I once made a scene at a well-known Durban bistro where the menu was devoid of vegetarian dishes. When I pointed that out, the restaurateur said dismissively, “You can have a salad.” The thing is, in a basement without a view you want something special to compensate for the lack of ambience. My host pulled himself up to his full, inconsiderable height and announced, “This is not a vegetarian restaurant. It is a French bistro.” In that case, “Adieu, Monsieur!” and out we walked. Since then, I’ve been wary of bistros and when we stumbled upon Dodo Bistro in Scottburgh, I hesitated.
Housed in an antique wood and iron cottage, Dodo is tucked away in a side street in town – no compensatory view should one be needed if salad was the only choice. We entered anyway, and found ourselves in a quirky, charming place and found the menu had a fair choice for vegetarians. As its name implies, Dodo Bistro is essentially Mauritian, the owners originating from there. It’s also the oldest family-run restaurant in Scottburgh, and just one of two. The atmosphere is laid-back and the food, while not haute cuisine, is tasty and the portions are generous.
The menu offers a good selection of French Mauritian and Creole dishes alongside general favourites like deep-fried queen prawns (R110) and sweet and sour pork or chicken (R75). John was torn between filet mignon with chips, rice and vegetables (R100) and beer-battered hake with chips and stir-fried vegetables (R75). He ordered the fish, but couldn’t resist eyeing my Pasta St André – tagliatelle cooked with a Creole sauce, mushrooms, stir-fry veggies and cheese. Imbued with the flavours of star aniseed and cardamom, it was deliciously different and, at just R40, great value for money. Our son Ross, a curry man, ordered the Mauritian chicken curry (R75.) A huge and fragrant portion arrived along with sides of lentils, home-made achard and Mazavaroo. No complaints from Ross.
For dessert, the men shared crispy waffles with ice cream and maple syrup (R30) while I had Dodo’s famous crème brûlée (R40.) Open Monday to Saturday 12h00 – 14h00 and 18h30 – 21h00.
039 978 3550