Monday, 2 March 2009

Small Fish.

Histoires des Gourmandises
Avenue Cheikh Anta Diop
Point E
Tel: 33 824 10 20 Open 7 days 12 - 2.30pm, 6.30pm to 12.30am

I seem to have got into the habit of occasional boozy lunches with a fellow Dakarite who "works from home". Alas, she will be departing these shores to move in nextdoor to Barack Obama in a few weeks, so I'm looking for boozy lunch volunteers.

In the evenings, Histoire des Gourmandise on Avenue Cheikh Anta Diop aims for the fine dining market. I came here to eat one evening after the Queen's Birthday Party, but to be honest I was too pissed to notice if the food was any good. Their lunchtime fixed menu is a simpler affair at 6000 FCfa for three courses.

A starter of nems with a wee bit of salad is unremarkable, but satisfying enough. Something to pick at while the wine warms up I guess. Given the choice between spag bol and fish for our mains we sensibly went for the fish, which was an undersized bream (notice how fish are getting smaller in Dakar, this is not a good thing for gourmets or environmentalists) served with perky side of green beans in garlic. Unremarkable again. An apricot tart seemed home-made rather than shop bought, but would have benefited from a drop of cream, or perhaps some creme anglaise.

I've no grumbles about Histoire des Gourmandise, and it is a nice environment in which to sit for a couple of hours, whiling away the afternoon with a couple of bottles of Beaujolais, but the food is better, and more creative around the corner at the ecole gastronomique.

Rue 1
Point E

It looks so inviting from the outside, what with the red Chinese handing lamps and everything. Things take a downward turn at the entrance though, when you take in the bare walls, blaring TV, Donald Duck sticker, and fishy smell.

I'm guessing that this is where the Chinese community come for authentic Chinese takeaway. The menu reads like the contents of a butcher's dustbin, with all the nobbly bits you'd rather not eat. Feet feature heavily, as does a bizarre sounding dish involving feathers.

You can sit down and eat, as long as you don't mind warm flag and surprised waiting staff bungling around while the Chinese owners smoke and play mah-jong behind the bar. I wouldn't recommend it though. While our stir-fried greens were suitably earthy and garlicy, the MSG content of the beef with mushrooms was high enough to have a mildly hallucinogenic effect. Stir fried noodles were actually overcooked spaghetti with a few bits in from the bottom of the fridge thrown in. Spaghetti. Not noodles. As readers of Experimental Jifflings will know, this is the third Chinese restaurant disaster I've had in 2009. Surely my luck will change...

Foody news:
Casino in Almadies and Plateau both seem to be doing reasonably priced pre-packed pigeons, ducks and (overpriced) rabbits at the moment. I've no idea whether they have new suppliers or this is just a passing phase. Pigeons make an OK mid-week supper though...

1 comment:

Louise said...

May be worth mentioning that Histoire des Gourmandises has a small but pretty swimming pool which diners can use.