If you are looking for home-grown, artistically prepared meals with a Masterchef flair then You simply MUST try the Craftsmen in Durban.
This quaint restaurant with its wooden floors and white bench style seating has the easy going ambience to suit a family dinner, a girl’s lunch date, a boys’ night out or just about any occasion to get together and sample their modern take on the popular street food phenomena.
Luke Reddy is the head chef and owner of this recently opened establishment and his ardent passion for food is very evident on his well-crafted meals.
Great thought has been put in to every detail of this eatery, from the hand-craft style bowls to the trendy tapa boards and everything in between. Opening your menu is a delight in itself as you peruse the clever ‘play on words’ labelled meals e.g. Times New Ramen is a delectable Ramen Dish.
I am not usually a diner that can take my time through a meal. Starters and Desserts is usually a forlorn dream because the reality is that my main meal is a stomach stuffer, leaving zero space for anything more.
But the menu at The Craftsmen was too good not to sample.
We started off this exciting dining experience with crumbed Calamari and a special made chilli soy dip. Oh My frikken word! Talk about a taste sensation in your mouth. The sauce was tart with a hint of chilli on the lips and Chef Luke’s infamous coriander; a pleasant interchange away from the traditional tartar sauce pairing. The calamari was cooked to perfection and artisinally placed on a fresh garden salad. Emphasis on FRESH. The lettuce was crispy, the red onions had crunch and the feta was deliciously Danish. I am not a salad eater but this was worth every single bite.
The chicken coquettes, equally layered and dressed to perfection, were piping hot, fresh out the kitchen. Crumbed and deep fried, the chicken was perfect. Not at all dry, and flawlessly well-seasoned to make my taste buds dance. Oh and the lovely surprise of melted cheese and jalapeno’s stuffed into the croquette was delightful.
It couldn’t get better right?
Oh but it did.
Our mains were a pork rib and chicken wing combo with chips. The ribs were tender and basted with a divine sticky honey glazed sauce. The wings were the winner of the dish though. Crumbed with a well spiced coating and then smothered in a delectable sauce…. No words for this taste sensation. One of the best wings I have ever had.
The hubster, being a fan of Japanese cuisine, ordered Ramen which was an interesting modern take on the traditional Asian dish. How gorgeous does this look? Needless to say, at the end of his meal, the bowl was raised to his lips and the broth was drained in true Japanese style.
And then came dessert.
That chocolate brownie. That gorgeous, crunchy on the outside, decadent on the inside brownie was beyond expectation. Topped with a vanilla ice cream and completed with sour cherries, this dish had me in a sugar coma for days and then still craving more!
Hubby’s chocolate ice cream sandwich was just as coma-inducing. That choc chip biscuit was enough to keep me digging into his bowl.
Moral of this story? You HAVE to give The Craftsmen’s food a try. This is not simply a restaurant, it is a food experience. And the great part? It’s affordable to the general public. Forget paying Masterchef prices, the average price per meal is between R60 – R120. Our full bill including the tip was about R350 and that’s a 3 course meal for 2 people. You like the sound of that don’t you?
You won’t go wrong.
Located at 60 Helen Joseph Road, Durban, this street is fast becoming a popular local enterprise for classy foodie businesses.
Go ahead and LIKE their Facebook page to ensure you are up to date with their specials and theme nights