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9th Avenue Bistro

9th Avenue Bistro
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Cost
avg main meal R160; six course tasting menu R340 per person (additional R100 for wine pairing); ten course chef’s menu (to be arranged by booking 48 hours in advance) R500 per person (additional R150 for pairing)
Ambience
Classic elegance
Food
Bistro fare, Modern
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa
Corkage
R70, no BYO set menus

Critic's review

Nikita Buxton

Food
With seasoned pros like head chef Charlie Lakin and Graham Neilson at the helm of 9th Avenue Bistro, the Durban icon’s reputation is in safe hands. Whether ordered à la carte or from the six-course tasting menu, the seasonal flavours and locally sourced ingredients harmonise to create beautiful plates of food, says Eat Out critic Nikita Buxton.

Beginnings could include the all-time favourite of roasted butternut squash ravioli or the creamy shellfish orzo, but it's the free-range chicken croustillant that truly shines. Thin potato strips form a golden and crispy casing to a nostalgically delicious filling of chicken and goat’s cheese. The flavours are completely comforting, offset beautifully by honey-pickled vegetables and a tangy goat’s cheese dressing. Another standout starter is the gin-cured salmon. It’s flavourful yet delicate, with thinly sliced fresh salmon, a black onion-seed crème fraîche and fluffy potato blinis.

Deciding on mains might prove difficult with the enticing choices on offer. Heed the call of the classic and generously plated prawn-tail fettucine with fiery red pepper and creamy tomato ragout, or turn to a comforting curry-infused roast lamb rump with spinach, lentils and onion bhajis. The line fish of the day could come in the form of red snapper with bright vegetables and the most addictive parmesan beignets. The vegetarian option of truffled porcini-and-leek risotto is anything but boring. The blissful bowl comes complete with a dainty nest of crispy leeks and fudgy confit egg yolks that add even more lusciousness to the dish. If you’re feeling naughty, add some salty lamb bacon.

Be sure to leave space for dessert. The vanilla-bean crème brûlée never disappoints, served with a welcoming tang of pineapple salsa and homemade shortbread for scooping. The baked pavlova leaves taste buds singing with its zingy lemon curd, lemon Chantilly cream and bright berry sorbet. Shards of meringue round off the dish with a pleasing crunch.

Drinks
The wine list at 9th is well cultivated with interesting varietals and names, as well as a strong focus on sustainability. The comprehensive selection features estates such as KZN’s Abingdon Wine Estate, Meinert Wines, Badenhorst Family Wines, and Avondale. There’s a good selection by the glass, too.

Service
Staff are knowledgeable and friendly, with elegance to mirror the food. Simple touches like letting the wine breathe and complimentary after-dinner treats make the occasion feel special.

Ambience
This is cosy bistro dining, complete with white tablecloths and a European feel. While not much has changed décor-wise over the years, the ambience continues to feel warm with a welcoming hum coming from the open kitchen.

And...
Every few months, 9th Avenue hosts set-menu dinners in partnership with leading local wine estates.

(June 2017)

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

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  • Nicola Ashe

    Food
    This is where you go when you want food that’s both beautiful to look at and delicious to eat. Ingredients are considered and combined to make your meal experiential and not just satiating. Chefs Graham Neilsen and Michelin-starred Charlie Lakin have crafted a menu which celebrates seasonality and skill, with a strong focus on creativity.

    Think ostrich fillet served with salted orange and beetroot salad, preserved plums, buttermilk, pine and brioche crumbs, or creamy shellfish orzo made with a combination of barbecued langoustine and baby lango tails, topped with delicate lemon foam. A six-course tasting menu, with or without wine pairings and coffee, allows you to experience a variety of dishes, which could include duck liver parfait served with toasted brioche and pickled apple salad, or succulent beef fillet and a delicate crispy oxtail croquette, served with bone marrow and potato mash. The chicken croustillant is an eat-before-you-die dish: a crispy potato string encases chicken, goats cheese, pineapple and macadamia nut butter parcel that simply melts in your mouth.

    Don’t skip dessert – the vanilla bean crème brulee is sinfully good and the pear, apple and raisin bread pudding served with whisky ice cream, crème anglaise and pear compôte elevates a run-of-the-mill dish to heavenly heights.

    Drinks
    A carefully considered list of sustainably-produced South African varietals, as well as a few imported champagne, sparkling, red and white wines, are on offer with both origins and wine makers listed, along with a handy glossary of definitions.

    Service
    This is a well-oiled team of servers, knowledgeable in both food and wine who effortlessly work the room without breaking a sweat.

    Ambience
    Despite being located in a small suburban shopping centre, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re in a bustling European bistro once inside. The focus is on fine dining without the snoot and the cosy restaurant, complete with open kitchen, decadent aromas and understated efficiency, is a popular haunt for both locals and city visitors.

    And…
    The owners have recently committed to reducing their waste footprint, embarking on a green journey. This sees them not only cooking with reduced waste in mind, but also implementing ways to recycle, reuse and replace.

    (September 2016)

    Eat Out reviewers dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Click here to read our editorial policy.

  • Tracy Gielink

    Food
    More than a decade on, this bistro remains as relevant as ever … perhaps even more so since accomplished British chef, Charlie Lakin, joined Graham Neilson in the kitchen. The focus of the menu remains the same, with dishes like grilled pork rib-eye served with a truffled macaroni cheese, broccoli and pork jus, or red onion tarte tatin with wildebeest bresaola, gorgonzola, rocket and plums. Specials could include the rich roast lamb rump with rustic pairing of edamame beans, marinated tomatoes, lamb bacon and confit garlic gnocchi or subtly smoked cob brandade, new season asparagus, heritage carrots, rainbow chard and caper mayonnaise. Charlie is a forager, so expect to see local flowers and plants as both adornment and ingredients. His love of offal can be translated into dishes such as pigs’ head terrine with squid heads, fermented carrot, squid ink kewpie, scallion and duck breast served with sweetbreads, ginger parkin and pickled cherry.

    Drinks
    The lovingly curated wine collection is as thought provoking as it is comprehensive. Page upon page of international and local wines are listed with succinct description. A substantial South African selection showcases wines from iconic and boutique producers. There are also premium cognacs, aperitifs and classic cocktails.

    Service
    A young, erudite ensemble is sharp of eye and fleet of foot. Great care is taken to observe etiquette and the service dispensed is discreet and glitch-free. A highly efficient, consistent kitchen completes the all-round experience.

    Ambience
    The restaurant is located in the corner of an unassuming shopping centre. A covered veranda area affords privacy with wooden shutters; the simple interior relies on wood, exposed brick and botanical artworks and tables are given a classical, understated treatment.

    And…
    Book two days in advance for the bespoke 10 course set menu that can be paired with wine and beer.

    (August 2015)

  • Tracy Gielink

    Food
    This bistro has serious culinary credentials. Chef-patron Graham Neilson has been joined by Yorkshire man Charles Lakin, who’s worked in Michelin-rated restaurants and competed in the TV series The Great British Menu. It’s a sanctuary for those of jaded palate… Think wild mushrooms with toasted brioche, crispy egg yolk, walnuts and halloumi, or pig’s head terrine with apples, walnut and pickled turnip. Main courses are mostly meaty affairs and could include braised lamb shoulder with confit carrots, spinach, potato mash and herb yoghurt, or charcoal roasted pork chops served with Brussels sprouts, bacon, baby potatoes and tahini. It’s impossible to refuse dessert here, and the comforting pear-and-apple bread pudding served with a warm whiskey sauce, pecan nuts and fresh whipped cream elicits blissful sighs.

    The six-course tasting menu offers a good culinary overview and you can also add wine pairings for a minimal additional payment

    Drinks
    The wine list is carefully contemplated, informative and has fair mark-ups. South African bottles are listed according to varietal with vintage, area of origin, winemaker and a brief description. There are also good-value new and old world international wines. By-the-glass options cover all eventualities and you’ll also find dessert wines, local ports, sherries and cognac. Classic cocktails and some craft beers complete the picture.

    Service
    Service is impeccable and dispensed with genuine hospitality that follows through from the hands-on owners. Regulars are showered with attention; newcomers made to feel equally appreciated. The team on the floor is alert and attentive, ensuring that service matches the same high standards of the kitchen.

    Ambience
    An air of quiet sophistication is created by modern lines and a tempered use of colour. Terracotta walls radiate warmth, striking botanical photographic artworks make a statement, and black metal chairs feature against the backdrop of white napery.

    And...
    The restaurant allows children (although there are no special facilities for kids) but asks that parents respect other diners and keep their kids under control.

    (August 2014)

  • One of Durban’s most popular bistros. Excellent value for money – try to order three courses. You’ll love the personal service from the young husband and wife team. Great for a romantic date. (EO mag 2014)
  • Frank Chemaly

    Food
    Chef Graham Nielson goes from strength to strength in this swish modern bistro, serving classic creations with decidedly modern twists. The fare is seasonal, the food fresh and the ingredients of the best quality. A sample menu may take in pork and chorizo-stuffed squid, sautéed quail breast, or quail spring roll served with a lemongrass and ginger broth. And that’s for starters. Mains include fillet with raclette mash, braised oxtail and a smoked marrow bone, or frilled salmon with shrimp and mushroom dumplings on zucchini and rice noodles. The pear and apple bread and butter pudding has a reputation.

    Wine
    Some great offerings on a tight list that takes in the best of the Cape, with a few surprises thrown in. Plus a good selection by the glass. Knowledgeable staff will recommend food pairings.

    Service
    Graham’s wife, Gina, runs front-of-house with aplomb. Service is quick, welcoming, knowledgeable and efficient – and nothing is too much trouble.

    Ambience
    Relaxed and informal, keeping a distinctly upmarket edge. It’s had a makeover recently and is a lot less stark.

    And...
    For special occasions take advantage of six-course set menus – they offer exceptional value and a chance to taste everything.

    (October 2012)

User reviews

  • 9th is without question my favourite restaurant. Fantastic food and service, wonderful wines and an elegant atmosphere. Good to see Graham back in the kitchen and I can't wait for my next tasting menu... later this evening!!! It's great to see that restaurants are popping up and attempting to bring variety to an industry that is increasingly dominated by large chains, but 9th remains the benchmark for these new players in terms of consistency, quality, innovation and excellence. Super excited for this evening!!
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  • My favourite place by far! Amazing food, amazing service, super friendly staff! Highly recommended!
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  • What a fantastic place to spend an evening. The waiter was friendly and attentive - treated us like we were his only table. The food was excellent and is highly recommended. 10 out of 10.
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  • What is not to love about eating at 9th Avenue! It is always a dinning experience which leaves you feeling special and treated. The service is fantastic, decor gorgeous and warmth and ambiance sets the most pleasant atmosphere. The food is incredible! I particularly loved the pear salad and lamb main literally melts in your mouth. I have never been disappointed. Can't wait to return!
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  • For the past 20 years our family has been dining at 9th Avenue Bistro and have seen changes in ownership, management and menus. However over the years the theme of the restaurant has not changed which is inventive cuisine at a reasonable price with excellent service. The current owners Graham and Gina exemplify that tradition with long standing favourites and always something different on the menu. We are always welcomed with a drink and the obligatory crisp fresh bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar mix. Without doubt we the Wilson family, in our opinion have to say 9th Avenue Bistro is the best restaurant in Durban. Awesome food, great service and Gina and Graeme sure know how to make you feel special. Right now the Restaurant is at its best and is recommended to all that appreciate fine dining in a relaxed atmosphere. Regards, The Wilson Family Peter, Janette, Cassie ,Kiann.
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  • My husband and I celebrated Valentine's day Feb 2017 at this restaurant. it was so refreshing that they had a normal menu, and not an over-priced menu to cash in on Valentines. We even managed to get a booking at short notice.. I presume it was because we were on holiday, and we could come at lunch time instead of dinner. The ambience was a little disappointing, really just more comfy chairs, will make the world of a difference. However, the main course was excellent ( I had the duck), and the portions were really more than enough. The starter was fine but a little average, however, the portions don't leave space for much else. The service was excellent - wish all restaurants were that good. I was happy that they offer a half size bottle wine, my husband does not drink, so I usually just have a glass or two, and the wine per glass in restaurants is usually not terribly good. It is also useful to take the rest home, if I don;t finish it. I went twice while we were there on holiday, and definitely will go back next year.
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  • One of my all-time favourite restaurants in Durban, and certainly head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to innovative and perfectly cooked cuisine. There are few places in the country, let alone Durban that serve consistently good, really delicious dishes. You can always count on 9th Avenue Bistro to deliver fine dining - without the fuss and pretence. My favorite dishes are the Shellfish Orzo, Butternut Ravioli and literally any meat dish they serve! Love!
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  • Have visited several times and have never been disappointed. Home to many of my absolute favourite dishes in Durban (Creamy Shellfish Orzo, Roasted Butternut Squash Ravioli, Prawn Tail Fettuccini and, of course, the crispy roast duck!). You simply cannot go wrong at 9th.
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  • If I don't write this review on our visit to 9th Avenue, I'l feel like i'm doing a disservice to the world. I was that impressed, that delighted, and my mouth is watering just thinking of the food. Now Durban is not known for its culinary qualities. It's like the special cousin of Joburg and Cape Town: nice curries, but shame. 9th Avenue Bistro, however, is our claim to fame in the culinary world. The restaurant has an unpretentious feel, but the dishes are truly Masterchef-worthy. The evening started with a polite & unobtrusive waiter explaining the specials, taking drinks orders, and bringing out hot, home-made bread with butter, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. We devoured it in minutes. A very good start to the evening's feasting. For starters, we had the crispy calamari with mayo-type dipping sauce, which was as good as crispy calamari can get. It was a rather generous portion and we couldn't finish it between the three of us. We also ordered what turned out to be the showstopper of the night: the Shellfish Orzo. A langoustine sitting pretty on a bed of lango tails & orzo (like pasta rice) swimming in a rich, creamy, buttery sauce. It was decadent. It was delicious. It was like manna from Heaven. I had never tasted anything like it before & I would go back just to relish every morsel again. For mains we ordered the duck, chicken breast and duo of beef. The duck was tender and juicy but the skin was as crispy as it should be (I tasted some). The chicken was surprisingly good - we wondered how they could transform dull old chicken breast into a fine dining dish but it was tender, rich and moreish, paired with a creamy and delicious sauce (yes, I tasted that too). The duo of beef comprised of a few pieces of fillet, cooked medium as requested, served on a pillow of light and buttery mash, with a croquette-type slow-cooked shredded beef part on the side. I must admit, I didn't enjoy it as much as the other two dishes as it had a winey undertone to it, which wasn't to my taste. I don't like my food to taste like alcohol, but it was worth trying in any case as the fillet was cooked beautifully and the mash and veggies were enjoyable. Dessert was creme brulee and their take on a fruity bread-and-butter pud. The creme brulee had the silkiest custard I have ever tasted in any restaurant (yes I tasted it, surprise surprise). It was melt-in-your mouth perfection. The fruity bread-and-butter pud didn't excite my palate at all and was disappointing. The fruit overpowered the delicate custardy taste of the pudding and we weren't wowed by it. The bill was higher than most other restaurants of similar calibre in Durbs, but then again you don't get food like that anywhere else. That was our 9th Avenue experience. I felt like I could triumphantly and smugly glance at the other foodie cities with a Ha! See what we can do in Durbs..
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  • This place is one of the best spots by far in Durban. On July 26th 2015, We showed up to celebrate my husband's 50th birthday without reservation and they found space for us. The owner did anything in her power for us to have a good time. The food is great, service is excellent and prices very fair. The ambience is perfect. When you get to Durban, this place cannot be missed. Aleman family.
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  • My family took me their recently for my birthday and we had the most special evening. The building on the outside is nothing to look at but once your inside it is cosy and modern. The service was very attentive and professional. We all loved our food. We shared starters of Shellfish orzo & pork belly (both were outstanding) It made me laugh when our mains came we all were so quiet as everyone was enjoying their food so much. I ate the fish and it was fantastic. For desserts we shared two desserts the crème brule and the blueberry cheesecake ice cream - I can't tell you which was better as they were both really great. This place is worth travelling into Durban for! PS they recommended we go to their day time café the Boiler Room and that was also fab.
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  • The family booked a table of 6 for my wife's 30th birthday on 12 April 2013. This party inlcuded a toddler. At no stage were we informed of a policy regarding kids so we were caught unaware on the day. Upon arriving, the resturant was fairly busy, with the classic bistro vibe of people chatting and enjoying what looked like excellent food. About 20 minutes after being seated, the manager (Dave) came up to the table saying that he has received complaints about the noise from the kid at the table, and that we should try to keep him down or take him for a walk. Now, given the fact that the resturant was busy and noisy, and the fact that the kid had actually been quiet apart from trying to get his aunt's attention on 2 occassions. In fact the noise (including people cursing out loud) far outweighed anything coming from our table. Also Dave mentioned that he had to move a table outside due to us, which to be honest I did not see. This as can be expected, really put a damper on the evening. The food was great and so was the waiter (Dylan) but dealing with the manager really ruined what had the makings of a great meal. Consider making the kids policy common knowledge upfront.

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  • Lunch on 28 March 2013, Fantastic food, excellent service! Pity some of us live in Jo'burg! Well done and thanks very much!

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  • What a brilliant bistro! It is the best service that we've received in such a long time. The wine list is amazing; the food is out of this world. We had the special of the evening, a sweet potato soup, fig and parma ham salad and the main course - the fish! Oh the fish! The waitress was lovely and the owner (or manager) was just as amazing. They were tending to us all evening (not in a irritating manner) and made sure that we had a great experience! Well done guys, we can completely understand why you received the best bistro 2012 award. I’m sure you will take it again this year!

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  • Had dinner on 28th Dec and this establishment never disappoints. Food of the highest quality and just unbelievable. Perhaps waitress tried to rush us through the evening.

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  • We visited 9th Avenue Bistro whilst on holiday in December. It was wonderful! The food was mouth-wateringly delicious and the service quick and friendly. We were made to feel right at home and will definitely go back when next in Durban.

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  • Congratulations upon winning Eat Out's Best Bistro category. A very well deserved honour, and you make Durban proud!

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  • Every year during Indaba we get our 9th Avenue Bistro fix, and it is a good one!
    Having 2 menus, one to please the locals and one for the more adventurous palate, 9th Avenue Bistro is most definitely the best restaurant in Durban. The owners are awsome and look after their guests with much heart and passion. My favourite dish is the salmon tartare presented on a carved wooden plate with fine fine chips and a delicious crunchy salad. Can't wait for next year's fix!

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  • Fantastic food but poor location. Entrance near dustbins of other restaurants on the evening we went there.

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  • Thanks for the most friendly service to Gina and team. Thanks to Graham and the kitchen crew for a very tasteful supper. Best in Durban - we'll surely be back.

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  • We went to the Classic Natal Dinner Series 2 with Abingdon wine estate and had the most wonderful evening! The food was simply superb and the wine pairings faultless. I have no words to describe the delicious line fish with risotto and burnt butter hollandaise, the pressed lamb, the pork belly, the coconut tart - everything was just outstanding! I would highly recommend these evenings, such great value for money and such a great evening out!

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  • Ate there just before Christmas as we were visitng from New Zealand. The food is amazing but very disappointed with how staff were treated by the one lady manager. Our server seemed to take it in his stride though and he was very good. Also it is situated just off a busy parking lot which kills the "bistro" feel. I guess it is the price you pay for good food.

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  • Went for dinner last Saturday. Starter 9/10 (Tuna sashimi). Main 6/10 (Tuna special - I found it a little lacking in flavour, bland, needed something zesty or spicy). Dessert 10/10 (Belgium dark chocolate torte). The best chocolate dessert I've ever had!

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  • My husband and I went there for dinner on Friday 5/08/2011 and I highly recommend this restaurant, not only for their fabulous food but also for the friendly and quick service. The food is served in a very different way to other restaurants with certain tastes that add wonderful flavour to whatever you order.

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  • Freshly prepared delicious food!

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  • Went there twice during Indaba. As per usual we were not disappointed. Service and food were superb.
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  • Best duck I ever tasted. The rest of the menu is well put together and these people are serious about their food combinations. When I initially looked at the menu, I was stumped. Nothing really appealed to me or made sense. I tried it anyway and, to my pleasant surprise, I have never tasted such well-put together food in my life. This is one of my favourite restaurants. I love the unassuming decor and the magnificent food. Real foodies delight!
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  • We had lunch at 9th Ave Bistro yesterday with close friends and my brother and sister in law from Cape Town. They are serious foodies and all of us loved our meal, the service, the ambience. Well done to Graham and Gina we will be back!
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  • Awesome sashimi starter and great chicken main. Thank you good job ,)
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  • Another amazing meal! Superb atmosphere and service; excellent cuisine - especially the fish! Congrats on your new menu and the innovative ideas coming through! Will definitely be back! Worth every cent spent. Keep it up! Your customer care is tops!
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  • Spending an evening at 9th Avenue is always a pleasure. Relying on superb food and excellent service to win the support of those who know their food, 9th Avenue is without doubt my number one choice when eating out. Recently I had some good friends from Joburg in for the weekend and they – like me – were blown away by the six course tasting menu – a tribute to fine dining and fantastic value. The rabbit – a new addition to the menu - I tried on my previous visit and it was brilliant. I couldn’t recommend this restaurant more highly and am proud to have an establishment of this quality in Durban.
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  • I was recently very privileged to have eaten at 9th Avenue Bistro last week and am very sorry to hear that they havent been selected for your top 10 in the country. I dont understand why. The ambience is superb and the decor is lovely. I had the butternut ravioli for my starter, and my husband had the ostrich carpaccio for his starter, both were outstanding! I had a tuna special and he had the lamb loin. It was with much sadness that I read the review on the 1st of November from an anonymous sender, as I had the total opposite experience. Perhaps we werent at the same restaurant. I will be back as soon as i can!
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  • Im not surprised that this restaurant is not on this years list of 20 nominees. Its worn decor, lazy service and food are not deserving of any prizes or even the restaurants own inflated prices.
    The oxtail-stuffed tomato on guacamole and pesto was an awful combination. The oxtail was tasteless. The duck main course was just okay. Since the dishes sound lovely, but taste bad we didnt fall for a dessert.
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  • My husband and I have enjoyed the exceptional food and service at this bistro for the past 5 years and have always prided ourselves on the fact that Durban has a venue that has appeared consistently in the top 10 in South Africa. When we where informed that the Bistro had changed ownership, it was with trepidation that we placed our booking. Needless to say our concerns where completely unjustified - our Bistro experience this time around has been our best to date. Not only did we receive the same exceptional standard of food and service that we have grown accustomed to, but the new decor has given it a great fresh feel and made for an even better dining experience.
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  • Dear Hillary Thank you so much for your feedback we appreciate our customers and like to hear their views, even if a little brutal. I always encourage our waiters to let our guests know the “ham and eggs” is for the more food adventurous as we are fully aware that this is not just an average dish. It will always be a love it or hate it dish, and sometimes it’s good to push people’s boundaries when it comes to food. However, the mash on your duck should not have been so pureed and I will inform the kitchen, I wish you had told me on the evening and we would have been very happy to replace the mash. We hope that you will give us another try, when you’re back in town. Kind regards Gina Neilson
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  • Dear Hillary Thank you so much for your feedback we appreciate our customers and like to hear their views, even if a little brutal. I always encourage our waiters to let our guests know the “ham and eggs” is for the more food adventurous as we are fully aware that this is not just an average dish. It will always be a love it or hate it dish, and sometimes it’s good to push people’s boundaries when it comes to food. However, the mash on your duck should not have been so pureed and I will inform the kitchen, I wish you had told me on the evening and we would have been very happy to replace the mash. We hope that you will give us another try, when you’re back in town. Kind regards Gina Neilson
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  • What went well first - great service, welcome, accurate descriptions - I was dining alone on a business trip, and very happy to find myself in the same road as one of the Top 10. I was foolishly seduced by the rosti - one of my favourites - in the amusingly described Ham and Eggs, that I did not really think about the unfortunate combination of ingredients. In the presented plate - each ingredient demanded attention leading to a complete confusion of flavours. I did not enjoy it. The crispy duck, as described, was crispy. The mash was closer to a puree, and had it been described as such, I would not have ordered the dish. Would have to try again to understand how this got to a Top 10 rating. My single experience was not a good one.
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  • 9th Avenue Bistro has been my favourite Durban restaurant for many years and I must say I was rather nervous when I heard the old owner was leaving but to be honest this weekend I had the best meal and service Ive ever had there. It seems there is a renewed vigour and passion in the eatery. I would recommend everyone gives 9th Avenue a go as it seems better than ever. I even met the new owner who tells me its about to be revamped so I cant wait to go back. P.S. Try the Jumbo Canadian Scallops on salmon and baby leek risotto its to die for.
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  • This is a belated review; I ate at 9th avenue in December while entertaining my parents. We had an absolute stunning lunch - from starters through to desserts we were impressed with the consistency of quality and flavours. A particular mention - the tuna starter special I had was sublime and my rib-eye steak was a tasty feed! If you are having dessert - don’t fuss about - head straight for the bread and butter pudding!The service is top notch - very efficient and professional. The decor though needs attention, although this is probably more noticeable in the day rather than an evening visit. Top marks to Carly and his team.
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  • We had a lovely meal. Very good service, top notch food, lovely vibe. The portion sizes for the tasting menu were spot on, all the flavours worked very well together and the timing of courses was great. All too often do you have to wait very long between courses when having tasting menus but not in this case. Not once did we have to wait for anything. The staff are very helpful and friendly, the owner and manager made us feel cared for and welcome an, despite a full house, our waiter seemed calm and collected and well in control.Id love to come back for more!
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  • Food great, service excellent although our waitress did talk so fast that we had to really pay attention. The wine recommendation was top notch. My only gripe is that there were very few vegetarian options. My date had to choose between a salad, a main option and a starter if I remember correctly. The venue itself doesnt do justice to the menu, but that wouldnt stop me from returning if I were eating with non veggietarians.
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  • We had the most delicious lunch today.For starters the Ceasar salad was absolutely the best! I have had it in various restaurants and in various parts of the world and I always come back for this one. I had a perfectly cooked piece of Norwegian salmon. Seared on the outside just underdone on the inside. If you eat sushi then you will understand! Set on a coconut milk-infused rice cake and asian greens and endamame. And then topped with a carrot foam.What can I say! My husband had a rib eye steak Au Poivre, french fries, asparagus. It was a generous portion and again perfectly cooked to medium rare. But alas, we werent able to have desserts (they all sounded so divine ) as we were just so satisfied and absolutely full!
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  • I recently went to this restaurant based on its reputation. Although the food was very tasty it is clear that the chef likes to confuse the customers by using fancy words to describe simple dishes, but dont get me wrong-the food was very good.My main complaint is that the menu offered online was completely different to the one offered at the restaurant. The prices were also a bit rediculous with no main below R100 pushing your per head cost to almost R200.The food is good, but be aware of the excessive prices.
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  • Far and away my favourite restaurant in Durban and, perhaps, anywhere. I have eaten there many, many times over the past few years. The food is invariably outstanding in every respect, presentation, flavour, size of portions and and inventiveness. The desserts are superb, as are the appetizers, soups and salads. The service is excellent. Notable too - I speak as a regular patron - is the sheer consistency and reliability. I have never had a disappointing meal at Ninth Avenue Bistro. This is, frankly, a world-class establishment. Carly and staff can be very proud of their achievement.
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  • Excellent, excellent food and service.My brothers and I are regular customers.Ive eaten all round the worldbut this restaurant is right at the top!Best restaurant in Durban by far! and the prices reasonable.
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  • A consitently fantastic restaurant. Over-delivering on expectation each time. How Carly is able to remain so inspired and focussed in the difficult Durban market is hard to fathom. I have never had a bad meal at 9th Ave and the winelist is fanatstic too. I think 9th Ave is under-rated when compared to other top 10 restaurants in Jhb and CT - at a much smaller price-tag than one would find in either of those 2 cities. Deservedly, this is the BEST restaurant in Durban. To up the ante, Carly needs to put 9th Avenue into a sexier setting!!!
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  • As allways, excellent!! A great dining experience.
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  • We live in NY and also eat out a lot in Germany and Alsace. I cannot recall better food or service. Yes, other restaurants are more formal and some are as good. We were in Durban 2 days and ate at 9th Avenue both evenings. The second was even better than the first. Thanks go to Richard Poynton of Cleopatras, who recommended 9th Avenue. RSH
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  • A good bistro; thats all. Nothing great but good food to enjoy. A problem was that on a cold evening we were first seated on the balcony with the canvass down due to the weather. Unfortunately smokers were sitting there as well and were chain smoking. This is against the smoking laws (access through a smoking area) but fortunately we were moved inside later and had a good evening.
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  • My wife and I on each anniversary try a top 10 restaurant and this year we flew down to Durban to see if the review of 9th Avenue Bistro was all it was made out to be. We were definitely not disappointed. The food was well presented, served in perfect time and tasted superbly. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and the visit was worth the 1 day visit to Durban
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  • This restaurant has a great formula and is deserving of its success. It is friendly, unpretentious, has a well-priced wine list and good honest and delicious fresh food lovingly prepared. The menu offers a wonderful and interesting choice of dishes which makes choosing very difficult but everything that our table of three sampled last evening was very much enjoyed. Unfortunately our time was limited but I would not hesitate to return when next in Durban and would strongly recommend this delightful Bistro.
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  • 2006 GOES DOWN AS THE YEAR THAT I DISCOVERED ONE OF THE BEST RESTAURANTS IN SOUTH AFRICA. I CANNOT TELL YOU HOW AMAZINGLY GASTRONOMIC THE FOOD IS. AND THE WINE TO DIE FOR. NINTH AVENUE BISTRO IN FOUR WORDS..REALLY MAKES ME HAPPY ,-). I HAVE TRIED ALMOST EVERYTHING ON THE MENU, BUT MY FAVE HAS TO BE THE VEAL..LOVE NINTH AVENUE BISTRO..ACTUALLY..ADDICTED
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  • This one has to be rated up with the best SA has to offer, without a doubt the best in Durban. Service absolutely immaculate, food sublime & ambience entirely appropriate.
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  • Always a pleasure to eat there. Love to take our freinds and family that have never been and then it becomes their Most favourite as well.
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Menu

Set menu - Available on website

Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Booking required
  • Cocktails
  • Eat Out reviewed
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Takeaways
  • Wheelchair

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