If you have never set foot into the Oyster Box Hotel; you better add it to your 2015 food adventures to-do list. I can confidently say this hotel is a pearl in Durban’s food scene. Recently I was invited to the Cuisine Crawl; where a group of us were taken through the many dining experiences The Oyster Box has on offer. This night was pure food indulgence!
Welcome Drinks & Canapés
Not familiar with the Oyster Box, finding the first stop of the Cuisine Crawl was a bit challenging for me. Luckily, someone from the Oyster Box recognised the lost expression on my face and escorted me straight to the hustle and bustle. The first stop was at the Garden Gazebo; as I walked in, I was greeted by friendly faces, some new and others I’ve become familiar with. The drinks table was the first thing I walked passed; cocktails known as Rons Night Cap were being mixed and poured by Kwanele Sydney Mkhize. It was difficult to avoid being drawn in, even if it was just to take a picture. Making my way around, picking at the plates, I couldn’t help but notice how beautifully plated and presented the treats of samoosas and chilli bites were. It was a beautiful outdoor venue, and the perfect place to meet, greet and start this foodie adventure.
For starters we were shuffled off to The Lighthouse Bar. The sound of a live jazz band and crowds enjoying each other’s company filled the room. The atmosphere was definitely intoxicating, and that’s before we indulged in a cocktail or two. Cocktails were ready to welcome us in and once we had settled in, the starters arrived. Boiled eggs, trimmings in oyster shells of finely chopped chives, gerkins, onions and more framed the star of the show; fresh salmon. It tasted as incredible as it looked; I don’t think the chef knew how popular this dish was going to be, as the salmon was snapped up quickly. Mini panni’s and mini tarts, burgers and toasted bites were also offered around.
Once we polished the salmon off and finished our cocktails, the next stop was the elegant Colony Room. A long table was laid out with sparkling wine glasses and the works. As I walked up to the seat I wanted, my chair was pulled out and the pushed back in behind me as I took my seat. While I was talking to the person next to me, the waiter came beside me and whipped out a white material napkin and laid it on my lap; it had been a while since I was last served like this, so it was hard to hold back my shock and delight.
Before our feasting extravaganza began, The Oyster Box Hotel’s Executive Chef Kevin welcomed us and shared the food journey he hoped to take us on throughout the Cuisine Crawl. General Manager, Wayne Coetzer followed with an enlightening story of The Oyster Box Hotel history. When all the speeches were made, our feasting began.
A beautiful fish dish was served; with mash delicately coating the fish and a light (not watery) cream sauce made up the rest of the plate, with peas and finely chopped tomato sprinkled around the plate. Soon after that, langoustines and mussels came through on a trolley tray; you could tell they were fresh as the langoustines easily came out of their shells. Need I say more; this part of the dinner was heavenly for me (I am a seafood lover after all).
The next phase of our feast was the flambéed beef fillet. The tray was filled with slices of beef fillet, and a colourful array of veggies such as carrots, broccoli, mushrooms and asparagus. It was great being around other foodies, because when asked what we wanted; we requested a bit of everything… I mean could you blame us?
From the waiters, to the Executive Chef and General Manager; we were really given world class treatment. By the end of the evening, we felt like big pals with the staff. It’s not difficult to see the amount of detail given to everything, whether it be a cocktail, the pouring of wine, the dishing up or the greeting you get. Despite the Oyster Box Hotel being rather posh and elegant, the staff truly give it that extra character and personality; clearly separating the Oyster Box Hotel from the rest.
To top off the evening, we made our last stop at The Oyster bar for the Evening Indulgence. Normally people from the public are able to filter in without booking to finish their night off with tea, coffee, sweets and cakes. This evening a beautiful table filled with red velvet cake, macaroons, chocolate éclairs, cupcakes, carrot cake and so much more was presented. Taking our seats to indulge in the glorious sweet night cap, Don Pedro’s and Irish coffees were served.
As you may have guessed, it was a tough job indulging in all the food and splendor The Oyster Box presented that night; but let’s face it someone had to do it, and I am glad I was one of them! The Oyster Box Hotel is always doing food events for the Durban crowd; so I urge you all to make sure you attend at least one of them this year; as it will be an unforgettable experience!