Madiba Restaurant

4.3
198 reviews
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$30 and under
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South African

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About

Feast on authentic South African cuisine at Madiba Restaurant. Its casual shebeen-style setting is ideal for grabbing a quick lunch with friends or dining out with family. Madiba Restaurant serves breakfast with such fare as eggs, French toast, bacon and salmon. Guests can start their dinner course with a small plate of grilled calamari, ostrich carpaccio or chicken livers. Then guests can move on to an entrée of oxtail stew, pan-seared prawns with saffron yellow rice and greens, or a rib-eye steak with Moroccan couscous.

Madiba Restaurant features a bar that offers a variety of drinks. It provides catering services for business functions, parties and other events. This restaurant offers outdoor seating for guests to enjoy the neighborhood views as they dine. It welcomes reservations, and takeout service is available.

Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
South African
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Hours of operation

Sunday - Thursday: 11:00am - 11:00pm

Friday & Saturday: 11:00am - 12:00am
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Phone number
(718) 855-9190
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Mark Henegan
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Private party facilities
Since 1999 Madiba Restaurant has offered a unique South African experience, the first of its kind in the United States. The restaurant is more than the food, drum beating live music to late night revelry with Fort Greene locals, Madiba Restaurant is the perfect mini vacation to the African Continent
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Private party contact
Mark Henegan: (877) 649-1554
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Catering
Madiba restaurant itself, our Catering & Event Production division
is both a gateway and a much missed opportunity for enjoyment
that is nothing short of ‘home’ - wherever that home may be.



We are a New York based full-service Catering & Event Company,
experts at making any size corporate or social function a highly
unique event.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Carlton Ave
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Public transit
G to Fulton or Clinton-Washington

C to Lafayette

B54 at Carlton & Dekalb (west bound)

B54 at Carlton & Lafayette (east bound)
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Entertainment
From the South African All Stars to local Brooklyn Artists, the bill constantly changes!
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Special events & promotions
Monthly Wine paired dinners form October to March.
Additional
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Entertainment, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Outdoor dining, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine
What 198 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.3based on all time ratings
4.3
food
4.0
service
4.3
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
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OT
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic all around!

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M
New York Area
24 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2015
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

it was a while since the last time there. Some new faces, many familiar individuals. The food is excellent and tasty, as well as the cocktails. Waiters are attentive and smiling. I confess: I am biased. I love this place. But I cannot less happy for this gem discovered few years ago.

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M
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2015
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Mandiba is the affectionate nickname for Nelson Mandela and this rustic Fort Greene gem is a fitting tribute to him. Go if you are interested in sampling South African hand-crafted slow cooked authentic peasant food. We loved it. The combination of spice and palate unique to this part of the world.

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L
New York Area
40 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2015
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

We loved every dish we spilt. The samosas were served with the most delicious pepper and spices which I believe is called atchar-not hot just but extremely flavorful. The ostrich carpaccio was fresh, tender and yummy. Chicken livers peri-peri were absolutely delicious with the perfect mix of spices. We also split the Oxtail stew which we elected to have served with roti-loved every single morsel of this dish. Oh and the two drinks we had were amazing! My only wish is that Madiba is not right down the street from my house. 

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BB
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

This was my second trip to Madiba...I had a great time, the owner was very nice! Food great plus the drinks strong but very good. ...I would strongly recommend this place to others. Btw, I will definitely be going to the location in Harlem....Yessssssss!

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SS
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 13, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

The food was soooo good. I took my boyfriend there for his birthday and he said it was the best food he has had in a long time. The ambiance was great as well and if you like to jam to Black music while you eat, this is the place to be.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 12, 2015
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 4

Food was perfect. However, our waitress was not so helpful. I would recommend this restaurant to anybody. delicious food but poor service.

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OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Loved the food! I had the prawns and they were delicious. I would definitely recommend.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 11, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great and unique food that was perfect to share. The staff was the perfect balance of leisurely and efficient.

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J
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2015
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The lobster tail was substantial and the fish special was delicious. Ambience was interesting. Service was pleasant and attentive. Only shortcoming for me was the lack of adequate A/C.

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OT
Baltimore
3 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2015
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

I loved the decor, menu had great authentic South African cuisine and the server was very friendly. Great spot in The New Brooklyn.

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S
New York Area
21 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2015
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

This is a nice brooklyn spot. Great music, food, drinks, Brooklynites and resident celebrity.
Summer time outdoor give the Resaturant a most spacious feel however winter without the outdoor the restaurant is usually packed and cramped but still good.

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MS
New York Area
39 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2015
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great spot to catch up with girlfriends. Staff were very attentive and prompt, food tasted great as usual and there was a nice and lively vibe. Even though they have discontinued my favorite white, I took a glass of bubbly instead which went down a treat.

Perfect venue that allows me to walk home with a contented smile on my face :-)

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v
New York Area
40 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place, good music. We like weekdays when it isn't as busy or loud. Really delicious food, friendly staff.

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D
New York Area
28 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2015
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Our waiter was incredible.

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A
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 22, 2015
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

The ambience was incredible. They have South African stuff covering the walls. The food was also great. It even took a little while just like it would in South Africa haha. Get the prawns

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on July 30, 2015
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

being South African we loved Madiba. Everything was great - but the only issue we had was that our main meal came too soon after we got our appetizers and we were still not done. It felt a little rushed.
but the food was great and the server was very nice.

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N
New York Area
1 review
Dined on July 30, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The wait staff was helpful and friendly and the food was delicious!

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M
New York Area
18 reviews
Dined on July 26, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great summer find in Brooklyn. The food, atmosphere and service was wonderful

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on July 25, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The fish soup with butternut squash was so good I insisted everyone at the table taste it.

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JH
Charleston
1 review
Dined on July 24, 2015
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Fantastic food - wide range of options, all of which were top quality once served. Service was adequate but didn't match the quality of the food. I made a reservation for 8:45pm, and we weren't seated until after 9pm. The staff was accommodating, and we ordered drinks while we waited, but they forgot two drinks and then we were seated. Ambience outside was great - a quiet energy that fueled conversation but didn't make us shout.

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OT
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on July 24, 2015
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

great food. excellent service. Madiba is a neighborhood gem. I will always recommend them.

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y
Berlin
11 reviews
Dined on July 8, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I live in the neighborhood and had wanted to try Madiba out from the moment I first walked past it. I finally went the other night and am now a huge fan. From the moment you walk inside you feel like you're on vacation. The South African manager/host/owner (?) greets you and sets the tone for your evening ahead. Delicious and unique food, awesome music, great vibe and the decor is the piece de triomphe!

I can't wait to go back again!

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LM
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2015
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

I love Madiba but it seems lately that a lot of The menu items are not available. Took my mom the week after Mothers Fay and it was the same issue...

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VM
New York Area
37 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2015
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Don't come here in a hurry - very relaxed service. But great food, lots of vegetarian choices & delicious cocktails. Could use more beer on tap

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n
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on June 26, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food. Had chicken liver and ostrich Carpaccio appetizers, prawns and a lamb curry. Original and delicious cocktails. Good flourless chocolate cake. Service excellent, if casual. Charming, warm and funky.

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E
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a lovely time with friends at a round table ( love a round table). The menu has some deliciious items that can be either shared or just for you. I had the lamb chops with lentils and polenta all of which were delicious.

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OT
New York Area
21 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2015
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Madiba was great as usual. Food was tasty and hot when it came out. Drinks were cold and tangy. Only issue (which is rare) was the waiters were switched during our meal so it took a while to get our check. It was like they forgot about us. Other than that - highly recommended.

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NN
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2015
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great ambiance, good service, and great food. My bf and I had both spent time in Johannesburg in the past and were looking forward to revisiting the cuisine. Madiba did not disappoint.

The ostrich carpaccio and peri peri chicken livers were excellent starters. Flavorful and nicely presented. The bobotie was the highlight of the entreés. Just like old times. Great flavor, authentic. Brought back memories.

Dessert was my favorite, malva pudding. Plateful of warm, gooey, caramel deliciousness. Topped off with the lychee martini and a bottle of recommended white wine.

Great meal, and great experience

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AM
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on June 9, 2015
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 2

I recently visited South Africa and was excited to try some South African food here in New York. However, my excitement quickly diminished once I arrived. I was given menus, both of which were rather sticky and did not seem to have ever been wiped down. This would have been a minor annoyance, but unfortunately it was the beginning of a disappointing experience. I ordered the Peri Peri Chicken wings as my appetizer; the wings came right away, which was a little weird for me, because I assumed the food would be made to order rather than pre-cooked. When I visited South Africa one of my favorite meals were the Peri Peri wings, but these tasted very different (different is okay, but this didn’t seem authentic). They weren’t very hot which added to my assumption that the food was not made to order and instead warmed up.
I opted to order the Durban Style Curry with Lamb and rice. I originally was going to order the Pap and Vleis but my inclination was that it wouldn’t be worth the ticket price. Like the appetizer, the main dish came within moments after I ordered. This further proved to me that the meals here are pre-cooked and warmed for customers, which wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing, but the taste and quality of the food is so poor that this just makes it worse. A serious insult to the paying customer. The lamb was so tough I gave up trying to chew it. The rice and raisins were worse. The rice at the top of the bowl was normal texture, but the rice at the bottom of the bowl had hardened. It was obvious that the rice had been cooked at an earlier time and warmed up, but it was not cooked evenly, or worse the rice was so old that it had hardened. The raisins were also very hard; I couldn’t eat but a couple of them. I actually only ate a small portion of the entire entrée, which wasn't much to begin with.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 22, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service is always great.

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OT
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on May 22, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was a great place to celebrate a birthday. My wife who is a finicky eater raved about her meal and the dessert the entire night. She is planning to bring the in-laws to Madiba when they come to visit. Compliments to the chef and staff for creating a magical evening.

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DF
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2015
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

I came here on Mother's Day so to be fair, I should have expected it to be packed which it was. I think for the quantity and quality of the food that night, the prices were a bit high. I came to this same place about 5 years ago and couldn't wait to return, but I found that the food was not as tasty and lukewarm. They seemed to be understaffed on such a busy night and we could not get the attention of the poor waitress dealing with multiple tables. I do not think I will go again.

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M
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2015
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

It was mothers day, so decided to take my mom to a South African restaurant, because she had never been. I booked a reservation on open table for 3pm. Arrived on time and could not be seated until 3:30pm. A waiter rushed over right after seating us and said we had 2 min to place an order before the kitchen was closing. We quickly placed an order. Then the waiter came back 30min later and told us the kitchen could NOT prepare our meal and was closed until 5:30pm. Basically wasted 1 hour of my time, hungry and had to pick up take out at a Thai restaurant because my moms plane was leaving. Horrible service, they didn't even try to accommodate us at all. Said we could wait until 5:30pm until kitchen opened that's all they could do, ridiculous. If you want to waste your time and leave hungry you should go there. Heads up never bring anyone there on a special occasion because they can't accomodate you.

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OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2015
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

Went on mother's day. I got the organic chicken with rice&raisins. Our food took a long time to come and once it came, they brought out dishes for only 3 people in our party. My wife had to wait about 4-5mins for her plate after everyone else already had theirs.

The appetizer we ordered came with the main course and not before.

For some weird reason, the kitchen was closing for an hour while we were there.

My chicken was overcooked. My dad didn't particularly care for his fish, but he ate it. My wife felt like the lobster was a little chewier than she had hoped. My mom liked her lamb.

We got a salmon cake appetizer for the table, i felt like it was a little overcooked. I make baked salmon cakes for myself every now and again - i don't want to go to a restaurant and feel like my salmon cake compares to what they cook. The presentation of the salmon cake was nice.

I would still go back to madiba because the staff were friendly and they separated the dry foods from the wet when wrapping everything up.

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t
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2015
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

I live in the neighborhood and have been to Madiba many times. The restaurant is in a great location with great people watching for Sunday Brunch. The food is really good and the ambience can't be beat. It sometimes takes a while for the food to be served but it's always worth the wait. I plan to go many more times.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 9, 2015
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 5

We had a good time at the restaurant. However, when we arrived our reservations were not honored and we had to wait a very long time for a table (over an hour). When we did finally get a table we were in a walk way between the serving staff and bus staff. There was a lot of traffic. Until finally our server found us a table out of the way.

Overall the food was outstanding and we loved the cozy neighborhood feel.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 9, 2015
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 2

I've never been to a restaurant and had such a horrible experience. We got there and it was super crowded and it seemed chaotic. We told the gentlemen at the front that we had 8:30 reservations and gave him our names. He said ok and then disappeared. He never checked the computer, didn't write anything down and most of all he never came back. We then told the other gentleman at the front the same thing and he says ok but we have about 30 ppl ahead of you. I asked what was the point of reservations then and he said well everyone reserved for the same time. Again he didn't check the computer or take our name. So we decided to sit at the bar to figure out our next move and after speaking to the bartender he was able to secure a table for us. We were shown to our seat but that was it. No one gave us menus or came to take any orders. I had to flag down one of the guys working to ask for menus and eventually put in a order. There was one waitress there who just kept passing our table and never asked if we wanted anything but she paid exceptional attention to one table and that table only. Finally we flagged down another person to take our drink and appetizer order which came out pretty quickly. I ordered the wings and my friend the samosas. I wasn't impressed with either. I found the wings to be oily and the samosas to be bland. We finished our appetizers and kinda sat around for a while waiting for a server to come over and take our dinner order but NOPE. Again we had to flag someone down to place our order. It was the most frustrating dining experience. We were given zero service. We had to beg to be served and what we were served was average at best. I had to flag someone down for the check and by that time I was beyond ready to leave. Suffice it to say I will not be returning. I'm not going to beg a restaurant to take my money.

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W
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on May 9, 2015
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 3

Love going to Madiba for a great taste of South Africa. The food is brilliant and service delightful. One downside consistently seems to be the reservation system and wait to be seated. Other than that bring on the pap & vleis!

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LN
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 9, 2015
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 3

I always enjoy eating at this restaurant. Due to its popularity, I didn't want to take the chance and have to wait. So the last couple of times Ive went, I made sure to make reservations. Apparently having one doesn't seem to matter. The hostesses attempted to tell us that we would have to wait for over 30 for our table despite being on time for our reservations. Which happens to be the same wait time for the people walking in and adding their name to the list for a table. It didn't sit well so I inquired as what was the purpose of making reservations. He couldn't actually give me an answer and then said he would make some adjustments. After waiting for about 10 minutes of waiting we are being walked to a table, we meet another couple and who is being walked to the same table. They also had a reservation for the same time. We ended up being seated at the table. I love the food and the atmosphere. However they are becoming very unorganized with their service is horrible. We had to ask our waitress to clear our table for us, ask for several things like water repeatedly.

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