Review: The Roost, Durban’s new chicken-only restaurant

The Roost. Photo courtesy of the restaurant

The Roost. Photo courtesy of the restaurant

Sometimes simplicity can be astounding… like a restaurant offering just one item on the menu. The Roost does just that and diners, far from feeling cheated, have embraced the concept. It is, after all, better to do one thing well than flail in a sea of mediocrity. And so, The Roost specialises in organic baby chickens cooked to perfection on a rotisserie.


It’s all gloriously easy. No floundering in indecision, no food envy, no fuss. A large white plate is delivered with a flourish, framing a perfectly browned baby chicken. A bowl of hand-cut triple-cooked chips sprinkled with Maldon salt is the support act, along with an uncomplicated Greek-style leaf salad. As you eagerly place your knife and fork into the chicken, you can feel the tender meat pulling away from the bone with the slightest pressure. Yes, this is roast chicken as it should be. At The Roost, the baby chickens are roasted with lemon, and the taste gently permeates the succulent meat. It’s carnivore nirvana. Four homemade dipping sauces – Asian barbeque, Asian chilli, pad Thai and garlic mayo – are left on the table for experimentation for both chicken and chips, and the salad is delivered with a bottle of homemade dressing. The price of R110 includes the baby chicken, unlimited chips and salad. Dessert offers some choice in that you can select which of the four flavours of Huberto’s all-natural ice cream you would like generously dolloped onto a cone.


Craft beers dominate and there are four on tap that can be ordered by the glass or jug, plus a selection of mostly local, bottled ones. These are supplemented by a range of commercial beers and a concise, well-priced selection of wines.


Informal is the key word here. There is no menu, so once drinks are served the concept is explained to newcomers and you attract someone’s attention when you’re ready to eat. There’s no sense of urgency from the friendly waiters, although they are attentive in offering the promised supply of endless chips and are backed up by an efficient kitchen.

The Roost. Photo courtesy of the restaurant

The Roost. Photo courtesy of the restaurant


In keeping with the concept, the focus falls on functionality. The back wall is covered in a foil bamboo-print wall paper and the neutral décor scheme is limited to plastic chairs and informal tables dressed with cutlery, a large linen napkin and refresher towel for post-eating sticking fingers. The only criticism is that this extreme comfort food deserves a warmer, more inviting setting.


Call ahead to make a reservation. The Roost also sells chicken as takeaways, so you’ll be turned away if it’s sold out.

Eat Out reviewers dine anonymously and pay for their meals. Read our editorial policy here.

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