If you’ve been watching this season of MasterChef SA tonight, you would’ve spotted our very own restaurant, The Grill Jichana. I thought I’d tell you a little bit about it so that if you’re in Durban any time soon, The Grill Jichana is where you want to be when looking for a truly great meal. Based at the ground floor of Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani, this restaurant is all about ‘jichana’, the Swahili slang term for ‘eating good’.
Entering through either the hotel or the street entrance, diners will be struck by the modern and minimalist interior design, which is instantly made welcoming with warm touches. This is a place where the focus is on comfort, a relaxing ambiance, and good, simple food prepared in the most authentic way to highlight the natural flavours.
The Grill Jichana brings in the African theme of its host hotel and is an exploration of the African East Coast spice route, combining the flavours of cassia, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric and pepper with the perfectly grilled meat, fish and chicken dishes on the menu.
The starter menu offers a simple but substantial selection of salads, hand crafted from fresh market ingredients, to best complement the focus of the menu, which is on grills.
The beef used is premium grade and sourced from Karan Beef, carefully selected and hand cut by an in-house butcher before being aged through a specific maturation process.
“This allows us to offer our diners the best prime cuts available, seasoned with our aromatic house spice, infused with crushed mustard seed, rock sea salt and lemon black pepper, before being flame-grilled over volcanic rock with herbed honey barbeque basting,” says executive chef Shaun Munro, who developed the menu for The Grill Jichana and oversees all the restaurants within the complex.
Fillet, rump, T-bone and the 200 gram Jichana burger are all served perfectly grilled to every customer’s liking, as is the duo of lamb chops or lamb skewer. Those who prefer poultry will not be disappointed with the small but well considered offering of rotisserie chicken, supreme chicken or roast duck, all of which are free range and raised in the Dargle Valley in KZN.
“The rotisserie allows for succulent cooking before being flame grilled with lemon and herbs, or alternatively basted with our Dar-es-Salaam restaurant Baraza’s pili-pili basting,” says Chef Shaun.
On the fish front, all but the Norwegian salmon is sustainably sourced from local fisheries and are all SASSI listed, with the option of fresh linefish in an East Coast spice rub, inland salt water dusky kob served with homemade aioli, Norwegan salmon with savoury mango salsa or grilled LM tiger king prawns.
Vegetarians have the option of a haloumi stack or veggie medley. Side orders are plentiful and include the never-to-be-missed homemade bafana potato chips – actually more of a pillar than a mere chip – which undergo an extensive cooking process to create the perfect chip. Other options include creamed potato mash, shoestring fries, baked potato, crispy battered onion rings, caramelised baby onions with sautéed button mushrooms, steamed fresh market vegetables, curried butternut mash with coriander butter, braised spinach with garlic cream and rocket, fresh tomato and red onion salad.
The dessert menu is a simple but glorious affair, with tried and trusted favourites given an injection of freshness, including a deconstructed milk tart and the ultimate creation for any chocoholic – a five-chocolate Valrhona chocolate ball with fresh fruit relish, that explodes into a melted puddle of decadent chocolate on the plate.
The wine list is part of the menu and is carefully selected to perfectly complement all the mouth-watering dishes on offer – whether by the glass or by the bottle.
The Grill Jichana is fast becoming a favourite place for a truly great meal in an absolutely ideal setting, whatever your preference. But don’t take my word for it, read about what Food24 had to say here.
63 Snell Parade
North Beach, Durban
031 362 1300
Click here to email for reservations.