The Grill Room at The Oyster Box Hotel

The Grill Room at The Oyster Box Hotel
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Fine-dining food, Indian, Modern
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Critic's review

Nicola Ashe

A refined menu changes seasonally, featuring meat and seafood dishes, both those created by hotel founder Bea Tollman and executive chef Kevin Joseph. Salmon-and-tuna ceviche is delicious tossed delicately in lime juice, flavoured with red chilli, ginger, coriander and orange, topped with avocado purée and served with seed crackers.

The snail cassoulet is extremely moreish – we sop up the anchovy-cream sauce, flavoured with parsley, capers and burnt lemon, with gusto. Other starters include butter-poached crayfish, served with a garden-pea mousse and sesame-citrus dressing, or flame-grilled oysters topped with burnt scallion butter, green garlic, mustard beads and parmesan floss.

Charcoal-grilled chateaubriand, which serves two, arrives in an elaborate display table-side, accompanied by charred leeks, baby roast potatoes, flame-grilled mushrooms and béarnaise sauce.

The light truffle ravioli, with wood-roasted black olives, grilled artichokes and roasted chickpeas, served with preserved grapes and a white-wine butter and Chardonnay cream sauce, is heavenly.

Lemongrass-poached line fish is delicately flavoured with saffron and served with pickled white radish, stewed orange, blistered tomatoes and lumpfish caviar – a beautiful triumph of flavours.

Shellfish, including whisky prawns, baby crayfish and langoustines, is available as single dishes; or go big and order the extravagant seafood platter for two.

Meat dishes could include roasted fennel pork, crumbed venison, five-spiced duck or the lamb duo, which pairs a braised shank and a roasted rack with shaved radish, minted potato and coffee butter.

A tasty amuse-bouche of spicy chicken served in a cucumber round, as well as a deliciously sweet jellied palate cleanser is served between starters and mains, elevating the whole dining experience to decadent. The crème brulée to finish is a heavenly must

Sommelier Billet Magara is on hand if you need help deciphering the wine menu, which is more tome than list, with some pretty impressive vintages (and price tags) featured.

You receive impeccable yet discreet service from the minute you arrive and are seated with napkins laid on your lap, through to the presentation of the hors-d'oeuvre trolley and the taking of your order.

The Oyster Box Hotel is the epitome of grand colonial style; the Grill Room offers an elegant dining experience. Deep white leather chairs, starched tablecloths and velvety deep-pile carpets make this room a cosy retreat for a romantic dinner or special occasion.

Order the crêpes Suzette for dessert – Maître d’ Hendry Pakiri, who has over 52 years service at the hotel, will prepare them for you at your table.

(September 2016)

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

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food
  • Food
    The fare is everything you would expect from a first-class hotel. The classics are there: think oysters Rockefeller, crayfish cocktail, gravadlax, steak tartare and a Caesar salad for starters. Mains include confit of duck served with roasted peaches and a honey sauce; braised oxtail pot pie; and pork rib-eye wrapped in bacon and served with a ginger sauce. A pink lady or cherries jubilee round off the meal.

    A heavyweight list, as one would expect from an establishment of this calibre. There are plenty of Cape grandees, plus French varietals and a pick of the New World. Cocktails, liquors, first-class whiskies and kir royale complete the picture.

    First-class: knowledgeable, discreet and always at hand.

    A swish affair, from white leather chairs to deep blue walls. It’s modern, formal and yet remarkably intimate.

    Enjoy sundowners on the terrace before dinner. (FC, October 2012)

User reviews

  • Classy, crispy, elegant with a touch of Cape cod with a African twist. And perfect for a romantic dinner or special occasion. Service is excellent and attentive. Food is in general very well executed and tasty. Of course the oysters are a safe choice here, as well as prawn cocktail and the trolley with hors d'oevres. Classic fish and meat mains are not so incentive, but good and hearty. Unfortunately our sirloin was a bit on the chewy side. Bea's cheescake is a dream, as well as honeycomb ice cream. Crepes Suzette is always a happening to watch happen. Wine list is good with some high quality wines. The menu could be a little more adventurous and innovative. But all in all a lovely place on a fantastic hotel.

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    • Service
    • Food
  • I was very pleased with my experience at the ocean terrace for Sunday lunch. From the professional and warm welcome of the hostess, friendly charm of the decor, punctual and pleasant service of the waiter, and not to forget the delicious food - my Sunday lunch was truly one to remember. the resturant could easily become 4 or 5 star shortly, just more attention on clean floors and presentation. Well done and I will surely be back and recommend the restaurant to friends and family!

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  • This review is for the Ocean Terrace - we had a lovely afternoon - beautiful view, stunning live music and a great ambiance. Our starters, my hubby had oysters which he thoroughly enjoyed. I had a Greek salad (at over R70 a pop) - greens left much to be desired, although the OBH salad dressing was nice. The mains, my hubby had prawns - he said it was average. I had the Natal prawn curry - DIVINE! We shared a dessert - chocolate brownies - it was stunning as well.The service was a problem on the particular afternoon, and our poor waiter kept on apologising profusely for the delays - sure it was a once-off hiccupWith two glasses of wine, a soft drink and two coffees, the bill came to R700 (without a tip) - worth the price if you include atmosphere
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  • Unfortunately a poor show for the new Grill Room at the recently revamped Oyster Box. A lost reservation (after being phoned back to confirm!) and being offered to sit in their other restaurant. Stale bread rolls and average food did not make a good impression.Service was good with attentive wait staff.However, the lack of corkage should be communicated to the person booking a reservation to avoid the awkwardness of bringing a bottle of wine to dinner. For a 5-star hotel I expected more. I hope they improve soon to avoid the Durban curse of a flash in the pan phenomenon so common to new restaurants here. It will take a lot for our friends and I to try them again.
    • Ambience
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    • Food


  • Accepts credit cards
  • Accommodation
  • Booking required
  • Cocktails
  • Dancing
  • Dinner
  • Dog-friendly
  • Dress code
  • Eat Out reviewed
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Live entertainment
  • Parking
  • StreetSmart affliated
  • Wheelchair
  • WiFi

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