Merging myth and reality to make magical memories – that’s what you can expect at Sunsets & Mermaids…
Sunsets & Mermaids is an apt name for the coastal-themed restaurant developed by two super-talented, and vastly different, Durban restaurateurs – Biaggo Pelliccia and Brendon Newport (pictured below).
Both are very hands-on and passionate about their prime Chartwell Drive venue. And, from the name to the menu and vibe, it’s clear they’re intent on creating something unique and adventurous. There’s a relaxed, welcoming appeal to the light, beachy restaurant adorned with reminders of Durban’s rich history as an iconic surf spot.
Fate thrust Biaggo into the industry. When injury put paid to his promising international junior rugby career, he helped out in the family restaurant, Amici, in La Lucia Mall while studying part-time. With his degree done, Biaggo caddied for a pro, then headed to the Med to work on yachts and explore the world. But that all changed when Covid hit and his father passed away unexpectedly in January 2021.
Brendon is a legend in the local restaurant scene, having built a reputation for contemporary dishes that taste and look amazing. Swimming with the sunsets and mermaids theme, signature dishes are inspired by Italian Coastal and Pacific Rim cuisine.
Brendon is in the kitchen every night. “Cooking is my hobby and my lifestyle, where else would I rather be?” he says. His seaweed tacos, a crisp tempura seaweed filled with sushi rice, jewelled cabbage and a salmon sashimi filling, are a hit. Sushi comes in regular, and then there’s “mythical” which includes a Flaming Ferrari experience. “The menu is extensive. We also prepare Italian family favourites – pizza and pasta – our own way with fresh, quality ingredients. And, of course, we do good Durban curries too,” says Brendon.
Open daily from 11am until 12.30am, Sunsets & Mermaids adapts to the day of the week and time of day or night. Over long lunches, after-work drinks and a light bite, family dinners, date nights, or celebrations – the lighting, music and general ambiance rises and falls accordingly. Good value is a priority and meals range from affordable to top-end.
If Biaggo gets his way, Sunsets & Mermaids will be winning awards soon. “We’ve got what it takes – a great chef, superb ingredients, good staff and an awesome venue.” He slips into rugby-player mode: “With attention to a few ‘off-the-ball’ processes that guests might barely notice, we can elevate a good experience into something extraordinary. It’s well within our reach,” he concludes.