I introduce you to one of my all time favourite restaurants in Durban. (Drum Roll Please) Daruma Japanese Restaurant which can be found on the Ground floor of the Southern sun Elangeni, 63 Snell Parade.This is the restaurant I went to for my birthday dinner and it is conveniently situated on the beachfront for tourists. I love Asian cuisine and the Teppanyaki is enough to make me drool just thinking about it. In Durban I’ve found it quite hard to spot quality Asian restaurants and that’s why Daruma’s Japanese cuisine is a winner for me. They’re consistent in always offering a fine dining experience .
You’re always greeted by big smiles at Daruma and the service is impeccable.It’s advisable to book in advance because they can get quite full. You’re seated around an iron griddle that’s used to cook the food. “Teppanyaki” is the style of cooking Japanese cuisine on an iron griddle. The menu ranges from fish to meat, noodles and sushi, stir-fry and egg fried rice.They source their fish from the local Durban port and the meat and vegetables are freshly chosen. The personal experience at Daruma is what has me sold. You can have whatever you like and have it cooked in front of you with choices of herbs and sauces.
The decor at Daruma is simple. They’ve kept an all red theme with wooden accents and, Japanese leaf print screens.The dining room is low lit with flute instrumentals playing in the background, providing a very calm and delicate atmosphere.Pictures on the wall are whimsical and reminiscent of the restaurants I’ve visited in Asia. An authentic Asian experience right on the Durban Beachfront is quite something. The chefs are never too busy to engage with you or answer your many questions and it creates a next level dining experience; one that involves the diner in all of the processes. I’ve been to this restaurant, usually in a group, as the Teppanayaki table seats about ten or more people and you feel as if the restaurant is serving just your group.Laughter and loud conversation are what this style of cuisine promotes. I must admit I was a bit apprehensive about going with just one other person, but I was pleasantly surprised.Although it was completely different; it offered a more intimate dining experience with the chef and waitress attending to all of our needs.( Guys, do the right thing and take your girl!)
The success of Daruma lies in it’s honest preparation of food. There are no frills or bird size portions of elaborate dishes, instead they make sure their produce is always fresh and that they pertain to the individual’s needs. Who doesn’t like to have a say in their food?? Daruma will stay a favourite of mine for years to come for it’s genuine endeavour to give you wonderfully prepared food and an authentic Japanese experience. I found this old Japanese saying on their website,“ If you have the pleasant experience of eating something that you have not tasted before, your life will be lengthened by 75 days”. They encourage you to try all sorts of things on their menu and hope to lengthen your years by doing so- now that’s a sentiment we should all toast to. Cheers.