I documented the evening quite well, took photos with my Samsung D900 and notes on my iPodTouch. Geek, I know, but it pays off I suppose.
From the website:
The award-winning Madame Zingara, together with Cara Lazuli, was one of Cape Town’s gems and best loved restaurants. Nestled in the heart of the Mother City, this enchanting candle-lit bohemian delight of scattered rose petals was known both locally and internationally, to be a dining experience which was both warm and welcoming, whilst decadently infused with the Contessa’s wild spirit.
The evening was majestic. There really is no other word to describe the entire event. Yes, it is an event.
The first and most striking thing to notice at Madame Zingara (MZ) is the staff, the ethos and the pride. Every member of the cast/staff seem to love what they do and live their roles. It is phenomenal. Walking to your table you can come across a jester, the king of darkness, a two-nipples-tattoed-double-breasted-whippersnapper if you keep your eyes open and stay focoused. My point is that anything and everything is possible in the land of MZ.
Once you have sat down it is glaringly obvious how old the actual tent is that everything takes place in. The tent is apparently only one in a handful of tents left from the 1920′s when it was built. It is incredible and sets the mood for a fantastically magical evening.
The waiters/performers are almost one in the same thing and I wouldn’t be surprised if on alternating nights some performed and others waited. Our waitress was lovely, effective, cheerful and seemed to be as proud of the establishment as the owners probalby are. Although she did mistake my wallet for the bread base and tried to remove it from the table. I noticed her doing that, stopped her and she subsequently bought our entire table a round of drinks out of embarrassment. Shame, how lovely.
Then to the main events, the food and the show.
Let us begin with the food. Starters are a bit of antipasti shared in pairs. The second course is a butternut soup in a shot glass accompanied by bread and breadsticks. The third and main course is a choice of two. First is the samon (or some kind of fish) that is done in a magnificently flavoured way that I cannot, for the life of me, remember. While the steak is a draped in a chocolate-chili sauce and complimented with some funky sort of noodle. Dessert is by far the best part of the entire meal for me. Instead of making you choose from three desserts they provide you with all three in mini form. They also suggest you eat from hot to cold, left to righ so that the granadilla cleans your pallet at the end.
Then the entertainment. Brilliant, incredible, scary, funny and any other adjective I could possibly throw in there would not cover the extent and vastness of the show. It was, breathtaking.
There are countless performers (I mean that, I tried, but lost count) who do various things from sing to hanging from the roof to acrobatics, dramatisations, impersonating a half-man-half-beast character of some sorts.
I cannot say which performer was the best as they all complimented one another and the show flows fantastically through all four courses of your meal. When you eat there are three very large, black mammas who sneak on to stage and belt out the most incredible tunes you’ll hear at a dinner! They were fantastic and truly a South African flavour.
Some of the acts are local and some are from abroad but all in all this show epitomises what SA is and should be for me; a melting pot of success, flavour, food, spirit, joy, laughter and ambiance.
Listen to me when I say this: Do yourself a favour, find out when you can find a seat in the audience and BOOK NOW.
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