Posted by: englishdubai | May 12, 2009

Sounds the call to come together


Anyone reading this blog over the last couple of years knows I am huge fan of South Africa – its people, the land, the wine and of course the food. So when I was invited to go and try the newest South African restaurant in Dubai. How could I say no?

There are a couple of places in Dubai who do a reasonable hand at South African food – you have the great fun Sports Bar Nezesaussi in the Al Manzil hotel, the and the posher Hunters in the Westin or the Grand Grill at the Habtoor Grand as well as the old favourites such as the Butcher Shop and Grill and the Meat Company, however they all are a tried and tested formula providing good quality tourist style food.

To my mind there is always room for a restaurant bringing something authentic to the table. So without hesitation me and some friends heads to the Downtown Grill & Bar in the Metropolitan Palace Hotel in Deira. This is under the same management as the Grand Grill so expectations were high.

The staff were very welcoming with a well stocked bar but as soon as I saw the menu I made a beeline for the “Bunny Chow” starter. This is the first time I have actually seen it appear on a menu outside of South Africa and there was no way I was missing out on this. Hailing from Durban, a Bunny Chow is a hollowed out piece of bread filled with delicious curry. I was not disappointed:

Then for main possible the largest Chicken Bobotie I have ever seen was served. We had to include the iPhone for scale:

The food really was excellent. I also got to try some friends Boerwors and the “Greg Norman” fillet steak. All items were well cooked and importantly they tasted like I was back in Joburg.

We were also treated to face painter for some traditional African patterns. I liked the flower Leila got:

Then a further treat with some great Bongo drummers called “Dubai Drums” made a special appearance. got up handed out some extra bongo drums to the diners then a mad amount of dancing kicked off:

I have to admit that I don’t have the South African dance thing down. My mate Lawrence does is rather well. It seems to involve crouching like a crab, sticking ones backside out and stomping the floor with ones foot. I think I will need to work on this for future use. I enjoyed a few Windhoeks while the post dinner mayhem ensued.

Overall – 9/10 A great restaurant with super friendly service which finally serves the great food you get when you visit South Africa. I wish it was closer to where I live in the Marina.


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