The Roma Revolving Restaurant in Durban has been my favourite restaurant for years. There is just something about the warm and friendly atmosphere, the old-fashioned décor, the excellent service, the passionate Italian owners, the stunning view and last but not least: the delicious food!
Roma is very romantic and has been around for years; 36 years to be exact. Run by brothers Gino and Tony Leopardi it is one of only 36 revolving restaurants in the world, and the only one of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere – boasting the unique feature of a revolving window and floor area. Do remember to be attentive when you pay a visit to the ladies’ room, because when you come back your table won’t be exactly where you left it… It can get quite confusing! But it’s all part of the fun.
I decided to treat my fiance to a meal at our favourite restaurant on hs birthday earlier this year. We have celebrated a number of special occasions at Roma, and I have honestly never had a bad experience. Twice Gino (or Tony) have given me a bunch of perfect, absolutely beautiful red roses when he realised it was my birthday. Once he even put a ‘Happy Birthday’ banner up for me. So sweet! I am a firm believer in the fact that all those little extras will always be in a restaurant owner’s best interest, as they really do make customers come back.
Anyway, let’s talk about the food. Although Italian food is obviously the speciality, there’s local food available as well – such as seafood and fresh game. Ostrich and crocodile steaks have been popular items on the menu for years, and so has the Norwegian salmon and the veal casserole.
For starters I always go for the Baked Asparagus Parmiggiana – fresh, green organic asparagus baked and served hot with melted parmesan cheese. My fiance is a soup fan, so he had the Minestrone Soup with fresh bread – a delicious homemade vegetable soup. For mains we were in the mood for beef, so I had the Fillet Pizzaiola – the most tender fillet steak with a sauce consisting of fresh tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, chilli and Oregano. My fiance had the Rump Pepper Steak – a huge piece of cow that took up almost his whole plate and was drenched in a creamy, spicy pepper sauce. Very rich, but oh so decadent! Mains are served with a choice of starch and vegetables of the day. And good food needs good wine, of course. So we had some red, before rounding off the meal with a cup of hot filter coffee. By the time the utterly decadent dessert trolley came around, offering mouth-watering temptations such as homemade Italian ice cream, Crème Brule, crepes and chocolate mousse, we were unfortunately so stuffed that we had to give it a miss.
Situated 105 metres above sea level, on the 32nd floor of John Ross House, the Roma Revolving Restaurant is a Durban institution and should be visited at least once by every Durbanite. The view of Durban Harbour at night is mesmerising, so get yourself a babysitter and take your man for a romantic night out. Don’t forget to book in advance, as it’s almost always full!