Dakar 2017 Fried Chicken Round-Up

Don’t bother looking up the 2016 Fried Clucker Round-up because you won’t find it. This is a first in Dakar! But with the explosion of chicken joints in the last two years has also come an explosion of messages sent to Dakar Eats asking which one is the best, has the most American in flavor, etc… So we invited Dakar’s chicken restos to participate in a little friendly competition, invited some American, Senegalese, German and French foodies to come sample and here are the results…

WILLY’S FAST FOOD

How we heard about it: When we asked for chicken recommendations on Facebook, one of the very first readers to chime in said we had to try Willy’s. The same day we got an email from the owner of Willy’s and I love a business that actually uses and responds to social media.

What we tried: chicken nuggets, chili boneless strips, fried boneless strips, teriyaki boneless strips, chicken sandwich

Pro: The fried chicken wings were excellent! (One taster gave them three stars, even though we weren’t using stars.) The flavor was good, perfectly cooked so that the outside was crunchy and the inside still tender. The chili boneless strips had a good flavor and little kick, but not so spicy that you need to keep your water glass in the other hand.

Con: To American taste buds, the BBQ sauce on the strips was bland. Also they are located in Hann Maristes. Although this is a pro for anyone in that part of town! 🙂

Other comments from tasters:
“The nuggets are definitely nuggets, but not greasy or oily.”
“The strips are real chicken, not processed and not all battered and fried. I like that.”

Willy’s Fast Food
Phone: 33 832 1030 / 77 883 3378
Dine in: Yes
Delivery: Yes

MAWA’S TASTE OF AMERICA

How we heard about it: Mawa used to have an American restaurant in Point E and has just reopened in a new location in Ouakam. (Full post coming soon…)

What we tried: Enough food for an army! Fried chicken, fried tenders, spicy hot wings, BBQ wings…

Pro: A real American fried chicken meal with all the trimmings and goodies. Mawa can cook, y’all. Her hot wings are the real deal, carrots & celery and blue cheese dressing included. And even though this post is about chicken, we have to mention her sides served with the chicken. Cole slaw that is just the right amount of mayo/vinegar balance. Beans and rice that we couldn’t put down.

Con: You’re going to have to roll out of her restaurant.

Other comments from tasters:
– “Her chicken tastes like my grandmother’s recipe.”
– “These hot wings are perfect. Like even in America, these would be perfect.”

Mawa’s Taste of America
Phone: 33 860 1009
Dine in: Yes
Delivery: No

The CHICK’N CORNER

How we heard about it: Instagram when they first opened! Note to Dakar restaurants, never underestimate the power of good social media.

What we tried: fried chicken, nuggets, BBQ wings, spicy tenders

Pro:  Tenders were excellent with just enough spice. We all loved their BBQ sauce, both on the wings and as a dipping sauce.

Con: If you are looking for American-style fried chicken, their batter recipe won’t be the one you prefer. But if you want something a little more flavorful and interesting, this is the one to choose.

Other comments from tasters:
– “The batter has spice profile like some Indian recipes. Maybe curry? It’s really good, but not particularly American.”
– “So many sauces! I like having all these options, plus they’re all tasty.”
– “This is the restaurant I would choose if I were serving fried chicken to a mixed group. The flavors are stronger and probably more interesting than regular fried chicken that Americans make.”
– “Love their packaging. It’s so identifiable and attractive.”

The Chick’n Corner
Phone: 33 829 28 28
Dine in: Yes
Delivery: Yes

SHADY SHACK

How we heard about it: Four years ago I was told Shady made the best fried chicken ever. And this was by a Mississippian, so I took it seriously.

What we tried: fried chicken, chicken tenders, hot wings

Pro: Where to start?  Well, first of all… The Mississippian knew his chicken. Tender, flavorful, plenty of crispy (but not greasy) batter. And that garlic sauce. Oh man, that garlic sauce. (Who knew that honey mustard was not the best condiment for tenders? #lessonslearned) Also both the chicken pieces and tenders freeze and reheat well if you want to stock up for easy meal planning.

Con: Shady Shack is located on the grounds of ISD, so it takes a bit of coordinating to order and pick it up. But worth it!

Other comments from tasters:
“Even better than Southern Fried Chicken downtown, which was previously my front runner.”
“The breast meat pieces were the biggest and meatiest, but still moist.”
“The hot wings were not as burning hot as American wings, but still had a little kick and nice flavor.”
“Absolutely the best.”

Shady Shack
Phone: 77 619 0661 or 77 452 6201
Dine in: No
Delivery: No

MARIETOU

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How we heard about it: Buying beignets and fried apple pies from her at the farmers market and she mentioned she’d be adding fried chicken soon.

What we tried: chicken breast tenders

Pro: Homemade taste, but professional quality. The pieces are the right balance of meat and batter because she does a double-dip process. The result is that the fried batter clings to the meat well, even when you freeze and reheat them in the oven for a quick dinner.

Con: Only available at the Farmer’s Market.

Marietou at the Dakar Farmer’s Market
Phone: 70 778 4479
Dine in: No
Delivery: No

ROYAL CHICKEN

How we heard about it: Grocery shopping at ATAC in Virage and boom, there it was right next door.

What we tried: fried chicken, fried wings and fried tenders

Pro: Very light (which is not to say skimpy, but light in texture) and crispy batter, almost like a tempura. It’s was a nice change from the other more sturdy American-style batters. The chicken itself was very tender and moist, not overcooked.

Other comments from tasters:
“The batter has a kick that reminds me of pepper gravy that you’d eat with fried chicken and mashed potatoes.”
“The fried wings are really good if you want fried chicken, and I can’t stop eating them. But they aren’t the drippy, hot wings like we think of ‘wings’ in the US.”

Con: A little peppery for the children tasters, but the adults liked the kick.

Royal Chicken
Phone: 33 860 6400
Dine in: Yes
Delivery: Yes

One chicken restaurant that is not featured here is Southern Fried Chicken, which is unfortunate considering they have a good reputation in Dakar. However I left several messages and did not receive a response, and for me as potential customer that was not encouraging. Same story with Cesar’s Restaurant and their newly launched Traditional Fried Chicken. Customer service matters, as much if not more than your chicken.

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4 comments

    • I would have liked to include them! Please see the last paragraph. Choosing not to participate is totally fine, but to not even reply after several messages seemed unprofessional to me so we let it drop.

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