Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Uhuru and tiger prawns

I went on a trip with my sister to Kenya, Tanzania and a very quick layover in Johannesburg. We spent a week hiking Mount Kilimanjaro, and the rest of the time stalking lions in the Masai Mara or dolphins in Zanzibar.

The last time I was in Africa, I visited South Africa, I had delicious tiger prawns from Mozambique. So, I was looking forward to gorging on tiger prawns and other sea food. Maybe a prawn pizza or two?

For the record, uhuru means freedom in Swahili. The top of Kilimanjaro is named Uhuru Peak - or freedom peak - named after Tanzania received independence in 1961 (from the Brits).
You know how I love airplane menus. My sister and I got to eat a lot of yummy appetizers, main dishes and pre-landing snacks enroute to Nairobi. One particular highlight was an espresso served with some yum chocolates. Apparently, Swiss won best business class catering in the skytrax awards. Considering all my fish was tasty, and I was served CHOCOLATES with my espresso, I'd have to agree. Now I wish I had eaten more.

{While the smoked salmon was delish, the olive oil was...stale.
I'll let it slide this time}

{Red snapper}

{My favorite - a CHEESE PLATE!}

{Chocolate / raspberry mousse}

{Espresso! With two chocolates. Luckily my sister was sleeping
so I got to eat both of them}

On our first night in Nairobi, we visisted Carinvore. As the name suggests, this restaurant has pretty much every kind of meat you could think of eating. We even tried crocodile!

{Crocodile. Tastes like chicken}

We went to Tamarind on our second night in Nairobi - the food was outstanding - the seafood was super fresh, and the desserts did not disappoint. My sister ordered chili crab, and I ordered the prawns piri piri. They also spelled out our names in chocolate on our dessert.

{Some serious tools for the crab}

{A whole lotta crab}

{Prawns? I thought prawns
were larger than this}

{I may have licked the chocolate off my plate}

The following few days were spent out in the Masai Mara Game Reserve, on a safari. We stayed at a great lodge, and as is usually the case, I looked forward to breakfast. It's the one meal that can go least wrong, and who doesn't love hot chocolate? Since we had early wake up calls for our morning safari drive, we always had hot chocolate and biscuits in the morning, and would return back after our drive for breakfast for more hot chocolate and biscuits.

{Hot chocolate and biscuits}

One morning, we had a bush breakfast right in front of the Mara River, where, in a few weeks time, thousands of wildebeests would be crossing.

{Bush breakfast}

On our return to Nairobi, we had a meal at the African fusion restaurant Tatu. We ate things like tuna sashimi, ostrich, and you guessed it...prawns.

{Now THIS is a prawn}

Off to Tanzania! As we spent a week hiking Kili, most of our meals were already planned out for us by our hiking outfitter. Not quite as gourmet as the Inca Trail hike, but I had a loss of appetite anyways due to the altitude, so I wasn't that hungry to begin with. All I wanted to eat, all day, and likely would have, if no one was watching, were the cadbury bars that were in our lunch box every day. We also had some cookies, so I made a makeshift s'more (sans marshmallow) at every lunch. Breakfast was usually a porridge, some eggs, and bacon. Lunch was a sandwich and cadbury bars. Dinner was rice, curry with vegetables, and some form of meat. On our last night of camping, our cook prepared us a traditional tanzanian curry made with coconut milk and green bananas.

After we successfully completed our hike, we ventured out to Zanzibar for some relaxation bikini photo shoots on the beach. Yet again, our hotel had one of those buffet breakfasts that included omlettes, croissant and bottomless coffee.  If I close my eyes, I can still feel the breeze rustling the croissant flakes off of my outfit.

Most tropical fruits make me gag, as the only times I've really had anything tropical has been in the states, when it has been imported across 27 country lines. Obviously this is not the case when I travel to the indigenous countries of said tropical fruits. For example, I loved papaya in Brazil, and mangoes in India. I usually hate lychees, but I loved them in Zanzibar, as they were fresh and in season. The people in Stone Town called them lychees, but apparently they might be rambutans?

In Stone Town, there is a nightly market at Forodhoni.  Vendors, including fishermen and creperies, sell food for tourists and residents alike. There is definitely a "tourist" price and a resident price. We tried a skewer of prawn for about 6,000 shillings.  The skewers below include anything from red snapper to shark. Yes, shark! 

We stayed at a cute B&B named The Zanzibar Coffee House. There was an adorbs bakery underneath it, that served some crepes, refreshing coffee drinks, and a lot of fluffy bakery treats.

On our way back home to the U.S., we had a long-ish layover in Johannesburg. The night before, we spent some time in our hotel room picking what restaurant to check out. We picked out one named Cornuti, and figured out how to take the Gautrain to get there. It was probably the best meal I had over the entire trip, and well worth the 45 minute walk from Sandton.

{Yes, this is as good as it looks! 
Prosciutto covering mozzarella}

{A cornuti's speciailty - bacon and avocado pizza]

{Fluffy, melt in your mouth gnocchi]

 {You know how I love my pizza...now pizza
and chocolate? YES!}

Wooooooooo cheese tray on my flight! Note the kalamata olive spread on the top of the middle cracker as well. 

My last meal "on the road" consisted of one those grossly delicious semi-soggy croissants, fruit, and an omlette.

{Bye bye vacation!}

Next stop: Venezuela for some arepas! 

1 comment :

Lavina said...

thank you for sharing, looks so fresh!! swiss air def does it well with their espresso and sweets. yummm.