The gems we found at the Jewel of India Restaurant
I’d planned to go on a trip to India – the whole thing was booked. I had off-season flight tickets, fairly reasonably priced accommodation and a very good reason to go. Over the last five years, I’ve been visiting all my favourite countries to literally get a taste of their ways of life, their staple diets and all the foods they’re known for. India was my last destination prior to my submission of a book proposal to the publishers (even though Gordon and Jamie had done it before me), when a work crisis cropped up and they insisted my work schedule had to change – they’d refund me for my trip, but I couldn’t go this year.
Needless to say, I was very bummed about not being able to go, but I accepted that that’s how it was meant to play out. Our work projects were successful and we earned a pretty great year-end function. You’ll never guess where it was held, though. My colleagues knew how much that India trip meant to me and they’d appreciated the fact that I’d stayed to help out, so – of all Durban hotels – we went to the Southern Sun Elangeni because one of their best restaurants there is… the Jewel of India.
If it sounds corny that they booked us in there, it’s not – it really meant a lot to me and I’ve since discovered one of my new favourite restaurants. The Jewel of India at the Southern Sun Elangeni was just what I needed, with its uniquely Indian lounge-like feel, and its confidently North Indian cuisine. In my research leading up to my trip to India, there were so many things about Indian food that I was just dying to try, especially since the cuisine and tastes differ so markedly between the different regions. Nonetheless, I have something to look forward to on my next international trip because it will definitely be in India.
The Jewel of India restaurant is just what it claims to be – a gem from India, right here on Durban’s doorstep, which laser points all of the rich flavours of North India right into the heart of the east coast’s appetite.
The menu is varied and very broad, from which I picked and chose to my heart’s content, the meals I had been looking forward to on my trip. From Tandoori chicken to Madras prawns and Shahi prawn curry, kormas and vindaloos to sate any taste, as well as lamb dishes from Durban to New Delhi, and vegetarian dishes for the traditionalists. Naan and roti sides met everyone’s expectations, and we all finished off our year-end meal with a traditional Indian dessert.
Every time I’m reminiscing about what I missed out on this time around, and what I have to look forward to when I eventually do get to India, I’ll stop in at Jewel of India for an authentic Indian experience.