Tastes of Africa and Portugal collide at Marimba Bar and Grill
If you are going to run a number of successful restaurants you might as well make sure they are practically neighbours — and that’s exactly what Iggy Stewart and Lilo Savva have done.
The pair, who already run Col’Cacchio and the Red Rock Spur at the Boardwalk, successfully launched their newest offering, the Marimba Bar and Grill, this week.
The Tuesday night launch of The Boardwalk’s newest restaurant was a riot of music and laughter, with the food the real hero of the evening.
Inspired by an East and West African theme — and Portuguese-style grilled dishes — the ribs, chicken, prawns and calamari went down a treat — something that didn’t surprise Stewart.
He explained: “We wanted to cater for the clientele we are aiming for and from our experience [with Col’Cacchio and the Spur] we know what food people are looking for.”
Stewart said the idea behind the Marimba Bar and Grill was to offer the food people loved but allow them to mix it up.
The menu makes it easy for people to order a set meal or to order a little of everything with single chops and small portions of chicken available as well as a mixed grill in which you can chose three of the meat dishes on offer.
Stewart and Savva have many ideas in mind for their new space, with the idea of offering cooking classes close to Stewart’s heart.
He said: “I have an enormous love for cooking and want to share that.
“Coming from a conservative Afrikaans family where you follow a recipe to a T, I now gooi [throw] things together. The reward is seeing people“s faces when they try it. ”
Stewart said the plan was to use the upstairs area for cooking classes on traditionally quiet nights like Tuesdays.
That, he said, is however still in the planning stage.
He is also working with two wineries so wine tastings can be offered upstairs as well.
As for those who love Marimba music, a band will play on weekends but not on any set night.
This week, Stewart said, they will be there on Friday night but in future they could play any night of the weekend, depending on availability.
The menu at Marimba Bar and Grill is not hugely extensive, but like Gordon Ramsey is always telling those awful little restaurants on Kitchen Nightmares, rather do less and do that exceptionally well.
Stewart agrees. He said: “We wanted a fairly limited menu so we could do that really well.”
And they do if Tuesday night’s fare was anything to go by. To my mind, the ribs were the clear-cut front-runner and I will be back for more.
But don’t get me wrong, the rest was also superbly tasty. with the prawns plump and full of flavour and the chicken grilled to perfection.