Friday, 15 November 2019

14 ON CHARTWELL RESTAURANT REVIEW

Us millennials don't just think of food as a way to satisfy our hunger - food is a whole experience. For that very reason you expect the restaurant to be a whole vibe and 14 on Chartwell lives up to that expectation.

This classy restaurant located in Umhlanga, Durban makes the perfect destination for drinks with the girls, a date night or a special occasion like a birthday party. Notoriously usually fully packed especially on the weekend (With a reservation pretty much always necessary to get a table fyi), you can tell that it's incredibly vibey.




Location



14 on Chartwell is located in the trendy Umhlanga Village on Chartwell Drive. I visited it on a Friday night. The street was lit up with all the different restaurants, music blasted from their speakers but faded together amongst the sound of laughter and people chatting surely to friends they can finally catch up with after a busy week. Chartwell Drive was lined with cars and while I luckily got a parking I would definitely recommend taking an Uber so that you don't have to worry about parking (And to drink to your heart's content!)

Umhlanga is about a 15 minute drive from the nearest airport, King Shaka International and also about a 15 minute drive from Durban CBD





Ambiance 



The set up is beautiful. The entrance itself makes you feel like a VIP and it leads you to the most beautiful chandeliers hanging over the bar. To your left and right are tables and a few couches. If you're there for a date night, definitely reserve a table. If you're there for a girls night or a night out in general, sitting at the bar will do. You also have the option of inside or outside seating

The vibe for a lunch and dinner will be a little different. I was there for a dinner and on a Friday night which of course meant more of a night out vibe with loud music and drinking, I would assume the lunch time will be way more laid back. 




Food



Fourteen on Chartwell prides themselves on their artisanal dishes, using only the best ingredients from their local suppliers and changing their menu every four months to keep it trendy and exciting. 





Starter: Salt & Pepper Calamari



This ended up being an interesting choice; deep fried calamari with a crispy outer and comes with a chilli ginger jam. The actual calamari was the perfect texture - crisp and flakey. The chilli ginger jam dip ended up being quite a unique sauce - a taste that had hints of both sweet and spiciness. My taste buds were pretty confused but it definitely isn't too overwhelming. But I'd say if I'm not sure what I'm craving, this would pretty much cover all bases! ;)





Starter: Creamy Garlic Mussels



No lie, mussels are bae. These mussels were devine! The mussels came slathered in a sauce of garlic, onions, white wine, parsley and origanum. While a combination like that was rich in flavour, I feel like it complemented the flavours of the mussels well, but I'd definitely recommend you using the sauce sparingly so as to not overpower the taste of the mussels. Would I order it again? No doubt.





Other options that stood out on the starters menu: 


Asian Lamb Riblets - if I wasn't planning on having a meaty main, I would have indulged in these.

Pork Belly Bites -  I don't often eat pork, much less pork belly but I feel like having the bites is perfect for someone who doesn't have it often because of its small portion. 

Chartwell Chicken Wings - Do I even need to explain further? Is it ever a bad time for chicken wings?


Drinks:

Virgin Strawberry Daiquiri - I wanted something non-alcoholic and this ended up being a great choice to also satisfy my sweet tooth. Bonus: It was sweet enough to count as dessert and a drink!

Blueberry and raspberry gin cocktail - If you like strong gin, with a hint of berry, this ones for you. Don't be fooled by its "girly" name, this gin hits hard. I only had a sip of it and that was enough for me to know how strong this one is.





Main: Rump Steak



Now, I'm someone that can thoroughly appreciate a good steak and this was definitely one. I ordered my rump done medium with a mushroom sauce and veggies. The steak was tender and juicy with just the right texture. You best believe I was mega satisfied. Next time I'd prefer to try it with a different sauce but I would definitely come back to 14 on Chartwell for the steak.

Side point: You're allowed to be mega fussy with your steak, I know I am. It's go big or go home when it comes to steak, it has to be perfect or I'd rather not have it. Big ups to 14 on Chartwell for this winner of a steak!





Main: Butter Chicken Curry



Indian food and Durban are pretty much synonymous so this ended up being a good choice. The butter chicken was delicious! It came with basmati rice, sambals and hand-crafted naan bread. The chicken was soft and tender and came in the perfect size pieces that were easy to chew and yummy. The gravy was slightly spicy, and just the way I like it - not too spicy but just enough to give it a proper Durban-feel. The naan bread was freshly made, perfectly soft and tasted like a hug from grandma (Seriously). A noteworthy butter chicken no doubt. 





OVERALL




The staff were phenomenal - my waiter was able to give me a breakdown of some of the popular meal choices and suggested what he thought suited my preferences - and he was right! While it was so busy and lively, I could still have a proper conversation without having to shout which gave it an intimate dinner feel. The food arrived promptly and overall it ended up being an amazing dinner choice.






RATING



These are my personal ratings based on the above experience. It is of course subjective.


Location: 10


Ambiance: 8


Food: 9


Service: 9







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