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Curry lovers in search of a great Durban curry be warned, give Seabelle in La Mercy a wide berth. My reputation as a former banana girl was at stake. I had promised to locate an unforgettable meal for two curry devotees (I should add I am not among them) following a disaster on a previous visit from Johannesburg. It was unforgettable but not in the way I hoped. A friend, alerted to my predicament, called me to share the advice of a Durban food critic that Seabelle was head and shoulders above the rest. This is how we experienced it. The restaurant had no record of my booking when we arrived at the less than salubrious, cavernous space that doubles as a nightclub in the evening. It was full, so I was almost prepared to put aside my prejudice about the dark and dingy surroundings. Four of us were seated at a table for 10 besides the speakers that were belching out so much noise that conversation was impossible. The others ordered hot mutton curry and briyani and against my better judgment I requested grilled prawns. Service is not a strong point but eventually greasy poppadoms arrived, and then naan (ditto). My prawns followed but the temptation to eat them was countered by their dryness and the pond of oil in which they were floating. The curry experts said while the flavour of their dishes was not abhorrent, the cooking oil showed its age and the promised heat was non-existent.
Oh dear, my gastronomic reputation remains in tatters.
PS This form obliges me to provide a star rating but given the option it would be 0, 0 and 0.