On Thursday we decided to get the weekend started early, with beers and burgers at Waxy O'Connors, or as everyone seems to call it - Waxy's. Waxy's is in one of my favourite streets in Westville, Jan Hofmeyer Road, where the dining options include La Storia, Le Thai and Foon Lok Nien. It's one of those faux Irish pubs that you find all over the world, from Thailand to Dublin, so the decor, as expected, involves a lot of dark wood, dark green and the occasional shamrock. What seems to set Waxy's apart is the energy that pours out of it and into the packed car park - even on a Thursday the place is bustling, and empty tables are hard to come by.
The burgers seem to be the main attraction - we tried the Paddy Sanchez (beef burger with a nachos and guacamole topping) and the Molly Malone (chicken, avo, bacon, feta). Both were good, although the chicken burger was better than the beef, which was a touch dry. Chips were hot and fresh, and there was a generous portion of onion rings, which we enjoyed. Apparently every week there is a 'Waxy Wednesday' special involving two burgers and two 500ml draughts for R100. No wonder it's popular...
On Friday we headed out for part two of 'The Great Friday Night Bunny Chow Experiment', which involves digging through town for the dodgiest dives serving the best bunnies with a big group of friends and friends of friends. Last time round we did the Brittania, which is rightly famous, and seemed like an appropriate place to start. This weekend, I suggested Mali's - a fairly new restaurant on Smiso Nkwanaya (Goble) Road - which turned out to be a complete flop, as it wasn't at all dodgy, served amazing curries, and featured super cheerful waiters, who were rather offended when we asked if they did bunnies.
This is definitely somewhere I will be eating again soon - it's at least as good as Little India, and possibly better. Arriving late, we were in a bit of a rush to order and so stuck to the tried and tested, but Mali's menu shows a lot of promise waiting to be explored, and doesn't stick to the same old dishes that all of the other Indian restaurants in Durban are offering.
A nice touch was the small bowls of chickpeas served as a snack, with hits of jeera and chilli, that had us eagerly awaiting the arrival of our main courses. Despite the fact that the restaurant was humming with patrons and there were about 15 at our table, the service was quick and efficient, and we were all tucking in within twenty minutes of ordering. The paneer tikka masala was the best that I have ever tasted, and the dhal makhani was excellent, although a little thinner than I am used to. The depth of flavours was evident from the first taste, and the heat was ever present without threatening to overpower. Mountains of fluffy white rice and various naans and rotis were passed around, and everyone forgave me for suggesting a place that doesn't do bunnies.
On Saturday mornings we like to head down to the beachfront for a 5 km run with about 600 other Parkrunners. Feeling virtuous after our workout, we headed down the promenade to South Beach where Afro's Chicken have set up shop in a funky converted container painted an eye-popping yellow. The waves were looking good, and groups of surfers were waiting for burgers, chicken strips and coffees. It's a simple menu, with breakfast offered until 9 am and chicken thereafter, and the two ladies in the container were working hard getting out the orders.
The service isn't the fastest, but there are table and chairs in the shade to chill at while you wait, and Paul Simon's Graceland was playing on the little sound system inside. The lemon and herb, and peri-peri chicken strips are worth the wait, tender, succulent and served in a beautiful little cardboard boxes with brown paper. The chips are fantastic too, but I gave them a miss, as I didn't want to undo all the work of the run. Definitely gonna get them next time though!