Portuguese explorer , Vasco da Gama was well-known for his voyages of discovery and more especially his discovery of the sea route to India.This voyage changed the face of culinary trends worldwide and still does today. KwaZulu Natal was discovered on Christmas day hence the Portuguese name Natal. So it is no wonder that the new Vasco’s situated in the Hilton Hotel Durban is inspired by this great explorer Vasco da Gama who brought spices to the world.
Spice colours of red and yellow fused with the earthy African colours and this is the warmness that one feels on entering Vasco’s and not forgetting the friendly faces.There are two sitting areas which give patrons the option of dining inside or outside.Vasco’s seats 160 people per meal.The resturant is open for three meals a days and includes two themed buffet nights which are the Friday “Off the hook” which features a variety of seafood and a popular Saturday Flavours of the East Curry night.The menu also pays homage to the great food heritage found in Durban and is on an 8 day rotation so there is no reptition.Open not only for hotel guests but all guests Vasco’s is a popular choice as we saw several large party groups which included a 21st party and a wedding.
A wide selection of starters and salads were the perfect start to our Indian Flavour journey.Beautifully plated salads all with a hint of spice and typical Indian ingredients.I decided to taste a bit of all the salads and loved the crunchy textures and spicy flavours of the Lamb Riblets.As the weather was a lil chilly in Durban I opted to taste the Dhal Makhani which is an Indian lentil based soup which was utterly comforting and I decided to eat this with some Tandoori Naan bread.This was the softest and fluffiest naan bread I have ever eaten and was so worth the carbs.
The head chef is from North India and is a Tandoor Master of note.The Tandoor Oven is an electric oven which is used for making the naan bread and grilling the fish. Watching the chef in action is rather mesmerizing from watching his tossing the bread to seeing it blister away in the Tandoor.
For mains I decided to try out the Butter Chicken and Lamb curries both were well spiced and flavoursome.Crab curry as well a Trotters curry featured on the curry buffet, I was very tempted to try out the Crab curry but it is messy business and should be eaten at home. I tried a sliver of Spiced Roast Leg of Lamb so delish while Mum said the pasta dish she ordered according to her tastebuds was really good.Mum also tasted the Soya Prawn veg breyani which was really yummy.
Although I wanted to try out other bits of the buffet I had to save some space for dessert.A selection of desserts that any sweet tooth lover who dive into contained Cakes,a cheese platter,pastries, Indian sweets and macaroons were just some of the treats on offer.
There is currently a special at Vasco’s for their themed nights. Booking is essential especially for larger groups. The Hilton does not have a Halaal Certificate. Below are details on the pricing and the special which is currently a special on the two buffet nights where you book for 4 people and pay for 3 only.
Friday Nights is the Off The Hook Seafood Buffet which is R350pp and the Saturday Flavours of the East Buffet is R275pp.
So tonight I will be having sweet dreams of the dessert table.
With excellent wine pairings , good food and amazing staff Vasco’s is defo worth giving it a try the next time you are planning a night out.
Be Inspired !
Ps . Mum and I were guests at Vasco’s and as always my thoughts and views are my own.