Guest post by Regina Lilly.
My husband, our daughter and I took the downtown ferry to Ile de Gorée this past Sunday, boarding the crowded ferry at noon. Choosing a nice place to lunch at this historic site soon became a priority while crossing the sea. We met many friendly Senegalese women offering to direct us to their shops after we docked and paid the 500cfa visitor fee at the Gorée Island office on the left side of the beach.
A handful of restaurants are clustered directly on the beach offering casual dining. We ventured past the beach area and chose to eat at Chevalier de Boufflers restaurant, part of a hostelier, located in a beautiful rust-red colored building to the right of the ferry dock above the beach. Tables sit under a covered awning at the perimeter of the building and are separated from the beach area by a low wall. The tables are elegantly set. We were surrounded by a few large groups of island visitors. Strolling vendors sell jewelry, fabric wraps and wooden statues while others sell colorful wax-print bags.
Our waiter provided peanuts and sliced baguette bread after taking our order from a French language menu. My husband ordered breaded and fried fillet de lotte with curry sauce and pommes frites. My daughter chose yassa poulet with rice and I tried the fillet de capitaine provencale with sautéed vegetables. All plates arrived with a large piece of fish or chicken and side orders. The provencale sauce was drizzled over my thick, tender piece of fish and the legumes consisted of fresh and nicely diced carrots and haricots verts. The lotte was batter-dipped and fried to a golden color with a deep red-yellow curry sauce of the side. The thick, creamy curry sauce was tasty and flavorful both on the fish and later on baguette pieces as we clean all plates of tasty curry and provencale sauce. My daughter mixed the oniony gravy with her rice and left not much on her plate besides clean-picked chicken bones.
Entrée prices vary from 5000-8000cfa but salads, appetizers and lighter fare is also available. There is an option for a full three-course meal and ample beverage choices. Toilet facilities are accessible upstairs in the building alongside a gift shop selling casual bags, purses, tableware and hats.
Chevalier de Boufflers
on Ile de Gorée
Tel: 33 822 53 64
Tour guide recommendations for Ile de Gorée: Cherie (77 683 5899) speaks English and is often on site. For Gorée as part of a larger tour of Dakar or Senegal, highly recommend Pape Dieye (77 572 1837), accredited guide for all of Senegal with a variety of excursions and routes to suggest, but also very adaptable and flexible.