Venues

Market Restaurant

Market Restaurant
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Cost
R130 (lunch), R160 (dinner) avg main meal
Ambience
Comfy & casual, Contemporary cool
Food
Bakery fare, Bistro fare, Burgers, Café fare, Fine-dining food, Modern, Vegetarian
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa

Critic's review

Nicola Jenvey

Food
Market serves simple, seasonal cuisine, using locally sourced, preferably organic ingredients, meaning the fine-dining experience constantly changes and specials are proudly displayed on the chalkboard.

All-day breakfasts encompass pastry treats like cinnamon hotcakes with banana, crème fraîche and honey; savoury crumpets with crispy bacon, poached egg and onion marmalade; and the full-house breakfast stack that speaks to the heart of English classic morning food: organic eggs, streaky bacon, hand-crafted lamb sausage, sautéed portabellini mushrooms, roasted cherry tomatoes and toast.

Casual lunches embrace complex global taste sensations, with the likes of flame-grilled steak with home-made chips; pan-fried calamari with quinoa, feta, red pesto and macadamia salad; home-made falafel with hummus, salsa and sesame salad; and spicy prawn couscous salad.

The warm and perfectly cooked hoisin-plum shredded duck salad showcases the delicate richness of this meat, while the white-truffle spaghetti carbonara is the essence of decadence, with pancetta and baby spinach cooked in a cream-and-egg sauce and finished with parmesan and white-truffle oil.

Main dinner choices satisfy every taste, from superbly delivered steaks or crusted Karoo lamb rack to free-range duck confit leg and pan-fried breast. Fresh line fish and South African game are available on request; the aroma rising from the Moroccan-spiced lamb burger with mint and feta has the taste buds tingling when it arrives on the table.

The casual menu opens innovative opportunities for vegetarian and pescetarian patrons, from open ravioli to grilled aubergine parcels stuffed with quinoa, courgettes and ricotta, served with crispy halloumi and a green Thai curry sauce or a spicy prawn couscous salad.

Anyone with space still remaining may be tempted by the chef’s speciality desserts.

Drinks
The extensive wine list pays homage to Durban’s growing wine-drinking culture, with diligence paid to a balance across the price ranges, varietals and wineries without exorbitant mark-ups. Both the large names and the smaller, niche producers hold pride of place on the list, boasting award-winning wines with in-depth explanations on each wine type.

Service
Slick professionalism always makes visiting Market entertaining.

Ambience
The classic 1930s colonial building behind which Market is situated, coupled with the fairy-lit trees and calming water feature surrounded by a ring of leopard trees, completes the romantic experience, whether meant for intimacy with a partner or special times with friends.

And…
Market is always available for large parties, private functions and weddings, but municipal noise regulations mean patrons must vacate by 11pm.

(September 2016)

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

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  • Tracy Gielink

    Food
    Here breakfast is an occasion, and could deliver French toast made from a croissant, with lemon curd and crispy streaky bacon, or a more savoury option of potato rösti with smoked salmon, crème fraîche and poached eggs.

    Lunches rely on fresh flavours and ingredients like the salad of pan-fried calamari, quinoa, red pesto and macadamia nut, the much-loved fishcakes or the delicious sesame-lentil burger with beetroot and homemade mayo.

    Dinner brings with it more substantial offerings, like pork belly stuffed with apple and sage, braised with veg and red wine, and served on Chinese cabbage tossed with cream and smoked bacon. The twice-baked butternut soufflé topped with caramelised onions and a gorgonzola drizzle, and the wild mushroom and goat’s cheese tagliatelle reflect owner Andre Schubert’s vegetarian tastes.

    Drinks
    Look forward to an impeccable array of wines that is thoughtfully constructed and offers quality entry-level, benchmark and boutique local bottles. There are good by-the-glass options of wine, dessert wines and ports. The craft beer election is of a high calibre, too.

    Service
    The service contingent is young and dynamic, and with that youth comes cheerfulness, energy and enthusiasm. Waiters work as a team to ensure that very little goes amiss.

    Ambience
    The picturesque courtyard has to be one of the most perfect restaurant settings in town. Tables radiate from a water fountain and rest in dappled sunlight that is filtered through the leopard trees. Guests can rendezvous alfresco style, even in winter, or retreat to the double-volume interiors with vibrant yellow Chesterfield-style seating, white painted wooden floors and walls emblazoned with the slogan, “Love what you eat. Eat what you love”.

    And…
    Breakfast is served all day.

    (October 2015)

  • Kate Ziervogel

    Food
    The menu at The Market restaurant is filled with all manner of creative dishes that use locally sourced organic ingredients. It’s slow food in the middle of Durban. Open since May 2007, the eatery operates under executive chef Tinus Janse van Rensburg, with Taryn Schubert-Conolly managing their functions. The breakfast menu (available all day) with organic free-range eggs and fresh bakes are a delicious start to the day. A standout is the eggs Benedict with a delicious citrus Hollandaise. The lunch menu offers casual meals, including creative sandwiches like a sourdough baguette with toppings like avocado, brie, streaky bacon and red onion marmalade, and an option with grilled halloumi, avo, red pesto and rocket on sourdough rye toast.

    Drinks
    The fresh, organic juices are very popular. Check out the chalkboard at the juice bar for what’s on the menu. The freshly juiced mixes vary, but can include the popular zesty orange, carrot and ginger, or a combo of apple, celery and mint. For dinner or lunch you may want to enjoy a glass of wine, starting at R28 by the glass. The list includes some exceptional choices like the Ataraxia Sauvignon blanc.

    Service
    Service is friendly and informal. Remember that slow food takes time, so sit back and enjoy the experience. Online booking went smoothly and so did the settling of the bill. This is not the place to rush your meal.

    Ambience
    The general feel is of a fresh and organic inner city hideaway. The pleasant courtyard under the leopard trees is very popular and offers the trendy city slicker a picnic in the park without losing the snappy vibe. Seating outside is not the most comfortable, but the indoor area offers more options.

    And…
    The dinner specials change regularly, keeping the selection fresh and interesting.

    (July 2014)

  • Situated in an upmarket suburban area not far from Durban Greyville Racecourse. Patrons indulge in a variety of fresh, simple and quality organic food that’s vegetarian friendly. Sit outside in the courtyard under the shade of the leopard tree and listen to the running water from the fountain. Indoors is also beautiful: decorated with white chairs, wooden flooring and yellow accents. Market is ideal for business meetings, first dates or lingering ladies’ lunches. Stand-out dishes: falafel burgers; lentil and sesame burgers; butternut squash ravioli; and fresh fishcakes. (EO mag 2014)

User reviews

  • CUSTOMER SERVICE & AMBIENCE I made a booking earlier in the day for a table inside at 18h30. When my family and I arrived, we discovered that no actually booking was made. The waitor that was attending to us suggested that we may have dialed the wrong restaurant. To rule out this theory, I redialed the number I had called earlier and lo and behold; one of the guys behind the counter picked up the phone and asked me if I wanted to make a reservation. No one seemed bothered about rectifying the situation so we ended up sitting outside (on the uncomfortable seating and in the chilling breeze). SERVICE There were no shortage of staff, yet our waiter was running around, sweating profusely, and not entirely 'on the ball'. FOOD Four out of five meals was very average with some lacking favour or creativity. The quality food(on the dinner menu) does not justify the prices. Dessert came around: two people order the chocolate brownies which was soggy and spongy. You could tell that it was warned from frozen due to the unpleasant texture and manufactured taste as well as the amount of water that poured out of the 'brownie'. On the other hand, the bread and butter pudding which I ordered was the saving grace of the entire night and is probably the only reason that the food is rated 2 out 5.
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  • I had recently visted the restuarant after hearing much talk about it. The cappuccino was excellent and so were the fish cake starters. Sadly the mains (Chicken stuffed with cream cheese garlic and pesto) was saltless and extremely bland. The waiter paid very little attention to us the whole evening and constantly brought the meals out at different times. This resulted in some of us eating while others waited for there food. If the service and food matched the setting of the restaurant this could be a definite go to place.
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  • We had our wine club at Market in Mariott Road last night. My parents had gone there for dinner the previous Friday, and discussed the concept with the manager, who confirmed that everything would be all right. They even discussed the number of bottles of wine he'd bring, as well as the corkage Dad would pay. We were all seated last night (all 12 of us), ready to order lots of food. As Dad opened the first bottle the manager came over - the SAME manager who had agreed to this last Friday - and started telling him he couldn't open so many bottles, only 6 were allowed etc. He was really arrogant about it, and my Dad didn't know what to do as we were all seated, had ordered drinks etc. The manager eventually, with very bad grace, agreed to let us have 8 bottles of wine. So we went ahead, but it soured what would otherwise have been a pleasant evening with good food, and good service from our waiter. I really think his behaviour was shocking and short-sighted - for a matter of two bottles of wine (for which we was having corkage paid in any event, as agreed!) he has ensured that 12 people who eat out often in Durban won't go there again, and will tell other people not to as well.
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  • My husband and I went for dinner at Market on Saturday night and were extremely impressed by the delicious perfect food. (Oxtail and polenta, basil, ostrich and polenta and peppercorns. Bread butter pudding and chocolate torte with cream and strawberries.) Thank you!

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  • I took my family to Market for a cappuccino and cake, it was great to see that they served breakfast all day and I tried the cinnamon and banana hotcakes with crème fraîche and honey, was plated beautifully, fresh and yummy. My sister opted for the carrot cake which was served warm, it was so tasteful we opted to order another and take it home. You could see it was made fresh, made on the premises and great. The cappuccinos were flavourful and rich. The setting was peaceful and there was a central fountain surrounded by a ring of leopord trees, which provided adequate shade. Market is also pet friendly which allowed us to take our fur babies with and they sat and enjoyed the atmosphere with us. I would recommend Market Restaurant for any type of meal, be it a late breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. The food is all organic and fresh.

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  • Lovely place, lovely ambience yet sadly very unexciting food. I love confit duck - I make it all the time with crispy skin and rich pomegranate molasses infused jus. Theirs had neither - perfectly cooked but bland as it's possible to be - ditto the rather expensive cheesecake. Should be fabulous but it wasn't.

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  • 3 times the meal we ordered had to be changed due to Market running out of the dish. Food was very good but took absolutely ages! No apology or anything brought over during the wait (an hour and 45 minutes for main) - also there was a huge cockroach in the kitchen area when I visited the bathroom as you sort of have to walk through the kitchen to get to it.

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  • We recently moved to Durban from a bigger city and had tried a number of restaurants around town, including the grande dame in Umhlanga, all with fairly disappointing results. We had heard plenty about Market and decided to try it and were blown away. We are so relieved to find such a sensational place in Durban where we can happily take visitors knowing the standard is so high. The food was fantastic, Lungelo as our waiter exceptional and the ambience perfect for both the big table having fun and the romantic couples. Best food since Grande Provence last year - and reasonably priced too. We also ordered entirely off the specials so dont let the short menu mislead you. Highly recommended and certainly our new favourite.
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  • Market has always been one of Durbans hidden gems. The courtyard is a pleasure to be in, the vibe is relaxed and the food is wholesome and tasty. However the service is what lets the restaurant down. The waiters are useless and the manageress is so loud and pushy she ruins the atmosphere, which is a great pity as it really is a lovely spot.
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  • I have been to market many times - quiet breakfasts, romantic dinners and even drunken get-togethers with friends from overseas - and have on all occasions loved the place.Consistently excellent food, at reasonable prices, and friendly and efficient service (even when we were drunk!) combined with a great location make Market one of my favourite spots in Durban.
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  • Never heard of Market, all my friends were talking about the restaurant, so I decided to go. Loved everything. The food and service was good.The Manager was crazy but such fun, lover everything! from start to finish. Loved it so much
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  • My partner and I decided to try out Market for my birthday, as we only hear good things about this place. To my amazement, the venue was packed and the atmosphere was amazing. We were seated and our drinks order was taken. 15 minutes later, with no drinks until another waiter took our order, we managed to get our first round. Food order time, waiter explained the menu and specials. 10 points. We orded the ciabatta steak sandwich and the lamb burger. Lamb burger was amazing. Unfortunately, my steak was not seasoned and my ciabatta was rock hard. As it was my birthday, I decided not to complain. Thankfully, the baked cheesecake made up for everything that went bad. I am never one to complain about bad food or bad service, but I am willing to give Market another go.
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  • After hearing only good things about Market, I was determined to celebrate my birthday there. I called to book a table, and while asked to wait, I could hear the person who answered complaining loudly about people who call at that time of the evening, when it was so busy. I had tried to call during the day, with no luck by the way. She then had a problem with the time I wanted to arrive and also had a problem with the alternative time I suggested. Unfortunately, I can only deal with bad customer service to a certain point, I gave up and decided to try to book a table elsewhere. What a pity! Ive rated service as one star, obviously, but the food and ambience rating is inaccurate as I never got to go there.
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Booking required
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
  • Dog-friendly
  • Eat Out reviewed
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Live entertainment
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Takeaways
  • Wheelchair
  • WiFi

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