As i stared at the menu on a recent visit to Zapata Mexican restaurant, i couldn’t help but wonder what on earth was ‘afro-mex’ cuisine. Sure, i was there for the tasting, but the term completely lost me…until i realised there’s a gastronomic trend that’s catching on- Fusion Food! And it has become quite popular even around the world.
Fusion food is a general term for the combination of various forms of cookery and comes in several forms. Regional fusion combines different cuisines of a region or sub-region into a single eating experience. For example, Asian fusion restaurants, which combine the various cuisines of different Asian countries, have become popular in many parts of the world.
Without this infusion of ingredients into our culinary lives, many cuisines would be all the less flavoursome. And it’s with this in mind that Fusion Cuisine allows the introduction of foreign ingredients into our everyday lives, to enrich and stimulate us.
That being said, i don’t know the general concept that Zapata had in mind while creating the ‘afro-mex’ cuisine , as they are purely a Mexican restaurant, but i do hope that i can convince you to go out and try it out.
For starters, we tried the Chef’s signature tomato soup served with garlic bread sticks. This was a delicious mix of tangy goodness and the velvet texture of the soup blended perfectly with the crunchy bread sticks.
The soup was followed by some traditional beef samosas and smoky baked chicken wings. Although the chicken wings were a bit cold, probably because they were prepared a bit early, they were moist and delicious, and i absolutely enjoyed the sauce that they were baked in. This is a sure meal if you’re looking for a quick bite with drinks or cocktails.
For mains, we sampled Aliya-roasted beef steak cooked in Zapata’s home made tomato sauce. It was served in a bed of indigenous vegetables cooked in cream. The veggies were divine to say the least. Aliya is a traditional meal from the Luo community in Kenya made up of dried beef. Of course it has its own unique flavour and Zapata’s was pretty good. It’s a pretty rare dish to find seeing that the most authentic Aliya has to be sourced directly from Kisumu.
Pan-fried gizzards served in olive and spring onion sauce accompanied by sukumawiki and ugali was yummy as was the fresh pan fried tilapia on a bed of steamed rice.
Well all in all Zapata’s afro-mex cuisine isn’t bad, and may be a welcome relief for those that may not be 100% fans of the Mexican cuisine.