Alright, so let’s take a moment here and talk about the newest addition to Calgary’s culinary scene… Mom Africa! The ephemeral bar-restaurant which opened on the 17and Avenue at end of January this year created quite a buzz. And for good reason!
Mama Africa is not your ordinary pop-up restaurant. And it’s definitely not your usual region-specific African cuisine. What gives this beautiful resto-bar an edge over the others is that it is a complete experience that takes you on a culinary tour, an African safari for your palate if you will. And he does it as much with the setting and the ambiance as he does with the food.
The African-themed decor itself is pretty gram-worthy, the vegetal mural at the entrance, in particular. To match this setting is daily entertainment by local African DJs, musicians, dancers, comedians and more. The general atmosphere of the restaurant-bar is a prelude to the wild flavors that you are about to discover.
As we mentioned, the cuisine is not region specific like most other places in town. Instead, it brings together the rich diversity of African flavors, heritage and culture through their carefully curated menu. From the Kenyan beef curry (highly recommended) to the Cape lamp chops to the Ghanaian waakye bowl, everything was covered.
While starters are certainly the “main thing”, there is no doubt that starters are not to be taken lightly either. Especially the Suya Tacos, Peri Peri Shrimp and Grilled African Wings.
And no, they haven’t forgotten the vegans and vegetarians among us. Mama Africa is one of those rare African restaurants that offers a surprisingly wide selection of vegan and vegetarian dishes. So there are your shares like plantain and cassava chips. Then there are seasonal vegetables, fried yam and even Vegan Jollof rice. But the two that made our list of favorites were the African Chickpea Salad and the Chakalaka Relish.
Given their high quality and impressive flavors, it’s no surprise that everything here is homemade with fresh ingredients – from sauces to spice blends to of course the dishes themselves.
Now here’s something that will make you fall in love with the place – the same quality and diversity is extended to their drinks menu as well. Sue, you will find popular beers and cans. But you will find a whole range of African spirits, wines and cocktails to continue your African food tour. Our recipe: Hakuna Matata with a fruity and coconut profile and Ama-Lekkerlicious with a touch of citrus.
Long story short, Mama Africa is the kind of delicious, multi-sensory dining experience you absolutely don’t want to miss!