In honor of the brunch classic we’re giving guests options
Create the ultimate Benedict bar with these tips!
We can’t think of a reason why anyone wouldn’t love eggs Benedict, unless of course you just have an aversion to eggs in general.
The dish is rich, full of flavor, and there are so many varieties that you can enjoy it for any meal, not just brunch.
While the tried-and-true classic version is always great, we’re pushing the envelope here and getting a little creative with the poached egg dish.
Rather than create a menu of endless options for guests to choose from, why not hone in on one dish and have your visitors make it their own?
It would be rude as a host or hostess to ignore the palate preferences of your guests, so make sure to poll your friends on if they like eggs Benedict before you create an entire brunch based around the beloved dish. Once that’s squared away, get to planning.
Follow these few steps and have a drool-worthy eggs Benedict bar that will impress your guests.
If you prefer to serve it the classic way, here's How to Make the Perfect Eggs Benedict and here are a few tips on how to serve it at your brunch.
How to Create a Stellar Eggs Benedict Bar - Recipes
Of all the new restaurant openings of 2015 few have achieved such solid footing as Terlingua . And they’ve achieved this even without adding the millennial menu essential, quinoa in all its guises. Rather it’s essentially a barbecue joint. But that doesn’t begin to tell what it does so well beyond lunch and dinner (see past reviews ). Stage left enter their Sunday brunch. I had it for the first time this weekend and enjoyed one of the best examples of the otherwise ubiquitous eggs Benedict.
At Terlingua both the bar and dining area are busy at brunch
While the universe of BBQ fare is decent enough in our northern clime, Terlingua does it with a thorough Tex-Mex flavor profile. That also means lots of red and green chili dishes, spice and gutsy smoked meats and fish another dish that I’m anxious to try is their chicken mole, Mexico’s grand sauce that takes many hours to make. Terlingua gives it an 18-hour simmer, and it’s frequently found on their Sunday dinner menu as a special. Call ahead to see if it’s being offered.
Getting back to dear old eggs Benedict Terlingua style, it rode high with two perfectly poached eggs set atop a green chili spiked biscuit (very tender and flaky), topped with big, tender, smoky chunks of pulled pork and laced with a citrusy Hollandaise.
Poahed eggs over chili biscuit, smoked pulled pork and citrus Hollandaisse’ bloody Mary
Even the bloody Mary held some interest with the glass rimmed in chili powder, adding a subtle spiciness.
Those eggs were cooked just right, runny enough to wrap luxuriously around the crusty biscuit and smoked pulled pork. I wouldn’t have minded a side of hash or pork belly beans, but this was very fine eating on its own.
Though Sunday brunch is not yet listed on their website, it begins at 10 AM and offers such other brunch entrees as French toast with honey butter and caramelized bananas chilaquiles (local corn tortilla strips in ranchero sauce) smoked brisket over sweet potato hash with peppers, onions, eggs and Tabasco Hollandaise and pan-fried trout with spicy bacon jam and eggs.
Terlingua, 52 Washington Ave., Portland, ME 207-808-8502 www.terlingua.me
Rating: Wonderful brunch: Great big helpings, gutsy fare with just the right smoke and spice
Ambiance: plain and simple, makes you feel as though you’re in a local joint in Austin, Texas
Service: very attentive
Bar: full with great cocktails that feature killer margaritas and other zesty drinks
Seating: at bar or table service
$$: moderate—brunch entrees in the $13-$14 range figure about $25 per person with drink, tax and tip
What is Eggs Benedict?
The dish is very similar to eggs Florentine which either adds spinach or replaces the ham with it. It&rsquos named after a Wall Street broker who ordered it at the Waldorf Hotel in New York City in 1894. However, the original version topped buttered toast with crisp bacon and two poached eggs then covered it with hollandaise sauce.
These days, most restaurants use a toasted English muffin as the base. Each muffin half is then topped with a slice of grilled Canadian bacon and a poached egg. It&rsquos finished off with hollandaise sauce poured over it.
BEST PAN TO USE FOR SCRAMBLED EGGS
Oh, and the pan! Can’t forget about the pan. So, I’ve tried my fair share of nonstick cookware, but I have to say my very, most favorite brand for scrambling up a stellar batch of eggs is All-Clad. A 10″, non-stick pan by All-Clad to be specific.
Calphalon is pretty legit as well, but beware that Calphalon has multiple cookware lines out there, that differ in degrees of “quality.” You can typically find the good ones at Williams-Sonoma, but ain’t no shame in hunting for a bargain, people. Hit up your favorite outlets or TJ Maxx for a deal if you’ve got the time…oh, and don’t forget about that ever-present 20% off Bed Bath & Beyond coupon.
Easy egg recipes
Springtime generally means an uptick in fresh egg production for those of us who have laying hens. My girls are no exception, and we count on eggs as one of our local food standbys. And that is wonderful, except for one teeny, tiny issue: It’s really easy to get tired of eggs. (Scrambled, hard boiled, fried, repeat.) We needed some new egg recipes!
I asked a bunch of blogging friends to share their favorite egg recipes with me to break up the monotony find new ways to use up our abundance. If you’re lucky enough to have a steady source of fresh eggs, I’m sure you’ll find at least one recipe here you’d like to try.
Scrambled and fried egg recipes
These recipes offer a little twist on the usual fried or scrambled eggs. Spice ’em up, add some veggies, and these eggs are a whole new meal.
Frittata and Quiche
Whisking eggs and baking them with a variety of vegetables and herbs — with or without a crust — is an easy way to feed a family in a hurry. Many of these frittata and quiche egg dishes are a good dinner-in-a-hurry option that you can get away with serving company in a pinch.
- [Attainable Sustainable] [Attainable Sustainable] [Little Owl, Crunchy Momma] [Don’t Mess With Mama] [Fresh Bites Daily]
Russ & Daughters Cafe: Stellar Smoked Fish and a Place to Sit
It took just 100 years, as one Chowhound observes, but the venerable Jewish-appetizing shop Russ & Daughters has finally given lovers of its splendid smoked fish a place to sit down and enjoy it. It’s about time, says a delighted howdini, who finds the sable at two-week-old Russ & Daughters Café “sublime, absolutely melting in the mouth.” It comes on a platter called the Shtetl (pictured) with goat cream cheese, a Kossar’s bialy, capers, onion, and tomato—a deconstructed version of a takeout sandwich with the same name that’s sold at the original store three blocks away.
Other early hits include a herring sampler (regular, matjes, schmaltz, rollmops) pastrami-style cured salmon with Muenster on a pretzel roll and excellent latkes with salmon roe and crème fraîche. A new lineup of egg dishes, served all day, includes Nova with eggs and onions (“flawless,” foodiebuddha raves) and poached Eggs Benny with Scottish smoked salmon, spinach, and hollandaise.
While no one’s faulting the food, some have carped about the prices, notably for caviar. And that Eggs Benny, though delicious, “felt a little light” at $18, says one ‘hound, sgordon. At that price, he suggests, “put some potatoes on the plate or a little side salad. Preferably both. … No one likes to leave a place feeling like they got a bad deal.”
As fourth-generation co-owner Niki Russ Federman sees it, the deal is this: Times have changed, and today’s customers no longer take most of their meals in their apartments. For them, a takeout-only shop is an inconvenience. “Back in the day you would go to the store, you would pick up the food, and you would have it at home with friends and family. A lot of people don’t have space to do that now,” she told The Daily Meal. “We’re really trying to take Russ & Daughters and put it in plated form. You’re not just taking a sandwich to go, but you’re having a nice beautiful smoked-fish plate, or a herring smorgasbord, or a caviar sampling.” Works for howdini, who writes, “Something tells me they’ve just hit it out of the park. More power to ’em, and more smoked and brined delights for me!”
Russ & Daughters Café [Lower East Side]
127 Orchard Street (near Delancey Street), Manhattan
How to Make Water Kefir.
Water kefir is a sweet probiotic drink that is very versatile. During the secondary ferment you can add things like a splash of vanilla extract to make a vanilla cream soda flavored drink. Toss in a quartered orange (the whole thing) with the vanilla and you’ve got something that tastes like an orange creamsicle. The preferred flavor in our house is lemon. You can do this in a number of ways, but hubby’s favorite is when I add the lemon juice after the second ferment.
I can tell you that water kefir helps me keep my mood stable. I drink a glass every day. Not only because it’s beneficial, but because it’s delicious! As an added bonus, it’s even easier than kombucha to make.
- Glass jars
- Canning lids or other airtight lids
- 1/2 cup sugar per 64 oz.
- Trace minerals (if using white sugar)
- Filtered water
- 1/2 cup water kefir grains/crystals per 64 oz.
- Mesh colander
- Large bowl (a pour spout on the bowl makes things easier)
- Extra jar, water, sugar for storing the crystals when not in use
- Pour the sugar into the jars.
- Warm up a little water and cover the sugar enough for it to dissolve.
- Fill the jar with the rest of the water after the sugar has dissolved, leaving 2 inches at the top.
- Add in the kefir crystals and top off the jar with water if there’s more than an inch left after adding them.
- Put the lids on the jars and let them sit for 24-48 hours. The longer they ferment, the higher the probiotic content.
- Strain the crystals out and set them aside, returning the liquid to the original jars.
- Put the lids back on the jars and let this ferment for another 12-24 hours. The longer it sits, the more bubbles in the finished product. This is the time to add flavorings like juice, fruit, extracts, herbs. Whatever you fancy, really.
- Place the crystals into the extra jar, cover them with water and a spoon or two of sugar, stick a lid on it and put it in the refrigerator.
I use sucanat for my water kefir as well as my kombucha. The sucanat seems to have a good balance of minerals to keep the grains healthy. I’ve tried using coconut sugar and my results were rather dismal. My grains got slimy and gross (which is an indication of a mineral content that is too high) and the end result wasn’t very pleasant tasting. White sugar works well too, you’ll just need to add in trace minerals or a drop or two of solé every once in a while to keep the kefir grains happy. You need to add minerals if your kefir grains get very small.
New brunch spots across Houston you need to try right now
1 of 44 Radunare Italian-American Table
Where: 2520 Research Forest, The Woodlands
When: Saturday and Sunday 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
At brunch, this casual Italian restaurant in The Woodlands offers mains from ricotta and berry pancakes (pictured) to a panini with scrambled eggs, cheddar and pancetta to the Italian Breakfast with two eggs, polenta, Italian sausage and caponata, a Sicilian eggplant dish. Becca Wright Show More Show Less
2 of 44 Osso & Kristalla
Where: 1515 Texas
When: Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Chic downtown trattoria Osso & Kristalla serves up modern Italian cuisine, including at brunch. Offerings include wood-fired pizza, shrimp and grits with tomato butter and jalapeno and roasted corn polenta, chicken piccata and a pastry board with select baked goods (pictured). Amy Scott Photography Show More Show Less
4 of 44 Lucienne at Hotel Alessandra
Where: 1070 Dallas
When: Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Truffle grilled cheese, avocado toast, lobster panini (pictured) and souffle vanilla pancakes are all on the midday menu at Lucienne, an upscale Mediterranean restaurant with Continental European Cuisine on the second floor of downtown’s Hotel Alessandra. Phillip Silverstein Show More Show Less
5 of 44 Le Colonial
Where: 4444 Westheimer
When: Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
French-Vietnamese restaurant Le Colonial at River Oaks District has launched a new brunch menu with selections including goi cuon thit nuong (grilled pork summer rolls pictured) with chili lime sauce, bot chien trung (pan-fried rice flour cake with eggs) and Vietnamese steak and eggs. Duc Hoang Show More Show Less
7 of 44 Verandah Progressive Indian Restaurant
Where: 3300 Kirby
When: Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Expect dishes from masala poached eggs Benedict to chicken kathi rolls (pictured) on the brunch menu at Upper Kirby upscale Indian restaurant, Verandah Progressive. Mark G. Hanna Show More Show Less
8 of 44 B.B. Lemon-Montrose
Where: 4319 Montrose
When: Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
B.B. Lemon doles out New York-influenced pub eats in a cozy setting. At brunch, linger over cornbread waffles with pulled pork, coleslaw and a fried egg, banana pudding French toast with caramel and candied walnuts, limoncello and mascarpone pancakes (pictured), an egg white frittata and the likes. Bonner Rhae Photography Show More Show Less
10 of 44 Local Table -Cypress
Where: 10535 Fry, Cypress
When: Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The brunch roster at casual neighborhood restaurant Local Table Cypress features entrees such as croissant French toast (pictured), quinoa and kale burger, migas and spicy shrimp tacos. Julie Soefer Show More Show Less
11 of 44 Lotti Dotti Patio Bar
Where: 601 Richmond
When: Sunday 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Montrose patio bar Lotti Dotti offers a weekend brunch menu featuring veggie quiche, the Poblano Benedict (pictured) and a breakfast burger with fried green tomatoes, jam, bacon and an egg. Courtesy Show More Show Less
13 of 44 Peli Peli-The Woodlands
Where: 1201 Lake Woodlands
When: Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Woodlands outpost of this South African-inspired eatery presents brunch items from challah French toast to espetada Benedict with beef skewers to stacked chicken schnitzel and waffles (pictured). Courtesy Show More Show Less
>>> Keep clicking through to see other brunch spots to try around Houston.
16 of 44 a'Bouzy
Brunch: Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
17 of 44 Peli Peli
5085 Westheimer 110 Vintage Park
Brunch: Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
At South African restaurant Peli Peli, dig into sticky toffee French toast (pictured), curry chicken hash with coconut curried chicken and vegetables served over roasted potatoes with poached eggs and spicy hollandaise, and more. Aria Pramesi/Duc Hoang Show More Show Less
19 of 44 Jonathan’s The Rub Memorial Green
Brunch: Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
At Jonathan’s the Rub Memorial Green, load up on midday offerings including lobster tacos (pictured), four different Benedict dishes: beef, crab cake, shrimp and salmon, chicken and waffles and more. Courtesy Show More Show Less
20 of 44 The Roastery Coffee Kitchen
5895 San Felipe
Brunch: Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Options at The Roastery include bread pudding French toast (pictured), the Roastery Benedict with crawfish hollandaise and assorted fresh pastries. Lisa Gochman Show More Show Less
26 of 44 Present Company
Brunch: August 3 (only) 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
On Saturday, August 3 (only), Present Company will host a special brunch themed "Kill Bill." From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the laid-back Montrose bar and grill will offer giveaways, DJ spins and creative specialty cocktails such as the Five Finger Exploding Heart Technique (pictured) made with vodka, orange-flavored liqueur, lime juice, green tea syrup, mint and cranberry bitters.
28 of 44 Verandah Progressive Indian Restaurant
Brunch: Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
This Upper Kirby restaurant offers midday dishes from Parsi-style scrambled eggs on toast to a gluten-free chickpea flour pancake with roasted corn, lemon and cilantro to chicken tikka tacos. Marie D. De Jesús/Staff photographer Show More Show Less
29 of 44 Loch Bar
During brunch (Sunday 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.) at the newly-opened Loch Bar at River Oaks District, the kitchen serves up breakfast classics from the Seafood Western with Maryland crab, shrimp, Gruyere cheese and asparagus to the chicken and beignets. A fried half-chicken comes tossed in a maple bourbon sauce and served with jalapeno-cheddar beignets (pictured). Toast to your midday meal with $4 mimosa and bloody marys.
31 of 44 Whiskey Cake Kitchen and Bar
Additions to the brunch menu (Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) at Whiskey Cake include turkey chili, the sausage egg "WcMuffin" with avocado and cheese (pictured) and The Cure with a mesquite flour waffle, house-made sausage, ham, bacon, American cheese and sunny up egg.
32 of 44 The Original Ninfa's Uptown Houston
1700 Post Oak Blvd.
Midday offerings (Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) at The Original Ninfa's Uptown include carnitas hash and eggs (pictured) and red chile-pork posole soup with avocado, onions and sour cream.
34 of 44 Yauatcha
35 of 44 Cane Russo
1835 North Shepherd
At Cane Rosso in the Heights, linger over brunch fare (Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) including the Fruity Pebbles waffles with condensed milk (pictured), and Breakfast Taco Pizza topped with brisket, tater tots, onions, candied jalapenos, house-made mozzarella and lightly scrambled egg. Wash it all down with $2 mimosas.
37 of 44 Dish Society
You don't have to wait for the weekend to enjoy morning fare at Dish Society. The menu at the farm to table restaurant, available all day every day, features dishes including avocado toast (pictured), Nutella French toast and brisket ‘n eggs.
38 of 44 The Union Kitchen-Boardwalk Towne Lake
9955 Barker Cypress
At The Union Kitchen, load up on morning favorites (Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) from the Elvis waffles with with creamy peanut butter, bananas foster sauce and bacon, California Benedict (pictured) with tomato, avocado, poached eggs, Hollandaise and bacon.
40 of 44 Jonathan’s The Rub at Memorial Green
12505 Memorial Drive
41 of 44 Mastrantos
Dig into lamb sliders, the ancho ffank bowl with a sunny side up egg, steamed rice and cucumber kimchi salad, ragu bolognese, and the likes during brunch (Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.) at Mastrantos in the Heights.
43 of 44 Marché at La Table
We'll say yes to brunch any weekend. But if our meal gets an added hit of deliciousness from souffle vanilla pancakes, Vietnamese steak and eggs or masala poached eggs Benedict? That's a double yes.
Either fresh to the Houston culinary scene or a familiar favorite with a new midday menu, the nine restaurants above offer a stellar brunch that is sure to make the weekend that much better.
See above for nine new brunches in Houston to check out right now, and then keep clicking through to see other fresh brunch spots around town.
7 Best Egg-Porn Spots in Dallas
No matter the weather in Dallas, the sun is always shining at these prime egg porn destinations. With Dallas chefs placing eggs and runny yolks atop almost everything, here are my seven favorites. Even better, you don't have to be over 18 to enjoy these rays of sunshine!
Photo by Brandon Baker
Not only does Blind Butcher have stellar hand cured meats, they also don Dallas' best egg covered fries. Their "Hungover Poutine" consists of French fries topped with cheese curds, sausage gravy, bacon and (you guessed it) a sunny-side up egg. Chef Oliver doesn't disappoint! With the addition of Blind Butcher's new brunch menu Dallasites will find themselves seeing yellow.
Photo by Brandon Baker
Whether you're looking for a healthy bite or a more substantial brunch, Matchbox American Kitchen + Spirit is a yolky affair. Their "Huevos Rancheros" dish is composed of guac, pico, black beans + chipotle sour cream. The brunch entrée is zesty, meatless and light. I recommend ordering the dish with corn tortillas to replace the accompanying tortilla chips.
Photo by Brandon Baker
Bread Winner's is a Dallas staple, they serve brunch, lunch and dinner as well as a mecca of sweet treats catered to each season. It doesn't get more Dallas than their “Texas Benedict”. This brunch goer favorite demands a fork & knife An open-faced english muffin, with beef brisket hash, two sunny-side up eggs and a Tabasco hollandaise topper accompanied with seasoned brunch potatoes! The english muffin is always fresh and cuts like a piece of cotton candy, even more so once the warm egg yolk sifts to the bottom of the dish.
Photo by Brandon Baker
Green chile, homemade salsa, egg topped enchiladas - oh my! Chuy's "Southwestern" is built with house-made blue corn tortillas stacked with freshly-roasted, hand-pulled chicken, cheese & green chile sauce, all topped with a glorious fried egg. It doesn't get much better than a one stop shop for the fresh year round green chiles & fried eggs. Not only is this dish served all day everyday, it is also large enough for two meals! Double the pleasure - egg porn in the afternoon, egg porn in the evening!
Photo by Brandon Baker
Happiest Hour's "Rise & Shine Sandwich"
What’s a brunch menu if not an opportunity to display your finest yolk? Happiest Hour's "Rise & Shine Sandwich" is the star of their all new brunch menu. Thick bacon, shoestring hash browns + fresh avocado stacked on buttery sourdough topped with hollandaise and two eggs. I can’t think of many things better than a simple yet superior yolk engulfed sandwich. With my knife in hand I was prepared to fight off my brunch date – from the moment this monstrosity landed on the table to the last bite it was brunch ecstasy. 10/10
Photo by Brandon Baker
Southern California-based Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar opened its first Texas location last Fall which marked the family-run restaurant’s 17th location. Executive Chef Gabriel Caliendo elevates classic all-American dishes, blending nostalgia with nuance, while also introducing diners to new flavors and seasonal ingredients. Lazy Dog is now serving brunch on weekends until 2PM and features delicious, made-from-scratch items such as the "Country Chickens & Biscuit". Crispy fried chicken, chicken sausage made in house, sunny side up eggs & a house-made buttermilk biscuit, all topped with cajun gravy maple syrup make this a LD brunch must-try.
Photo by Brandon Baker
Ida Claire's "Chicken and Waffles"
Ida Claire is a playfully gaudy Southern-style restaurant in the heart of Addison. Heading to Ida's is always an enjoyable occasion - especially for the brunch. Her "Chicken and Waffles" make the perfect bed for two sunny-side up eggs to lay lavishly. Add in the bacon laced Belgian waffle and coffee maple syrup and it's on. Sip the mimosas, take a bite of your friends dish, guzzle the "Chicken and Waffles".
There’s sun, sea, sand and plenty to eat in one of South Africa’s favourite holiday spots. Anne Stevens shares the best of the best.
Many locals find the change of pace disturbing, but if you’re looking for the most happening place outside Durban, it has to be Umhlanga. Theres a booming new town on the ridge, with the huge Gateway complex at its centre.
Down in the village, close to the beach, sleek glass towerblocks are rising on the beachfront in front of the small shopping hub, which is lined with restaurants spilling out on to the pavement and on weekends theres a carnival feeling in the air.
If you’re venue-hopping, start at Verde (031 561 7849) in the courtyard of Granada Square, which serves up a menu loosely based on the Portuguese dishes of South America. Interesting breakfasts (a mushroom tortilla with roasted tomato and organic bacon is a good example) make way for the likes of rolled beef flank stuffed with spinach, carrots and egg later on. Vegetarians are well catered for.
Then it’s past Europa and the George pub and on to Luigi’s (031 561 3988) and Myra’s Kitchen (031 561 7238). Both have a buzzy pavement café vibe, the former dishing up good pizzas and a wide range of pastas. The latter favours more upmarket dishes such as crumbed calamari stuffed with chorizo, basil and ricotta, and harissa lamb loin with sultana polenta. The posh fish and chips are a hit for a lighter lunch.
A little further down is SoSushi (031 566 3544), which has a carousel and inspired snacky items such as Peking duck handrolls. Zulu sushi – rare beef fillet on wasabi mash – is another hit. You’ll find more sushi a bit further up the hill at Hi.Ta.Lo. (031 561 2705), a clean-lined shopfront with a laden carousel and a few tables.
If you turn towards the sea, you’ll see the perennially popular Zara’s (031 561 2511), where you can kick off the day with ciabatta towers layered with scrambled egg, mushroom, mince and haloumi. The Welsh rarebit alone is worth an outing, and the cakes are stupendous.
Around the corner you’ll find Ile Maurice (031 561 7609), one of the province’s top restaurants, which is housed in an old building oozing colonial charm. Slickly run by the Mauvis family, it specialises in the freshest of fish, seafood and Mauritian dishes such as beef rougaille, fish vindaye and octopus curry, all served with basmati rice, black lentils and sambals. Don’t miss the langoustine-and-lentil soup or the crayfish curry, it’s legendary.
If you keep going along McCausland Crescent, you’ll come to Kashmir (031 561 7486), with its crisp napery and dreamy view of the sea from the upstairs deck. The menu is centred on regional Indian food, particularly the rich, creamy dishes of the north, and treats from the tandoor. The weekend buffet of Durban Indian food is a giveaway at R70 (out of season).
Down on the beachfront, the two matriarchs of KZN’s hotel family have been given a new lease on life.
The Oyster Box (031 514 5000), which recently reopened in stunning style after two years of renovations that cost about R580 million, has three venues worth checking out.
The elegant Grill Room has white and dark-blue décor and offers some of the best seafood in town. The hotel’s tradition of a Saturday night dinner-dance has been continued and is invariably fully booked.
The Ocean Terrace is decked out in sea-green and blue shades and overlooks Umhlanga’s iconic lighthouse. Do as guests have done for years and sit outside and slurp fresh oysters. The curry buffet may be pricey at R185, but it includes a generous prawn-and-chicken curry, a gutsy crab version, lamb vindaloo and tandoor breads among its offerings.
Upstairs, the Lighthouse Bar offers panoramic views of the coastline, modern colonial-meets-modern decor and interesting snack platters.
Next door, the Beverly Hills Hotel (031 561 2211) has also had a facelift in time for its 45th birthday. Executive chef Shaun Munro has sexed up the menu in the Sugar Club Restaurant without straying too far from the classic tone of the room.
Gravadlax has been given oomph with beetroot added to the curing mix, and smoked Franschhoek trout is served with truffle-scented scrambled eggs. Duck comes in a duo of slow-cooked leg on mash, and breast stir-fry on savoury noodles.
You can’t mention the Beverly Hills without thinking about breakfast: the Sugar Club’s sunny terrace is the perfect place to start the day: choose from a huge cold buffet and finish off with stellar eggs Benedict.
Downstairs, cool, white Elements opens out onto the pool and another terrace and offers lighter fare that focuses on seafood from noon until 10.30pm.
There are many more places to eat in the village: beach bistros, Italian trattorias, Chinese and Thai venues, good steakhouses, family seafood restaurants and even a retro diner full of rock memorabilia.
What was once a lazy beachfront village now caters for just about every taste, which is even more reason to pay it a visit – as if you needed one!