Cape Malay, Indian, Middle Eastern, Seafood, South African, Vegetarian
Amex, Mastercard, Visa
The Britannia Hotel’s Capsicum Restaurant is renowned for its mutton bunny chows and the take-away kitchen sells literally thousands of this signature Durban street food every month. Overall the restaurant pays homage to the city’s Indian cuisine and starters include fish cakes, chicken livers, puri patha rolls, and samoosas with the full range of meat and vegetable fillings. Patrons can also order vegetarian or meat-based starter platters.
Curries dominate the mains and cross the gambit from chops to fish roe, chicken and prawn, crab, tripe, trotters and homemade Mexican prawns. A handful of dishes come with a medium option, but most are served exceptionally hot, so be warned if chilli is not your forte.
The seafood curries are SQ, but reasonably priced and worth the 30-45 minute wait – these dishes are prepared fresh when ordered. All curries are served with rice or bread and rotis. Naan bread can be ordered as an extra.
Other dishes include toasted sandwiches with cheese and tomato or chicken and mayonnaise fillings, as well as more heartier options like broad beans, sugar beans or mutton curry. Roti rolls also feature, with fillings mimicking the toasted sandwiches and curries, but also including another Durban staple – chips and cheese.
Desserts reflect Durban’s cross-cultural dining experiences with chocolate brownies, red velvet cake, malva pudding or vanilla ice cream appealing to those not accustomed to Indian after-dinner delights. For those wanting to end their meal with more traditional fare, there’s soji (semolina fried in butter, cooked with special ingredients and served with cream and almonds) and burfee (Indian sweetmeats) ice cream.
A children’s menu caters for the younger set, while minimal breakfast options feature a bowl of Cornflakes and various egg dishes.
There is a very poor wine list dominated by Distell products, but beer on tap as well as cooldrinks, coffees, teas and brightly coloured milkshakes are all available. Beer tends to match better with curry anyway.
Service can be erratic. Sometimes tables aren’t cleared and food takes a noticeable time to come from the kitchen. Several patrons have also complained about poor service and rudeness, but that was not a personal experience.
There are no airs or graces here, with the Britannia Hotel being unashamedly a working person’s venue. The main dining room can be cramped when busy and the smoking dining room is dominated by a large-screen television for showing sports. None of this detracts from the experience.
Eat with your hands. That is the traditional way for eating Indian curries and cuisine. You’d be in the minority not to personally embrace this wholly sensual experience.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our full editorial policy here.
Thoroughly enjoyed the food. Excellent fish roe and prawn breyani.
On Sunday (4 March 2018) my boyfriend, two friends and I decided to go for lunch and try out Capiscium Restaurant at the Britannia Hotel in Umgeni Road. My boyfriend and his friend chose to go to Capiscium because they wanted to have their chops chutney as it was well recommended to them.
The service was less than poor as we waited for almost 45 minutes for our cool drinks to be served, however the table of 8 next to us (who arrived about 10 minutes later than us)received their orders within 10 minutes of ordering them ( from the same waitress as we had).
When the food finally arrived ( about an hour later, well after the table of 8 finished their dessert) my boyfriend looked at the chops chutney and stated that it's under cooked and there was a water base at the top of the chutney (questionable if it was freshly made or reheated or just under cooked). My boyfriend tried a chop, and gave me a chop to taste. The chutney was extremely sour and had no flavor in it whatsoever. We called our waitress and told her to take it away because we refuse to pay for it because it tasted awful. When the bill arrived the chops chutney was charged to the bill so my boyfriend told them that he refuses to pay for it because he barley ate any of it and it really was not upto any restaurant standard. There was a long back and forth where the hostess came to our table and told us that she would see what they could do. 15 minutes later we received a bill and were charged R70 (half the price of the chops chutney) and their reasoning was because they serve 6 chops per serving and they will charge for the two chops which were eaten. We took the problem up with the manager who told us :1) No body else complained about the chops and that's the way they make it there and 2.) if we don't pay then our waitress would have to pay the R70. After arguing with the manager for 15 minutes we backed down, paid and left and will never return again.