Sup Durban – Unity

In the second installment of Sup Durban, Jenna Kelly tells us why Unity is her “McLarens”. Find out why Unity Bar & Brasserie is quickly becoming one of Durban’s most talked about hot spots.

 

 

At first glance, it may seem like I am trying to sell you on a place that sells beer and ladies’ undergarments but upon closer inspection, you will notice that it’s actually even better than that.

 

Unity Bar has to be hands down my favourite go-to spot in Durban, to either eat or drink my feelings. When anyone asks about an ideal venue for a first date, a relaxed lunch, for chilled pre-drinks or even to entertain friends from abroad, I will mention one place and one place only: Unity. Somehow they manage to create an atmosphere suitable for all these varying occasions.

 

So how do they do it? How does one medium sized restaurant tucked away in Musgrave, create a vibe that can float everyone’s boat?
Well the inclusion of brasserie in their name says it all. According to sources, and by sources I mean Google, a brasserie is an informal, French inspired restaurant that offers a large selection of drinks. To sum it up – they offer a lot of good food and good alcohol. That right there could pretty much explain why this venue can keep a varied range of personalities happy. Yet while the exceptionally good food and impressive beverage choices are a plus, there is a lot more to this simple statement about Unity that warrants this degree of favoritism from my side.

 

Their passion for locally procured beers.

If I am going to slowly sip on a beer after a hard day’s work, I generally want that one to be from the Craft Beer persuasion. Unity has endeavored to offer a menu of beers a little more exciting than your average SAB selection. Cowbell, Darling, Brewers & Union- you name it. It is pretty much a 24/7 beer festival where you don’t have to stand in queues or buy tokens to get your hands on a cold one. Put it this way, if there is going to be a great new local beer on the market, you’re going to find it chilling at perfect temperature in Unity’s fridges.
If you are going to stop by at Unity, I would recommend trying the Cowbell as this beer has been uniquely developed for Unity Bar, and will go down nicely with most of the meals on the menu. You should also try Unity’s very own in-house brand of beer, That, which has just been launched at Durban’s Beer Festival, now available as a draught.

 

 

The Vibe

Sister restaurant to upmarket Café 1999 in the same center, Unity was created to cater for less formal occasions .But while the menu is more cost effective ,Unity still upholds the highbrow style of its relative next door. The people behind Unity have also taken it upon themselves, to consider the heavy carbon footprint that a restaurant’s daily requirements can produce and made sure that as many of their products as possible are locally sourced. This may mean sweet nothing to most people, but any place that cares about our community and supports locally produced products, deserves a thumbs up. This down to earth and Durban proud attitude, results in a chilled and vibey ambience at Unity, any time of day. You can pretty much turn up in your Sunday best craving risotto or in your boardies to chow a bunny.

 

Their attention to the drinks on offer also makes this a sweet spot to simply come for a few unplanned brewskies with your usual suspects. It’s become our own “McLaren’s” if you will.
Unity goers enjoy decent background music, generally to the effect of the Garden State soundtrack, moody lighting and friendly staff, yet I can’t quite pinpoint the one single thing that brings me back to this place time and time again- it must be something in the water.

 

 

Chow

Any place that can hold their own when making a Durban favourite like a bunny chow, while also offering patrons fancy mussels in a reduced beer sauce is worth checking out. Although the mention of brasserie links Unity to french inspirations – it is rather the preparation methods that the chefs use than the style of food that makes this connection. The rather cosmopolitan menu boasts a pretty darn impressive range of foods from burgers to curries and it’s worth paying attention to the specials that your waiter is reciting to you without blinking. Monday is Burger and Beer night and Tuesday evening is one for the ladies with meal and cocktail combos.
If you’re looking for a quick snack or a hearty meal, you can find it here which once again, makes this place fitting for any time and occasion. No frills, just straight up good eating.

 

 

The Unity Webpage

Yes, a restaurant with a decent webpage. Their’s carefully explains all their beers, lists their local food products and even throws in the odd video of Christopher Walken on SNL. It’s all part of the Unity Culture- trendy, honest and care-free.

 

 

 

You can read more about Jenna’s adventuring around Durban on her blog, Story of  a Girl With a Bum.

Comments
6 Responses to “Sup Durban – Unity”
  1. I can’t wait to return to my home country at the end of the year and spend time in Durban. I’ve spent the past week researching Durban and getting really amped to visit because stuff is happening there, lots of cool cafes, coffee shops and creative peeps. See you in a few months! :)

  2. There beers are definitely the jam! My only issue with the place is the lack of vegetarian/vegan dishes but that’s most places in Durban.

  3. Ozzie says:

    Ha ha, “the jam”. I’m officially assimilating that slang

  4. Micaela says:

    Guess what? I got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell!

  5. xdoomx says:

    More vegetarian options and this place gets a visit. Have good things though but so far the menu looks like one for the rugger boets http://unitybar.co.za/?page_id=26

  6. Lays says:

    As a regular at Unity (my boyfriend and I go there at least once a week, and sometimes have the waiters/managers visiting us at our home!) I must say I battle to go elsewhere. Always our ‘stop on the way home’, we are always welcomed with great service, especially at the bar. xdoomx the menu does appear that way, however as said in the article, they add a certain flair and quality, for example the “Steak Sandwich” is made with hot crusty ciabatta, fresh rocket and onion marmalade and skirt steak, which is a high quality piece of meat – it is unlike any other “steak sandwich” I have ever tried :)

    My boyfriend is a vegetarian (has recently started eating fish though) and I agree the veg options are a little lacking. I must admit, the butternut risotto is great though! Gorgonzola pear and candied nut salad as well!

    Another plus is that their kitchen only closes at midnight, so you can order food until late at night (especially when you need some more oil to line your stomach….)

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