Saturday, 18 July 2009

This place is rubbish, let's slash the seats.

Les Maquis des Allees
Sometimes when you walk into a place you just get good vibes straight away. Everything seems to be in it's right place: the music is good, staff are smiling, there is some activity at the bar. Your brain solves a very complex equation very quickly and you end up thinking 'Yeah, I like it here', or 'This place is rubbish, lets slash the seats'.

I like Les Maquis des Allees. I like the lack of pretention in the menu, I like the sous-verre style flag advert by the bar, I like the friendly staff, and I particularly like cocktails at 3,000 FCfa a pop.

The chef cares about what comes out of the kitchen, and comes out of the kitchen himself to check that all is going to plan. Don't expect gastronomic miracles, as this is still a maquis, and the occasional stale baguette is bound to find its way into circulation. But do expect decent quality meat, cooked with attention. The chef also knows how to handle a pizza oven, and the pizza bases here are almost flammkuchen thin, with the undersides marked by the occasional burnt black spots - about as perfect as you can get in Dakar. Sadly the toppings are overloaded and the tomato sauce is a little bit sweet. Order a pizza and tell the chef what you think, you never know, by the end of the hivernage he might have it spot on.

Les Maquis des Allees
Villa 4028
Alles Seydou Nourou Tall
Tel: 765 290041
Open 12-3 and 7 to Midnight. Closed Sunday and Monday lunchtime.

Given its middle class status and popularity with Ex-pats Mermoz is a bit short on restaurants and nightlife. By day, Kubata is a standard Thieb eatery, with simple lunches hovering around the 2,000 FCfa mark. Service is friendly and reasonably quick although the restaurant can get a little hot when the power goes off. Not worth going out of your way for, but a good example of its type nonetheless.

By night, Kubata hosts live music, and is gathering a decent local reputation. It's the kind of place where you might go to have a cheap evening out without wanting to get too messy.


Comico2 Mermoz Pyrotechnie
Villa No 59
77 585 25 63
860 47 93

Le Point E
Le Point E is a simliar joint in, surprisingly, Point E. Live music evenings here are few and far between, but it is worth a visit for splendid lunchtime plats. The daily menu usually offers two or three dishes (usually meat or fish) and sometimes dibi. The Senegalese food is as good as you will get outside of a family home, and it's the kind of place where you can comfortably take foreign visitors for a taste of Senegal.

Weekday lunches are always busy with a mix of local residents, office workers and the occasional group of foreign journalists. Service is quick and friendly, and most dishes come in at under 2,500 FCfa.

Le Point E
Rue de Thies
Point E

Restaurant News:
The Radisson Blu has been open for business for a couple of weeks now. The review should be up next week. I can't yet decide whether to kill it quick, and then dance about on its grave, or to linger over a slow and cruel death.

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