Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Plateau Part Deux

Some more places to enjoy / avoid downtown.

La Croix du Sud, 20 Avenue Albert Sarraut, Plateau
Like walking into a Blackpool bed and breakfast on the weekend of a dogging convention, you can almost feel the middle-aged suburban sleaze dripping down the walls. Shrivelled expat divorcees share Calvados with rotund drunks. The restaurant is alright, but half an hour in the bar was enough to put me off going near there again.

  • If you're into swinging.
  • The drunken, lecherous men and women.

La Forchette, 4 rue Parent, Plateau
Upmarket, stylish, and popular with the French and Lebanese contingent. Service is sharp, but food can be inconsistent. Take a fat wallet, and don't miss the desserts.

  • There is a weekday lunchtime deal - 6,000 CFA for two courses. Great value.
  • Puds - the Roti Chocolat is divine, and the cheeky Creme Brulee en coque is as smooth as silk
  • It gets pretty smoky
Chez Loutcha, 101 Rue Moussa Diop, Plateau
Cape verdean, Senegalese and European food. A menu like a telephone directory, and portions that could feed a sasquatch. Chez Loutcha is just grubby and disorganised enough for visiting foreigners to rave about, as they feel like they've had some sort of 'African experience'. On the other hand its just clean and organised enough to fleece the toubabs with large portions of poor quality food.

  • Portions are large. You won't go hungry.
  • The so called Cape Verdean dishes - large quantities of beans with gag inducing chunks of stale fat.
Le Seoul, 75 rue Amadou Assane Ndoye, Plateau
Bizarre Korean / karaoke joint. Don't feel embarassed about singing, as you'll be the only customers, despite the restaurant being a tastefully decorated quiet haven in Plateau. Food choice is buffet, or nothing. At least its a decent buffet. For a more detailed review, click here.

A decent enough buffet with a bit of sushi and a few different flavours
Bizarrely enough, Some of Radiohead's twitchier moments on the karaoke machine
Private room for karaoke

Restaurant kicks out at 11pm.
Spooky feeling that the restaurant is a cover for something more sinister...

Fast food coming up next. And there should be an option to subscribe to the blog appearing to the right of the text...

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Plateau Part 1

Here are a few upmarket places in the busier part of town.

Mezzo, 26 Rue Jules Ferry, Plateau
Smart. Leather sofas, antipasti, trip-hop on the stereo... Well French trip-hop, which is a pretty dire facsimile. Anyhow, this place is cool, and modern, but not expensive or rammed to the gills with teenagers with big hair, oversized sunglasses, and DOLCE & GABBANA screaming from every conceivable orifice. The atmosphere is more Italian families, courting couples, and folks warming up for a night on the tiles.

  • Great pizzas. Possibly the best in town.
  • Pasta is good too...
  • The salty chocolate cake is surprisingly ace.

  • Music gets a bit loud later on.

Farid, 51 Rue Vincens, Plateau
Slick, high end Lebanese food, this is one of my top picks in Dakar. A varied menu with fantastic mezze. Frequented by Lebanese for celebrations - I witnessed an engagement party where a whole roast sheep was brought out (with a little paper hat on its head) by a rotund chef. The party then enjoyed dancing in a circle around the sheep. Thats my kind of party.

  • The mezze
  • Reasonable wines
  • Can cater for parties

  • It can get a bit dark on the street outside the restaurant. Take care.

Cafe de Rome, 32 Bld de la Republique, Plateau
This is a favourite with the Dakar glitterati according to some. There is a fancy airconditioned restaurant, or a more laid back terrace. the Italian food is unremarkable, with a bit of a microwaved vibe.

  • To see or be seen, if that's your thing.
  • Nice terrace
  • The food isn't very interesting, and it's a bit pricey

Le Toukouleur, 122 Rue Moussa Diop, Plateau
Warm terracotta walls and Mediterranean vibes make this a relaxing haven in Plateau. Upmarket prices for high quality creative cooking.

  • Very willing to put together something interesting for vegetarians if you ask
  • Red wine comes thoroughly chilled

Plateau Part 2 next week.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Culture and Cuisine in Plateau

Fancy a spot of culture with your food? Here are a few spots in Plateau for when getting drunk is not necessarily the main aim of the evening.

Le Bidew Bi at L'Institute Francais Leopold Sedar Senghor (aka the CCF), 89 rue Joseph T. Gomis, Plateau.

A nice semi-outdoor space that hosts plays and concerts (sometimes attracting big stars from West Africa), has a decent menu, laidback social atmosphere, and quality artists workshops to browse. http://www.institutfr-dakar.org/

  • Great fruit juices
  • Decent salads
  • Sometimes it's randomly booked for private functions, so call ahead.
  • The kitchen has often run out of your first choice, and your second choice.

Kadjinol station Avenue Albert Sarrault X Salva, Plateau.
A cinema / bar / restaurant all in one. Pull up a sofa and watch arthouse flicks with a beer in hand. Movies are often shown in their original English or Spanish verision, with French subtitles. They'll even take requests if there is a particular film that you've missed. http://www.kadjinol-edu.com/

  • The food isn't bad, some Thai bits and bobs and the odd brochette.
  • Films come free
  • You pay a premium on food and beer, which pays for the film
  • You may be the only party in the place.

Since my previous post about Point E, I've been enjoying a few drinks at a cosy car called 'Le Celtic' in Point E. You can find it on an un-named (to the best of my knowledge) avenue, one street east of Rue 5/Birago Diop. I guess it would by Rue 6, or 5-and-a-half.

The owner is part Irish, hence the Celtic, but its not an Irish pub by any means. I haven't eaten there yet, but it seems popular. A bit of live music here and there, and pleasant outdoor seating (bring the insect repellent) makes it a decent place to go to wind down after work.

Apparently Lalibela has a new chef and is back on form, so a visit there in the next couple of weeks is on cards.