At &Beyond, the advice we give our guests at each of our seven (!) safari mealtimes is steadfast: diet is a four-letter word and calories simply don’t count when you’re on holiday … whether you’re on a safari, a city adventure or a beach escape. Fact. So let loose. Enjoy every meal, go back for seconds and definitely have that dessert. No one wants to be dieting, counting calories or rejecting carbs when they’re on holiday. So don’t!
Food is as much a part of the journey as the destination itself. Sample the local flavours, try the dishes you’ve never heard of and slowly savour each new delicacy. Say yes to that generous splash of Amarula in your morning coffee and that chilled glass of wine with lunch That’s the luxury of being on holiday – having an excuse to loosen the rules (and the waistline) and linger over an entire holiday’s worth of leisurely, guilt-free meals.
Situated just off the tropical shores of Zanzibar, the private island oasis of &Beyond Mnemba Island is one such place where the food is so impossibly fresh and bursting with flavour that you just have to arrive sans diet and commit to enjoying every last morsel of heavenly goodness.
Before we describe &Beyond Mnemba’s irresistible seafood (“see food”) diet in delicious foodie detail, we invite you to sit back and enjoy this quick video of some perfectly fresh-from-the-sea ceviche being expertly prepared in paradise. Be warned; it will make you hungry for Mnemba’s wholesome flavours, endless sunshine, unhurried pace and 50 shades of blue.
The overall food theme on the island is one of barefoot beach simplicity, just like the island itself. Relaxed and unpretentious, each culinary experience is not only prepared according to each guest’s individual tastes and preferences, but the meals are also served at a time and location that suits each guest perfectly.
It’s the luxury of (almost) having your own private chef. Or so it seems; with only 12 beach bandas on the island, the chefs have a lot more time to tailor-make the meals to suit the whims of each guest (ingredient allowing of course). The island’s mouth-watering daily menu board is merely a suggestion and guests are encouraged to eat when, where and what they want.
&Beyond Mnemba’s food is simple yet elegant and bursting with Zanzibari flavours. Deliciously ripe fruit and aromatic spices are brought over from the main island and local fishermen on lateen-rigged ngalawas (traditional East African sailing vessels) regularly deliver freshly-caught seafood to the island. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot them jumping off the ngalawa onto the beach carrying their catch of the day (a great moment to catch on camera).
Late breakfast trays teeming with tropical fruit, freshly-squeezed juice and Tanzanian coffee can be delivered to the beach banda for those wanting to indulge in a quiet lie-in. Fresh sushi and chilled champagne can appear discreetly at the guests’ private beach loungers just as the sun starts dipping over the horizon should they want to celebrate the magnificent sunset in privacy. Romantic dinners for two are served right on the beach or in the heart of the forest, while jovial beach sundowners are often shared before a grand seafood barbecue on the beach. Think chargrilled lobster and long skewers overflowing with fat juicy prawns, served under the stars with a mouth-watering selection of dipping sauces and colourful, organic salads.
This is just a taste of some of the diet-breaking treats on offer: beer-battered fish and thick-cut chips; flavourful, spicy fish (or prawn, crab, lamb, chicken … you name it) curries made with creamy coconut milk and topped with freshly-grown cilantro and a splash of lime; richly decadent open lobster and crab lasagne; chapatti wraps filled with the healthiest ingredients; beautiful summer pastas and light salads; seared tuna sashimi with finely chopped ginger and Zanzibari wasabi (be warned, it has an incredible kick!); a seemingly endless variety of enticing flavours of homemade ice cream (think lemongrass, or lime and Cointreau, or coconut and Malibu rum); and so much more. And not to worry, if you’re not a seafood lover (you’re missing out!), there are plenty of dishes to satisfy the meat-lovers.
No amount of adjectives and pretty pictures can truly describe just how fresh and beautiful the food is. After each new meal, we guarantee you’ll have a new favourite.