Had a group dinner here last night. Vibe is more like a cafe than a restaurant. The owner (Dorothy) was wonderfully warm and friendly all the way through and made us feel very welcome and like we were guests in her home. Since none of us knew anything about Zambian food, she cooked us a huge spread of typical dishes for us to try. Huge amounts left at the end for doggy-bags, worked out £11 each.
Caterpillars were fried with onions, a nice mix of crunchiness and chewiness. The other dishes were mostly offal or vegetables. There was, as usual, nshima to balance the strong flavours and add carbs.
Sausages were noticably aromatic, though we couldn't quite place the herb used. They had a dryness that seemed to imply a somewhat healthy lack of fat. Other dishes included lungs&tripe, cows' feet (which had the expected gelatinous consistency), several different pureed green african vegetables (these were more or less like spinach, with a much deeper taste, one in particular quite bitter). Anchovies were particularly good, though a very strong flavour, so I found best balanced with the nshima.
I don't really know Zambian food so can't say if it was a good example or not, but it was a great experience, so definitely worth a visit. Owner says it's the only Zambian restaurant in London.
177 Upton Lane E7 9PJ, 079 4710 6429
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