Nino’s Restaurant – The Chameleon That Changes With The Weather

Nino’s was a delightful experience but also a very simple example of the restaurant culture that most South African restaurant patrons can identify with, it was like a two-headed snake. I love food, great ambiance, service and a touch of something unique about the place – give me that and I’ll just keep coming back. I am hoping this is what most people look for in a restaurant too. I have been told I am too much of a critique but at the same token I am the best customer you can ever get.

I had never been to Nino’s before so when I saw one in town I just had to have a feel of the place. It was morning and I had a couple of errands to run in town. I was early, so I decided to have breakfast at Nino’s in the Mutual mall

The place is very cosy and welcoming, the perfect spot for eating during your work break or just for an escape from the busy bustle of the Durban city. Top of my list was coffee I love good coffee and I think it’s what attracted me to Nino’s in the first place. There was a certain coffee bean aroma about the place. On the day they had a special where you get a muffin with your coffee.

I went in and sat myself, a waitress warmly approached me and offered me a menu I looked through it and the omelette took my fancy it reminded me of an omelette I had had once before I thought why not? Let me try it, although no omelette had ever come close to that specific one to date.

When the waitress returned I had changed my mind and asked for her opinion on what Nino’s specialty was? She said Nino’s specialises in everything, the entire menu is great. I replied but that is not possible and proceeded to explain that every restaurant has the one dish that they are well known for, like Spur is popular for its ribs while Wimpy is known for their burgers. She just smiled and insisted it’s all really tasty, I decided to stick to my guns and order the omelette.

The coffee arrived first in a small cup which was about 2 inches tall; I thought oh well lets just hope it’s good. Boy was it great; my first sip was like heaven, I was happy my day had just been made. The omelette took a bit of time to arrive; it had tomatoes and white cheese if I recall correctly. It was a delight simple, warm, tasty and filling. I thought wow, Nino’s is the best.

Little did I know that the day after I would find myself at Nino’s once more this time the tables were turned. I was meeting with a friend and thought why not go to Nino’s its quite new and a lovely place to be.

I was early as usual so got to Nino’s first I sat myself and waited for a waiter who came 15 minutes after to give me a menu and another 15 minutes to take my order and the place was not even busy. I thought wow is this the same Nino’s I was in just yesterday? The service was terrible. I ordered a cappuccino with chocolate which also took ages to arrive I was like what is this? The drink arrived and that was the last I saw of the waiter. My friend Mbuso arrived minutes after having struggled to find parking and first thing he said was nice place. He sat there forever no sign of the waiter until we managed to get the attention of a waitress who called him to our table. The waiter brought the menu and again disappeared by the time he returned we were no-longer interested in food but the bill.

Mbuso thought he might as well get a takeaway shake to drink on the road, he asked the waiter how long it will take to prepare it? To which he replied 5 minutes, we ended up waiting and decided to get up from the table and go to the counter. Mbuso now wanted to cancel the order because he was running late. They insisted it wont be much longer but the place was so unorganised they hadn’t even processed our bill when they did it was the wrong bill. They asked us what we had as we waited at the counter it was chaos and irritating. Eventually they finished making the shake and gave us the correct bill.

It was like I was at a totally different restaurant from yesterday, everything was upside down. But the worse part of it was the supervisor she was obviously overwhelmed. I remember her disciplining and shouting at a customer who had come to order a meal she explain that the meal/s had to be ordered a day in advance so they have time to prepare it. She added customers end up blaming them for bad service when they are the ones who place orders late or do not know what they want. I was like wow this is not the way to talk to your customers, but kept to myself.

My second day at Nino’s tarnished my image of the service at the place. So, if you end up there make sure you don’t sit back when things take a bit too long because you might just be sitting there throughout your lunch break instead of enjoying your meal.



@Coffee Lifestyle Premium Coffee Experience

At Coffee - florida road
At Coffee – florida road

The coffee trend in South Africa is growing with every sip, cup and saucer. I found it interesting that in a place such as Durban, South Africa where the weather is always somewhat warm there would be such a notable rise in the trend in coffee. @Coffee on florida road struck my fancy, first with the dated yet contemporary aesthetics of the place. If nothing, the corrosive bare bricks alone gave a rigid character to the place, one of old spice and bare back.

At Coffee - florida road
At Coffee – The rising coffee trend

Coffee has always been the sought of drink associated with winter, a cup or two to chase away that winter chill usually does the trick every now and then. But, with the times coffee has evolved and now caters for a variety of tastes, budget and delicacies.This has brought about a new-found love for premium coffee worldwide and Durban with its warm weather is no stranger to a good cup of ground coffee.

At Coffee - florida road
At Coffee – florida road, Premium Coffee

What is interesting about the space @Coffee is its focus on coffee, the accompaniments offered are centred around the customers enjoyment of coffee. Which is why @Coffee won an award for best coffee in Durban. Finding a good cup of coffee is a battle as we all know. I have had my fair share of bad coffee which made me appreciate a good premium cup @Coffee.

Raymond and Wayne co-owners of At coffee
Raymond and Wayne co-owners of At coffee

@Coffee is the brain child of Wayne Snyman and Raymond Msweli. I had the pleasure of chatting to Wayne about @Coffee; it was initially a chat which later turned into a conversation. Wayne is a charismatic young man who loves and lives @Coffee he is a hands-on coffee enthusiast. “@Coffee is a place where you can get good premium coffee in or on the go, a place where you can eat your croissants with your hands or a fork and knife” said Wayne.

Croissants At Coffee - florida road
Delicious Mouth Watering Croissants At Coffee – florida road

Wayne has many ideas to diversify @Coffee to cater for his busy customers, I loved his coffee on the go concept which he is working hard to promote. With the demanding and busy lives we lead it only makes sense for business to come to us.

Coffee to Go At Coffee
Coffee to Go At Coffee

Local is lekker, although Wayne’s premium coffee beans are imported they are roasted to perfection in South Africa giving the beans just the right texture and aroma. This aspect is important to Wayne and Raymond as consistency is key with their niche market. @Coffee is in the business of providing a lifestyle experience of good premium coffee at the convenience of the customer. Its positioning on florida road a busy lifestyle environment means @Coffee caters for an informed clientel who value quality and good service.

At Coffee patron
At Coffee patron in for a quick cup of coffee

@Coffee offers a premium coffee experience and friendly environment for friends, family and colleagues. @Coffee is about the experience and coffee culture that anyone can appreciate over conversation, lunch or on the go. I found the spot unique as there are not that many coffee bars with spearheaded coffee fanatics like Wayne Snyman. When next you’re in need of a cup I suggest you try coffee on the go here is a link:


Follow me on twitter: @kellymthethwa

Coffee on the Go is convinient for patrons on the go for that morning morning cup and inbetween pick-me-up
Coffee on the Go is convenient for patrons on the go for that morning cup and in-between pick-me-up
At Coffee patrons
At Coffee patrons enjoying the great outdoors








Coffee is the most drank bevarage in the world with tea coming second
Coffee is the most drank beverage in the world with tea coming second





PeepSouth in a nut shell

Ok, so I guess everyone needs to start somewhere at least in the past two hours I have had the chance to ask myself what it is I want to blog about and have come to the conclusion that I want to blog about life in South Africa, Durban surround being my point of departure, departure being debatable at this point.

Listening to Celin Dion in the background has really helped me set the tone for my new adventure without wanting you to feel left out I intend to engage you into my journey of discovery so we grow together. My hands are feeling somewhat cold as I type although others have disagreed with me to the fact that Durban actually has a winter season to begin with. Yes, Durban is a beautiful sunny city our weather is a gift that keeps on giving, maybe its the reason I never wanna leave the city or maybe I am just being a typical stubborn Zulu girl.

Today is Youth day and it is also Fathers day, I thought it best to question myself of the contribution I have made towards my country South Africa. I came up with a whole lot of excuses why I have not achieved what I initially set out to achieve at my age but thought it best to focus instead on what I can influence and change, hence my blog.

Durban is a wonderful city with great sites, heritage, a rich culture, a blooming nightlife, budding entrepreneurs and a dynamic and driven youth. I intend to touch on all the above and more as I commence with this blog, so let’s get our laces tied, belts loosened and caps on as we embark on this  great stride down south.Show less

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