The Easter weekend brings tourists to Durban in their droves. Easter is the holiest holiday in the Christian calendar and has a special link with the sea, fishermen and fish. For many Christians, Easter is preceded by a period of fasting called Lent. During Lent, abstinence from meat is encouraged. Instead, fish is eaten – particularly on Good Friday. Whether you’re observing a centuries-old Christian tradition or simply wish to sample the fruits of the sea whilst enjoying a well-deserved break on the East Coast, here’s my round-up of the best seafood restaurants in town…

Pan-fried prawns after a day at the beach? Perfect!

·       Swanky – The Oyster Box, Umhlanga

With breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean and the cool grace of times gone by, it’s easy to see why The Oyster Box Hotel has become a Durban institution. Try the signature Fish ‘n Chips or Singapore Fish Curry at The Ocean Terrace or treat yourself to Prawn and Crayfish Cocktail and Lobster Thermidor at The Grill Room.

  • Go to: The Oyster Box Hotel, 1 Lighthouse Road, Umhlanga Rocks
  • Call: 031-514 5019 

Sumptuous – Jack Salmon Fish House, Durban North

Eat Out magazine describes Jack Salmon as Durban’s finest seafood-only restaurant, and it’s easy to see why…from sweeping sea views to the cool white décor, it’s a real feast on the eyes…and we haven’t even mentioned the menu yet! Good Ol’ Fish and Chips is always a winner…or you can trade up to Gourmet Fish and Chips…and if you’re in the market for a real treat (always!), who can resist the Norwegian Salmon Fillets or the Kingklip Cleopatra? And since this is Durban, the Fish and Prawn Curry deserves a special mention. Plus there’s a great wine menu available…oh, and the desserts…it keeps getting better!

  • Go to: Shop 15, Glenore Centre, 1 Aubrey Drive, Glenashley
  • Call: 031-572 3664

Sushi – Daruma, North Beach

An authentic Japanese restaurant, with Japanese owner and head chef, here’s where to indulge a serious sushi and sashimi habit. Also worth a try, the Japanese Deep-Fried Oysters and the Teppan-Yaki Seafood Platter.

  • Go to: Ground Floor, Southern Sun Elangeni, OR Tambo Parade, Durban
  • Call: 031-337 0423

Sophisticated – The Cargo Hold, North Beach

The Cargo Hold gives a new meaning to ‘views of the Indian Ocean’. Here, you gaze right into the shark aquarium at uShaka Marine World, so you can savour your seafood while watching the sharks swim by…or are they watching you? The novelty of the deep blue venue has a lot to do with The Cargo Hold experience, but everyone should dine with Jaws at least once. Highlights of the menu include the Smoked Salmon Tian, the Spanish Inquisition, Calamari Peri-Peri and Mozambique Chilli Prawns…hot stuff!

  • Go to: uShaka Marine World, 1 Bell Street, Durban
  • Call: 031-328 8065

Superb – Al Pescatore, Ballito

There’s something to be said for a restaurant that’s been in business for over twenty years…it’s darn good to keep so many people so happy for so long! Along with the beautiful view of the ocean that every seafood spot should have, Al Pescatore – Italian for ‘the fisherman’ – also boasts a laid-back atmosphere, outstanding service and fabulous menu. Stroll in off the beach and sample traditional Italian seafood favourites, like Sogliola alla Griglia and Adriatico di Pasta, or those with a Durban twist – the Durbs Pizza and Curry di Gamberi.

  • Go to: 14 Edward Place, Ballito
  • Call: 032-946 3574

Slap-up – Skippers, Durban Beachfront

Sometimes, you just want to tuck into cheap and cheerful English-style, newspaper-wrapped fish and chips whilst strolling along the seashore or in between dips in the sea on a day at the beach. Skippers Fish & Chips gives you just that – plus mushy peas and mash!

  • Go to: Shop 2, Lower Marine Drive, Beachfront
  • Call: 031-368 7242

Wash down that yummy seafood with a refreshing cocktail! Read Six of the Best Cocktail Spots in Durban