Food is the great unifier of humanity, fostering bonds between cultures, peoples, and antagonistic sports teams in a way that's tastier than glue. Celebrate the edible world with today's deal: for $20, you get $40 worth of South African shebeen-style dining at Madiba Restaurant, located in Fort Greene.
Madiba cultivates the casual, community-centered atmosphere of the shebeen in its laid-back eatery and burgeoning organic rooftop vegetable and herb garden. Study the tantalizing menus to partake in fresh, friendly, fare-focused traditions, beginning with an appetizer of isopho (traditional Cape Town seafood soup with saffron and herbs, $14) or ostrich carpaccio (farm-raised ostrich sliced paper thin and served with shaved farm cheese and mache, drizzled with olive oil, $14). Brunch yourself and a companion with a Bushman Breakfast (two eggs any style, boerewors sausage, grilled tomato, mushrooms, and bacon with two slices of toast, $10), or enjoy a late-day feast with Madiba's dinner entrees. Embark on a vegetarian safari with the veggie Yebo Burger and chips ($10), or opt for a meaty pot of oxtail potjiekos bredie($20), a traditional slow-cooked stew richly simmered in a traditional cast-iron pot and served with your choice of side, such as the chakalaka, a spicy little mix of baked beans, carrots, tomatoes, and onions.
Madiba's inspiration is drawn from South African culture and history, but its vision is directed toward the future. A portion of Madiba's proceeds are reinvested in charities that enrich lives all over the globe, from around the corner in Brooklyn to the earthquake victims of Haiti to the Ubuntu Education Fund for the children of South Africa. Join the greater community and share a meal and a vision at Madiba.
Madiba is a Times top pick and has received reviews from Zagat, Gayot, New York magazine, Time Out, and the Brooklyn Paper. Yelpers give it a 3.5-star average, and Citysearchers give a three-star average rating:
- …one of the most intriguing spots in the city. – Eric Asimov, New York Times
- The festive, party-friendly mood is fueled by African pop and sweet house cocktails… – T Sahara Meer, New York
- The safari platter, loaded with cured, salted and dried beef tenderloin, is a feast worthy of Mandela himself. – Time Out New York
Beyond Madiba Restaurant's metal-plated storefront, South African music dances through the air, and hanging masks beam down on an eclectic assortment of chairs and tables. Designed by South African native Mark Henegan and his wife Jenny, the dining room evokes the lively, communal ambiance of a South African shebeen—an informal dining hall where locals gather to eat, drink, and socialize. A chandelier of vintage coke bottles illuminates the mismatched assortment of tabletops, plates, mason jars of water, and bottles of house wine.
In the kitchen, Henegan and his kitchen staff whip up authentic platters assembled with imported and local ingredients that garnered praise from Time Out New York and Gourmet magazine. As slow-cooked oxtail stew simmers in a cast-iron pot, cooks baste meats in the apricot, red wine, tomato, and raisin medley that makes up their signature sauce. Chefs whip up a range of seafood entrees and curries, using fish imported directly from South Africa after granting sets of wishes to three local fishermen.
The restaurant hosts a variety of live events throughout the week, from local South African bands to DJ dance parties. Madiba divvies up a percentage of its profits to benefit several community-outreach programs, aiding people locally and internationally with funds for education, urban farming and renewal, and equal rights.