Tuesday, 28 April 2009

A Brief Hiatus, Then...

Le Regal
This place is always busy, and that is part of its appeal. Go on a Saturday evening and there is a real sense that the night is just starting as you fill up on Pizza before heading out to get leathered on Gazelle / Grandial / whatever shakes your tree.

Pizzas are gooey and over-topped, which doesn't do the rather ordinary bread-like bases any favours. Fine for soaking up the Gazelle though. A plate of mixed brochettes is bear-sized and rather good for the money.

They do what looks like a thoroughly disgraceful Hamburger Royale, in case anyone is wondering.

Le Regal
Croisement Ouakam
Tel: 33 824 40 24 / 33 860 48 72
Open 7 days from 6.30am until 2am
Take away and delivery service available.

Anybody hungry?
My usual mid-week lunching partner has sadly left these shores for the excitement of Washington DC so I'm looking for new lunchers to join me in seeking out the best and worst of Dakar restaurants.

Eligible candidates must be:
Available during the week
Able to pay their own way
Able to knock back serious amounts of wine

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Slightly rambling

Le Loft

The weekend starts at 1.30pm on a Friday Chez Jiffler, and usually involves a long and leisurely lunch.

I'd recommend Le Loft for a long and leisurely lunch. A newish opening in Plateau, Le Loft is a sophisticated indoor bar/salon du the/restaurant which is trying to please everyone, and may very well end up succeeding.

Inside is all dark furnishings and sleek seating, something in between the average Malmaison lobby and a Soho restaurant circa 1998. I can imagine it going down well with certain Dakar cliques once the sun sets. Daytime though, it's pretty calm. I felt a bit underdressed on Friday afternoon though, wearing a free t-shirt advertising the Badger brewery in Dorset and trousers with a ten-pence sized hole just below the right buttock.

After being greeted and shown to our table by charming and efficient staff, I braced myself for some sort of fine dining monstrosity and started to sharpen my pencils for a bruising rant on Dakar Restaurant Reviews. But what is this? Club Sandwiches? Croque Madames? Galettes? All at the kind of prices that wouldn't look out of place at Les Ambassades... well well.

A basket of decent bread came with decent butter, and the usual ketchup-piment-moutarde trio augmented by olive oil and balsamic vinegar. There must be a catch here right? The drinks were a bit on the pricey side, maybe that's it.

Mrs Jiffler went for a chicken quesadilla and I tested out the club sandwich (boring, yes, but I was on duty), but before all that, we were swiftly presented with a plate of little round deep fried fish things and home made tartare sauce.

"They get extra points for tartare sauce" reckoned Mrs Jiffler.

"Shut up and eat your little fish things"

Well I can't have her doing these reviews for me.

Meals arrived, on massive plates, with an explosion of salad. Blimey. Are you sure the prices on the menu are right? I even had to leave some chips, not because they were bad chips, but because the portion was so large and I'd stuffed my chops on bread and the little fish things beforehand. The quesadilla seemed to disappear quickly though, and I only got a chance to sample the guacamole (very good), and run my finger around the bottom of the sour cream bowl (also good).

I'm told there is also a more expensive a la carte menu "under development" as well, which currently features the usual meaty suspects, with a brief, and possibly pointless meander into Mexican territory. It might be worth a punt though. Let me know.

So let's get this straight; efficient service, smart decor, massive portions, good freebies, very reasonable price.

See you there next Friday.

Le Loft
Sorry, I forgot to pick up a card, but it's on Rue Amadou Assane Ndoye, number 62 or 63 I think. You can't miss it, it's west off the Place de L'Independance.