Contemporary Dining

Published on July 22nd, 2011 | by Ultimate OmNoms

3

The Footsteps of Simba

What struck us first was the “Cubs Den”. This is probably the first restaurant we’ve seen with a kids play room . It brings warm fuzzies just thinking back to the days when we were little and we used to scoff all our food down before we were allowed to play with other kids. Filled with video games and toys- it seemed like the ideal place for a family meal.

When I first saw this restaurant online I was very very excited. The website was done really well which sparked my anticipation. Traditional African cuisine, food out of granny’s kitchen, ostrich meat.

Finally settling into our table, we probably spent more than 20 minutes poring over their extensive menu. Their entrees all sounded so impressive- escargots, chicken liver, soup, mussels..

Then we hit our first bump- no ostrich! The reply we got wasn’t “sorry, no ostrich left”, it was “sorry, we haven’t had ostrich fillets for months, we just haven’t updated our menu yet”.
The whole table suddenly looked really disappointed and unimpressed and there was a moment of silence before everyone started looking at other options. As a well known exotic family restaurant, why not update the menu every now and then?

Shared entree: Chicken Livers Peri Peri: farm style livers pan-fried in medium to hot Serengeti home-made peri-peri sauce.

I guess when I ordered the chicken livers, my mind was still in the fine dining world, I was expecting something very clean, well presented. When the dish came I realised I really was somewhere exotic.

The chicken livers were huge and doused in the peri-peri sauce with two dinner rolls half soaked on the side. Definitely a wise choice to share the entree.
While digging into ours, the irresistible smell of JWrait and Sarah’s escargots wafted over from the left, in sync with their “mhmm soo good” exclamations.
Garlic Snails- Snails drench in garlic butter, baked and served with fresh wholemeal bread finger 
Just as we were all finishing our entrees, we hit the biggest bump of the night. Mrudula’s entree didn’t show up. We asked a waiter and he apologised saying the dish was on it’s way. A while later, we asked the waiter who took our orders- his reply was that Mrudula never ordered an entree and that he couldn’t have made a mistake.

We were so shocked to hear Mrudula argue with the waiter. Let me put this out there, Mrudula is not one to be messed with when it comes to her food. Moments later, Mrudula’s mussels came – brought by another waiter behind him. The look on his face was priceless.

Srin’s main: Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni

Srin here would be our vegetarian expert – being a vegetarian her whole life, I cannot imagine how difficult it must be to look for delicious vegetarian food in mainstream restaurants.

After asking her how it was, the only words she spat “it was average”.

Mrudula’s main: Lemon and herb half chicken with potatoes and vegetables

I really hoped after the incident with her entree, Mrudula’s main would make up for it. Luckily enough, the chicken was juicy, the lemon came through but wasn’t overwhelming. But then comes the rest of the dish- the vegetables weren’t nice, the potatoes were disgusting in it’s foil. This is the second thing that annoys me the most on a dish: when the meat is cooked to perfection, but the garnish or the vegetables don’t match.

Here’s Rayshurshur’s main: Ribs and scotch fillet.

Steak: Perfection, my first slice, I knew the chef did a good job.

By the time I finished the steak, I was almost stuffed – but I hammered on. Time for the ribs.

First of all, same situation as the Mecca post. I gave up, sleeves up, dug in with my hands – These were the juiciest ribs I’d ever had, beautiful sauce too.

The infamous monkey gland sauce that no one wanted to order. Rayshurshur took a brave leap and asked for it. Turns out the name was only to scare people. It was simply a sweet sauce with fruit chutney – similar to a worcester sauce. I’d replace the typical tomato sauce with this any day.
Cecilia’s main: Moroccan lamb shank slow cooked in Moroccan Dukka and complimented with apricots and mash on the side

The sauce was ahh-mazingly good. Even though half full from the generous entree, I was happy to dig into this massive main. The meat was soft and fell away from the bone a bit too easily but the rich and sweet sauce was enough to turn my knife and fork on autopilot mode. Although this main came with access to the salad buffet on the side, I was way too stuffed with meat to waddle over to the salad bar.


After this experience, I felt cheated! I was really hoping to see some seriously exotic cuisine from Africa, instead it was a very typical good quality type of food.

 

No desired meat, then a nasty waiter. My impression was that a restaurant would never take their diners or patrons for granted. Clearly Serengeti didn’t see this. It’s such a shame because there’s so much more potential for a place like this. A great place for the family, but really don’t expect much… like how I did.

Serengeti Restaurant

470 Beach Rd, Murrays Bay, Auckland
Phone: 475 5988

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3 Responses to The Footsteps of Simba

  1. Sandy says:

    It's a shame when certain staff let the restaurant down. EVEN if the waiter thought he could not have made a mistake he should have just apologized with a smile instead of arguing.

  2. Justin says:

    Funny that – I worked at Serengeti in the opening 2 months of service. I won't go there now, knowing what they do behind the scenes and how they treat each other.

  3. Rayshurshur says:

    Oh really? That's such a shame. I really was looking forward to an authentic African meal.. too bad I wont be going back

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