Review: Chevalier de Boufflers on Ile de Gorée

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.

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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.

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The restaurant and hostelier is the deep red building on the right behind the palm tree.

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.

Goût de France – mark your calendars!

Two years ago I had one of my most memorable meals in Dakar. It was a Goût de France dinner at Terrou-bi’s Le Gastronomique. Buy me a coffee sometime and ask me about it. I remember so many details (those scallops!) and I can’t stop talking about it once I start.

On March 21st, the date for this year’s Goût de France, chefs around the world will pay tribute to the savoir-faire of French cuisine, its capacity for innovation and federation around common values: sharing and enjoying while caring for the planet and our health.

More than 2000 restaurants in 150 countries will participate to celebrate French gastronomy. In the 21st century, French cuisine does not want to impose itself on the world culinary scene. The participating chefs do not renounce their own culinary traditions, but instead they marry them with French cuisine for these special dinner menus.

In Senegal, six restaurants in three different cities will participate, combining French culinary know-how and Senegalese products. In Dakar The Avenue at Radisson Blu and The Terranga Lounge at Pullman Dakar; in Saint-Louis, Hotel La Résidence; and in Saly the Casino Terrou-Saly, La Guinguette and Habana Café. See their menus below… And make reservations!

Goût de France is orchestrated by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development and the celebrated chef Alain Ducasse, inspired by Auguste Escoffier, who initiated the “Dinners of Epicure” in 1912. This international event, which will host its third edition in 2017, also celebrates the listing of “the gastronomic meal of the French” as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

 

 

Review: Le Ryad

I love to eat. I love to try new foods. I’m pretty much a fan of cuisines around the world. But honestly, I just don’t get Moroccan food. I’ve had it a handful of times and it’s not that I dislike it so much as I don’t understand why people are crazy over it. “But have you had the apricot chicken at Le Ryad??” Well, yes. And it was good, but I don’t remember being wowed by it like its many fans on Dakar seem to be.

So when we were invited to Le Ryad recently, I went with a half-hearted excitement. At least the company would be great, right? Well I was wrong. I mean yeah, the company was great (happy birthday, A!), but so was the food! For the first time I understood what the big deal is about tajine.

I also really enjoyed their new location in Ngor Virage, which is so much bigger and more elaborate than when they were in Almadies. And the Moroccan shop area at the entrance is a beautiful way to welcome you into the experience.

Prices at Le Ryad are quite reasonable, and even more so if you take your Smartbook Senegal for added discounts up to 30%!

Le Ryad
Find them on Facebook.
Rondpont Ngor Virage
Tel: 338209469 or 766694817

Cibus Italia

Cibus Italia launched in Dakar in 2015 with the main objective of creating one the highest expressions of Italian food tradition: mozzarella.

Using only the best quality buffalo and cow’s milk, imported from Italy, and advanced machinery that replicates the knowledge of artisans, the products created by Cibus truly are exquisite. (I know this firsthand, and second serving!) They are available by delivery, at the Dakar Farmers Market and also their 150-gram pots of fresh mozzarella can be purchased at CityDia and Le Parcours. You can also find their products served in some of Dakar’s finest restaurants, pizzerias and hotels.

They produce daily, with the exception of Sundays, at their center in Sacré Coeur 3 pyrotechnie. Although mozzarella was the original focus, they have since expanded to include the following handmade cheese with Senegalese collaborators:

  • Stracciatella: frayed strands of mozzarella, mixed with fresh cream
  • Braided mozzarella (300/400 grams each)
  • Burrata: mozzarella ball filled with stracciatella (200/400 grams each)

The cheeses are 18,500cfa/kilo and delivery is free in Dakar with a minimum order of 500g. To order, just contact Cibus (English, French, Italian), ideally 24-48 hours in advance.

Okay, we all love cheese and I have dreams about the stracciatella from Cibus, but there’s more you need to know. Prosciutto.

Oh. My. Goodness. It is heavenly – and served with the delicious melons in season right… wow. Cibus Italia’s prosciutto crudo is imported from Italy, specifically from Parma which matters significantly if you know about ham. It is 23,000cfa/kilo, available in 100-gram packages.

They also recently started making pesto and eggplant & tomato sauces, which are available in jars at 2500cfa for 250 grams.

Coming soon… Grano Padano! I cannot wait. But until then, pass the stracciatelli and the prosciutto, please.

Cibus Italia
Find them on Facebook.
Tel: 771844434 or 338245316
cibus.dakar@gmail.com

Review: Noflaye Beach

10305413_286815658168097_2140035008824710389_nThanks to D’Evan for this review and Jesse for the photos! See our original review of Noflaye Beach when it opened in 2014. If you haven’t been in a while, it’s worth going back. They’ve expanded seating areas and improved the beach, which was already pretty great.

My husband and I ate at Noflaye Beach over the weekend and it was a wonderful experience. The restaurant is right on the water and has beautiful views. There is an upstairs level as well as an area under the restaurant with couch seating and beach chairs in the shade and some in the sun. There are shallow tide pools perfect for children to play in an adults to sit in to cool off.

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It’s a very popular restaurant, for good reasons! The entire time we were there people were coming and going in a steady stream, but the service never slowed down. Even if the service were slower though, it’s such a beautiful view that you can enjoy watching the surfers, or cooling off in the tide pools, or just enjoying the ocean breeze blowing into the open-air restaurant.

The food was fantastic. We got the mixed ocean brochettes (lotte, calamari, and giant shrimp) and they were delicious. Staff was very friendly. We got pretty hot at one point and the waitress kindly plugged in and pointed a floor fan our way.

We are very impressed and will be returning. The only bummer was that we did not bring our swimsuits and make a day of it. 

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Noflaye Beach
Located on the Corniche des Almadies, between the Cabane des Surfeurs and the new Sheraton.
Find them on Facebook.
Tel: 33 820 3032

Review: SUUF Coffee

Guest post by Becky Hughes.

While it seems like a trek to go all the way to Yoff for artisanal coffee – it was totally worth the twenty-minute cab ride for this Seattle girl. I heard about this coffee shop via some friends and I was dying to go check it out.

The place is called SUUF Coffee and they opened in September 2016. Located in the vibrant neighborhood of Yoff, SUUF Coffee is a concept store meets European coffee house meets art gallery.

SUUF Coffee is a great spot to read a book, fulfill your caffeine addiction, and catch up with some friends. The café is relatively quiet and is a good spot to work as well. Owned by the same owner as Ndar Ndar in Saint Louis, SUUF offers the same vibe of design and dedication to Afro-beats. The low tables are made from the stainless-steel platters you can find in the market and the café is open, industrial, and airy. There’s even a little boutique by the coffee bar.

SUUF Coffee seeks to define itself as a spot for culture and debate as well. Every Saturday, they host an acoustic night, beginning at around 21h. Doudou Diallo, the friendly manager, told me that they would like to eventually hold a weekly debate as well, with plans of inviting a writer from the neighborhood to host a discussion.

Now about the coffee – SUUF Coffee roasts their own beans in Saint Louis. Their coffee comes from organic farmers and co-operatives in Ethiopia. For purchase, you have the option of ground coffee or the whole beans. They offer three different blends of Ethiopian coffee – Harar, the kind that I ended up buying, is known for being the softest of all the blends.

As I was chatting with Doudou, he said, “We are known for our flavor. We invite you all to come – come and enjoy a cup of Ethiopian coffee.” On their Facebook page, SUUF Coffee features a photo of coffee with latte art – while this is normal in most coffee shops in Seattle, it is sadly not the case in Dakar. However, this lived up to expectation, and Doudou made me a latte with a spider-design in the foam. I enjoyed my latte along with some Moroccan cookies that Doudou offered. There were even some chocolate muffins from MELO Patisserie as well.

Café SUUF opens every day at 2 pm and closes at 10 pm. Located in Nord Foire, it is actually pretty easy to find. The map on Facebook makes it easy to find as well – you can easily type it into Google maps. I told my taxi driver to drop me off at the Terminus Bus 33 but I ended up hopping off at the City Dia, walking uphill slightly, and then turning right at the next street. SUUF Café is on the left. If you’re not ready to make the trek to Yoff – you can also find them at the Dakar Farmers Market every first Saturday of the month.

SUUF Coffee
Find them on Facebook.
Tel: 76 349 42 73