06 August 2010 by Robyn Campbell

Shackin’ up in Amatikulu - Zululand dining

As its name suggests, the Prawn Shack is literally a shack that serves prawns. Immediately, the word shack might not have you thinking, ‘I need to check this place out.’

However, if I mention it’s a Zululand beachfront restaurant offering a 7-course seafood dinner on a timber deck overlooking the Amatikulu lagoon, with glorious Indian Ocean sunsets…now I’ve got your attention, haven’t I?

Unless, of course, you’re strictly into fine dining. Which this seafood restaurant near Balito definitely isn’t. Walk into this beach bar-restaurant wearing closed shoes - in fact, any shoes at all - and the barman is likely to insist that you have a Shack Shooter.

Did I mention the restaurant overlooks the lagoon? Because that’s where the little mud prawns, drunkenly doing the Macarena in the bottom of your tequila shooter are from.

After a brief period of paralysis induced by full immersion in 40% proof cactus juice, the feisty little crustaceans start to fight back! So drink up, chill out, and pull up a swing (yes, you read right) at the bar.

Reggae beats and the mouth-watering aroma of prawns barbequing on an open fire, make the perfect accompaniment to your welcome Caipirinha, Caprese salad, and crusty French bread starter.

Next, munch on prawn bunnies (prawn curry in a hollowed-out bun) and chilled prawn tails served with a selection of dipping sauces.

Follow fresh line fish and Zulu ‘sushi’ - rare beef fillet with soy sauce and wasabi butter - with a stroll along the lagoon.

Invigorated by the sea air (or inebriated from too many shooters), you’re ready for the final assault: whole braaied (barbequed) prawns served with a selection of east Asian inspired sauces, and to finish, baked Camembert with Port sauce.

Finish off with a couple of legendary Prawn Shack choc shots. If you can no longer stand, rather stay over in the rustic community-run beach camp next door.

What’s that? You want to know what’s in a choc shot? Sorry - no can do. You’ll have to travel off the beaten track, 70kms north of Balito, to a Zululand beachfront shack to find the answer.

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