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.
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.
Slick professionalism always makes visiting Market entertaining.
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.
Market is always available for large parties, private functions and weddings, but municipal noise regulations mean patrons must vacate by 11pm.
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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.
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.
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.
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”.
Breakfast is served all day.
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.
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 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.
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.
The dinner specials change regularly, keeping the selection fresh and interesting.
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!
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.
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.
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.