A mecca of gastronomic diversity awaits food-lovers at the newly refurbished Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani, a complex that has all the ingredients to become the culinary hotspot of Durban.
No less than 11 restaurants and bars, each uniquely different in theming and cuisine, are spread throughout the two towers of the complex. Designed as independent restaurants, it’s clear that there is a spirit of entreneurship in every one of the eateries located in the complex. From the service ethic to the attention to detail to the inspired menus, each one of the seven restaurants exude style, independence and energy.
Nowhere is this more evident than at The Grill Jichana, where ‘eating well’ is inherent in the very fabric of the restaurant. From the name – a Swahili slang term meaning ‘eating good’ – to every robust, flavoursome dish on the menu, The Grill Jichana embodies the spirit of good, simple food prepared in the most authentic way to highlight the natural flavours of the food.
Bringing in the African theming of its host hotel, The Grill Jichana is an exploration of the East Coast of Africa’s spice route, combining the flavours of cassia, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric and pepper with the perfectly grilled meat, fish and chicken dishes on the menu.
Forgoing an extensive starter menu in favour of a simple but substantial selection of salads, hand crafted from fresh market ingredients, The Grill Jichana is a restaurant where the focus is on the grills. The beef is premium grade and sourced from Karan Beef, carefully selected and hand cut by an in-house butcher before being aged through a specific maturation process. “This allows us to offer our diners the best prime cuts available, seasoned with our aromatic house spice, infused with crushed mustard seed, rock sea salt and lemon black pepper, before being flame-grilled over volcanic rock with herbed honey barbeque basting,” says executive chef Shaun Munro, who developed the menu for The Grill Jichana and oversees all the restaurants within the complex to ensure consistent quality and service delivery. Jichana’s small but tempting dessert menu create the perfect ending to a meal that sets new standards in grill house dining.
Those in search of the perfect place for breakfast, brunch, lunch, late afternoon snacks or sundowners followed by dinner need look no further than the Elangeni Tower. The aptly named Panorama Bar & Pool Deck offers light, innovative all day dining options coupled with panoramic views of the spectacular vista of the Durban beachfront. From an elevated position on the 2nd floor of the Elangeni Tower, diners can enjoy unencumbered views that blend seamlessly with the aqua hues of the trendy bar restaurant. Here, diners can enjoy meals and snacks throughout the day from the cleverly designed ‘all day grazing’ menu, choosing a table around the pool deck, a comfortable armchair inside or a seat at the vibey bar. Beware the sexy young bartenders who will tempt you into trying their signature alcoholic and virgin cocktails!
Alongside the Panorama Bar lies the Ocean Breeze Restaurant, which serves as a venue for banqueting during winter but will open its doors as a lunchtime buffet restaurant during summer. This laid-back Indian Ocean Island styled restaurant offers a view second to none, where guests can indulge in everything from the kind of buffet one would be likely to find in Mauritius or the Seychelles, with the emphasis on seafood and line-fish to flatbreads and crispy pizza, fresh out of the authentic pizza oven. With nooks and crannies allowing for setups of every specification and a show kitchen with the pizza oven as its focal point, this is the perfect venue for corporate lunches, teambuilding or a romantic lunch overlooking the ocean.
“Our journey to bring these restaurants to life at the Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani has taken us on extensive travels locally and internationally. The people who are responsible for the day to day operation of the restaurants are empowered to run the operations as if they were their own, bringing entrepreneurial flair, accountability and a sense of ownership to the way the restaurants are run. This translates into an experience that is truly world-class, so whether your taste preference takes you to The Grill Jichana, the Panorama Bar & Pool Deck or the Lingela, Ocean Breeze, Daruma or Piatto, you’ll find exceptional food, intuitive service and an all-round great experience,” says Graham Wood, Managing Director of Tsogo Sun – hotels.