Situated in a quiet courtyard behind a classic 1930s colonial building on Durban’s Berea, Market Restaurant is an award-winning garden café and restaurant serving simple seasonal cuisine produced from local and/or organic ingredients.
Market Restaurant embodies seasonal freshness and innovation, meaning the menu can change between visits, but the quality and dedication to craft remains unequivocal. As a contemporary eatery, breakfast is served day-long and the waiters can provide information on gluten-free, vegan and banting options. Beyond the (varied and innovative) egg-and-bacon brigade, the calls for a lazy weekend brunches are vast.
Arousing memories of your grandmother’s kitchen, the cinnamon-spiced hotcakes arrive with fresh banana, crème fraîche and honey; while the French toast with seasonal fruit, honey and lavender hints at a summer break in Provence. The smoked salmon on sweet potato and quinoa cake topped with herbed cream cheese, red onions and crispy capers delights the senses for its luxurious indulgence. Else go for the perfect twice-baked butternut soufflé with caramelised onions, gorgonzola cream and bacon.
Casual daytime meals include honey-and-miso-glazed pork rashers served on quinoa, rice and broccoli; Thai calamari salad with chilli, lime and coriander dressing; roast butternut and beetroot salad topped with goat’s cheese, micro greens and pumpkin seeds; seafood chowder with line fish, clams and mussels; or a Mediterranean lamb burger topped with marinated roast tomato and red peppers, finished with salsa verde.
Main dinner choices include matured fillet and sirloin; braised Karoo lamb shank; and free-range duck confit leg and pan-seared duck breast served on ginger pumpkin with tangy cherry compote and wilted pak choi. Vegetarian options include wild mushroom and baby spinach tagliatelle with fresh rocket; goat’s cheese and fried wild mushrooms; and a grilled aubergine stack layered with a lentil and tomato relish.
Market Restaurant also serves South African venison when available.
The restaurant has an award-winning wine list – an extensive, substantially informative tome that covers in-depth South Africa’s prestigious, lesser known and mass market offerings to cater for every demand. Beer-drinkers have an enviable craft beer selection at their fingertips, and Market is known for its freshly squeezed fruit juice options displayed on the blackboard and its coffees.
Professional service completes the Market experience. Kitchen delays are explained to patrons and meals are served with aplomb.
The courtyard has a central fountain surrounded by a ring of leopard trees to provide year-round mottled shade and the tranquillity stimulated by the sounds of gentling flowing water. The outdoor furniture and tables are modelled on 18th century French garden furniture, while the indoor section has a more minimalistic feel. First impressions are carried through to the food for a holistic experience.
Market is always available for large parties, private functions and wedding receptions. The fairy lights hanging in the leopard trees enhance the romantic atmosphere and dedicated menus are available for functions of this ilk.
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