When I received the lunchtime invitation for a traditional cuisine at Mariot Caf├®, my first reaction was to confirm just which Mariot my friend Joey Mothibi was talking about.
The Mariot I knew did not offer any daylight activities I could be interested in. It is the place I have for years frequented on weekend nights purely for gallivanting purposes.
I had never cared much about the club’s day time activities. They say you learn something new every day and Monday March 6, 2017 was by no means an anomaly.
There are actually family friendly activities that take place at the liquor restaurant before the place metamorphoses into something similar to Quentin Tarantino and George Clooney’s Titty Twister bar from the movie From Dusk Till Dawn.
Located in Gaborone Block 6, Mariot Caf├® is one of the most popular hangout spots for Gaborone night crawlers.
“We happen to specialise in serving breakfast and lunch for our clients,” the liquor restaurant’s Marketing Manager Vincent Kowa said. “We also provide outside catering for various events such as weddings, corporate events and private parties.”
This Monday the restaurant invited guests to the launch of their traditional cuisine. Local traditional cuisine seems to have lately crawled its way back into the palate of the city dwellers whose DNA now consists mainly of Western fast-food nutrition.
Although very reach in nutrition, Setswana traditional food has eluded many of the young millennials whose preference is rooted in fast and ready to eat junk served by fast-food franchises across Gaborone.
“We have been serving lunch on weekdays for over seven years now and the Tswana cuisine is just an addition to our existing English inspired dishes,”
Kowa told Arts & Society: “We want to change the stereotypical image that associates us with being a night club,” Kowa said.
He said the restaurants is trying to reach out to the corporate community as well as families who are looking to enjoy lunch in a relaxed atmosphere.
On Monday guests included Tertiary Education Minister Alfred Madigele and Assistant Minister Fidelis Molao, BDP Secretary General Botsalo Ntuane, and Botswana Media & Allied Workers Union (BOMAWU) president Phillimon Mmeso tasted an array of traditional food from seswaa (pounded meat), serobe (tripe), mophane worm, beans, thepe (wild spinach), oxtail, dumplings and chicken.
The restaurant also offered legapu (watermelon) as a starter and home-made ginger beer for refreshment.
I got to eat thepe for the first time in over two decades. The fried mophane worm was also the highlight of my lunch.
The restaurant serves an a la carte menu. “We intend to introduce a buffet menu in the near future,” Kowa said.
As for yours truly, I now have a totally different and guilt-free memory about my Mariot Caf├® experience.