In her recent trip to Tanzania, Madeleine Shaw experienced the delights of the remote African Bush. Nomad Tanzania hosted the healthy chef and lifestyle guru in two of their safari camps, Kigelia Ruaha and Sand Rivers Selous, where Madeleine’s culinary delights were cooked and eaten al fresco and the sunset provided the perfect yoga backdrop. We were lucky enough to get our hands on some of her photos of the trip.
1. Driving across the African plains from the Kigelia Ruaha camp in an open 4×4. The perfect location for spotting the big game in the area.
3. Giraffe Spotting! Due to the position of the camp as a meeting point of southern and eastern Tanzanian wildlife, there are few places in the world that offer such a diverse and magnificent congregation of species.
4. The view from Madeleine’s bedroom at Sand River Selous camp. Open rooms allow for panoramic views across the river and some very welcome wildlife guests.
5. Madeleine prepares her mango stuffed with Papaya dish plentiful locally sourced produce.
6. Madeleine firing up a traditional African Braai and preparing one of her delicious healthy dinners at Sand River’s Selous Camp for the guests. Can we come next time?
7. The wilderness is a great place for hanging out upside down.
Here’s our guide to eating out in the city this week and we’ve put together a slice of delicious excitement in the form of Pachamama. This tempting and alluring restaurant sits in the social hub of Marylebone with an impeccable bar menu.
In three words: Buzzing, Hospitable, Tempting
The Lowdown: The delights of Peru have come to Marylebone – Pachamama is a fantastic new establishment that offers revellers the chance to try exciting cuisine and superbly created cocktails. While the focus on authentic, fresh and delicious dishes is obviously important, this is most definitely also a place to sit and enjoy a drink or two – the open-plan restaurant area that blends seamlessly with the buzzing bar attests to this.
Sit and savour a cocktail menu that blends home-infused Pisco, British herbs and berries and twists on the classics, or jump right on in there and order a plethora of tantalising dishes to share (or simply scoff to yourself if you can’t bear to part with such tasty offerings). Whatever your reason for visiting Pachamama, the welcoming staff will accommodate your every need.
Location: The very fashionable Marylebone, home of A-listers and the chic elite, is where you can find Pachamama. Be careful you don’t walk straight past it on Thayer Street – look out for the glowing neon purple logo, tempting carousers down into the hidden, seductive basement bar…
The Occasion: Intimate but lively, this is the perfect place to take someone you haven’t been seeing for too long but would like to get to know more. It’s also the place to meet friends before heading out on the town afterwards – the DJ spinning Friday night tunes and the electric atmosphere will put you in the mood for fun.
Decor: There’s a hint of Colonial-Peruvian influence here – exposed brick walls, fronds of vibrant green plants, and walls of simple wood. The exposed piping overhead contrasts with the rich ruby bar-lamps to create something sensual but simple.
Atmosphere: Pachamama is definitely a hub of fizzing, cheerful activity. Come at the weekend to experience a great urban, hip atmosphere that marries well with the rustic decor and delicious, authentic food. Whether it’s chilling in the restaurant or relaxing at the bar, you’ll feel your worries melt away.
Culinary Concept: The food draws on the culinary diversity of Peru, and the choice of dishes encompass the variety of this native cuisine while still using locally-sourced British produce. Dishes are great to share, although there are some more hearty morsels for those that are feeling more than a bit peckish.
What we tried:
We decided to pick an item or two from each section, starting with the Mama’s Ceviche of wild Cornish sea bass, samphire and tiger’s milk. It arrived glistening amongst soft chunks of sweet potato, accompanied by the satisfying crunchy of radish. The fish itself melted on the tongue and left us with the amazing mouth-puckering citrus finish that good civiche should deliver.
A dish of Iringii mushroom arrived in large, hearty wedges atop a vibrant slick of green ahi and sweet miso that set the taste-buds dancing, while the salad of purple sprouting broccoli, flamed fennel, smoked ahi and Berkswell cheese was crisp, refreshing and had a pleasant sweet aftertaste.
We couldn’t say no to the ribs with a peanut glaze from the Josper Oven, nor the Blackened herb-fed chicken from the Robata Grill – the latter came coated in treacle, lime and wild oregano and both had a delectable smokiness that brought to mind fire-pits flickering beneath a star-strewn Peruvian sky.
A pretty dish of fondant was the perfect way to end – a pillow of cocoa sponge yielded to our spoon in a trickle of indulgent melted chocolate, and was combined with the crunch of peanut brittle and silky ice cream for a rich but not sickly dessert.
For next time: Since I genuinely loved everything, I’d love to come and try the entire menu – the civiche combination of Devonshire sea trout, watercress, beetroot and bleeding tiger’s milk sounds divine, as does the Hake fillet with taro causa, pickled fennel and nut crumble from the Josper Oven. A dessert of pumpkin cake with sunflower seeds and malt ice cream also piqued our interest.
Veggie delights: There’s definitely enough here to appeal to a vegetarian, – six superb sounding salads, as well as hot choices of plantain and mushroom.
Best of the booze: One simply must try the Pachamama cocktails, especially with such expert bartenders on hand to guide you through the choices. Fans of the classic Peruvian spirit will adore the house libation of Papa’s Pisco, and for something strong with a citrus kick you can do no better than the Piñamama. This devilishly delicious combination of Pineapple-infused Pisco, Dead Rabbit Orinoco bitters, orange curaçao and maraschino cherry has a lovely sweetness that is followed by a clean tang, making it an ideal first drink. For something a little different, go for the She Drinks – blackberry gives it a great ripe depth, followed by the underlying smokiness of whisky.
Fun Fact: In Inca mythology, Pachamama is the fertility goddess who presides over the harvest time, and is revered by the indigenous people of the Andes. This restaurant that bears her name is certainly resplendent with delicious bounty!
Overall: Pachamama is a very cool place – from the location, ambience and even the presentation of the gorgeous food on offer. Sometimes with cases like this there’s a worry that the actual tastes might not live up to the overall experience. However, Pachamama is obviously just as much about quality as it is aesthetics. We were told by our charming waiter that we’d love everything – and sure enough our plates were clear by the end of the meal. This is the perfect place to dress up that little bit slinkier for a night of fine food and fun rhythms, and is highly recommended.