Camden 031 is everything Durban didn’t know it needed! A comedy and food combination.
We all look for an experience, something different, something entertaining, and who doesn’t love a good laugh? With comedian Glen Bo as co-owner of the restaurant, the Durban comedy scene has found itself a new outlet, with shows planned every Friday and Saturday nights.
The team have done such a creative job with the place in terms of decor, the pallet bar is superb - there are pallet “couches” outside to chill on, they’ve gone with strong musical (rock) inspirations too - the ladies and gents cleverly labelled “The Courtney’s” and “The Kurt’s” and the soap in the ladies is in Jack Daniels bottles.
My sidekick was loving the music they were playing and I think this venue certainly has the potential to become a really cool joint. My only criticism is the lighting on the deck area outside is intense.
Executive Chef and co-owner David Boyter comes with 10 years experience in the industry, having managed the food at the Heritage Market and done time at Aubergine and Stretta Cafe.
This is his first venture cooking what he wants, how he wants it and it shows. The food is loved. You can so taste the difference when you eat something prepared by a chef-owner to something prepared by a team of faceless cooks.
We arrived ravenous to an empty restaurant and whilst we loved the personal attention and enjoyed chatting to the passionate staff, hope to see them being well supported next time I go.
There is no menu at the moment and this chef is loathe to create one as he wants to cook with ingredients he finds that are superb on the day.
There were some cheese breadstick in the oven, why yes please, I’d love some of that. They arrived with a bowl of seriously creative and delicious chutney.
Thin, crispy rolled cheese-stuffed breadsticks were served with a bowl of beetroot, honey, tequila and vanilla chutney and a bowl of roasted peppers lavishly dressed with olive oil, herbs and some garlic.
For starters we had beef carpaccio and a fishcake - the beef carpaccio was served with the most incredibly yummy, soft and creamy imported Buffalo mozzarella I’ve ever tasted, sliced tomato, basil chiffonade and a balsamic reduction drizzled over it. It was superb.
The fishcake was made with tuna and dorado, and weren't mushed together like they can be, there were chunks or fish which you could taste the different flavours.
One huge fishcake served on a bed of julienne fresh salad, fresh and delicious. Portions were generous in the extreme – for some smaller eaters this would be enough for a main meal.
Up until this point we’d drunk a good selection of craft beers. We were offered a wine pairing experience with the courses when we arrived, which I slightly regret we declined.
Our mains arrived in all their buttery gloriousness! I had the fillet steak and my bearded sidekick had prawn pasta.
My fillet was crusted in cracked black pepper and salt and was cooked to medium rare perfection. It was served with gem squash with lashings of butter and deconstructed Dauphinoise potatoes with more lashings of butter, spring onions and a dash of regular onions.
Because I’m generous I even gave my bearded sidekick a few mouthfuls and in exchange I tucked in to his prawn pasta. Superb prawns, cooked to perfection, generously piled on top of a freshly made tagliatelle with a buttery sauce that was simply delicious with Parmesan shavings.
Pricing was fairly average, we had a snack, two starters, two mains, a bottle of red wine and several craft beers and the bill came to R600. Not bad at all!
We’ve booked for Saturday night comedy with friends. There is no such thing as too much of a good thing in my world.
The Wok Box was reviewed by Cooked Chick of The Taste Detectives. Follow them on twitter @TasteDetectives