The Fat Fish (Durban)

The Fat Fish (Durban)
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Groups, Quick meals
Café fare, Seafood
Mastercard, Visa
BYO (no charge)

Critic's review

Wanda Hennig


A few questions to welcoming owner-host Frank Sykes and the reason this buzzy place attracts seafood lovers from far and wide makes sense. Sykes is a long-time commercial fisherman with many records to his name. He previously ran a successful restaurant in the area. On top of that, he trained at the erstwhile esteemed Christina Martin Culinary School. This is likely the reason the veggies, when served with any dish, are perfectly julienned and cooked to luscious perfection.

Those here for the seafood might start with the spicy Thai fishcakes or the Tekweni tuna taco, where the fresh, light tuna cubes are piled in a mini-mountain on your plate atop slim and crunchy taco chips. The avo, toasted sesame seeds and peri-and-lemon mayo add texture and flavour.

Ask about the fresh line fish special of the day, which comes with julienned veggies, a potato rosti and creamy lemon sauce. An alternative — and good to share — is the ocean platter, where you can have your choice of the line fish but in this case plus succulent calamari tubes and four perfectly cooked prawns. Depending on what’s come in, Sykes might recommend a special such as giant Mozambique prawns served on rice and a choice of lemon, garlic or peri-peri sauce.

Meat-eaters are well catered for under the menu’s “turf” section. There’s fillet and aged-to-perfection T-bone plus, this being Durban, half a peri-peri chicken infused with intense flavour. Vegetarians would be wise to consider pescatarianism to enjoy a meal here since even the summer salad, with its base of garden greens, comes with fresh grilled fish, calamari rings and prawns.

The most popular dessert is the comfort food-style malva pud that walks out of the oven and onto tables with its accompanying custard and ice cream. Expect reasonably priced generous portions.


BYO until they get a license. No corkage charged. The big café-style fridge is stocked with soft drinks.


Friendly, helpful and unobtrusive.


Buzzy yet relaxed. Guests are families and parties of adults enjoying life and well-prepared food. One of the décor features in the restaurant, where the walls are painted sea blue and the art comprises fibreglass trophies of some of Sykes’ more spectacular catches, is the creative takeaway chalkboard of items one might order.


This is a fishmonger as well as a restaurant. Fresh fish and other seafood are sold from a small side room. In this space you can also browse framed award certificates and pictures recording Frank Sykes’ fish that did not get away.

(October 2017)

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

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food


  • Accepts credit cards
  • Child friendly
  • Dinner
  • Food
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Takeaways

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