Letters from Darfur: Khartoum’s best-kept secret

2010-11-30 12:35

Beyond Khartoum’s frayed architectural facades and scars, there’s a chilled eatery that serves the best milkshakes in the world.

I discover Papa Costa restaurant on Al-Amarat Street in the heart of Khartoum. This is where the city’s culture vultures and fundis go to find respite from the troubles of the land they call home.

The joint is run by a man known simply as Omar. He could easily pass for a guy from the Cape, except for his mysterious aura, and a slight Arabic accent and manner.

Papa Costa has an unstated subversive edge, which makes it a liberal pilgrim’s rest of sorts among foreigners who make regular visits to the Sudan, a strict Muslim country.

The architecture mixes a Mediterranean pitch with the labyrinthine turns of the Arabian experience. The outside sitting area is the popular space. This is where patrons can enjoy the cool air of Khartoum’s evenings. This, after all, is a city with one of the hottest climates in the world. Temperatures here are known to reach 40ºC.

Having elected to sit outside, my colleagues are served by lovely waitresses who seem of Ethiopian-Sudanese extraction. To consecrate our visit, the dish is decidedly of a native Sudanese flavour. It is pita bread with baba ganoush and tahina. These are side dishes made from brinjals and sesame seed, respectively.

These starters are accompanied by a platter that includes rice, salads and shish, a roasted chicken kebab, plus some goat meat, kusda.

But before these could arrive, a dousing intervention was required. In Sudan, travellers are known to carry thirsts comparable only to proverbial famished buffaloes. And here is where the greatest discovery is made: Sudan’s best-kept secret and contender for the best milkshake in our world.

Say all you like about the shabby touches of this town, when it comes to this creamy beverage, they don’t cut corners and employ no fake flavourants.

Only fresh fruit, milk and other exotic ingredients are used to produce this heavenly treat. And so it’s alight to go bananas!

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.