Madiba: NYC: Brooklyn: Fort Greene

Sadly, the restaurant scene from Cobble Hill west through Fort Greene and then Clinton Hill is composed mostly of Yuppieville Restaurants (i.e. overpriced, mostly un-innovative menus, lots of mimosa-y brunches), so there's not a lot of my type of foodie stomping ground*.

But when my mom came to town for a few days last summer and I planned three days of mostly eating and walk all around Brooklyn and Manhattan, I slotted Madiba as an intermission to our walk between Bed Stuy and our walk across the Brooklyn bridge since neither of us had really ever had South African food like this before.  Also, I had a $25 off $35 coupon for which I paid $2 from Restaurant.com (you should always wait until they're 80-90% off to buy them, which happens probably once every week or so anyway).


Bunny Chow or "Umngqhushu StambySamp"

The menu says that this Bunny Chow business is, "From the traditional Xhosa staple diet; Mandela’s favorite!"  I of course had to try whatever Umngqhushu StambySamp was, and while its taste is very pleasant, you should keep in mind that Mandela has this whole persona of humility and down-to-earthness that would lead to him pronouncing a very simple, relatively bland, commoner's dish as his "favorite."  He'd probably also find it funny to pay 6 bucks for a serving of it.  I mean, it's mostly a lot of beans.  Try it for curiosity if you're like me, but otherwise, there are more delicious things to be eating.

Like... Fat Cakes!

That's right, fat cakes, with mango chutney - $4

The menu again: "A doughnut sized bread roll made from deep fried yeast dough.   Artery-clogging and delicious!"

Don'tchya love this menu?  These were yums.  I mean, obviously.


Seasonal Vegetable Platter: Portobello mushroom, long green beans, corn, and carrots

There's not a lot of mystery here, just a big plate of sautĂ©ed veggies because my mother always wants that sort of thing.  I suppose we had just eaten something called "fat cakes," so perhaps she had a point there.  Tasty but not a priority for adventure.

Vegetable Curry Bunny Chow $14

"Durban Bunny Chow: Hollowed-out bread served with curry stews and bread topping. Mark & Denis’ favorite!"


The curry was good, though the bread wasn't my favorite thing ever.  But I'm always in favor of anything that comes with dipping and scooping stuff:

"All curries are complemented by these selection of sambals (condiments)
Mango Chutney, Banana with Coconut & Milk, Cucumber Mint & Yoghurt, and a combination
of finely chopped onions, tomato, and parsley soaked in white wine vinegar"

It's fascinating to me the way food memes spread.  I'd love to learn more about curry and Indian style cuisine's travels.

Anywho, this restaurant has a bunch of stuff I'd love to try, and brunch, lunch, dinner** and drinks are all good options, including a huge South African Wine selection.  And the desserts. They also have a little store section with imports from Africa, some of which you'd be hard-pressed to find otherwise.



Madiba on Urbanspoon



*Of course there are exceptions to this, notably Hot Bird and their food truck, which I'm dying to try; No. 7, the place whose sub shop I love and whose more expensive dine-in situation I know I will love.

**I'm not going to go into a whole list, but make sure you see which things are less expensive during lunch so you don't order them at dinner for more.

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