This afternoon, I took my family and a close friend on their first African cuisine adventure. We ate at a convincingly authentic pan-African restaurant in Morrisville, North Carolina called MAWA’s Taste of Africa. Literally the name says it all – My Authentic West African. While all of the dishes had a Senegalese slant from the owner’s heritage, the menu actually boasts a wide array of dishes from all over the continent.
The décor of the restaurant has a traditional African feel – like the typical “fast food” restaurant one stops off in for a bite to eat and a break from the hustle and bustle of Kampala or Nairobi.
Our menu for the night included the complimentary appetizer of homemade pita bread and MAWA’s signature spread. This was followed by a main course- each of us choosing a different menu item. Our orders included: Lamb and Goat Kabobs (Egypt), Chicken Yassa (Senegal), Chicken in Peanut Sauce (Mali), and Chicken Curry (Kenyan style). Of course these were all complimented with plenty of rice, ugali, fried plantains, salad, and even some yam. For dessert, we finished off with the waiter’s suggestion- a dish called Mbouru Faas. The menu describes this as, “Crispy brioche, ice cream, banana caramel.” And it was amazing!
The entire family enjoyed the experience. Even my 18 month old nephew gobbled up everything, squealing with delight and asking to go to “bed” in the special seating area for Ethiopian dining. Before leaving, I half expected to walk out into 85 degree temperatures with 90 percent humidity. Of course I was very disappointed to feel the 23 degree wind burning my face, and even more disappointed to find that the world outside the restaurant had not transformed into an African scene.
Overall, this was an impressive meal compared to other African cuisine adventures this side. Too bad I have to go back to Texas next week.