Anyone who’s ever been to Durban would’ve noticed it’s slightly rough-around-the-edges look and feel. While it’s this rustic, warm-weathered nonchalance that epitomises the city that is so very close to my heart, it’s always good to see a few establishments that are going a step further.
One such place is Neill Roarke’s Freedom Café at the effortlessly chic Concierge Boutique Bungalows. Set in the quiet, dappled shade of Morningside, Roarke has managed to bring a sense of contemporary design to both the setting and the table.
The thing that struck me first as I approached the café, were the Dachshund benches. After crunching my away across the pebbles to the seating area under the Console glass bottle lampshades, I knew I was going to have one of those memorably languid lunches.
The menu is concise but with options that burst with fusion-inspired flavour. To begin our Roarke food experience, we started with the Vietnamese spring rolls. They were fresh, crunchy and cooling: perfect for a summer’s day in Durbs. For me, the showstopper was the Handmade Crayfish Ravioli with Mussel bisque. The pasta was light and the dish left me feeling as though I was close to the ocean. I also tried the mushroom tart and the trio of avo, beetroot and chickpea hummus, which were both beautiful.
I went against my better judgement and decided to have dessert. And believe me, it was worth being rolled back to the car for. The pear and almond tart was a flourless delight that was caramelized to perfection!
Freddom Café, you have not seen the last of me.
36 Campbell Avenue, Durban