Monday, July 22, 2013

Brands: Market Restaurant


There is a definite dearth in niche eateries in Durban, however, when one is discovered it’s always guaranteed to be the real deal. Market, a restaurant established in 2007, is one such place. Niche. Special. Arcane. Situated in the leafy and airy suburb of Greyville and tucked away behind some buildings at the end of a driveway, this is one place you’ll never find even serendipitously. So, in my attempts to discover a new spot to eat I enlisted the help of my good friend Russel of the Fork, Knife and Glass dinner club. A food enthusiast, he knew exactly where to take me for a first time.


I am by no means complaining about its location because it is appropriate; away from the hustle and bustle of the CBD, malls, and frenetic Florida road. The first thing you notice about Market is the serene atmosphere and organic food. It is not your run of the mill healthy fast food joint. The food takes time, the seating is comfortable and everything appeals to the senses.


There is open air and indoor seating, and it appears that the homey atmosphere was conceptualised with a familial notion in mind. As a family man I definitely saw a spot which would be ideal for a family. However everyone is catered for: a couple on a date, a party of five or more, those who want to lounge and long tables that mimic the French and English styles of dining. In all this the comfort aspect is clearly evident. With double volume ceilings, hanging light bulbs, a book shelf and cookie jars, this place really feels like a home away from home.


The menu is healthy, organic, exotic and very experimental. Given that healthy and organic can be banal and tasteless, their experimentation with flavours is what sustains the cuisine and keeps people coming back. Any first time visitor must try any of their three signature burgers (lamb, chicken or beef) which feature fresh greens as garnish, a blend of spices and a dash of a sauce, served on a fresh Portuguese roll and a side of fries presented in a glass. I, for instance, tried the crumbed chicken burger with slices of avo, tomato, rocket and a dollop of sweet and sour sauce. I washed everything down with water garnished with a slice of lemon and a cola tonic lemonade. There is also a vegetarian menu; so everyone is catered for. The most you are going to pay for a meal is R120, and when you factor in the service I think this is great value for money.


Although promoting healthy eating, a balance is what they strive for thus an extensive wine and liquor list which complements the menu. The wine rack is also in full view. Non-alcoholic beverages include freshly squeezed juices comprising blends of apple and celery, pineapple and orange, and apple, carrot and ginger. According to the manager, Jonathan Nyanhi, most of the food is fresh and also locally sourced. Nothing comes pre-packed to be defrosted later.


Although promoting healthy eating, a balance is what they strive for thus an extensive wine and liquor list which complements the menu. The wine rack is also in full view. Non-alcoholic beverages include freshly squeezed juices comprising blends of apple and celery, pineapple and orange, and apple, carrot and ginger. According to the manager, Jonathan Nyanhi, most of the food is fresh and also locally sourced. Nothing comes pre-packed to be defrosted later.


Because it opens early from 7:30am and closes late at 23:00 the menu accommodates breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sunday and Mondays are the only days when it closes early at 16:00. Between Tuesday and Saturday  you have to get in early for dinner because the kitchen closes at 21:30, however the bar stays open until 23:00. Dinner can be enjoyed with dessert, and the manager recommends the chocolate fondant. A continuation of the homey vibe can be seen in the fact that breakfast is served all day; therefore it’s not an anomaly to see someone eating scrambled eggs in the afternoon. If you can do it at your own home then you can most certainly do it at Market.


There is also an altruistic side to this restaurant because 1% of your bill is charged and donated to Umthombo, a local NGO that works with street kids. Therefore being at Market is always for a good cause. It feels like if the film ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ was shot in Durban, Elizabeth Culbert would be a frequent customer of this establishment, and its motto, ‘love what you eat, eat what you love’ is dj Jazzy Jeff’s ‘For da love of da game’ remixed.


Market Restaurant is situated at 40 Gladys Mazibuko road (Marriott) , Greyville, Durban. You can call them on (031) 309 8581. There is also a website with information at http://www.themarketrestaurant.co.za.



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