When cruising the streets of Maputo one is witness to a raging battle between beauty and ugliness. There are still many architectural marvels from different periods but they have been and are increasingly swallowed up by shoebox style concrete monsters that remind one of the saddest days of eastern European misery. One such early 20th century colonial architecture jewels with steel colonnades and standing in a small city garden was entirely rehabilitated and turned into a trendy and stylish lounge bar cum restaurant right next to the central hospital on the corner between Mondlane and Allende avenues. It is not the kind of place where you would normally go with kids (4 and 7) as it has more a night-on-the-town fashionista athmosphere but here we were for a look around at 6 pm. The welcome was great and we moved to the bar for cocktails, obviously non-alcoholic for the kids, a mix of fruit juices and vanilla ice cream that they greatly enjoyed, and the staff was very friendly and helpful and the kids were enjoying themselves with a large helping of icecubes to fool around with. So yes, let’s have dinner here. One of the great attractions of Maputo is also that many places have a wonderful selection of Portuguese wines and, after the classic cocktails we went for a 2008 Cabriz Réserva Daõ. When you go for one of the more uppity wines you get to lounge in the white sofas of the garden where the kids got their chicken burger with fries while we were shown a selection of rock lobsters (“langoustes, lagosta”) of different sizes. We chose a 900 g one that came back grilled to perfection. Meanwhile the little ones tucked into the home maid ice cream. All in all such a pleasant evening that we came back for more the next day. This time it was very crowded with some posh and fancy-dress business event going on but we were still perfectly taken care of and enjoyed French style beef tartar (sliced up raw beef with egg-yolk and various spices and condiments). Not cheap all of this but very much worth it.
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