I have to say I greatly missed writing lately, I've been focusing on quite a few, also very important matters, but unfortunately to the misfortune of this blog. I can't promise it won't happen again, but I will certainly make a scheduling effort to avoid it from happening often.
So one of the things that has kept me from writing lately, was that my husband and I took a very "looked-forward-to" holiday to Mozambique! And yes, we ate prawns and chicken peri peri and I'd like to share that here with you.
We went to a small village called Praia do Tofo, famous mainly for its Scuba diving and great records of Whale Shark and Manta viewing. We're very fond of Scuba diving, activity which we hadn't done for a while and hence the main priority around this trip became to dive. However, food lovers as we are, and after all the Mozambican-Portuguese-Ascendance great food that is common to find in South Africa, we were expecting to indulge in some very tasty Mozambican specialties.
We stayed in Bamboozi Lodge, a rustic lodge with a certain charm and a very privileged location, on top of the dunes and with a beautiful view of the bay but very badly managed. The bad management was felt all across, but specially in the restaurant, where almost everything was fried and very expensive, at least for Mozambican and based on its quality standards, that is. We were eager to head into the village for some real Mozambican food experience, and a good chance to practice my evolving portuguese, but since it was a good 25-minute walking distance, well paced, we were derailed from our plan to do so various times, until, on the 4th day, we succeeded.
And what a success it was! After asking around we came to the conclusion that the restaurant Tofo Tofo was the place to go, good, unpretentious, yet tasty food and what's even better at very good prices! We arrived in between meals, at say, 4:00 pm. Hence the kitchen was of and it took them a while to get going, but it was certainly worth the wait. I was very happy to see "Mandioca Frita" on the menu, which means Fried Cassava (yam). It's a very typical side dish or snack in my country, but I have never been lucky enough to find Cassava in South Africa. I got excited with the Peri Peri, which did not smell to be very hot, but we found out it really was soon enough, after I soaked the Mandioca "chips" in peri peri and the chili started to come out through our sweat and tears. For mains we had what the waiter recommended "Peixe com alho e Manteiga com Arroz de coco" and "Frango Assado com batatas fritas". The first was White Fish Steak with Garlic Butter sauce and Coconut Rice and the second Grilled Chicken with potato chips, and they were both DELICIOUS. I have to admit that the effect of these tasty dishes on us, may have been heightened by how tired we were of the dreadful oil-drenched food at the Lodge, but they were, nonetheless, nicely prepared and tasty as can be.
The next day was certain to be one of much exercise as we budged not to allow the long walk to deter us from having a nice meal again, even after swimming a good couple of hours in the ocean, and now, in the company of two other couples we befriended, we headed for the local food gem we had been at the previous day: Tofo Tofo. This time around, having learnt my lesson the previous day, we ordered the "Mandioca Frita" again and used the Peri Peri indeed, but sparingly. Although we really enjoyed our meals from the previous day, we decided it made sense to try something new, and we went for the "Camarao com alho e Manteiga com arroz de coco" and the "Caril de Caranguejo". The food was once again phenomenal, taking a bit less time this time around. My husband's meal, the Prawns in garlic butter sauce with Coconut rice was tasty and cooked just right and mine, the Crab Curry was delicious and rich, but also very different from any Curry we had ever tried as the used a great amount of Almonds to make it.
As part of our Mozambican exploratory experience, we poured down our meals with 2M and Laurentina Beers and finished it off with our fair amount of Tipo Tinto (a local Vanilla Tasting Rum) and Coke.
We thank the staff at Liquid Adventures, the diving centre at Bamboozi Lodge, for recommending Tofo Tofo, the local authentic culinary adventure that saved the day!