I always enjoy taking a break from my often-busy schedule in tranquil surroundings. Not only is it good for the mind, it’s also good for the soul and one’s overall well-being. The Duck Pond Restaurant in Pietermaritzburg is a venue that fitted the bill perfectly and was my latest port of call on my travels through KwaZulu-Natal.
Situated just behind the popular Jesmond Dene Nusery and Garden Centre in Hayfields, The Duck Pond offers visitors an opportunity to enjoy a tasty breakfast, lunch or tea away from the noise and commotion of city life. Greenery abounds and the establishment’s thatched roofs compliment the natural surroundings and add to the rustic feel of the place.
The menu is quite basic by restaurant standards, but there’s enough to satisfy the palate of the average patron. Early birders can enjoy the likes of the Morning Breakfast, which consists of a scrambled, poached or fried egg, bacon, tomato, mushroom and a slice of toast (R35) while the Full House Omelette (R40) caters for even the biggest of appetites.
For lunch, The Duck Pond offers a variety of pies, quiches, lasagne’s, pancakes, salads, sandwiches (toasted or plain) and Italian pita breads at affordable prices with the Snack Basket (complete with chips, chicken nuggets, mini sausages and cocktail samoosas) and Homemade Curry of the Day catering for those with a hankering for the hot and spicy.
Although most of these offerings were tempting to say the least, I decided to opt for the Hake Fish and Chips which, at R45 (seasonal quote withstanding), proved to be a bargain. The portion was sizable and garnished with a lip smacking tartar sauce complete with sliced gherkins and onions, a better tasting hake fillet would be hard to find.
The good news didn’t stop there since my dish came with the choice of a French salad or home cooked vegetables. I ordered the vegetables, which were delicious and complimented the fish perfectly. To say that I was satisfied would have been an understatement, especially considering that I have a rather substantial appetite at the worst of times.
My friend Curran, who had kindly agreed to accompany me despite the unavailability of a big screen TV (he’s a cricket nut and a big Proteas fan), wasn’t feeling particularly hungry and consequently decided to settle for the scones with jam and cream (R15) which he enjoyed with a filter coffee (R9.50). He, too, was impressed with his meal (or should I say snack) and expressed a definite desire to return – a feeling with which I can most certainly concur.
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Physical address: 204 Murray Road, Hayfields, Pietermaritzburg (Jesmond Dene Nursery and Garden Centre), KwaZulu Natal