With Durban basking in the glory of warming winter sun it’s the perfect time of the year to meet the girlies for a fabulous lunch. The sizzling, hair-frizzing, skin blanching sun has eventually moved far away enough from earth for the Durban girls to venture outside and to actually wear some winter clothing and we all know what a multitude of sins that can hide!
Market is one of those rare restaurants that boasts a lunch menu that is both interesting and light. There is always a good selection of specials on offer and if you take your hubby or boyfriend along there is tantalising, yet healthy Man food on the menu that will keep them happy too!
Situated in Marriot Road, on Durban’s leafy Berea, Market’s location is fantastically well situated and one could be forgiven for thinking that one was dining far from the city in the country garden. Dappled shade from the Leopard Trees and the gentle tinkle of water from the fountain create such a relaxing mood.
Dinner in this venue is magical, with the trees encircling the fountain and pond, lit up with twinkling fairy lights. This is a perfect wedding venue with 120 seats and guarded evening parking. Market is a restaurant with a big heart and social conscience and belongs to the Food for Thought initiative that supports the Uthombo project in Durban that gives KZN street children positive alternatives.
Andre Schubert’s love for food is visible at Market and is given life and form in the moss and cactus studded living art that spells LOVE. This, ever smiling and ever present owner is vegetarian which translates deliciously well in the menu for those looking for a Meat Free meal. How does Falafel salad with humus, salsa and sesame Lavash (R67) sound? I am not vegetarian but adore their kicka** sesame lentil burger with beetroot and their special relish. (R72)
My lunch date, Milena, a career woman doesn’t often have time to “do lunch!” She was convalescing after an emergency appendectomy and my mission was to get this little wisp of a girl some healing food, fresh air and a good dose of Vitamin D. Within a few minutes I saw her sit back in her chair, turn her pale little face up to the sun and give a deep, satisfied sigh.
The beauty and calm of her surroundings were working a treat and she tucked into her Fishcakes with a leafy vibrant salad, adorned with house made creamy mayo (R70) with great gusto. I woofed down my pan fried calamari with a red pesto and macadamia nut quinoa salad. (R69) I am a real fan of quinoa; it’s a gluten free power food of note and this very generous portion is one of my favourite Market dishes.
The lunch menu has 17 fabulous dishes on offer and they range from R45 to R70. Each dish is a veritable Jackson Pollock of colour with an emphasis on fresh and tasty. You really can’t go wrong here. I washed my salad down with a chilled glass of rich and fruity Anura Chardonnay (R30). We shared a slice of heaven with our espressos. State secrets could be swapped for a piece of Market's decadent chocolate torte napped with berry compote. Lunch just doesn’t get better than this.
I must confess that I eat at Market as often as possible and have a special memory of the best and most aromatic lamb shank served on creamy parmesan polenta that I have ever eaten, burned into my memory. TrickyRicky and I joined a group of friends at Market last year for dinner; al fresco, under those twinkling fairy lights, great mates, great food, great vino and an eclipse of the moon to top it all! *Sigh*
Andre is very clear about the ethos of his restaurant and his words reflect this he says, “Market is passionate about serving the finest locally and/or organic sourced produce in a professional, unique, evocative and caring environment, always.”
I rest my case!
Follow @food24 and @JaniceTripepi on twitter.