Bar review: Makumba brings Africa to Lan Kwai Fong

Martyn Cornell

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 06 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 05 June, 2013, 10:48pm

Makumba Africa Bar/Lounge
2/F Ho Lee Building, 38-44 D'Aguilar Street, Central
Tel: 2810 5300


The vibe: a slice of West Africa in the heart of Lan Kwai Fong. Makumba relocated from Peel Street earlier this year and is open for lunch and dinner every day except Sunday.

Its new home still has handicrafts on the walls, an African-themed menu, "mock croc" covers on the seats at the island bar, and live music from house band Ezo (whose name means "flame" in one of the dialects of Togo) every Tuesday to Saturday.

The drinks: the hunter of rare brews can try N'Zingha lager from Cameroon on draught for HK$65 a glass, and there are wines from South Africa (pinotage at HK$420 a bottle, for example, and Douglas Green Chardonnay at HK$320) and Australia.

But the more adventurous should look to the cocktail menu, where, alongside classic Margaritas and Cosmopolitans at HK$95 to HK$120, are house specials that include the African Hurricane (rum, ginger juice, pineapple, vanilla and mint) and the Amandla, meaning "power" in Zulu (rum, dry Curacao, pineapple, guava, orange juice and lime).

There are also nine "rumsikinis", all at HK$110, including the African Martini (fresh coffee, vodka, rum, coffee liqueur, crème de cacao), the Malagasy (lychee fruit, lychee liqueur, vodka and rum) and the Salif Keita, named after the great Malian singer and songwriter (orange, guava, coco rum and Grand Marnier).

The bar snacks menu, which includes African spring rolls for HK$75, four different kinds of wraps (shrimp, fish, chicken and vegetarian) for between HK$68 and HK$95, and chicken bamun (wings, wild pepper and chilli, HK$75) is tasty.

The dinner menu has more substantial dishes including kedjenou, a chicken stew, for HK$138, poulet DG (chicken fricassee) for HK$148 and fish fricassee for HK$158.

The verdict: a change from the standard LKF booze bars, with the music especially welcome.