Chic dockside dining

2011-11-18 13:14

Among the plus factors of Durban’s revamped Point Waterfront is the recently launched Docklands Hotel.

Situated towards the end of Mahatma Gandhi Road (formerly Point Road), it overlooks the city’s busy docks, as its name implies and makes for a pleasing blend of Victorian retro and industrial pizzazz.

The hotel’s developers, have adroitly retained the venue’s Victorian façade and married it with a funky industrial look that accords with the venue’s locale.

Views overlooking the harbour are enjoyed from many of the 83 designer decorated rooms, while others command vistas of the surrounding area, facing towards the beachfront.

The hotel is geared as a meeting place for the young, and the not so famous – successfully setting itself up “the Canary Wharf of South Africa”. The bedrooms are designed to cater for the business traveller with the full range of mod-cons on site.

Not least of Docklands’ attractions is its trendy WODKA restaurant and bar. This has already made a name for itself as one of the city’s choice eateries since it opened.

Hoping to sample the venue’s new menu, a friend and I dropped in for a meal recently, but were happy to choose from the existing à la carte fare as a printer’s glitch had delayed the launch of the new menu.

I settled for Cantonese Pork Belly, a succulent dish comprising glazed pork belly, served with apple strudel samosas and pearl barley. Rich, but successfully tempered with the apple.

My partner, a picky eater, had Forest Mushroom Risotto, served with flaked parmesan and herb salad. This, too, more than passed muster, which says a lot.

Our deserts were both superb concoctions: Lemon Tasters, an enticing selection of lemon cheesecake, lime brulèe and citrus custard with crème Chantilly and zesty vodka ice cream. And Banana Panna cotta, a delicate marriage of custard ice cream and honey comb.

All in all the meal set us back only R250. For business guests, the venue has three large conference venues. They host smallish groups in the mid-20s to large conferences and banquets able to seat up to 600 guests.

For those heading to Durban for their holidays, Docklands Hotel offers a shuttle bus for guests. So leave your car in the undercover parking and forget about it.

The hotel bus takes guests to the beachfront, which is minutes away, and to the uShaka Marine World home to Moyo, where you can sip cocktails while watching the waves.

Also, there is a regular public bus service from uShaka Marine World all the way to the Suncoast Casino, which marks the other end of Durban’s made-over beachfront area.

» Book your date on 0861 238 252 or online at

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