The restaurant industry in Umhlanga is growing in leaps and bounds; new spots are popping up, each with a unique slant on food and ambience. One of the newest eateries, located at the newly extended Protea Hotel in the Village, The Chefs’ Table, is about to turn the industry on its axis. We chat to owners Soti Sonitis and Sean Gray, and head chef Kayla-Ann Osborn.
“We have always had a passion for local, fresh, seasonal food,” Soti tells me.
And this is true, as one looks around what is quite possibly Sean and Soti’s most successful venture to date, Circus Circus in the Gateway Theatre of Shopping. It is where we are chatting, and the dreamy aromas of breakfast waft around us, as does the smell of freshly brewed coffee.
The duo’s newest undertaking looks certain to be just as successful as the popular restaurant, and as Soti says – with a smile – The Chefs’ Table is about to take it to ‘the next level’. “We want to take the concept that’s already successful and blow it up.” Sean agrees, saying the idea for The Chefs’ Table was born around two and a half years ago. “Soti and I were travelling through the United States and the United Kingdom, and we had some incredible restaurant experiences we wanted to recreate when we returned.”
Sean describes The Chefs’ Table as fun and edgy. “It’s definitely not a traditional restaurant,” he says. Kayla smiles, casually throwing out that the menu changes daily. “Whatever comes into the kitchen on any given day is what we will send out. We will work with the fresh ingredients we get at the beginning of the day; that’s all that will be on the menu.” She adds that ingredients – free-range and organic – will only be used if they are in season. “If something is not available seasonally, we will not use it. The dishes will be fresh, hearty and filling.” The kitchen will be minimal – no microwaves, can openers or freezers. “We want the entire experience to be as authentic as possible,” Kayla says. “All our suppliers are local, so we are supporting our own economy.”
The look of the restaurant matches the freshness of the food, with an industrial vibe. An abundance of leather and metal, like exposed piping, has been used to amplify the idea of going back to basics. Another unique facet of the dining experience is that the kitchen is open-plan and situated at the centre of the restaurant – Kayla-Ann and some of Durban’s young, up and coming chefs will allow diners to watch them at work. “The idea is to bring MasterChef to life,” Soti tells us. “You will be able to experience the ambience of the kitchen, as the chefs are visible while they cook your meal.” This, says Soti, reinforces the theme of freshness, as the chef will share where the ingredients come from. “Thus, it is really your Chefs’ Table!”
The restaurant also has an extensive wine list, with wines stored in a walk-in cellar. Additionally, a private 16-seater dining room is also available for day conferences or intimate dinners. A brilliantly stocked bar has an enviable list of cocktails, craft beers and spirits. “Ultimately, there is something for everyone,” Sean says. “We want people to dream about the food after they’ve eaten at The Chefs’ Table!”
Visit 23 and 24 First Floor, Protea Mall, Lighthouse Road, Umhlanga Rocks
Article Credit: Jodi from www.theumhlangamagazine.co.za
Diarise these Oyster Box events in December
Diarise these Oyster Box events for the month of December.
DINNER AND A MOVIE 2nd December
It’s date night at The Oyster Box! Start your evening with a two-course dinner in the Ocean Terrace at 18h00, followed by a movie with popcorn and a glass
of sparkling wine in the cinema at 20h00.
18h00 in The Ocean Terrace I 20h00 in The Cinema I Price: R590 per person
CAROLS BY CANDLELIGHT 14th & 15th December
A time of tradition and family, Christmas Carols on the Ocean Terrace at The Oyster Box, marks the beginning of the Festive season and summer holidays.
A plated starter, buffet main, plated dessert and festive entertainment are on the menu.
Time: 18h00 – 21h00 I Venue: The Ocean Terrace I
Price: R690 per adult, R420 per child under 12 years
CHRISTMAS EVE DINNER 24th December
Get the Festive weekend off to a stylish start with Christmas Eve Dinner in the elegant Grill Room.
Regrettably no children.
Time: 18h00 – 22h00 I Venue: The Grill Room I Price: R2 600 per person
CHRISTMAS DAY LUNCH 25th December
Each of The Oyster Box’s dining venues will be offering delicious lunch feasts on Christmas Day. All venues will be offering live music, a welcome beverage
on arrival and delicious seasonal menus.
Time: 12h00 – 16h00 I Venue: The Ocean Terrace and The Grill Room I
Price: R2 600 per person, R1 600 per child under 12 years
NEW YEAR’S EVE DINNER 31st December
“SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER”
Put on your best Boogie Shoes as we take you back to the Seventies this New Year’s Eve! Dance your way into 2023 in retro 70’s gear and join us for a blast from the past!
Time: 19h00 onwards I Venue: The Pearl Room I
Price: R2 900 per adult, R1 900 per child under 12 years
Enzo – first KZN pizzeria recognised in nationwide challenge
Scottburgh’s renowned Enzo Pizzeria Trattoria has become the first KwaZulu-Natal restaurant to make it into the Top 10 of the nationwide Porcupine Ridge Pizzeria Challenge 2022.
Owner Enzo Tilli is over the moon for making it to the number five spot despite stiff competition from around the country. No KZN restaurants made it into the top 10 in the 2021 challenge.
In 1990, at the tender age of 18, Tilli decided to follow his passion for creating authentic Italian food and with the help of his mother, embarked on an adventure into the unknown opening Enzo Pizzeria in Johannesburg’s West Rand. The authentic pizzas he dished up were an instant hit and it was not long before Tilli opened a second branch at Gold Reef City.
Seven years later Tilli sold his two eateries and moved to KwaZulu Natal to open Enzo Pizzeria Trattoria in Scottburgh. As was the case in Gauteng, it did not take long for Enzo to become a popular destination for locals and tourists who – 25-years later – still can’t get enough of his mouth-wateringly good pizzas. Says Tilli: “Like all good pizzas, ours are made with the finest ingredients and cooked to perfection in a wood-burning clay oven.”
Despite the celebrations, Tilli made some time to answer a few questions about Enzo and – more importantly – his coveted pizzas!
Tell us a bit about your restaurant and what makes your pizzas so popular
Enzo’s is more an eatery or as we say in Italy a ‘trattoria’ which means casual and relaxed dining. Our pizzas are made in the authentic Neapolitan style, in a wood-burning oven. They have a light and airy base, and we use only the best quality ingredients. We believe that whoever is making the pizza should have lots of love for what they are creating and that their passion is a big part of what makes them so good.
What is your signature pizza or best-seller?
Without doubt the Del Greco pizza which has a bacon feta and fresh avocado topping. We also have four different starter pizzas, three Calzongino choices (foot long, fold over pizzas), six different vegetarian pizzas and 19 more other options from which to choose.
What’s better, a thin crust or a thick crust?
For me, it must have a thin, light base and slightly charred on the bottom and must always be cooked in a wood-burning oven just like in Naples, the home of the pizza.
What is your favourite pizza topping?
I still like the classics – a Regina, a quattro stagioni or a simple Margarita with anchovies.
For more on Porcupine Ridge, please visit: www.boekenhoutskloof.co.za/
Enzo Pizzeria Trattoria can be found at Shop 5 The Terrace, 129 Marine Terrace, Scottburgh, KZN. Telephone number for bookings: 039 978 3674
Top 10 Lekker Places To Celebrate Christmas Lunch
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visit in our lekker province, KZN!
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