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Nov 1, 2012 08:17 AM

Any Senegalese food stores? [London]

I passed up the opportunity to buy some interesting-looking Senegalese ingredients in Marseille, as I didn't want to carry them around with me, but I'd be interested in finding a stockist in London.

Has anyone encountered a shop selling Senegalese specialities?

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    1. Does it have to be Senegalese? What are you looking for? I've been cooking Francophone West African dishes for a week now so this is good timing.

      I have a Cote D'Ivoire shop on my road (Plashet Grove near Upton Park tube.) Otherwise Queen's Market has three stores and two stalls which stock a wide range of African ingredients. Basically anything short of certain specific pastes can be found at those shops. I picked up various dried fish, palm oil and a few other things with ease.

      Peckham is obviously excellent across the board, but the shops are largely Nigerian owned so it depends on how niche an ingredient you need. Deptford has another Cote D'Ivoire grocery store at the bottom of Deptford High Street as well as a row of shops near the market which carry loads of African products. An African shop further up on the left with an Arabic sounding name could be Senegalese, but I'm not sure. I went in there once and I don't remember it well.

      It's very easy to find this stuff, but all the shops tend to carry the same stuff.

      4 Replies
      1. re: JFores

        I've had a poke around in the various Nigerian places in Peckham a number of times, and the stuff I saw in marseille - some unusual fruit and herb chutneys, millet cous cous - hasn't been available. I worry that there's enough geographic distance between Cote D'Ivoire and Senegal that they might not make perfect substitutes, but I'd certainly be interested in checking, so thanks for the suggestions. I don't suppose you could share, in general terms, what sort of thing you've been making?

        1. re: lacemaker

          Millet couscous is definitely obtainable though I'm not 100% sure which type you mean. Gari that you would make attieke with or the sort of sorghum balls you find in that one Malian curd and honey drink (the name is escaping me.)

          I'm having a hard time thinking of a specifically Senegalese store, but there are so many Ivory Coast ones so I think it is worth a try. If you speak any French they might be able to point you to a Senegalese place. There's a surprising number of Francophone West African restaurants and shops about. I was recently given a Cameroonian restaurant that I want to get to ASAP (it's also only a couple of tube stops away.)

          I made a huge batch of maffe and some West African pepper sauce first. The maffe came out really well and I put quite a lot of effort into it (made my own peanut butter from scratch, slow cooked it for about 3 hours, etc.) Next I made chicken yassa which was actually much easier and less time consuming.

          Great recipe site

        2. re: JFores

          There's also an Ivorian restaurant in Deptford called Lalet by Deptford bridge DLR which I've been meaning to try.

          Additionally, there's a Francophone West African restaurant along Choumert Grove in Peckham called Lolak Afrique (I say restaurant, but it's pretty bare bones like all the others along this stretch) it could be Ivorian or Senegalese, I'm not entirely sure.

          I'll get back to you on the Senegalese front - I'm sure there's stuff around.

          1. re: Nii

            I went to an amazing Ivorian place next to Deptfrod Bridge DLR called Le Restaurant Talliet or something. The review will be up soon. Deansa, Limster and I hit it up.

            There must be at least one specifically Senegalese store. I don't go to Peckham much and the French speaking African population in my area is overwhelmingly from DRC or Cote D'Ivoire. Upton Lane has/had (it looked shuttered when I last passed so call) an excellent DRC restaurant called La Kinoise. Very near the former location of Fredor (Zambian place. Better at ACN football, but not so good at staying in business this year.)

        3. Just as a slight side note, the Cote D'Ivoire shop on Plashet Grove (Upton Park, E6) has a really impressive selection for its size. I finally popped in there last night and they have quite a variety of jarred items, Francophone West African palm oils, etc. Also, pre-made frozen attieke which is a bit of a cop out, but it saves a lot of time and effort.