Situated on Durban’s Golden Mile, Surf Riders Food Shack is the ultimate beachside hangout. Promenade walkers, families and surfers flock to this easy-going spot where food is unpretentious and full of flavour. Nikita Buxton kicks off her shoes and heads to the beachfront eatery for a taste of honest Durban-style chow.
Breakfasts are a favourite at this sunny spot. After a long walk on the promenade, we tucked in to their great range of morning offerings. The avocado Benedict with two poached-to-perfection eggs is served with smoked salmon, lightly toasted homemade Surf Riders bun and a silky and rich hollandaise sauce (R75). It's everything you want in a brunch-time feast. The breakfast works dish is the ultimate hangover cure with a sesame bun filled with two poached eggs, gouda and a chorizo gravy and baked in the pizza oven, and finally topped off with hollandaise sauce (R59). You can also order your meal to be served in biodegradable cartons so that you can enjoy it on the beach.
Lunchtime offerings include a selection of 100% free-range and hormone-free burgers, basted in their secret barbecue sauce and grilled to order before being sandwiched between two soft sesame buns. The burger options range from the basic burger with slow-cooked onions to the spicy habanero burger with chilli mayo, guacamole, and a side of crema and cooling pineapple salsa. Fries can be ordered separately, with a sweet-potato option for the healthy eaters. The cheese fries (R25) are a revelation: doused in their specially blended cheese sauce, they take slap chips to new heights and are extremely addictive.
Pizzas are wood-fired and crisp and the selection includes a classic feta, avo and bacon option as well as more adventurous combos like chorizo and prawns.
The dessert menu is decadent. Think chocolate mud pie, Eton mess and sticky-toffee pud. There’s also a list of vintage ice creams with toppings such as marshmallows, Oreo crumble and meringue. Their piped doughnuts (similar to churros) are delightfully sugary with flavour combinations of apple and honey, salted caramel, or pistachios and meringue.
There’s an award-winning wine list as well as a range of cocktails and craft beers. For something non-alcoholic, there are slushies, fresh juices and deluxe milkshakes in flavours such as salted caramel and honeycomb, and peanut butter and banana. Coffees are strong and perfectly brewed with blends coming from local Blacksmith Coffee Movement.
Extremely friendly and laid-back. If it’s a very busy day, things may take slightly longer, but just sit back and take in the views of the blue ocean.
It's ultimately a surf shack, which means things go with the flow. Stroll off the beach, sandy slops in hand, and be seated outside under the umbrellas or inside the simple yet cool interior. The acoustics inside are not great on busier days, but it all forms part of the casual, buzzing atmosphere.
The restaurant is also dog friendly, with a menu just for your pet. Take your pooch for a walk and let them munch on their own Poochini snack-biscuit (R39), which includes peanut butter sauce and ice cream with layered sponge and biscuit crumbs.