Suspend your disbelief for a second, and imagine you’ve been invited out on a blind date. It seems promising, and you’re pretty sure you’ll – at the least – enjoy a good meal, even if it never gets any further. Now imagine arriving at that date, sitting down at the table and the restaurant doors open, to reveal your blind date. And that blind date just happens to Channing Tatum. Or Justin Timberlake. Or, you know, whoever goggles your eyeballs.
That’s what it felt like when I ate at The Chefs Table, and Durban, you now have your very own Channing Tatum of a restaurant. I’d suggest you get to it and make a booking. If you read nothing further, just follow that instruction and you’ll end up in that same heady-weird-food-coma I experienced the first, and the second, time I popped in.
Here’s something you should know about me: I hate phone calls. Like, if I could avoid talking to people over the telephone forever and ever, I would. But a call from Head Chef at The Chefs Table, Kayla-Ann Osborn, turned out to be the start of one beautiful experience I am so very glad I didn’t miss. Followed up with a personalised invitation (in the post, mos!), I started to get a little excited over my lunch date, where I was joined by some new and some regular faces from the Durban food, lifestyle and blogging scene. If you don’t bother to read any further from here, read Shirley’s review on Cuizine, and then pop over here and make a booking. Have I mentioned that you should make a booking? Good.
The Chefs Table doesn’t just serve up your restaurant standard fare – in fact, there’s nothing standard about it. Instead, taking inspiration from anywhere and everywhere, and utilising seasonal produce that’s sourced from local farmers, The Chefs Table serves you food that will make you cry. I don’t say that in a bad way, I mean it in that – after you’ve eaten here, anything you eat at any meal thereafter, will just be disappointing. The menu changes in accordance to available produce and focuses on bringing out the best flavours, aligned with an exceptional experience.
As the afternoon meandered onwards, and we enjoyed tasting plates of a selection of menu items, paired with epic wines that brought forth the unique flavours of each dish, all I could think about was:
“Damn, I wish my family were here. They won’t believe me when I tell them about this.”
I’ll put it simply – when you read the menu, you’ll think one thing about a menu item. What ends up on your plate is not what you expected.
Coming In For Seconds
Lucky for me (and that beautiful family of mine!), I have been back a second time. I got so excited about it, that I could barely sleep the night before… I am not joking. And, of course, as I expected, The Chefs Table did not disappoint, as my kid and I giggled over her roast pumpkin tortelli and my fiance made what I call his “food noises” over his Moores-Pitt Rolled Chicken.
Saving The Best For Last
And while the menu changes as and when needed, I hope there is one item that stays stuck on it like that piece of double-sided tape you put on the wall to hang your precious Indecent Obsession poster back in the 90s and which is probably never going to come off, even if you charge a bulldozer through your house. It’s the Chocolate and Popcorn, which is the perfect example of “what you think you’re getting…but you’re wrong”. Just promise me you will add this to your Must Do Food List, and let’s be done with it.
Now, when are we going back again? Food is, aside from providing sustenance and nutrition, meant to be a positive emotional experience that engages and delights you. I’m pretty certain that, within the next few months, when you look up the term “positive emotional experience”, you’ll find a picture of The Chefs Table, right by its side. I’ll be back soon, Channing. Er, I mean, The Chefs Table.
Disclosure: I was invited to attend two dry runs at this restaurant in Durban before it opened to the public. I was not requested to create this post as payment for my attendance, but it’s just that damn good that it inspired me to crank open my blog again and get writing.