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Chef patron Marcelle Roberts’ inspired Mediterranean food is designed with the spirit of sharing in mind.
With exciting flavours that awaken the senses, the seasonal menu boasts inventive dishes made from local and imported ingredients. For starters in the titbits section, you can’t go wrong with the appetising carpaccio that delivers on the tang of the capers, artichokes and lemon oil. It’s all balanced by parmesan shavings and rocket. For a zing, try the ginger-and-lime prawn tails, which are served with wasabi mayo, sesame and sweet soy. Or have the crumbed deep-fried Kalamata olives stuffed with ricotta and served with chilli-herb mayo.
For the mains, the plum-glazed seared duck breast on pancetta and pea risotto, drizzled with white truffle oil, adds a welcome warmth to the palate. The tuna dishes are ones to come back for. On special, the seared tuna coated is a thrilling experience. It comes on a bed of egg noodles in a beautiful broth made from chicken stock, sweet chilli and soy sauce with mushroom, bok choy and sprinkles of peanuts.
End with a triple chocolate brownie with white chocolate and poppy seed ice cream.
A special selection of South African wines that can be paired with what you’re having.
Efficient and charming. The staff is so knowledgeable about food, you’ll feel confident in their care.
It’s a buzzing environment that combines the casualness of a café with the elegance of fine dining. It allows for the intimacy of a romantic outing and the vibe of a group get-together.
A delicious food and wine pairing experience. They have occasional food-and-wine pairing events with carefully crafted menus.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our full editorial policy here.
Thank you Eat Out for the review of Cafe 1999. It was the reason I visited and it was undoubtedly the best meal we have had.
It vibes (though can get a bit too noisy at times). A gem among most restaurants in Durban because the staff are efficient, knowledgeable and give great service even when the restaurant is slammed. Food is tasty, a bit overpriced on some things but overall well worth the visit. The first place in Durban that has had soft shelled crab! Thank you for offering something different.
Living in Johannesburg surrounded by a plethora of restaurants varying in quality, most of them mediocre to say the least. I have been consistently impressed with the Cafe 1999 food and service delivery over the 8 years I have had the pleasure of savouring Marcelle and Sean's cuisine and vibe. I have never had a bad meal or evening there on my visits during the December holidays and various business lunches during that time. They can be proud of the consistent quality they deliver. Something restaurants in Johannesburg don't seem to master. If only there was a Cafe1999 in Johannesburg!
I’ve been to Café 1999 four times now on separate trips to Durban. The second time, a lunch, was such a disappointment I resisted trying again until a couple of months back. On this occasion my mother and I had a delightful meal so in Durban again last week, I booked for dinner on the day after we’d had a delicious lunch at my all-time KZN favourite, Ile Maurice. It was freezing and Durban is not geared for keeping its diners warm, plus the acoustics are quite appalling. In spite of these negatives, four of us rated the buzzy restaurant a great success. What I really like about Café 1999’s main courses is their option of titbit or big-bit sized portions. Only one among us had a starter, a calamari dish which got the thumb’s up, while three of us picked at green olives stuffed with anchovies and red peppers – yummy. Two of us had the titbit lamb cutlets, one chose the big-bit fillet steak on special, and the fourth selected fishcakes and salad. Everyone was happy with their choice – a rare phenomenon in my family. I usually battle to find a restaurant that meets my expectations in Durban so for this diner Café 1999 is likely to stay on the radar for future visits.