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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

ZULU LEGENDS PRAWN (article first published : 2003-04-10)

Why get prawns from Mozambique or anywhere else when we can produce the same article - virtually just up the road at the Amatikulu prawn farms near Gingindhlovu? And the difference is that, as opposed to other sources, the KZN prawn has no collateral damage. It is captured at night, suffers the minimum of freezing conditions and arrives at its outlet in pristine condition.

This is the reasoning of Billy Budd of Zulu Legends at Musgrave, the recently-renovated venue which includes a restaurant, sophisicated craft outlet and internet café. ”We’ve got the Knysna oyster, now we have the Zulu prawn!” he says.

At a Chef’s Table this evening, colleagues from the media and affiliated outlets were invited to sample the Zulu Prawn menu. We started off with Umkhonto we Prawn – “You must eat it like a mealie”, explains Billy as we devoured our prawns, corn on the cob style. Wrapped in spinach and grilled with paprika and lemon juice, this offering launched the versatile prawn into a new and interesting presentation.

Pint of Prawn (R28) is for those with more conservative tastes. Served in a beer tankard English pub-style it comprises boiled prawns piled upon a bed a lettuce. Accompanied by a seafood dressing, it makes for an exotic looking lunchtime meal at R38.

Legends Prawn Curry (R49) was a little too heavy on the chilli for my taste, but apparently the kitchen went into chilli overdirve on this one tonight. The curry is served in cast-iron potjie pots to create added atmosphere. Chinese Chilli Sweet and Sour Prawns (R45) followed, and this is definitely for those with cast-iron stomachs as therein lurk some sneaky chillis!

Also introduced at Zulu Legends is Zulu Sushi. “Sushi is a very healthy way of eating,” says Billy Budd, a great lover of the food style who respects the Zen culture and has his own Zen garden and a small forest of bonzai trees.

Zulu Sushi combines local ingredients, such as sweet potatoes or impala fillets in a sushi style. “Beginner’s Sushi” was the enthusiastic response from a member of the gathering - and it’s exactly that. If the idea of eating raw fish bothers you, Zulu Sushi offers a good way to test the water of one of the fastest growing food styles as people tend towards healthier eating habits.

Highlight of the evening for me was the Prawn Puri Patha (R28) which is a kind of upmarket prawn “hamburger” – a delicious combination of prawns in a curry sauce wrapped in mdumbe leaves and sandwiched in a roti roll.

Top the evening off with a Zulu Rainbow Shot (R8.50) – comprising Assegai Coffee (grown near Shongweni outside Durban), combined with rum and coffee crème.

The chef in is Earlwing Chan-Forton and we were served by the charming and highly efficient Francisca Sbiya. Two more good reasons to take time off and enjoy what Durban has to offer in cuisine, comfortable dining and a convivial atmosphere.

Zulu Legends is situated at Musgrave Centre. Contact 031 202 4027 or fax 201 8152 or email budd@mjvnet.co.za – Caroline Smart




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