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At Yossi's cafe, food is a celebration of life. This jewel of a restaurant in the heart of Durban's Glenwood specialises in Moroccan, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. From its cretestone walls, archways, chairs in aquamarine, cushions in royal blue and seating that spills onto the sidewalk, Yossi's captures the mood and charm of North Africa and the Middle East.
From the time it was started up by Dave and Darryl Hofmann, this vibrant restaurant, originally only a daytime cafe, has injected life into its surrounds. Because of this unique achievement, it has featured in several national magazines. Rated among the top 30 restaurants in KwaZulu-Natal and made popular by its festive ambience, affordability, and interesting fusion of dishes, it has cultivated a following of patrons from as far as Ballito and Hillcrest.
Yossi's is the place for large gatherings. With an emphasis on 'joie de vivre', this 75-seater restaurant welcomes parties of up to 16. Bring your friends together, sink into plump couches scattered with colourful cushions and huddle around the table picking at mezzes of brinjal-wrapped Arabian dishes, babaghanouj, Turkish tomato salsa, and olive tapenade. Take your time and savour your meal the Middle Eastern way. Dip your pita into humus, fill it with falafel (flash-fried herbed chickpea patties), or order it ready and wrapped as a lamb or chicken Shwarma bulging with roasted brinjal, humus, tahina and Israeli salad mix. You'll have a hard choice to make between the Lebanese and Moroccan lamb dishes, each prepared with authentic spices. Enquire about 'Yossi's Famous Fish' and why 'The Sultan Fainted' - so called on the menu, I promise. To save you the suspense I'll tell you what it was: a succulent Yossi's speciality of sliced brinjal interlayered with brie, sauteed mushrooms, Turkish tomato and fresh basil leaves served with couscous. Yum.
Round off your meal with a Moroccan Apple Pie, a Date Tart or Moroccan fruit salad. Enjoy a hookah pipe (smoking is permitted in outside area) with Turkish coffee and Ouzo but don't miss out on the Turkish Tiger shooter, a condensed-milk based nightcap.
If you happen to book on a Wednesday night, you can dine to the rhythm of live jazz. Yossi's is renowned for regular functions which have featured belly dancers and henna artists.
Want to repeat the experience but can't wait until lunch or dinner? Stop off for breakfast which is served until 11. That, in itself, is a menu like no other, featuring heart-warming specialties such as 'The Arabian', scrambled egg with spiced roasted brinjal and pimento tomato, and 'The Galilee', smoked salmon, scrambled egg and cherry tomoatoes - both served on toasted khoubz or flat bread.