This contemporary Indian restaurant blew up on Instagram with its catchy teasers sometime in December 2022 and much like most people’s experience of mothers-in-law, this wasn’t something you could ignore. 

Co-owner Dane Maharaj is an attorney. A Durbanite, he moved to Joburg 10 years ago when he finished his post-graduate studies in law. Of course, he missed the taste of home. Durban is known for its curries and hot, spicy flavours.

Cue Mother-in-Law, a cheeky take on a traditional Indian restaurant, that opened in January 2023. Gone is the restrained decor, and sometimes curtains, and the quiet, and in its place is a joint with a tattooed proprietor with impressive guns (biceps are the only gun of which we approve), a superb smile, great cocktails, a lovely open bar area and flavoursome dishes to tantalise the palate.  
Mother-in-Law bunny
Bunny at Mother-in-Law at The Woods 

While we were promised Durban curry our table agreed that perhaps Mother-in-Law was trying to please Joburg suburbanites by confusing hot with mild. Although we visited in early days, and since then Dane has assured us new items have been introduced, the menu refined and the flavours sharpened. 

That’s not to say we didn’t enjoy just about every dish we tried – go with a group who like to share plates. We loved the mutton curry – also Dane’s favourite, and what he holds up as  “exemplifying everything that Durban Indian food is – unique, bold, rich in flavour, and honest.” We like the mention of honest as it conveys what we experienced – a sincerity and warmth in service, fresh ingredients, tasty and wholesome flavours.

The menu is compact with small and large dishes, bunnies, sandwiches, extras and sweets. We loved the fried corn with chilli powder, which reminded us of visits to Durban beach, the paneer and peas, and the chili prawns. The mutton bunny was a showstopper. All served on pretty tableware that adds another reminder of eating at your Mother-in-Law's home, that's if she was OK with it not matching. 
Mother-in-Law curry
Curry and cocktails are the order of the day at Mother-in-Law

We love the founding story too – Dane met his business partner Muzi Mabuza, in media and marketing, in Joburg in 2018 at a Skepta concert. Both “tough guys” they became good friends and often kidded about opening a restaurant one day. It’s one of those Covid-19 gifts to Joburg. The tanking of “traditional investment instruments” spurred the duo on. 

At the helm is young chef, Uzair Khan, a 20-something year-old who grew up in Greenside, a nearby suburb. This combination of personalities has fuelled a passion for innovating the menu, and there are already plans afoot for new menu items and a brunch offering coming soon.  

Located at The Woods, once The Colony Centre, in Craighall Park, Mother-in-Law is now part of a thriving new restaurant hub, with neighbours, the delicious Pronto and Liberté


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Facilities for disabled
Outside seating
Live Music
Home Delivery
Guarded parking



Tue 17:00–22:00, Wed–Sat 12:30–22:30, Sun 12:30–17:00. Closed Mon.

Price/Additional Info

An average meal is R150. € € € € €


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