When I first got an invite to the official opening of the Dutch in Umhlanga Village, my initial thoughts were "not another bar!" but knowing that it was the brain child and owned by the same folk from the popular Remo's franchise, I decided to keep my views to myself until I checked the place out. I frequent Remo's on my trips to the village and they're always busy, great food, comfortable atmosphere and a general good vibe is what keeps the locals coming back for more but what stands out is that the restaurant attracts a certain class of people and it maintains that standards from their service to the food, which keep the wealthy folk of Rocks pretty happy. I presumed the Dutch would be very similar to that hence I decided to ditch the shorts and t-shirt that is so synonyms to Umhlanga bars and slapped on something classy.
Upon arrival I was greeted by the lovely hostesses and rather big security guards at the entrance, who then escorted me into the bar area. The venue itself takes you back to a classic Italian style mafia hang out, with dark colours, low lighting, expensive paintings and extravagant ornaments. The bar is the centre of attraction and their range of spirits and beers is nothing short of what one would expect in a classy establishment like this, in fact, besides high priced whiskies, they even have a bottle of craft beer that fetches R1000! Being opening night, and having an open tab for the first hour, things were rather chaotic but the barmen have been trained well and managed to get the drinks orders on time despite the large numbers.
As large as their whisky collection is, I opted to try some of their cocktails. There's a few of the old favourites with a bit of a spin to them and they have some of their own mixes that are sure to suit many taste buds. I was a bit disappointed with some of the sizes of the cocktails but after sipping them I realised they pack quite a punch so it was probably a good thing they kept the size at a minimum!
|Crispy tempura prawn with dipping sauce|
Drink in hand, I was then greeted by one of the managers who invited me to try some of the food selection off their menu. With the restaurant being next door, the menu at the Dutch is more designed on a tapas style with light finger foods on offer, like croquette's ranging from chicken or butternut and ricotta, sushi, sashimi, tempura prawns (my personal favourite) and there's even dessert! They make mini donut balls filled with nutella that would bring any girl to their knees!
Now if you think of an Italian Mafia bar hang out, there's always a stage with the piano and a hot dame seducing the crowd with her sultry vocals. The Dutch has that stage but instead of the hot dame, they have some of the hottest local talent performing on a weekly basis and as we head into the holiday season they have acts on almost every evening. From Ard Matthews, to Arno Carstens, the Black Lapels and many more! Be sure to check their Facebook page and instagram account to keep up with the latest happenings and make also tickets are available for purchase in advance so you avoid dissapointment.
|Nutella filled donuts|
Overall I was well impressed with the place, Umhlanga has many a bar but they lacked something like this, a well groomed establishment,(if I may say that). Something that brings sophistication and class to the much rowdiness of the area. A place for you to enjoy a quiet drink while listening to the live entertainment on offer. As I said, they try to keep the standards going in this place so make sure you're dressed to part, no slops, boardies and vests boets, there's always other places for that. I can see this place becoming a firm favourite with the locals and definite must visit if you're new to the area, come and experience #Dutchism
|Ard Matthews performing on stage|