After a wonderful soul nourishing morning at the Africafe Coffee shop at Seacliff Village, I turned my attention to their lunch menu. Being a food lover (and critic), I am always on the lookout for new exciting cuisine offerings and naturally also something to blog about!
I had already enjoyed a delicately flavoured mocha and was debating whether the food offerings would be just as good. My eye was caught by the tempting spicy beef /or chicken salad. Now those of you who have been following my blog know that I haven't had much luck with salads in Dar. It may be the Haven Of Peace, but it is far from being the Haven Of Health!
Trying to stay gluten free and fill up the hollow in my stomach has been a consistent disappointing challenge. I decided to tempt fate, trust the Universe and try the salad! Having confirmed with the waiter that the salad was filling enough to be a meal and did not consist of just lettuce, I took a deep breathe and ordered it. As always, this was accompanied by that jittery 'will it, won't it meet the high standards of my discerning tastebuds' concern.
I was engrossed in my Kindle and was surprised to find that my meal was before me within 20 minutes. My first impression was 'yummmmm...'. I could see a lovely substantial masterpiece of colours, freshness and textures before me! More importantly, the lettuce was definitely a side actor (as it is meant to be) and not the star of the show!
I dove right into that salad and ...... hold your breathe........ was not disappointed! Far from it, my whole mind, body and soul were singing in delight! The dish consisted of an exquisite mix of tender stir fried juicy chicken pieces, fresh crunchy vegetables like cucumbers, onions & tomatoes and the whole creation was beautifully served up on crisp lettuce leaves. The salad was perfectly clothed (refer to my 'never serve a salad naked!' post ...lol) with a well seasoned dressing offering the right balance of spice, sweet, salty and tanginess. What I truly loved was the tiny pieces of bird's eye chilli (pilipili mbuzi) which were playing hide & seek in the salad and suddenly filled your mouth with an unexpected hot bite!
Many a times, chefs add fresh herbs & spices without considering the balance of a dish... not so here! The fresh herbs kept each mouthful interesting and fully engaged the tastebuds in a cheeky game of 'guess who I am?'. The parsley brought in a slight bitterness, the mint a breathe of freshness and the cilantro that lovely earthiness that reminds us why good food is music for the body and soul. I have found my new salad soul mate! Kudos to the Africafe chef!!!
Love your pilipili mbuzi? Want to be a fan? Then join this hot facebook community of mbuzi lovers! J
Here are some general chilli facts:
Want to make your own spicy chicken salad? Try this link, though I make no promises that it will be as good as the one I just had! :P