Friday, 5 April 2013

Madame Zingara 2013

Having dinner at Madame Zingara has been on my bucket list (see number 13 here) for a while and this year I finally got to go. I've always heard people say it's really good and that I'd enjoy it - but I don't think they did it any justice. I abso-bloody-lutely loved it and was blown away for about half the evening.

Courtesy of Madame Zingara
My attitude before I got there was, 'This show better be worth R385.' I think that's what most people think while making their booking. Naturally, because of my sceptism, I opted for the cheapest tickets. I was also one of the I'm-not-dressing-up crowd who didn't want to act the fool, but let me give you a word of advice: Act the fool. We rocked up at the venue feeling a little boring compared to all the smiley, festive people having their faces painted and buying all sorts of head gear and masks. So we added a pair of gold sunnies and some gold horns to make us fit in - R100 later, we were smiley Zingarians ready to party. That said, try to bring your own decorative goodies, it'll save you a few bucks.

The welcome drink ( I chose the non-alcoholic one) is lime and cranberry slushy drink. Our waitress was Snow White, and glancing around the tent I could see a cat, Hawaiian dancer and other crazy characters serving starters. The tent isn't as big as I expected inside, but it's nice and cosy and interesting to see the waiters whisking through narrow spaces at high speed to get meals to tables - something fascinating to watch - and not one plate dropped.

So the show begins and on a scale I was still at the 'This is enjoyable' marker - that is, until the muscular Russian guys appeared and did their skit. At this point my mouth was slightly open and eyes even wider. You tend to sit there cringing and hoping no one gets hurt. No one did. Then, enter the Mongolian performers. Oh my hat! I don't want to give too much away, but if I was wearing a hat that night, I would have taken it off to them. Truly a magnificent performance. I'm not trying to take the spotlight away from any of the other performers. They're all really good and you will love every minute, from the singing to the scarf-act girl and even the bath tub girl (yes, bath tub). Be careful when she's on - you might get wet ;-)  The finale - a super entertaining Argentinian duo. All in all it's a spectacular show, with equally impressive hosts (The super glamorous Cathy Specific and Mr C).
Courtesy of Madame Zingara

I deliberately didn't mention the food because if the show didn't grab you (what are you, dead?), the food will definitely make up for it. The chocolate chilli steak (dark Belgian chocolate, rosemary and a hint of chilli with a beef fillet on rocket and field mushrooms) is the clear favourite but if red meat's not your thing, the Norwegian salmon option is just as yummy (if you require a halaal option, mention this when booking). However, you'll first have to get through a mezze platter and a second course (pasta). Dessert is a mix of tasting-sized treats that will round off the evening nicely with a cup of coffee.
Courtesy of Madame Zingara
Just when you think the night's coming to an end, the party starts. The music's turned up and you're free to join in on stage, or if you're a bit more conservative, you can break it down at your table. Just make sure to settle your bill and tip your waiter (they really do work for it).

So is it worth the R385+ ?  Put it to you this way, I'd go again in a heartbeat and not think twice about the price. It's THAT good. It also happens to be the last time the Madame will be in Cape Town for a while - so I reckon you best get your butt to the Waterfront.

Bookings: 0861-623-263