I was recently invited to TRIBES at Mall of the Emirates along with some other Dubai foodies to sample their National South African Heritage Day menu.  TRIBES is one of those places I keep meaning to go to, but have never yet managed to make it – so this was a first visit for me and was particularly great timing as I had just returned to Dubai from my recent trip to Tanzania and Zanzibar only a few days previously.

NOTE : National South African Hertitage Day is on 24 September.  In celebration the TRIBES team will be offering some additional menu options to their existing menu. These additional items will be available from 21-27th September.

For starters we served a Hakuna Matata selection platter which consisted of  : Grilled Calamari , Ugandan Fishcakes , Tunisian Chicken Giblets and Madagascar Pan-Fried Chilli Prawns.  We also sampled a meat pie which was rich and meaty. My personal favourites were the fishcakes and the prawns.  I would definitely order both of those again.  I also enjoyed the mango chutney which delivered a subtle mango flavour and thankfully was not over sweet.

The Heritage Day main course which we sampled consisted of Beef Tripe stew with beans & Tomato served with Pap and Pan fried calf’s liver served with Yam mash.

Tripe is not something that I have ever eaten before, and unfortunately I didn’t enjoy the texture of it but I did enjoy the beans and tomato sauce which it was cooked in which delivered a deep rich flavour with subtle hints of rosemary, thyme, parsley and oregano.  This is a dish which takes almost 4 hours to prepare and is a delicacy.  It was topped off with some tempura okra which was crispy to bite into.

The calfs liver was rich in flavour and texture and was more to my taste.  Served with a simple side of mashed potato this was my preferred main course.

After sampling the two main dishes we were treated to a variety of puddings including :

  • Melk Tart with Raspberry Coulis
  • Warm Date and Pistachio Sponge, with Pistachio Ice Cream,
  • Chocolate Malva Pudding with Madagascar vanilla sauce and Apricot Compote ,
  • Coffee Crumble,  Poached pear, chocolate & hazelnuts, topped with coffee crumble mix, served with hazelnut ice-cream.

My personal favourite was the Chocolate Malva Pudding as well as the Date and Pistachio Sponge, although I’m a sucker for a good ice-cream and the hazelnut ice-cream was also a treat.

During the visit, we were fortunate enough to take a look around the restaurant and also the open kitchen.  The food being served from the regular menu looked stunning and I will be back to sample some of the other courses in particular the steak looked and smelt amazing and the beef ribs look stunning.

I loved the interior of TRIBES which is decorated with furs, leathers, woods, shields and even fire pit towards the back of the restaurant.  I must admit that I’m not particularly a huge fan of restaurant dining inside shopping malls as the setting never quite feels intimate enough, but I liked the inside of TRIBES very much as it was easy to forget that you are in a shopping mall the further back you go within the deceptively large space. I was particularly taken with the intimate tables for two next to the food service area and the dining area around the fire pit right at the back which kind of took me back to a safari trip I took in Botswana a few years ago.  Seating is arranged in such a way that the restaurant caters for large and small groups and seems to work well.

Throughout the evening the staff  provided a few minutes of entertaining African music and drum beats which quite frankly took me back to Africa in that moment – I loved it 🙂  With staff recruited from African tribes, the entertainment and ambiance and setting of the restaurant really makes you feel like you are in a little bit of Africa for the evening.

South African Heritage Day

South African Heritage Day was announced on 24th September 1996 by President Mandela: “When our first democratically-elected government decided to make Heritage Day one of our national days, we did so because we knew that our rich and varied cultural heritage has a profound power to help build our new nation”.

On the 24th September each guest at TRIBES will get the opportunity to have photographs taken with authentic African shields and armour, as well as having traditional African face paint: a symbol of the different tribes in African.

TRIBES is located Fashion Dome, Ground Floor, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai  +971 50 248 4959

You can also find them on Facebook and on the web HERE.

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