So on the 30th of November 2014 myself, Thami, Ntokozo and Siya decided to spend our afternoon at the new spot in town called “California Dreaming”, they hadn’t been open for more than two or three weeks when we visited them. The place is laid out pretty well, there is a mix of modern design and classic beach side cafe vibe to the interior design. We decided to sit at the upper level for obvious reasons, the view from up there is quite amazing, but on this day the weather wasn’t doing us any favours as it was one of those grey Durban afternoons.
Our waiter was a very sweet young lady who was very prompt in everything that she did and when we received our menus one could not decide fast enough as everything on the menu looked so good, we also learnt that there were two menus at this establishment one for lunch and one for dinner, I decided to order from the lunch menu. Upon taking our orders, the waiter then told us that we would be eating outside on the balcony which was to our surprise and disappointment. We questioned as to why one needed to eat outside, but drink inside. Nonetheless we adhere to their rules as there was a group of people who we had a young chat with about the place and they also expressed the displeasure of having to eat outside, which is rather disheartening seeing that one can make more of a mess by spilling drinks on the expensive furniture rather than dropping a plate on the floor.
As we were taking in the ambience of the place and just how beautiful it is there was a man in the background who was telling his stories to a group of his friends, but this voice was special. This voice was a familiar voice and it was a voice of a legend, I paid attention(eves dropped) and made a bit of sense to what he was sharing with this group of people. To my amazement and delight I identified this voice and it was the voice of a living legend by the name of Hugh Masikela and to most they call him “Bra Hugh” needless to say I was elated and quite beyond myself and could not contain myself. This discovery of the legend in our company was great for me as I would later get a photo with him, but it wasn’t for the establishment because they had set up outside for them to eat just like everyone else, but then that setting was brought inside as they had refused to eat outside. This caught my attention and I called our waiter and requested that we eat inside, she realised the conundrum she was in which led to calling her manager. The manager failed dismally to explain himself and to remedy the situation lying about the booking and request to eat inside being a month earlier (bare in mind the establishment had only been open for two/ three weeks maximum!).
This experience was very disheartening as this clearly meant that this establishment did not treat all of their patrons equally, so we decided to cancel our food order and went somewhere else to have a meal.
California Dreaming address
150 O R Tambo Parade, Durban, 4001, South Africa
Review by: Ndumiso Mcwabe