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Avenida da Marginal, Maputo, Mozambique




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    Oct 2014 · Dana Sanchez

    Marnabrasa Docks Grill was recommended by a Maputo local for its fresh seafood. When I arrived at 7:15 p.m. on...

    Marnabrasa Docks Grill was recommended by a Maputo local for its fresh seafood. When I arrived at 7:15 p.m. on a Thursday, there was just one other table occupied.

    The manager, Joaõ Nunes, told me there is usually one night a week when the restaurant is quiet, and it’s impossible to predict which night that will be.
    It wasn’t a tough choice trying to decide what to eat. Prawns — I’m a big fan. What was tough was trying to decide what size and price range I wanted to invest in. Eating in a Maputo restaurant feels more like an investment than an expense. Maputo restaurants are pricey!
    I had the choice of 10 grilled queen prawns for 690 metical ($22.50 US), six grilled king prawns for 990 metical ($32.30) or four grilled tiger prawns — they appear to measure about a foot long from head to tail — for 1600 metical ($52.25).
    By comparison the crayfish (aka lobster in Mozambique) will set you back $45.72 at Marnabrasa.
    Marnabrasa’s prices are by no means the exception. They are in line with many other Maputo restaurants.
    I chose the queen prawns, which came accompanied by french fries — a standard side dish for seafood in Maputo restaurants.
    I picked Laurentina e preta, a locally brewed dark beer. It’s his best-selling beer, Nunes said.
    The basket of bread that arrived at my table included salsa butter with a little kick to it, bread sticks, and poppy seed, olive and sesame rolls. You will pay for bread at most Maputo restaurants — it’s not free, but worth it.
    Nothing happened in Marnabrasa (Portuguese for “grilled from the sea”) that manager Nunes didn’t see.
    Attention to detail was evident in everything from the bowl of lemon butter sprinkled with parsley to the olive on the toothpick wedged in the lemon garnish to the bowl of water brought to my table for me to rinse my hands after my meal.
    The wait staff was super attentive and the red-and-black decor, relaxing after a busy day. Set against a stunning granite floor, the effect was aesthetically pleasing.
    Open since 2011, Marnabrasa is on the site of a former grocery store on busy Avenide de Marginal.
    Dining is indoor or out, with a small garden enhancing the outdoor space. By the time I left the restaurant at 8:30 p.m., it had filled up and a party of 20 was arriving.

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