By: Natasha Archary
Before you plan a romantic weekend in another city, be sure to check the weather. #MemoToMyself, when next I think it’s a fabulous idea to plan a weekend of beach dates only for Durban to throw a tantrum of note and maintain a stormy temper.
Rain-dampened plans aside, Durbs is a breath-taking backdrop for lovebirds. With views of the ocean along the city’s coast-line, gorgeous stretches of green that cascades around the Northern parts of the city, the Umgeni River that snakes through and meets the Indian Ocean. Oh, man I could go on.
The lighthouse in Umhlanga is probably the city’s most favoured spot for popping the question. 360 degree views of the ocean and Durban cityscape, the pier in Umhlanga is quite possibly the best way to take it all in.
I had an epic weekend of romantic beach dates planned, at Umhlanga, Umdloti and Durban’s North beach but the entire weekend was unusually cold, rainy and grey. Windy conditions made things difficult logistically and we had to move things indoors.
Enter Butcher Block, Florida Road. Prepared to put together a picnic on the beach, the team were incredible, ensuring that a romantic night out was still had.
The ambience at the Florida Road branch is a combination of chic, elegant sophistication with a relaxed, charismatic vibe. The décor makes for a truly romantic, effortless atmosphere.
Staff pay attention to every detail and are informed on the menu and wine list, assisting you to make a confident decision. All staff at Butcher Block Florida Road, went above the call of duty to make sure we were comfortable and our glasses always filled.
Food, glorious food
Where do I begin? If a fine dining dinner date experience in another city is your idea of a perfect #DateNight then Butcher Block, Florida Road is where you need to make the reservation. I salivate craving that steak as I hit my keyboard right now.
Voted the Best Steakhouse in KZN, the award means the restaurants are a popular choice for patrons in Durban. Don’t get me wrong, the menu is comprehensive and they have options for veggies and pescatarians but let’s not deny the steak is undoubtedly the best I’ve ever had.
I ordered the fillet and make no apologies for taking the biggest portion allowed, 400g of chargrilled, medium perfection. The accurate grill markings on that beautiful piece of beef requires your undivided attention.
It serves perfectly with a full bodied red but it’s #DateNight and that calls for something a little more special. A bottle of L’Ormarins Brut Classique was the order of the night, and the sharp citrus flavour paired superbly with the 25-day wet aged steak.
For those of you who may not know, beef that is aged for up to 35 days is known in the culinary world as ribeye royalty. So Butcher Block has a formula that works beautifully and the beef is undeniably special.
Eating my weight in yummy
I started with the panko prawns, which were a crunchy, sweet explosion of full-on flavour and a little heat. Served with a sweet chili sauce the prawns were delicate and light, despite being deep fried. No greasy after taste.
To round off I chose the strawberry cheesecake. Dainty though it was, the pretty portion almost defeated me. Smooth in texture, the creamy deliciousness was the exact combination of melt in the mouth and rich. I could happily have another six and not feel an ounce of guilt over the calories it holds.
It’s a mark of a good restaurant, competent chef and waiting staff if none of the patrons returned their meals. I watched the kitchen churn out plate after plate of perfection and happy foodies devour every morsel.
Why date night in Durban?
We’re all so accustomed to things in our city. Knowing the ins and outs, our preferences and dislikes and over time it can all become so routine. Dating should not feel like a monotonous cycle. Every date should feel like the first.
I know that’s a lot of pressure to take into consideration but a city escape can be rejuvenating to a flame that’s close to flickering out. The excitement of a road trip, giving some undivided attention to the better half and enjoying some R&R can do wonders for the love life.
Sightseeing as tourists in your own country, exploring a new town and each other can be so much fun when you’re both unbothered about the hustle and bustle of your daily routines. Taking a sho’t left every now and then is a fun way to get out and create a list of memorable moments to last a lifetime.
Would I fly down to Durban just to have the steak at Butcher Block for #DateNight? You bet. In fact it’s already on the cards for the December break because I’m serious about good steak and they have the best in KZN.