20 June 2013

Taco Zulu: Updated

Updated 6/2015: According to Google, Simply Fish on Florida Road (see end of review) in Windermere is permanently closed.

Updated 11/2013: On a second work trip to Durban, another group of colleagues and I decided to try Taco Zulu once again. The service was much better this time around, but not remarkable. We noted that they had branched out into sushi. Odd for a Mexican joint, but whatever sells, I suppose. We didn't try any since they were having some sort of special so we all ended up with various burritos. They were great. The best thing about this place, in my opinion.

Original 6/2013: Upon arrival in Durban some restaurants were recommended to me on nearby Florida Road so my Kenyan colleague and I walked over a couple of blocks and immediately saw the Taco Zulu sign and thought we'd check it out.

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Once there we settled in to a couch towards on the back patio and waited for a server. And waited and waited. Finally we were able to obtain a menu and decided on what we wanted to order. And we waited. My friend went in to order my drink and his meal. After some time I decided I'd like to try the tacos and thought I should check on the status of our order. I mean, how long does it really take to make a margarita at a Mexican-ish restaurant? I went inside and the server confirmed that my friend had placed the order and added my meal to the ticket. We finally got our drinks. We decided to move tables thinking the slow service was because we were seated behind a wall and not easily visible. Waiters continued to pass by us and (in my opinion) deliberately ignore us waving them down. The outdoor portion of the restaurant is not large and there are four tables on the back patio. The group of four guys drinking beers had no problem getting their bucket refilled and the girls on the other sofa got a pizza and drinks without fail. I have my own thoughts on why we might have been ignored after spending a month in South Africa but am going to hope that this just was a fluke case of bad service and not something more indicative.

All in all, the food was fine. The pizza was ok. The tacos were mediocre. The margaritas were uncreative but drinkable. "Legendary cocktails" they are not, however. If you're having a craving for Mexican, go; but be prepared to be overlooked by the "friendly service" touted by their website. 

For the record, I would recommend Simply Fish (great sushi night deals!) and a delightful continental/Italian place about half a block down. I'm terrible and have completed blanked on the name and internet searches are proving unsuccessful, but it has a great sidewalk seating plus the entire front of the restaurant opens onto Florida Rd which makes for great people watching. It's not the popular Spiga d'Oro further down the road, but it is located nearby at the corner of Florida and Gordon Rd.

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