First off, unlike evening time, when the restaurant is heaving with punters from a very cosmopolitan cross section of the community, this afternoon I see a very sparsely populated deck with staff members almost outnumbering patrons. But it really didn’t bother me. If I’m honest, the less onlookers for me the better. So, let’s get back to the restaurant and what to expect over the lunch hour.
The ambience is great—with wooden deck chairs and tables with a blend of converted fishing dhows for tables in places, and cushioned lounge chairs spread out on the edge of the terrace to one side—an eclectic mix that completes the setting to great effect.
The waiter was quick to welcome us to the restaurant, and when we were seated they gave us the menu, comprising mainly soups and salads, light meals and bar snacks, fish and seafood, meat and poultry. Just to give you an idea on pricing, in the soups and salads menu you would pay 9,000 shillings for Garden Salad—which is mainly mixed greens in season and French dressing. The Greek Sala, which includes tomato, cucumber, onion, feta cheese, black olives, dressed with olive oil vinaigrette is 13,000 shillings. Other selections ranging from 13,000 to 17,000 shillings on the soups and salad menu include marinated salmon, Caesar’s salad, octopus salad, French onion soup and Bongoyo seafood soup.
Light meals and bar snacks are the perfect treat for those that would much rather snack and take in the view of the bay. Nothing comes simpler than that. Focacceia—a wood oven-baked pizza bread with garlic butter and oregano which will set you back only 5,000 shillings. Four beef samosas served with kachumbari salad is priced at 8,000 shillings, and a seafood platter with tempura prawns, fried calamari, and grilled tuna served with side salad and sweet chilli sauce is priced at 19,000 shillings.
And if you felt like sampling some carnivore delights, there’s the grilled mishkaki, spare ribs and chicken priced at 16,000, 18,000 and 12,000 respectively to whet your appetite. I settled for one of the more expensive meals—jumbo prawns in garlic butter at 39,000 shillings. This dish is served on a bed of rice noodles and accompanied by side salad. However, I have to confess. This is my favorite meal at this restaurant, albeit I was a little disappointed this time around.
In Summary: Dar es Salaam's most popular seafront restaurant offers stunning sunsets over the Indian Ocean. The menu includes fresh seafood, grilled meats and a variety of Pizza from the wood-fired oven. The bar is well-frequented by both locals and tourists and therefore always a friendly meeting place. Open noon to midnight.
Anthony J. Namata
Freelance Creative Writer