The Camp – A La Carte Restaurant
Flatdogs is unique in many ways, one of which is definitely our restaurant! There are no set meals or meal times here – guests can order what they’d like to eat, when they’d like to eat it.
The restaurant seats around 45 people either inside under the thatch, or at our tables in the courtyard or in the garden area overlooking the river.
‘The food was amazingly good, especially for vegetarians. There were imaginative choices based on locally sourced food and the chefs made their own delicious bread and even filo pastry.’
–Jill Fletcher, UK
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We have trained all our chefs over the years and have been working with them to develop a bistro-style menu, aiming for simple things done well. Isolated as we are here, as much as possible is made from scratch; our bread, our nachos, our fiery chilli sauce and our tangy pawpaw chutney. We use as much locally-grown and -raised produce as possible. We have lots of options for all palates and one of our favourite vegetarian specials is the Aubergine Curry with local rice – spiced aubergine and potato curry served with a lentil dahl and local rice (photo below). Also seen is another favourite – chicken satay skewers with local rice and a spicy green pawpaw salad. We also serve the local staple meal of nshima with a vegetable, fish or chicken relish – certainly something to try if you are visiting the country for the first time.
We try to make our Daily Specials Board a mix of Flatdogs favourites and new recipes our chefs want to try (we are used as guinea pigs first so don’t worry too much!) to keep things interesting. Here are some examples:
- Mexican Red Bean Soup with Guacamole.
- Wild rocket, pear, walnut and feta salad with a lemon dressing.
- Beef Wellington – tender fillet of Zambian beef with homemade chicken liver pate wrapped in golden puff pastry with marsala sauce served with creamy potato bake and mixed vegetables.
- Pork fillet with apple sauce served with sautéed potatoes and onions, spiced cabbage and green beans.
- Homemade ravioli – homemade pasta filled with white bean and leek in a creamy sauce and served with a white wine and tomato sauce and parmesan shavings.
- Pan Fried Breast of Free Range Chicken in a Chasseur Sauce.
- Chicken and Almond Curry – tender chicken pieces marinated in yoghurt and flavoured with almonds and spices, served with local rice, chutneys and a coconut chapati.
Main Menu and Desserts
‘You have to remember this place really is in the middle of Africa, so running any sort of restaurant is an impressive feat! Running one that produces this quality of food is very impressive.’
–Chris Fifield-Smith, UK
Read more reviews on Trip Advisor
Our standard menu is stuffed full of a wide range of crowd-pleasers aiming to suit most tastes. Favourites include our Indian aubergine and potato curry with lentil dahl and chipati (photo below), the famously good homemade beef burger and our mixed platter (above) of snacks and dips – perfect to share as a starter or for a light lunch.
At the top of our “all time most popular” list is the Flatdogs chocolate brownie with chocolate sauce… choc heaven! Other home-made desserts include gingerbread ice-cream with maple syrup and pears baked in filo pastry served with cream and chocolate sauce! Sweet tooth anyone?!
Fresh, Local Produce
As we said before, we try to use fresh local produce where we can, often picked only hours before it’s eaten, which is almost unheard of in this world of flying things across continents while still just a thought in the parent vegetable’s seed-pod! Our veggies not only taste better, but they’ve also good for the local community. One of the local farmers we support is called Rodgers who can be seen at Flatdogs delivering his veggies by bicycle. He is happy to make the 40 km round trip two or three times a week to make sure our guests get the freshest veg in the Valley. He has been so successful that he now employs two other people so he supports three families from his garden business. Flatdogs helped him build a well and provided a pump for seasonal irrigation. We also help with planning his production for the year and sourcing seeds for the more unusual western veggies we ask him to grow for us. We also work closely with a local farmer/butcher in Chipata so we get the best local meat. Recently they have installed a new hanging room that allows them to dry-age their beef for up to 40 days. They have been able to supply us with some interesting new cuts such as beef cheeks, which we slow-cook and stuff into our homemade ravioli – melt in the mouth! This is all part of trying to buy as much as we can from local producers and supporting the local people.
Our Chief gardener Edwin is responsible for growing and caring for our Fort Knox of a veggie garden. The garden is surrounded by an eight foot high brick wall with two extra strips of electric fencing around the outside, necessary since one memorable October when our resident elephant herd, led by the inimitable Mrs Wonky Tusk, managed to push down the eight foot high wall to get to the pawpaw and lettuces! The top of the wall is covered with diamond mesh to slow down the baboons and monkeys trying to help themselves to the tomatoes and broccoli. So Edwin has his work cut out for him, but his green fingers give life to our herbs, lettuces, rocket, sorrel, tomatoes, broccoli, beetroot, pak choi, spinach, cauliflower, runner beans (first crop soon!), the passion fruit vines, pawpaw trees and even some melons when we have space. He’s incredible!