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Review: Luxurious pastas at Durban’s newest gem, The Glenwood Restaurant

The Glenwood Bakery team has kicked off a new dining venture in Durban’s Berea suburb. Named The Glenwood Restaurant, the space is headed up by master baker and chef Adam Robinson and is inspired by his fascination with all things pasta. Eat Out critic Nikita Buxton heads in for a first taste.

The old Glenwood house that is home to the new restaurant. Photo by Nikita Buxton

The old Glenwood house that is home to the new restaurant. Photo by Nikita Buxton

Fast facts

Price: R80 on average for a main dish
Serves: Luxurious, sophisticated pasta
Best for: Date night or lunch with friends
Parking: Ample street parking on Brand Road
Star ratings: food 5, service 5, ambience 4

Food

To start, the antipasti boards are large and laden with Italian delicacies. The meat version boasts six kinds of pork and beef charcuterie as well as a luxurious bacon-and-chicken terrine. The vegetarian platter is flush with marinated peppers, artichokes, shiitake mushrooms, olives, tempura courgettes and two perfectly boiled eggs drizzled with a creamy aioli for a touch of richness. Don’t forget the famous bread from Glenwood Bakery – you’ll be chomping on bread sticks and chargrilled ciabatta before even thinking of your mains.

One of the antipasti platters at The Glenwood Restaurant. Photo by Nikita Buxton.

One of the antipasti platters at The Glenwood Restaurant. Photo by Nikita Buxton.

Speaking of mains, the star of the show here is the pasta, which is house made by Adam and his co-chef, John Stayner. Adam’s talent with flour shows: each plate is filled with silky, perfectly cooked strands, sheets and rolls of pasta glossy with sauce. The tagliatelle with cherry tomatoes, basil and cream is a thing of beauty. Plump tomatoes are slow-cooked and broken into the cream, making the sauce blush in colour and bursting with flavour. (It was hard to resist licking the plate.)

The tomato and basil pasta at The Glenwood Restaurant. Photo by Nikita Buxton.

The tomato and basil pasta at The Glenwood Restaurant. Photo by Nikita Buxton.

The butternut-and-ricotta rotolo with pine nuts is covered in crispy sage and has a familiar comforting flavour, while the fried potato gnocchi with pop-in-your-mouth peas and bacon is moreishly tossed with parmesan. There’s also an open herb ravioli with ratatouille, olives and beurre blanc for vegetarians, and a robust, rich parpadelle special with red-wine-braised chicken and shiitake mushrooms for something a little heartier.

The butternut, pine nut and sage rotolo at The Glenwood Restaurant. Photo by Nikita Buxton.

The butternut, pine nut and sage rotolo at The Glenwood Restaurant. Photo by Nikita Buxton.

Desserts change regularly, but on our visit we are treated to puffed-up soufflé beignets served with a simple dark-chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream. There is also a delicate madeleine pastry paired perfectly with saffron ice cream and coral-coloured poached quince, which makes for a light option after the carb-rich lunch.

For those wanting to forgo the pastas, there is also a small selection of interesting meat and fish dishes on offer.

The menu is incredibly reasonably priced and almost feels a steal with such beautifully rich and delicious food.

The soufflé beignets at The Glenwood Bakery. Photo by Nikita Buxton.

The soufflé beignets at The Glenwood Bakery. Photo by Nikita Buxton.

Drinks

The Glenwood Restaurant is not yet licensed, but you are invited to bring your own bottle for a R20 corkage fee. If you’re after something non alcoholic, they serve a variety of interesting fruit-based drinks.

Service

Adam’s daughter, Adelaide Robinson, is the efficient and effervescent front-of-house, leading a team of knowledgeable and friendly staff.

Ambience

Situated in a cosy old Glenwood house that has a slight Victorian feel, the space is warm, welcoming and full of light. Old windows open up onto the veggie- and herb-filled garden, where guests can be seated. The décor is simple yet classic.

The outside area at The Glenwood Restaurant. Photo by Nikita Buxton.

The outside area at The Glenwood Restaurant. Photo by Nikita Buxton.

And…

On Sundays they serve a robust lunch in addition to the pasta dishes. Think roast sirloin, crisp pork belly, or roast leg of lamb with poached garlic and beans.

Have you been to the new Glenwood Restaurant in Durban? Tell us about it in a quick review.

Eat Out critics dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.

The open ravioli with ratatouille at The Glenwood Restaurant. Photo by Nikita Buxton.

The open ravioli with ratatouille at The Glenwood Restaurant. Photo by Nikita Buxton.

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