Africano: Jungle-Themed Family Restaurant in Sheikh Zayed
Al Rabwa Rd.
Angie El Batrawy
Looking like the entrance to some kind of
nature preserve, the exterior of Africano in Sheikh Zayed is hard to miss and
will immediately grab your attention; particularly the large animal statuettes.
Africano is another of these café-restaurant
hybrids; but with a twist. True to its name, the interior is a cross between
rural and jungle in a very simple way. The large rectangular dining area is
anchored by a waterfall centrepiece. It’s a nice touch, but they only switch it
on in the evenings, and the water is a murky green colour and smells a little
If that wasn’t strange enough, we found
that a group of tropical looking birds made up a section of the staff. We found
customers happily playing with one particular handsome parrot and having their
photos taken with him.
We chose to sit at a table that was in full
view of the waterfall. Keeping in with the family-friendly theme, the menu is
decorated with cartoon animals like a children’s menu. We started the meal with
cream of chicken soup (8.95LE). The generous pieces of chicken were cooked
perfectly and tasted great, and the soup as a whole had just the right
thickness and consistency.
For our mains, we ordered a dish called the
betty day polo (49.95LE); pieces of grilled chicken with vegetables and rice.
We actually swapped the rice for mashed potatoes, but were upset to find that
no vegetables were served with the dish as stated on the menu. Staff told us
that the vegetables only come mixed with rice. Disappointment aside, both the
potatoes and the chicken were well-cooked and seasoned.
We also tried the medallion filleto
(54.95LE). The fillet of beef tasted fresh and was seasoned well, but was a
little undercooked for our liking. The fries that came with the dish were
unfortunately a little bit soggy.
For dessert, we were looking forward to the
tiramisu but had to settle for the fruit and chocolate sauce crêpe (25.95LE),
as it was the only dessert available at the time. The crêpe didn’t disappoint,
though; and the fruit in particular was delicious and fresh. It was so good
that it made up for the fact that a mix-up in the kitchen delayed the arrival
of the dessert by almost an hour!
It got a little chilly later in the
evening, so we ordered a hot chocolate (12.95LE), which was a little weak and
watered down, and a mocha coffee (14.95LE), which was bland but pleasant and
way too large of a serving.
As a themed restaurant, Africano doesn’t
exactly take itself seriously. If you’re looking for good food, there are
better places; but for the sheer spectacle of it all, this is worth a visit
with young kids.