Spice lives up to its billing as a harmonious Indo-continental infusion of spices where owners Russell and Linda Burger are giving the classics a modern twirl. Their travels and respective cultures have inspired the broad menu that caters for every taste bud, including those not wanting spicy food. Dishes are impeccably presented with hints to silver service and the portions sufficiently generous.
The light menu embraces Madam Lizzie’s prawn and avocado poppadum being a cumin poppadum with a mild curry cream coronation dressing; coriander and chilli fishcakes; flamboyant fish and chips served with hand-cut chips and homemade tartar sauce or a hefty cheese burger promising a substantial handmade beef burger patty, grilled onion and a BBQ sauce accompanied by chunky, handmade chips.
Traditional curries are mild, medium or hot with the last option speaking to the Durban Indian heritage for eye-wateringly spicy and flavourful. Variants include lamb, prawn, tamarind fish and vegetable all served with basmati rice, homemade sambals and a poppadum.
Among the non-curry dishes, the roasted duck with drunken orange and figs is a stand-out offering. Succulent with a hint of spice from the roasted cumin, it delivers on the richness this meat promises. The prawn-stuffed balti-spiced chicken are tender chicken breasts rubbed with garlic, cumin and chilli paste stuffed with Cajun prawns and served with a mild curry cream and basmati rice.
All the main dishes, other than the curries, are served with vegetables and a potato dish with extra vegetables available.
The decadent desserts round out the dining experience and include coffee-infused crème brûlée, Cape velvet chocolate mousse, pecan nut and nougat cheesecake, seasonal sorbets or a baked camembert layered with slivers of preserved figs and drizzled with fig syrup for the lesser sweet-toothed patron.
The in-depth wine list both explains the varietals and has maps showing South Africa’s wine regions and their farms. Some proof-reading would eliminate the spelling errors and inconsistencies.
Can do with some work and was slow on a relatively quiet lunch-time.
The dramatic wrought-iron candelabras, eclectic dining room seating and Victorian loungers bring warmth to the main restaurant area, while the wooden deck overlooking the beach makes anyone question why they do not have their own breath-taking sea views where dolphins frolic and whales blow.
Remember a wrap or jersey when sitting outdoors as the sea breeze can be nippy. Also, take a minute to view the photo gallery en route to the bathrooms.
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Spice’s focus is on aromatic dishes with curries, grills, seafood and even pasta dishes that have a sprinkling of Indian influence. A pro tip would be to skip the appetisers to save space for the bountiful mains, but if you’re really peckish, the spiced tempura prawns are juicy and the grilled calamari with avo, green chilli and coriander-and-lime dressing is light and refreshing.
The top mains are the definitely the curry dishes. Standouts include the fiery prawn curry with a robust sauce that’s generously laden with plump pink prawns; the lamb curry with a medium spice and fall-apart boneless lamb; and the tamarind fish curry served with fresh local fish, which has a moreish sourness from the tamarind. The curries are served with a mound of perfectly cooked basmati rice, a crisp poppadum and a selection of soothing sambals. If you’re looking for a little less heat, go for the superb tender Balti chicken stuffed with Cajun prawns and served with a mild curry cream.
The portions are hearty and it’s usually (almost) impossible to fit in a dessert. If your sweet tooth is calling, the coffee-infused crème brûlée is a classic choice, or try the refreshing seasonal sorbet with slivered mint leaves, which is ideal after a heat-filled feast.
There’s a good selection of perfect-with-spice wines, bubblies and beers.
Warm and efficient. Spice owners Russell and Linda are hands on to make sure everyone is happy.
After spending years in the grand old house on Windermere Road in Morningside, the Indo-continental restaurant moved locations to the beachy Bali Hai building in Westbrook, Tongaat. The new space offers some of the best sea views along the coast. The restaurant is spacious and filled with light. The pale green walls, wooden accents and palm fronds lend a Bali-esque feel. The wraparound doors offer views of the sea, but prime position is the sunlit deck.
Spice also offer a light menu with easy-going dishes like spiced fish cakes, a chicken salad, and a prawn-and-avo-filled poppadum.
Another great meal 07/08 - the main outstanding, the apple and almond crumble was the best I have ever had.
Food was delicious and the service impeccible but the chair I sat on was the most uncomfortable I have ever experienced in a restaurant. Owner needs to make sure that their guests are physically comfortable as well as providing great food.
Delightful ambience - old Durban house - with great service and quality food. My husband's curry, however, was not as good as we'd expected. My balti stuffed chicken breast was superb.