‘creative coastal fine dining’
Locals are quick to laud The Chefs’ Table in Umhlanga for cementing Durban in the fine dining scene. Here humble, talented chef Kayla-Ann Osborn has made a name for herself and introduced the coastal town to cutting edge, adventurous cuisine. The expansive, open kitchen offers delightful and engaging entertainment should you be seated at the counter or a spacious table nearby. Alternatively, settle into a table where you can admire the chic interiors, and the large Tretchikoff mural, replicated on the menu, and start with a signature cocktail.
Kayla-Ann’s food philosophy is simple, “I want my food to be forward-thinking, progressive, interesting for me and for diners,” she says. Ask this inventive chef about her ethos, and you will discover that it is based on local produce. Origin, and even distance to where the produce is sourced, is indicated on her menu. Authentic and exploratory, the à la carte, three-course set and seven-course tasting menus offer something for everyone – vegetarian and vegans too. When she headed down to Cape Town recently, she not only secured a dinner reservation at The Test Kitchen, but also the opportunity of cooking there for the day. She is constantly learning, heading further afield to cook with the likes of Clare Smythe and Michel Roux Jnr in London – so know that you will want to return to follow her expansion and ever-escalating culinary progress.
As a winner of the SASSI Trailblazer Award, it comes as no surprise that her favourite ingredient is seafood, sourced from a local fishing boat. Dishes are light, carefully considered and beautifully plated. The Summer-pea brûlée – whole-milk cheese curd, tomato broth, smoked tomato and pea shoot – is delectable. Regulars return for the paella, with cuttlefish, tomato-saffron purée, marinated peppers, sardines, chorizo-saffron dressing and rice chip. The six-course menu ensures that every mouthful will give a great return on investment. You’ll get good advice on pairings, the team is justifiably proud of their collection of Western Cape, European and New Zealand premium and boutique wines.
“First and foremost, food must be delicious.” Chef Kayla-Ann Osborn
Address: 23-24, Protea Mall, 1 Chartwell Drive, Umhlanga, 4320
Contact: 031 001 0200