02-10-2017 di Freddie del Curatolo
Kenya is often defined as playing on opposites:"joy and pain","misery and nobility","cross and delight","hell and paradise".
The secret of our splendid Watamu is that, while not escaping from this ineluctable rule of Africa, he takes the best from these contradictory aspects, and makes its total beauty.
And when the evening lights go down, after a venerable sunset that exalts the colours and scents of nature, there is no better place than Come Back to realize.
At the entrance of the restaurant, at dinner time, you can be escorted by smiling angels guarded towards a heavenly corner where, with the background of music really classy (but where you can find the black music of the fathers of soul Bill Withers, Otis Redding and Al Green?) you are comfortable under the starry sky and prepare yourself for a real sensory journey through the tastes brought by the Indian Ocean and the specialities of the land of Africa, with an obvious splash of Italy that, when it comes to good food, can hardly miss.
We are in a cosy oeno-gastronomic paradise, but also on a light cloud where, in addition to international tourists, you meet other Watamu souls.
In a Friday evening that others would call it "low season", the restaurant is practically full!
Greetings to the British managers of Hemingways, another paradise that will soon reopen in all its renewed splendour, a chat with Roberto Lenzi, one of Kenya's most serious and in love with one of the most serious entrepreneurs, meet the environmental friends of the "Watamu Marine Association" together with artists, professionals and many other people who do not need qualifications to be defined as excellent customers.
But it's not only this that qualifies the As Back, by browsing through the menu and foretasteing the house's specialties, you get the impression that you won't be disappointed.
And then Mario arrives, the navigated landlord.
His friendly atmosphere as a man of the world, his expertise and knowing how to stay with everyone make him a real character.
Until midnight we are in paradise, but after dinner stay here for a drink that will animate hell!
Maybe the underworld was like that.... it would be a sin for good to earn it forever!
Meanwhile, to move forward, Mario recommends certain throat sins that will be difficult to forget.
An example? Three starters with octopus ceviche, tuna carpaccio and shrimp cocktails (savouring an excellent white "La Bollina"), then tuna fillet freshly cooked with mint and caramelized onions....
Meanwhile, in the quietness of a garden surrounded by plants and separates of flaming branches skilfully arranged, one spends a dinner that paradise is to say little.
But slowly the evening elevator digits the lower floors of the fun and pleasure of the meeting.
The zen garden of culinary delights has finished its role and lights up on other temptations. In Watamu in the evening you can also experience this way, moreover, as the great poet Vinicius De Moraes said:"life is the art of encounter". A glass, overwhelming music to dance (what better way to dispose of calories remedied in the nearby paradise?) and some friends who chose directly the "vida loca" or dined in another good place or in their resort and the like.
The variegated people of the night are beautiful independent girls, the Kenyan working class who happily mixes but also knows how to have fun as it is right that both in an environment that does not exclude or privilege anyone.
And fatally we also find our angel Mario, who has worn the invisible red cloak and suggests a gin tonic, an "American" made in God's grace (oopss, at Belzebù we wanted to say...) and orders the deejay to open the dances. People continue to enter, the glasses of toasts tinkle, smiles cross each other and the people of the night have fun without needing excesses.
If it is true that there is nocturnal hell in Watamu's paradise... then the real sin is not to enter it!
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