Everyone knows hands down that I would do anything for a hot peri-peri quarter chicken and chips from Nandos, unfortunately the Midwest does not have Nandos and I have found myself having to use alternate and rather shady ways to achieve that great Nandos taste. These include but not limited to purchasing chicken from the local Mexican joint and drenching it in Nandos sauce!
Up until recently I would have argued that Nandos is the closest taste we have to anything South African abroad but lo I stand corrected. In my most recent visit to New York City I had the pleasure to visit Madiba’s a South African restaurant in Brooklyn. Madiba’s pays tribute to the legendary Nelson Mandela and is built under the concept of a “Shebeen”-the informal dining halls in South African Townships. The restaurant’s site describes a Shebeen as:
“offering a sanctuary to the weary and well-traveled; a visit to one is the ultimate experience of everyday life one can have while touring South Africa. From humble beginnings, South Africans townships – replete with history and culture – have flourished as the hub of activity and social life in each community. The feeling of Ubuntu — humanity in the Xhosa language — is the very core of each township’s existence. Madiba restaurant is your gateway to South Africa.”
I enjoyed a traditional South African beef tenderloin sausage served with pap and a tomato and onion gravy. It reminded me of the wonderful days of braai’s (barbeque’s) the under the beautiful Southern African sun! The decor of the restaurant truly emphasizes all things South African from the Zulu Warrior Shields to the cow hides hanging on the walls.
The restaurant also offers entertainment in the form of live bands. With New York being a melting pot of cultural diversity you are sure to find a wide variety of acts depicting different forms of South African Music and culture. This Zagat rated restaurant not only offers fine dining, entertainment and south african products but it also gives back to its community in a signficant way. Visit their Community page and find out ways to help Madiba give back.
I had a really great evening at Madiba and I would recommend this place to anyone who wants to get a feel of South African cuisine or anyone who just wants to enjoy a good meal in an authentic South African restaurant.