Café Dhow

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4 Marracuene Rd, Ponta Vermelha, Maputo, Mozambique




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    4.0 rating based on 1 rating
    Sep 2013 · Sarah Duff

    When you walk through the doorman-guarded gate of the unmarked residential house that Cafe Dhow lives in, be prepared to...

    When you walk through the doorman-guarded gate of the unmarked residential house that Cafe Dhow lives in, be prepared to enter a world far removed from the busy streets of Maputo.

    This lovely restored residence is filled with some of Maputo’s most beautiful African-inspired décor, accessories and furniture, from artworks, statues, bowls, jewelry, framed photographs, scarves and fabrics to tables.

    Beyond the décor shop is the cafe, on a covered veranda overlooking a pool and small garden, with a sweeping vista of Maputo Bay beyond – where you’re likely to spot actual dhows sailing. By far the best spot in the house is the secluded couch at the edge of the garden, with uninterrupted views of the sea. The café is decorated as tastefully as the curatorship of the shop, with a palette of whites and blues, African curios and printed cushions, making you feel like you’re in a private beach house rather than a restaurant. This is where Maputo’s well-heeled set eats: expect tables of stylish “ladies who lunch”.

    The menu is tiny but offers a refreshingly different selection of Greek and Mediterranean dishes that you don’t get elsewhere in the city. Try the “Maria Callas” breakfast of free-range scrambled eggs on French toast with roast cherry tomatoes and bacon, baguettes with gourmet fillings such as Parma ham, rocket and sundried tomato, the popular chicken salad (praised by locals as one of the best salads in the city), phyllo wraps or Greek pies – I had a perfect spanakopita filled with spinach and feta cheese. Desserts are deliciously simple: think apple crumble, angel cake or vanilla ice cream with cherries.

    On hot afternoons, not much can beat a homemade iced tea with ginger and basil or a fresh juice with a splash of vodka. Café Dhow’s wine list is limited to only a few South African bottles – but they are good ones. Springfield’s Life from Stone is a light Sauvignon Blanc, Haute Cabriere’s Chardonnay-Pinot Noir is an easy-drinking wine that pairs well with Mediterranean flavours, while Boekenhoutskloof Chocolate Block is an outstanding red. With its fabulous view, Café Dhow makes a great spot for sundowners – choose one of their classic cocktails with the Greek mezze platter.


    The staff don’t speak much English – but the menus are in English, so you can get by with a bit of pointing.

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