One of my complaints about Victoria is the very narrow set of food options we have available. It is getting better as time goes by but we are still limited. We may have Iraqi, Saudi and Afghani food, but we have no Russian, Brazilian or Malaysian food.
When it comes to African food we have only had three options to chose from, Ethiopian food, Zanzibarian food, or Morrocan food. All three are heavily influenced by the Arabic world and are closer to various Middle Eastern cuisines than sub-Saharan food.
We have nothing from most of the continent - no west African cuisine, no central African cuisine, and the closest thing we have to South African cuisine are the specialty goods you can buy at Aubergine Specialty Foods in Fernwood.
We now have Le Petit Dakar in one of the storefronts of the Old Crystal Pool building on Douglas. They offer Senegalese food.
I ran across it yesterday on my way from the Legislature to catch the bus back home. I had never noticed that they existed. The woman inside told me they have been open for four months now.
I had already had lunch and I was in a rush to get to my bus, so I had no time to stop for a meal. From what I could smell and see, the food looked very good. I had a chance to eat a lot of French west African cuisine in 1986 when I traveled to Togo, Niger and Burkina Faso. From what I could see, the food looked like what I had seen in Africa.
I did not have time to stop for a meal, but they were nice enough to offer me a free madeline.
The menu includes stews and ragouts as I would expect with a focus on the fish, meats, beans and vegetables I would also expect. Many of the meals are served on a bed of rice. When I traveled in west Africa I had a lot of the street food and it was all a bowl of rice with some sort of spicy savory stew on top. I really want to try the Mafe, Domoda, and Yassa au Poulet. I wonder how it will compare to my memory of sitting on a plank bench on the side of red dirt street in a place like Ouagadougou? One of the best meals I ever had my life was in small courtyard restaurant in the southeast part of the Niamey - it was a Yassa au Poulet that blew my mind.
I am going to try and go there ASAP.