BY Michael Kaminer | NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
I met the Koeksisters the other night. A little dense, but sweet, with cute braids. Couldn’t help it; we finished them off.
The Koeksisters — syrup-soaked doughnuts that resemble mini-challahs — topped off my introduction to South African food at Madiba, which opened last month inside Harlem’s MIST arts complex.
The new joint is the glossier sibling of Mark Henegan’s beloved, rough-around-the-edges Fort Greene restaurant. And it shares Henegan’s obsessive attention to detail in the kitchen. Even his humblest-sounding “home cooking” emerges beautifully realized, thoughtfully plated and precisely cooked.
Or not. Ostrich carpaccio ($15) delivers deep-ruby slivers of marvelously mellow meat that practically meld with slim chips of mellow farm cheese. Don’t let the exotic-sounding bird scare you; this simple, silky starter is one of the strongest, subtlest dishes I’ve had this year.