat. A little hidden treasure that I found was the brinjal that they used. It really made the dish and added a subtle sweetness.

If you are visiting for holiday or are a local I urge you to go and give them a try!

Jack Salmon

Jack Salmon

Jack Salmon

Nothing says coastal dining like fresh fish. Jack Salmon has made a name for itself with their beautifully prepared fish. It’s still one of my favourite venues for a relaxed meal. The deck they have added on has just added another level of class to a great job.

I was treated to some outstanding sushi, again a few items I haven’t had before. I really need to get up to date with current sushi trends! I was impressed. The one dish that got my attention was the deep-fried sushi with tuna and cream cheese. I just loved the contrast in textures. The crisp coating paired with the creaminess of the cheese with the softness of the rice was sublime! Their presentation was top class.

They have so much to offer besides sushi and there’s something to appeal to everyone. So if you are looking for your seafood fix this December and a relaxing venue to unwind from a busy year, Jack Salmon would be my go-to restaurant this holiday season.

Sasol Salt Rock

Sasol Salt Rock

Sasol Salt Rock

The two most asked questions I get as a restaurant critic is: Where can I go for a fancy meal and where can I go for a good bunny chow? The first question is tricky but the second one is dead simple! The answer is Sasol Salt Rock without a doubt. They are the most consistent by far and just so damned good. Don’t let the fact that is a garage put you off. I’ve lost count of the number of bunnies I’ve had there.

For this review I went for a mutton breyani. The same care and thought that goes into their bunnies goes into their breyani. The portion is intimidating at first but once you get stuck into it, it’s not too big. The meat had just the right amount of tenderness – just tender enough to stay on the bone without disintegrating into the rice. I enjoyed mine with some dhall which lifts it. A nice touch was to serve it with a small portion of Sooji, which is a semolina flour dessert. The combination of sweet and spice is just divine. I was blown away by how well they work together.

I know a few holidaymakers who come to KZN just to have a bunny. If you are one of those craving a spicy and unforgettable KZN bunny, Sasol should be your first stop.

Sawagat

Sawagat

Sawagat

This little restaurant has changed the way I look at Indian cuisine. Previously I only really knew Durban-style curry, but Sawagat has opened my eyes and tummy to the world of north Indian cuisine. The flavours are unique and their techniques add so many levels of taste to the food. But what sticks out for me is the depth of flavour when all the ingredients merge in a symphony of culinary delight.

I had their butter chicken which is without a doubt their best seller! Everything about this dish just works, from the tender chicken to the sauce and beautiful colour – so exciting! I also enjoyed a Paneer Palak. Paneer is an Indian-style cheese which they cook in a spinach gravy with cumin and garlic, making a wonderfully light dish. The spinach gravy is special and really works well with the cheese.

If you go to Sawagat make sure you have the Naan breads! They cook them in a tandoori oven and they are the best accompaniment you can have with curry, period! Talking about their tandoori oven, don’t overlook their tikka chicken. I don’t know exactly how they make it but it is divine. It has three of my favourite things: tenderness, smokiness and spice!

Captain Fine’s Fish Factory

Captain Fines (Medium)

Captain Fine’s Fish Factory

Captain Fine’s Fish Factory is one of the iconic restaurants/takeaways on the north coast. They have been going for 10 years and for any establishment to survive that long they must be doing something right! I have always enjoys every meal I’ve had there, the food is simple but done right.

But besides the food they serve, they have an amazing selection a fresh and frozen seafood and fish for those who enjoy preparing their own.

As far as the meal I had goes I couldn’t have been happier. Their calamari is the best you will find, super crispy and tender. I love the fact that they cut their own rings rather than buy the processed stuff. The hake bites are just as good and they add some great seasoning to the batter that really brings out the most in the fish.

A new little delight which I had for the first time was their in-house peri peri sauce that they make. Do yourself a favour and try some, it’s such a nice accompaniment for seafood. It has this wonderful acidity and just the right amount of heat.

I highly recommend you to pop in and say hi to Grant and his team.

This competition has closed.

  AUTHOR
David Hoehler

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