As soon as I entered Madiba the South African restaurant on DeKalb Avenue (Brooklyn) I felt an immediate attraction. First, the interior makes you feel transported to South Africa. Impressive paintings from South African artists, photos, framed LP's from the country's rich music scene grace the white walls, small colorful South African flags hang from the towering ceiling a good 25 feet high. The name "Madiba" is a nickname for Nelson Mandela the late South African President, and images of Mr. Mandela are on display. On top of this, the music all South African I found enthralling.
South Africa is know as the "rainbow nation" because of the multitude of ethnically diverse people that make up the population. With some dozen "tribes" and Dutch, Portuguese, English, to Malay and Indian. - And this diversity and "mix" is reflected in South Africa's cuisine. The menu gives you an outstanding sampling of this. I was tempted by the fire-hot "Durban Curries," Ostrich Burger and Lamb Chops; but instead, I went for a South African classic "Boerwars Roll" - (South African Sausage, tomato, onions relish with beans) - the sausage had a wonderful bite to it and the relish and beans gave it a unique new taste, I loved it! And washed down by one of South Africa's leading brews, Butcher Block. The restaurant pours 4 red wines and 4 whites from South Africa, which of course is well-know for their high quality wines.
And what made Madiba extra special, beyond the food, vibe, cool interior was it's owner Mark Henegan. Mark is the creator of the restaurant and has owned for 18 years. He is a native of Johannesburg, is very warm and gracious, and terrific source for discussing any future travels to South Africa. Madiba is just a ten minute walk from BAM and would be a terrific place to dine before or after a performance.
Address - 195 DeKalb Avenue (Brooklyn) (718) 855 - 9190