A Culinary Odyssey: Amanzi@Amanzi

Article: Rudo Nhamoinesu

Images: Amanzi@Amanzi

As the African sun began its descent, painting the sky with hues of gold and crimson, we found ourselves making our way towards the enchanting Amanzi@Amanzi restaurant. Set in its new location at the esteemed Amanzi Lodge and nestled amidst lush landscapes, this culinary gem promised an evening of unparalleled luxury and gastronomic delight. Visiting a new restaurant offers a different kind of delight, I believe they offer a sense of culture and transport you to different parts of the world through their food. We were especially excited for our first visit to the new Amanzi Restaurant, known for its fusion of flavours and homage to owner and restauranteur Andrew Mama’s West African background, I couldn’t wait to explore the menu and dig in!

As you enter the restaurant, you are immediately struck by its contemporary decor. The union of natural elements and modern design creates an ambience that is both elegant and inviting. Soft lighting cascades from above, casting a warm glow on the earthy tones and rich textures that adorn the interior. The brilliant minds behind this stunning aesthetic were none other than interior designer, Tanya Reddering and Julia Mama. Their collaborative efforts seamlessly blended traditional African motifs with Julia’s contemporary art collection, resulting in a visual tapestry that celebrated the region’s African heritage. From the spirited artworks to the striking sculptures, every corner of Amanzi@Amanzi exudes an artistic charm that was impossible to ignore. They have created a space that is timeless, warm and inviting. We were early for our dinner reservation and so sat by the fireplace and catch up with Andrew sharing his passion for the restaurant and its new location. With his many years of experience and extensive travel, Andrew has created a product that will offer you the best service from the well-trained staff to the freshly prepared food by the chef team at Amanzi.

As I settled into my seat at the table, my gaze was drawn to the menu, which promised a magnificent culinary journey. The menu is a carefully curated symphony of flavours, that combines comfort food with a contemporary twist and a hint of West Africa. The mix of ingredients and techniques from this diverse region was a testament to the chef’s mastery, and I eagerly anticipated the explosion of tastes that awaited me. From the first bite, it was evident that each dish was a masterpiece in its own right. The aroma of spices filled the air as I savoured the succulent berbere prawn cocktail. The authentic flavour and perfect amount of heat in the chicken pepper soup wasa testament to chefs skills, leaving my taste buds yearning for more- and boy was I in for a treat. Going with Andrews’s recommendation, I ordered the dry-aged beef. If you are a “foodie” like myself, you will know that few culinary experiences can match the sheer delight of relishing a perfectly cooked dry-aged beef steak. Lucky for me, my steak at Amanzi@Amanzi was the best I had had in a long time! Perfectly cooked to medium rare, it was tender, flavourful and mouth-watering! The luscious creamy mushroom pepper sauce that accompanied it, elevated the taste to new heights of satisfaction! If that wasn’t enough, we had to top it off with a sticky toffee pudding! Recalling this heavenly treat has me wishing for some right now! The moist dense sponge cake was soft and incredibly aromatic and came together harmoniously with the toffee sauce. I had mine with a scoop of vanilla ice cream that rounded off the dish with a velvety touch.

As the evening wore on, and it was time to walk back to the car, the starlit sky and whispering breeze added an ethereal and romantic touch to the experience. It was a moment that felt suspended in time, a perfect harmony of nature, art, and gastronomy. Amanzi@Amanzi is more than just a restaurant; it is a sensory journey that transcends the boundaries of traditional dining. From the modern decor that pays homage to an African heritage, to the exquisite fusion of flavours, every aspect of this luxurious establishment is a testament to the pursuit of culinary excellence. Leaving Amanzi@Amanzi that night, I carried with me memories that would linger on my palate and in my heart. This culinary odyssey opened my eyes to the vibrant and diverse world of contemporary comfort food with a twist.

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