Simple works of art – MARULA mercantile.

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Have you heard of Marula Mercantile on Marula Lane in Karen? It is an outdoor based restaurant that is what was once someone’s backyard. The best part about this space is the creative decor and design! Join me in finding out more about this space!

Chalkboards with quotes and even the specials of the day, usher you into this space. The restaurant is set outdoors, with a part being slightly enclosed by a temporary roof made from thin metallic sheets. These are supported by the rustic painted wood stands throughout the restaurant. The floor in this area is covered by mazeras to match the wooden top tables with metallic borders.

Other parts are open and only shielded by widely spaced wooden planks that can unfortunately let rain pass through during the rainy season. However, when you need a nice breeze or the sun to warm you, then this is just the place to sit! Here the floor is made from wooden planks to match the ‘roof’. The ‘roof’ planks have been arranged in such a way that the natural vegetation is least disrupted. There are trees that sprout from right underneath you and go all the way up – through the restaurant ‘roof’.

Apart from these two areas, Marula has gone ahead to extend the sitting space to the garden. The metallic tables with a wooden top, and the unique metallic seats, are seen throughout the space making the theme consistent.

The bar has been designed with the materials seen in other parts of the restaurant (wood and metal). The way the wood and the metal has been incorporated is very unique since it gives an antique-rusty look to the restaurant. Yes! It’s not always about chandeliers and sofas! I really appreciate these kinds of themes. I believe even Wasp and Sprout (see here) had my heart in terms of ambience.

Then again, there are people who don’t really like the whole rustic look. For me, it is simply appreciating what is readily available to you and coming up with ways that disturb the environment the least. Check out this corner with African-print cushions, antique casket and unique wall-hangings.

African print from the cushions also being seen on the large cushion sofa seats.

The lights decorating the restaurant were my favourite part about Marula Mercantile. They really made the whole area stand out and look ten times more beautiful than it already was. There are string lights with hanging see-through bulbs, small white lights and even hanging lamps with candles in them!

See this lamp with string lights in it!

Have you ever seen seats and tables made from tyres? or hanging bicycles? or even sat next to a tree? The more reason you should visit Marula Mercantile! These colourful tyres could simply be a decoration or seats and tables as earlier presumed. Either way, they are a work of art!

Marula is great for kids since there is a kids play area! Parents can enjoy the ambience while the kids run around in the garden. It isn’t far from the sitting area so they can keep an eye on their kids from the comfort of their seats!

I won’t do a seperate food post for Marula Mercantile since I didn’t try too many of their menu items. I had the Nachos as a starter, pulled pork sandwich (special for that day), and a lemon meringue tart for dessert. Their extensive menu can be viewed below:

They have a board menu that changes often.

The loaded nachos (700/=) came with 3-bean chilli, cheese, guacamole, tomato salsa & jalapeño. The nachos crunchy texture was made up for by smooth creamy guacamole and melted cheese. However, I would have preferred them a little less dry. Jalapeño is a well-known pepper that isn’t too hot and closely resembles a green pepper in taste (just slightly hotter). The flavours combined very well but I found myself wishing the salsa had a little lemon. There is something about lemon in salsa. Remember even the salsa at Ankole Grill was lacking lemon? (see here)

Nonetheless, the beautiful presentation made the dish visually appealing. One thing is for sure: You must get your hands dirty with this dish! To be fair these nachos can’t quite compare to the ones I had at Charlie’s Bistro (see here) since the ones at Charlies were non-vegetarian. That not withstanding, I still felt the nachos were much better at Charlie’s.

The main course was a pulled pork sandwich on a flatbread with cherry tomato salsa @ 1,500/=. If you’ve had a starter, there is no way you can have this alone. You may need a friend to help you out. Tender shredded pork, bathed in the Marula barbeque marinade is topped on the bread and a herby yoghurt is drizzled on top.

Flatbread is a long pastry made without oil. ‘Long’ is relative since that depends on the shape it is served in. Beside the bread was a heap of fresh, crunchy, cream rainbow slaw salad consisting white cabbage, purple cabbage, carrots, onions and some fresh herbs like mint. I can probably eat a whole bowl of this slaw. The taste is still very vivid in my memory. Also on the side is the house-made barbeque sauce used in the pork marination. I am not such a huge fan of barbeque sauce and so didn’t quite like it.

Dessert was the most beautiful item I have ever eaten. Lemon meringue tart @ 400/=. Believe you me, the taste lived up to the fancy name. The base is a hard, crunchy pastry that is slightly sweet and the yellow filling is the lemon curd made from lemon, eggs and sugar. The glazed top is whipped egg whites that have been put in the oven a little to give that visual appearance.

The top (meringue) was actually crunchy and complemented the crunchy base too! The contrast given by the soft, sweet, smooth curd sent my taste-buds to heaven. I highly recommend this dessert to literally anyone. It is the ultimate balance of sweet, smooth and crunchy all wrapped in one. Lets not forget the jam that made the dessert even better! Well done Marula!

That’s all I had for you today! Thank you so much for stopping by!

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