Monday, 22 June 2009

Pick & mix/hit & miss

Usually I avoid 'Fusion Food' like I avoid Dakar gendarmes. Aside from its resemblance to the the Bandiera, there is a good reason why insalata tricolore consists of tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil (alright, maybe avocado, but I'm a purist) - the ingredients form a magic combination of tastes, textures, smells and indeed colours. The addition of, say, battered prawns, tahini, or HP sauce is not going to improve it in any way shape or form.

Despite this, Mrs Jiffler and I have been curious about Alkimia and its promises of Japanese and Spanish fusion cooking. A water shortage in Mermoz, leading to the postponement of an eagerly awaited ping-pong tournament presented a spur of the moment opportunity to see what it is all about.

The restaurant itself looks expensive, all Japanesey partition walls and heavy looking tables, and an outdoor bar area looks like an ideal place for a spot of after work liming. We're shown to a wobbly table in the corner, which is quickly recified by the deployment of my folded up shopping list.

The somewhat pricey menu doesn't so much go in for fushion as a selection of Spanish specialities, slightly customised Italian staples, and the odd bit of Japanese thrown in. The sushi woman is on holiday, so there'll be none of that.

Amuses are generous and appropriately tapas, while our table casts a majority vote for salmon croustillant served on a bed of spinach with almonds and lemon juice. Unusual flavours for Dakar and, I reckon, a hint of French-Japanese fusion that actually works. Portions are generous too, although both the main dish and vegetable side could do with a gentler hand on the seasoning. The minority vote is cast in favour of suckling pig, which again could do without the fistful of seasoning but seems to satisfy the carniverous cravings of a growing Canuck of our acquaintance.

A little freebie of a kind of coconut zabaglione causes excitement with the Brazilian representative, who has to be discouraged from licking the inside of the glass, and we leave with Sunday night smiles, satisfied stomachs and not too big a dent in the wallet. The kitchen at Alkimia is offering something different in Dakar, some new flavours and ideas not covered elsewhere, but suffers a little from the common problem in Dakar restaurants - managing the larder. How does a restaurant run out of potatoes (although still have enough for a plate of frites), or Flag beer? If you can forgive these tendencies then Alkimia is worth a visit one evening when you're feeling a bit flush, or fancy getting your teeth into a bit of suckling pig.

Route des Almadies
Tel: 33 820 68 68
Open evenings from 1900hrs and Sunday lunchtimes. Closed Monday.

1 comment:

remz123 said...

I threw up my meal two hours after eating it.
I rarely get food poisoning but the fish was not fresh and my colleague had the same symptoms a few hours after me.