I visited Fish Mongers at Sea Cliff Village last night looking forward to a delicious meal of tender baby Portugese chicken and a large plate of salad.
Well, that's what I looked forward to ... but what I received was a different matter altogether. Our chicken arrived (a whole baby chicken cut in two as requested) dry, hard and completely lacking in seasoning or taste. I was really surprised as on my last visit here I had fallen in love with this dish....But unluckily I have come to accept that it is easier to find the proverbial needle in the haystack than consistency in Dar restaurants.....
Chewing on the hard tasteless meat, we finally sent it back asking that the chef add some more sauce and seasonings to the meal and turned our attention to the Greek Salad.
Now, food historians tell us salads (generally defined as mixed greens with dressing) were enjoyed by ancient Romans and Greeks. As time progressed, salads became more complicated.....(in some countries at least!) http://www.foodtimeline.org/foodsalads.html
Lucky Romans & Greeks! It's little wonder they never turned an eye to Tanzania because the lack of dressings on salads would surely have sent them scuttling back home! Our tiny plate of Greek Salad (which cost a hefty Tshs 8,000) consisted of lettuce, tomatoes cut in quarters, thin slivers of green pepper, cucumbers, 6 olives, 6 small pieces of feta cheese..... and NO dressing!
I am a firm believer that serving a salad without dressing it is like serving a naked salad... a real shame! When I spoke to the manager about this, she informed me that not all the customers preferred their salads dressed which is why they had the same generic (boring) salad dressing on the side which could be used on all the salads. (Surely if this is part of the menu, then others can ask for it to left off?)
This unluckily means you receive an untossed undressed salad which is lacking in flavour, finesse or any yummy saladiness....Furthermore, as I was informed you most certainly shouldn't expect this as your main course! Luckily we had a terrific waiter who was very helpful and accommodating, so this made up slightly for an unpleasant unappetizing evening.
Upon my return home, I found it hard to believe that the Greeks who are well known for their love of colours, tastes and textures in their foods would create such an unappetizing dish... so I decided to do some research....
Not surprisingly, all the best recipes for Greek salads contain dressings (seen as an essential), some of which the salads are marinated in before being tossed and served with warm bread and olive oil. Naturally being invented in Greece, their portions are also very large!
If you would like to make your own big delicious Greek Salad bursting with flavours, textures and goodness, try one from the following...... and remember: DON'T SERVE THE SALAD NAKED!