Indulging my way through KZN
Durban, where the air smells like vacation, the sand of the beach is fine, the ocean has beautiful deep blue colors and waves that invite you to get into its warm salty water. Sunshine, humidity, and a lot of… rain!
“So what’s the weather like? Should I pack jeans and jerseys or has the beach weather arrived?” I was getting excited to go visit my brother and sister-in-law in KZN. The previous times were great and I experienced a part of our country I never knew existed. KZN turns out to be the most beautiful province we have in South Africa. Other than the warm waters and the long beaches there is so much more to experience in this province. “You can bring one pair of winters clothes in case there is a cold day but mainly it is quite warm.” my brother assured me. Against his advice, I decided to pack more than he suggested, and glad I did. We were met with cold, rainy weather most of the time. This goes to show that in KZN you never know what you’re going to get and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
When in Durban, eat Durban cuisine
I bet you know where I am going with this… Yes! I am talking about the famous Bunny Chow! The Coca Cola Bunny Chow Barometer, and annual competition to determine who’s Bunny’s are the best. Looking back at the last 3 years’ contestants I saw that Curry O’s have been a regular participant and received the Silver Plate the last year. I thought that this would be the right place to go to. The aromas escaping the kitchen were amazing and the patrons made it clear that we have arrived at a great curry experience. We were not asked what strength our curry should be and I appreciated it, we were here for the experience they create and we ate up every bit of it!
When you are in Durban it is of course expected to eat curry or at least make a good curry. The most important thing about a great curry is of course your spices. Luckily, when in Durban, there is no lack of that. You also have the advantage of an expert mixing your spices to your liking. There is also the bonus of amazing samoosas and the ultimate tropical treat… Pineapples dipped in spices!
When the curry is finished
Once curried up we head to the Midlands to see what else KZN has to offer.
KwaZulu Natal spoils us with numerous coffee roasters where you can get your coffee fix. The original Terbadore Coffee roastery is on one of the Midlands Meander routes with a quaint little house where they roast the beans, a cute dog that inspired the logo, and a coffee shop where you can treat yourself to pastries. Another farm I wished to visit is Assagay Coffee farm with a real treat for someone who appreciates good coffee. You can go on tours and enjoy a coffee taste whilst enjoying the farm feel. There is also no lack of places to enjoy these beans and if you like Nguni’s and a view I would suggest you make a stop at the Blueberry Café on the Netherwood farm (where you can also enjoy their version of the Bunny Chow).
Treats and snacks:
Sticking (pun intended) to handcrafted goodies, you can always make a stop at Wedgewood for handmade nougat where they only use the finest ingredients. Further down the road, you will find a place that only uses the best olives. If you like olives, go to Romesco. If you don’t like olives, you should go to Romesco. Their flavour-bursting products range from olives, sauces, pestos, chutneys, to other pantry products. They even deliver to your door but that would take the fun out of tasting their various products.
Of chocolate and dairy:
After my last blog, about chocolate addiction, my mind was set on chocolate and I was craving it more than usual. Not surprising that I would find Chocolate Heaven to buy a variety of chocolate, and Chocolate Memories that can be found in various shops around KZN. Good dark chocolaty satisfaction!
If dairy is your thing then rest assured that you can find delicious dairy products at Indezi River Creamery where cheese, cream, milk, and goats milk milkshakes are readily available. They are also committed to wholesome products and dedicated to giving their customers good quality food whilst keeping their cows and goats happy.
After you have tried the food and the coffee in KZN then you can dedicate a whole day, or 2, on craft beer. Just like wine, whiskey, and brandy, the world of beer holds thousands of flavours for you to explore. Enjoying an afternoon at a brewery, you get the opportunity of tasting the craftsman’s handy work, enjoy the view that all breweries provide, and some places even craft their own gin. Do not forget that where there is good beer, there is usually good food to accompany it. A few places we went to try out were:
- Notties, the original guys with a range of beers, now crafting gin as well. This is also the Nottingham Road Hotel that is more than 100 years old.
- Balgowan Breweries, these brewers share their brewing skills with their passion for science and maths. (scientifically fermented beer… that’s why it tastes so good)
- Poison City Brew, these guys, the founders, and brewers, mixed their 2 favorite pass times, beer and cannabis
- Basset Breweries, where dogs are appreciated almost more than customers, not to worry, the service and pizzas are great
- Robsons, close to Ushaka with a good party vibe
- Durban Brewing Company, another craft brewery that brews beer and gin.
Something more traditional:
If craft beer and being outside is not your thing then you can always enjoy your cold ones in numerous places with a variety of settings. Of course, we know about the beachside bars and restaurants with their amazing views. We also know about the underwater restaurant at Ushaka but there are more traditional places to visit. KZN is filled with old hotels and old pubs that are more than 100 years old and has a lot of charm with an old-world feel to it. One place that I really enjoyed was the Himeville Arms.
Too much driving:
If this all seems like too much effort for you, or not fuel-efficient, then I have one final solution for you… Food markets! Just like everything else, KZN brings you amazing markets where all these amazing products are available at your convenience. I had the privilege to indulge my way through 2 markets, that were close to where my brother lives. I went to the Bellevue Market which is only the last Friday of each month from May to September (phew! I just made the last one) and the Saturday morning, as if not indulged enough, we made our way to the Shongweni Craft Market. Next time I will make it my mission to go to the Howick Exchange Market.
So here I am, fat and fed, ate and drank my way through only a part of KZN, and already thinking about what I will indulge in next time. Be sure to tell me what I missed out on or if you have questions about my trip, I’d be happy to share my experiences. You can also read my personal blogs about my experiences in KZN at:
Until you read again, eat well my friends!
Bloggpost by Anel du Preez