Le Mokai: one year old and climbing the charts!

Mokai appetizer trio

It’s not altogether shocking that I’d never heard of the #2 ranked restaurant listed on Trip Advisor. As much as I enjoy eating my way around Dakar, there are constantly new places (or old favorites) that I’ve not made it to yet or am just learning about.

Mokai

What is rather surprising though is that Le Mokai has made it to the second position on this list after being open just one year! If you look at the top ten ranked restaurants in Dakar, all the others have been around a while and have carved out their spots. So I had to check out the newcomer and see what made it climb the charts so quickly.

Mokai seafood grill

Le Mokai is located on rue Carnot in Plateau, just down from the entrance of the Institut Francais. The modern facade and imposing black door look very un-Dakar, in a very cool and refreshing kind of way. When you walk inside, it can be easy to forget you’re in Dakar at all – very crisp and so much attention to detail. And that includes the service too. Our server was very attentive, friendly and obviously well-trained.

Mokai

However, the bottom line is the food, right?

You know how sometimes you take a bite of something that you know will stay in your mind forever? That’s how the chicken yakitori at Le Mokai was for me. Amazing. And I was very happy to hear that it’s being ‘promoted’ from an occasion special to a regular menu item.

Yakitori at Mokai

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Before the chicken we had some fantastic amuse-bouches that were full of fresh herbs and bright flavors and a selection of sushi and sashimi that were the best I’ve had in a long time – maybe ever. I have to admit that I’ve not really jumped into the Dakar sushi scene yet, but after last night’s experience and finding out that Mokai is going to start delivering soon, I’m sold.

Mokai sushi sampler

Unfortunately their fondant au chocolate with vanilla bean ice cream probably won’t do well as a delivery item. But hey, I’m not complaining about having a good reason to go back to eat on-site at Le Mokai…

A few things to know…

  • The chef’s focus is on doing what they do well, not on doing everything. So while the menu is not pages and pages long, everything we had was great.
  • The menu includes appetizers, large salads (any Seinfeld fans out there?), pastas, chicken, beef, seafood and sushi.
  • Quite a few of the menu items were sweet-salty, which is something that many Americans love and is not very common at all in Dakar. (We are no exception, by the way. Yum!)
  • Considering the location and ambiance, we were expecting it to be pricier. That was a pleasant surprise!
  • They do brick oven pizzas at lunch and hope to have delivery for those set up for those soon as well.
  • It’s the only restaurant I’ve seen in Dakar with legitimate non-smoking/smoking sections.
  • If you’re not a chocolate person, the tiramisu with berries was also delicious!

Le Mokai
69 rue Carnot
33 823 1623

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