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 up to 40 people either inside under the thatch, or at our tables in the courtyard or in the garden area overlooking the river.
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 over the years have developed not only many vegetarian dishes, but plenty for people who eat no gluten, dairy or have other dietary requirements. We also serve the local traditional dish of nsima 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:
- Spiced Parsnip Soup.
Goat’s Cheese and Asparagus Salad – crunchy asparagus & courgette ribbons on a bed of mixed salad, topped with goat’s cheese
- Oxtail with Basil Dumplings – slow cooked oxtail in a rich sauce served with basil dumplings and fresh green vegetables.
- Beef Fillet- tender dry aged fillet of Zambian beef on a bed of wilted spinach with red wine sauce, potato galette stack and fresh vegetables
- Homemade ravioli – homemade pasta filled with roasted butternut and thyme, served with a burnt butter sauce and Parmesan shavings.
- Pan Fried Breast of Free Range Duck – with braised lentils and a green peppercorn sauce.
- Pork Meatballs – Thai style meatballs in a spicy coconut broth with stir fried vegetables and noodles.
‘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, UKRead more reviews on Trip Advisor
Main Menu and Desserts
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, the infamous club sandwich and our mixed platter (photo below) 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 tarte tatin (classic french apple tart!) with vanilla ice cream and poached pears with red wine syrup! 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’re also good for the local community. There are two organisations locally from whom we buy most of our vegetables from, and both of them use some of their earnings to teach new farmers their skills! We also buy from individuals who often come on their bicycles to sell us their fresh produce. We work closely with a local farmer/butcher in Chipata, Mayana Farms, who rear some of the best meat we’ve ever tasted (some might say the best in Africa!). They have reared Angus cross cows, which are free range, and 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 – they just melt in the mouth! This is all part of our determination to buy as much as we can from local producers and to suppport the local people here in Mambwe District.
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 whole of the top of the fence, 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 our pawpaw and lettuces! The wall and fence also helps 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, pak choi, spinach, kohlrabi and plenty of chillies so we can continue to keep up with demand for our world famous homemade chilli sauce. Three cheers for Edwin!
I was very impressed with Flatdogs’ restaurant. The food and drink were exceptionally good. I loved the freedom of no set meals or mealtimes; we ate what we wanted, when we wanted.
And I can’t compliment the staff at Flatdogs enough. We were greeted warmly, welcomed everywhere we went, and attended to with great care throughout our entire stay. Everyone I spoke to was kind, informed, and interested to hear about my safari experience. I loved the casual atmosphere. – amyr0512, Wassenaar, The NetherlandsRead more reviews on Tripadvisor