Communal eating from plates of tasty mezze is the way to go at Barrio (formerly known as Plaka), a slick and sophisticated Greek-inspired restaurant in Durban, says critic Tracy Gielink.
There’s a wide choice of mezze dishes so it’s very tempting to indulge in communal eating with the likes of grilled haloumi; an aubergine stack with tomato, rocket, feta and pesto; or keftedes (meatballs made with onion, parsley and Cypriot spices and served on tzatziki).
If it’s available, order the calamari tubes stuffed with feta and slivers of red pepper. The pickled baby octopus is also recommended. Signature main courses include the arni kleftiko (lamb shank, slow roasted until meltingly tender) and the whole line fish, which is worth the 45-minute wait. Seafood dishes featuring prawns and sardines are supplemented by specific regional dishes like paella and moussaka.
They offer a bigger selection of sparkling wine than is normally found in restaurants, augmented by a well-considered, high-quality selection of local wines that takes into account all price points. Guests can also quench their thirst with a comprehensive array of traditional and contemporary cocktails made with premium brands.
Well-groomed waiters appear in collared shirts and full-lengths aprons. Their manners and etiquette fit the look and there is great delight to be found in listening to them explain dishes in the utmost detail. Expect consistently good service levels.
Think slick, sophisticated Santorini… The cool, whitewashed interior houses crisp, white-dressed tables; the neutral palette is lifted with splashes of blue. The enclosed veranda is very appealing, with its view of the palm trees of the boulevard and its tables basking in sunlight.
Make use of the stylish cocktail lounge for pre- or post-dinner drinks.
Eat Out critics dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.