I'VE never been to tempted to holiday in the depths of the Congo.
The uncompromising humidity would be chaotic for my crease-free hair.
And there's no Selfridges or Starbucks.
However, I've just discovered the perfect solution, in the shape of a new east African restaurant in Touchwood, Solihull.
At Mogo Grill and Juice I can flirt with the jungle and tuck into African-inspired cuisine, without even breaking a sweat.
With its relaxed atmosphere, order-at-the-counter service and bottomless soft drinks, it's Nandos goes to Africa.
While colourful and jungle-inspired, it's interior felt a bit sparse and the boy and I both agreed it would benefit from some Africana artwork.
It's a tad on the Disney side, but the saving grace is the quality food.
The menu features lots of healthy griddled meat and fish (including a good selection of unusual seafood such as tilapia and basa), and then you chose from a selection of side dishes.
We started with a bowl of crunchy mogo chips. My knowledge of African fare is poor so it was interesting to find out that mogo is the Swahili word for cassava, a celebrated starchy root.
In this instance they'd been sliced finely and fried until crispy, and they came with a piquant tamarind dip. The restaurant also serves them as chunkier chips, dusted with paprika, which look incredible.
The boy opted for riverboat tilapia fillets, while I chose the chunky chicken canyon. Both were accompanied with our choice of chickpea and pimento rice, as well as salad and more mogo crisps.
The delicately cooked fish arrived with a sundried tomato dip, while my juicy chicken was complimented by more sticky tamarind sauce. We also ordered some Massai mango salsa which at 99p for a microscopic portion, seemed a bit steep.
In contrast our main course portions were good value at £7.95 and £4.95 respectively. While zesty with spice the dishes were so light and balanced we managed to polish off the lot.
Worth a mention was the cheeky calypso fruit smoothie, supped by the boy. It was packed with the taste of fresh cherries, and we both agreed it was one of the most delicious drinks we'd tried.
As we left the restaurant an eager waiter asked if we'd be returning. Indeed we would. Not only because I'd managed to leave Africa without a sunburned nose and frizzy hair, but also thanks to a voucher promising free mogo chips on my next visit! I'm a sucker for a freebie.
For more details visit the website www.mogogrill.com