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Durban, Kwazulu Natal
July 1, 2011
by Linda Kaye
San Antonio, Texas
October 4, 2005
Portuguese influence is evident in both the colorful décor and in the food. The outside is painted in vibrant colors that carried inside to the main dining room. The patio is so inviting on the cool African evening that it encourages guests to remain long after dinner is over.
We arrived at our appointed time and were immediately seated in the dining room, one of only four or five tables. There was a large party sitting on the outside patio. So, when we waited over an hour after we had ordered to receive our food, we could not understand. However, the wait was well worth it. It was obvious that each item we ordered were prepared and cooked specifically for our order.
Our friends ordered the seafood feast for two, but shared it with all of us. On the large platter, there were shrimp, clams, crab, mussels, and a couple of things no one recognized, but ate anyway. In the center was a small bowl of spicy sauce for dipping. In general, shrimp, be it Mozambique-style or Portuguese, is grilled with the heads and shells. Fried shrimp is virtually unknown here. It is quite messy to eat, but the flavor is unique and the reward is something you won’t soon forget. This feast was topped off with cheese, garlic bread.
Harry had a steak that was tender and juicy with a baked potato. I had chicken cordon bleu, filled with ham and melted cheese with a thin crispy, perfectly golden baked coating. There was absolutely no room for dessert when we were finished.
Here, at the Tambarina, as we found out, dinner is more of an elongated experience of being with friends, lost in conversation with no regard for time, a glass of wine and magnificent food on a beautiful African evening.
Oh, the kitchen did finally close, about 10:30pm. We saw the entire kitchen staff parade through the restaurant and out the front door. Their job was done for the day.
From journal KICKIN' BACK IN KOMATIPOORT