Known as the warmest place to be in South Africa, Durban is famous for its gorgeous weather throughout the year, its warm-hearted people and its incredible variety of mouth-watering and deliciously spicy food.
We asked Briony Leigh Smith; current chairman of the Durban West Community Tourism to share some of the hottest reasons why she loves the cultural melting pot of Durban and surrounds.
If we’re talking the best Indian culinary experience, I would have to recommend the buffet at Jeera Restaurant. Dishes are prepared using the freshest ingredients and the chef’s signature blend of exotic and aromatic spices – the name, Jeera, meaning ‘earthy’ and ‘warm’, reflects this. I can still taste it in my mind’s eye. Please note however that their buffet is not offered every night. Details: 031 314 7878.
The best bunnies
Hands down, the best place to eat a mutton bunny is The Curry O’s, a true hotspot in Moseley, Pinetown. Arrive there during lunch and you’ll meet a queue of note, but it’s worth the wait. They have also just opened a branch at the Point. Details: 083 250 5040.
The best place to eat a prawn bunny… oh my goodness my mouth is watering just thinking about it… is TSD Ultra Lounge in Springfield. Details: 071 405 0333.
Shopping for spices
The thought of this place is so nostalgic for me because my grandfather only purchased his basmati rice here… at the Spice Emporium. Located within the store is a hidden gem, a Snack Bar Restaurant that serves a well-known Indian street food snack called Pani Puri. Surrounded by the vibrant colours and whimsical decor, you’ll experience a bit of India, without the hassle of getting on a plane! Details: 031 332 5888 and check out their Instagram page: @spiceemporium
I feel one of the coolest, soon-to-be ‘hotspots’ is Stumpnose Brewery and Tap Room on Old Main Road in Kloof. Apart from their brewery they have a really cool concept going at the moment where they have pop up restaurants from various chefs on different nights of the week that they are open. Very different and makes for a great evening out! Details: 082 781 2890
Historical cultural places with a spicy heritage
Steeped in history and rich in spice is The Victoria Street Market. It’s very popular among tourists and locals and you can browse a variety of products including African artwork, Indian spices, seafood, bags, brassware and traditional clothes. A must-see destination! Details: 031 306 4021.
There’s also the Sri Sri Radha Radhanath Temple which is fondly referred to as ‘The Temple of Understanding’. They have guided tours of the temple – it’s simply exquisite to look at. Details: 031 403 3328.
Something to attend is the iconic Festival of Chariots from 10 to 13 April on the beautiful lawns and beaches of the Bay of Plenty, North Beach. It’s the biggest and brightest cultural celebration of the year. Find them on Facebook: Festival Of Chariots Durban
A walk along the spice route
The Cato Manor area is also very rich in Indian and Zulu Culture. It is said that all the townships in Durban stem from the people of Cato Manor. It is one of the few areas where you can visit a mosque, a temple and a church all in the same road.
Hottest fabric shop
Mintys offer you a complete range of fabrics, patterns, trims and accessories all carefully selected and chosen to reflect the dynamic pulse of international fashion, , including many fabrics never before seen in South Africa. Details: 031 208 8207.