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Bamboo lines the ceiling and driftwood collected along the Hudson River bank is scattered around Braai. From the same folks who own Xai Xai Wine Bar down the street, the Hell's Kitchen restaurant specializes in South African barbecue. Skewers of ostrich, venison, and mutton are covered in traditional spices from Cape Malay. The recipe for Chakalaka, a vegetable relish, comes straight from Johannesburg and curried chutneys grace a few of the meaty plates. The malva pudding, a sponge cake in a puddle of pastry cream with vanilla ice cream, is not to be skipped for dessert. --Jessica Goodman
Of the three South African restaurants in town, Braai is the one with the broadest menu. Although nominally a barbecue joint, Braai's bill of fare also runs to biryanis (demonstrating Indian influences on the cuisine), prawns piri-piri (a fiery Angolan dish), sliders (this is New York, after all), and tribal porridges, in addition to the Boer dried meats, and oddball ostrich and mutton. A big plus is a wine list showcasing many unfamiliar South African vintages. The decor is rough-hewn, in a... More »
The meat fired atop smoldering olivewood at Braai competes with the best carnivorous pleasures in town. Try the pinkly gamey venison steak, which comes with a delicious mass of roasted sweet potato and eggplant better than most steakhouse sides.
Braai literally means BBQ and this place is delicious. I'd never had South African before, but I went with a friend who dated a South African for years. So, she was familiar with the menu and had eaten the home-cooked version of these dishes. Everything was excellent! The wine was a little pricey. (I was looking at the price for a 1/2 bottle, not a whole one, so when the bill came, there was a little bit of sticker shock.) I had the special, which when I went was a seaford biryani. Biryani is generally considered to be Indianl, and you do see many of the same spices. But it is done in a more smoky, dry-rubbed sort of way. No heavy coconut sauces here! And the milk tart (think tres leches with a flaky pie crust on the bottom) was a great way to finish the meal.
If there's anything that will make a jaded food city perk up, it's word that a new restaurant will be serving zebra. Yes, wrote The New York Times, zebra would be on the menu at Braai, the new South African barbecue spot in Hell's Kitchen. On the... More »
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