Tuesday, October 20, 2009

So where do we go from here??

What a grand experience.  Out of sheer curiosity rather than some trade knowledge, I decided I wanted to have a look at the revamped Oyster Box Hotel.  Not that I had even been in the old hotel, but somewhere some bells were ringing - new owners, renovations, expensive and extreme indignation from the other restaurants in the area when they decided to canvas for staff by approaching them at their place of work during peak hours in front of the management - seemed to come to mind.  So of course I wanted to see the place!

As luck had it, the hotel had been open less than a week and it was an ideal time to see them go through their paces.  The horror on my daughters face when I suggested that we just go and have a look persuaded us to go for a meal instead - surely we could afford a toasted sandwich (I dont think they do them as no evidence on the menu of anything like that).  With a bit of coersion, we managed to get together a table and headed for the doors.

After 30 years of swanning in and out of hotels around the world, its not often I am left speechless or overly impressed and I have to say its a great feeling when it happens.  I didnt want to leave!  I wanted to check into one of the R6000-a-night rooms and live there - forever - and eat in one of the three restaurants all the time!

The precise style of decor, red and white stripes, mozaic walls in pale green and white, royal blue and white, gleaming white, pearly white, spa white with emerald green grass and the sea a stone thow away. Admittedly it was one of the most glorious Durban days - sun, sea and all that goes with it so the picture might be a little bit over-exagerated but I dont think so.

In that kind of environment, Its easy to get into the swing of it.  My daughter Baye got to try Oysters for the first time - we didnt dare tell her they are alive when they slide down your throat.  We had a dozen Pimms instead.  A variety of main courses and even desserts all round.  And in spite of all the concerns about the prices before we got there, we still managed to leave with our shirts on our back.  Now this is somewhere I intend to do justice to over a period of time.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Real men eat Burgers!

Well they do when its my cousin Michael.  Its his birthday today and we all wanted to go out to dinner (back in Durban again so the choice is endless).  But these days its normal to be broke in the 2nd week of the month so we had to really think about where to go that would suit the occasion and our pockets.  Even so, brows were slightly raised when he suggested we go to the new Gourmet Burger Co in Durban North.  Somehow the thought of a burger didn't quite fit the birthday feeling so I personally went along with a lot of curiosity as to how the evening would pan out.

Bearing in mind that most of us work, own, run or cook in a restaurant, it would have been an intimidating table to serve if the waitress had any idea of who we were, but apparently she was oblivious and and gave us a fairly mediocre service with little interest.  In a fairly empty restaurant that was just starting out, the old adage of "good help is hard to find" springs to mind.

But all that changed when the menu arrived.  Burgers of all description with wild combinations (beetroot, egg and pineapple) started to whet the appetite.  Unfortunately not a lot of starters were available - either an early rush or poor ordering? and the evening kicked off.  If there is such a thing as a Gourmet Burger, this is the place to go. 

We ended up having a great evening.  Good Food, Great Company, Expanding Waistlines.  Seems you can go to a Burger Joint for a night out!