great african food
- keith koenigsberg
On Saturday a friend and I ate at Obaa Koryoe, an
African restaurant which has been mentioned on this
bulletin board once before (see link). The place was
empty, and I wonder if they are doing enough business.
The food was superbe, exotic, and cheap, so I urge
everyone to patronize this place.
The menu is huge and I regret that I didn't have a big
appetite that night. I sampled "Omotou with Peanut
Soup," made with fish. It was so good I keep thinking
about going right back for more. The Omotuo is mashed
rice reformed into a kind of dumpling, the peanut soup
was thick and just spicy enough. The fish was a dense,
oily, fishy fish, like bluefish. Oh man, it was so
My companion had "FuFu with peanut soup, Esquishie, and
Black-Eyed peas." (We should have coordinated better,
but we both wanted dishes with peanut soup.) The FuFu
or the Esquishie (I don't know which) was a pounded
yam, boiled and reformed into a dense dumpling, and the
other was a mix of a green vegetable (spinach?) with
spices and pepper which was reminiscent of some
kimchees I've had. It was remarkable.
The restaurant is at 3143 Broadway, near 125th street.
No need to fear the neighborhood as far as I'm
concerned. I'm looking at the menu now and I just
noticed "sundays all you can eat buffet." I've got a
new favorite restaurant.
If you liked that place, head right back downtown some
other day for Tiffin, a new South Indian place on
Murray Street in Tribeca. Very authentic - according
to an Indian friend of mine. Lots of heat and spice,
but not sweat-pouring-down-your-forehead insanity.
Really complex flavors, very satisfying.
Another African restaurant that I just found and think
is really a lot of fun is called simply "Africa". It's
on 53rd just east of 9th Avenue. It is Senagalese, I
believe and you won't be served alcohol. They have
substantial portions at very reasonable prices. I
wouldn't go there on a low-cholesterol diet, but it is
marvelous food served in a gracious atmosphere.
The female servers all have wonderful traditional
outfits on and there are terrific designs on mirrors
around the walls. It's a very pleasant experience for
lunch or dinner.
Peace, David Tillyer
re: David Tillyer
This restaurant, formerly known as Africa Restaurant #2, is the sister of the original, and even better, Africa Restaurant on W 116th Street near 8th Ave. There are also Guinean, Ivory Coast, and Malian establishments on the same two-block strip, if you want to branch out.
There are also plenty of Ghanaian and Nigerian places in Brooklyn and the Bronx, less above ground than Obaa Koryoe, but with better food.
For outstanding Senagalese food: Chez Gnagna Koty's; 530
9th Avenue between 39th & 40th. Lots of fish,
everything delicious and spicy, large portions, low
prices, charming people and service. Too tired to go
into great detail right now (and think I may have here a
while ago when someone was looking for good eats in
Hell's Kitchen) but highly recommend you check it out.
Could work for pre-theater too if you leave enough time
for a brisk walk before curtain time. Don't miss their
fresh Ginger Pineapple drink.