Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Martini of the Week 1: Safari Bar, Hotel Intercontinental, Lusaka, Zambia

Agent Triple P likes a Vodka Martini when travelling the world and we recently had our first Sub-Saharan African one in the Safari bar in Lusaka. 

The bar is rather a good one.  Nicely and newly decorated with an unobtrusive African theme it was always pleasantly active without ever being completely full.  The service is a bit hit and miss and there are waiters only, no waitresses, which loses a point for Triple P.  The clientele had a good mix of locals and Europeans with the locals being from the top end of society (some well known faces according to our local contacts) due to its price.  A very nice selection of women were always in the bar but whether they were professional ladies or just very friendly we were never able to ascertain (despite some extended conversations!).

Ordering a drink usually (although not always) brings a bowl of nuts and (very good) spicy crisps.  Prices are not to the same proportions as a European bar with certain things like wine and Champagne being very expensive and other things, such as cocktails, being relatively reasonable.  Triple P's Vodka Martini cost 18,000 Zambian Kwacha or about £2.40. 

It was, as is often the case outside Europe and North America, a little on the weak side but the glass had been nicely chilled, which was good, but some ice was left in it, which was not so good.  No spread of the dreadful habit of ballcock sized olives we are glad to say.  Yes, there were two but only one was in the drink.

All in all not a bad Martini and certainly incredible value: a glass of house wine was £2.90 for example.