MEAT IN ITALY & BLACK PANTHER.

Hey there! Welcome to this post and thank you so much for stopping by!

My younger sister had been pressuring anyone in the house to take her to the cinema for the famous Black Panther Film. For those of you who haven’t watched it yet, don’t worry, I won’t spoil it for you. A little birdie told her that the cinemas would be showing it for the last time, last week but one (rolls eyes because it’s still showing now), and so, she put a significant amount of pressure on the whole family to watch it before then. On that same weekend it was ‘supposed to stop airing’, we all decided to go and watch it at Garden City Mall on Thika Road. Yes. On a Sunday afternoon and yes, all the way from Mombasa Road. Someone please get Mombasa Road people an IMAX screen or even a cinema at the very least. The one in town is not enough for Langata Road and Mombasa Road.

The 1:45 p.m movie in 3D was fully booked, so we decided to wait for the 3:30 p.m show on the IMAX screen. (Apparently 3D & Imax screen is different). You can imagine the excitement we were all feeling! P.S: It was my first time here and Garden City has a 10 times better screen than Imax at 20th Century in Town. If you didn’t know all that, you’re welcome.

Being a Sunday afternoon, we were all pretty hungry from church. I don’t know what it is with hunger on Sundays, it’s normally so intense! Garden City has quite a number of restaurants, most of which are fast food joints. The only place that isn’t a fast food restaurant is Mambo Italia.

Mambo Italia is one of the oldest Italian restaurants in this country; but of course Trattoria on Wabera Street in town is much older (they started in 1981). Apart from this branch in Garden City, Mambo Italia also has a branch in Lavington and another one is soon going to open in Westlands. Once again, you are welcome! I didn’t take any good restaurant pictures as there were too many people and the lighting was not favourable. (You may notice this in the food pictures,)

Below is their drinks menu. Find their food menu here.

As we waited for our food, we ordered their fresh juices. Most fresh juices go for 250/= for the regular size and 360/= for the large(See my brothers mango juice (large) vs all the rest (regular)). I had their lime & ginger juice which was amazing. The balance between the two was absolutely perfect! None overpowered the other. Remember the lime & ginger juice from J’s, this one actually beat it by a point or two. (Read the J’s Fresh Bar & Kitchen Food review here).

My sister had their strawberry juice which tasted 100% natural. No weird additives were put to alter the authentic strawberry taste. For all those who think strawberries are sweet, please think again. Ever wondered why it is often eaten with chocolate? The bitter-sweet contrast is what is delicious. Not the fruit. I have never liked strawberries. I think they are so overrated. In fact, most strawberry ice-cream tastes nothing like strawberries. You know what, let’s not even go there.

The mango juice my brother had was thick and sweet and my mums passion-tree tomato juice turned out to be an amazing combination. Try it when you go there!

FOOD

My brother, Paul (who is a portrait photographer. See his Instagram page here) had traditional lasagne @ 1100/=. This is ground beef on pasta sheets (lasagne sheets) with mozzarella & parmesan cheese. The dish comes with salad and a house baked foccacia that looked and felt like a cake. Each layer of this lasagne had a thick tomato sauce and flavourful minced beef made with vegetables of peas & carrots among others.

The way Paul shut his eyes in utter satisfaction after the first bite, told us all how good it tasted. I must say: this lasagne qualifies to compete with the one from La Cascina (read that post here). Mambo Italia’s lasagne is more saucy and not too cheesy while the one for La Cascina is way more cheesy and less meaty than this.

The salad had a tasty, light lemon vinaigrette that blended well with the fresh vegetables and the flavour of the lasagne. The bread however had a unique taste that most people at the table didn’t quite appreciate. I thought the smoky-meat aftertaste was an acquired taste but I will let you guys go try it out!

Mama bear had bbq pork ribs with french fries and creamy spinach @ 1350/=. The ribs had a minimum amount of fat which was great! (Big Square needs to borrow a leaf. Their ribs are like fat soaked in sauce. It’s delicious but just not good for you. Lol. Story for another day.) Mambo Italia marinates their ribs with a sauce that isn’t overwhelmingly sweet. It has thyme and other mixed herbs to help you appreciate the taste of the pork and not just the sweet sauce.

The pork is extremely tender making it even more enjoyable. I would definitely pick this 2 out of 5 times instead of Spur ribs. Yes. I will not take it back. Those herbs were a major game changer! The creamed spinach that came with it was not too creamy, was fresh and had amazing flavour.

My sister, had chicken wings tossed in house bbq sauce at 800/= with a side of chips. @ 300/=. The wings were coated in an equally amazing sauce and were very tender. The portion served about 8 wings which I thought wasn’t too bad, considering they weren’t tiny pieces. I think these are the best wings I have had in a while. The way the meat tore off the bone with ease, made me excited to take a second, third and even fourth bite.

So far, their sauces in all their dishes have been great! The saucier (chef in charge of preparing sauces) is doing a tremendous job. None of these sauces tasted like something from a bottle. They tasted well-prepared (if that’s even possible. No. I know what the word is. Fresh and unique flavour!)

Perfectly salted fries for both Mum and Doris! Which restaurant have you ever been to, where the fries come perfectly salted from the kitchen? Rarely! In fact, this wasn’t the kind of salted that turns off those watching their salt-intake. It was just well-salted food; not only on the outside but also the inside.

Dad had fillet steak, mashed potatoes and creamed spinach @ 1350/=. If you have been following Kulanini for a while, you must know that all my dad ever eats is steak/the closest item to beef. When he is feeling adventurous or trusts the place, he can even try tilapia but that’s it! The rest of the time, he just wants greens, ugali and beef stew/eggs from home. Such a simple man!

This dish didn’t disappoint. In fact, he cleared the plate, which could either mean the portion was small or the food was delicious or even both! I reckon it was both. The steak was tender, well marinated with salt, pepper and another spice I couldn’t quite place my finger on. Though the marination sounds minimal, it allowed one to taste the flavour of the steak; which was great.

His mashed potatoes were smooth, creamy (but still firm) and well seasoned. The combination of these potatoes and the creamy spinach was incredible. This meal was so well prepared, he didn’t need any sauce. Imagine generally dry food being that good! Nonetheless, you can choose between mushroom and pepper sauce. He chose mushroom but didn’t even touch it. Neither did I!

Everything was great until my meal. I had a regular carnivore pizza @ 850/=. It had beef, chicken, ham, spicy salami, bacon and garlic. Now I am not sure what was going on but there was basically no cheese in the pizza. Every single topping was present but cheese – hence the strange look. The toppings were well marinated and the spices combined well to give a very meaty flavour. I added extra mushrooms.

The base of the pizza and the overall portion was also very good but pizza without cheese or rather without enough cheese is just not pizza to me. Do you agree? However, simply because the flavour, cost and portion was favourable, I will be back to give them a second chance. I cleared the pizza so that means they are definitely doing something right.

P.S: The movie was awesome!

Anyway guys, that’s all I had for you today. Thank you so much for stopping by!

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