Tuesday, 15 September 2009

A Sausage to India

Sure you can get curry in Dakar, but it usually an insipid Frenchified version, mildly spiced and served with - Cyril Fielding-esque - pasta.

There are two Indian restaurants proper in Dakar, the recently re-opened Zaika, and Indiana:

There isn't much interest in the lunchtime buffet, probably due to Ramadan, so our table of five has the run of the restaurant. 5,000 FCfa gets you half a dozen average curries, cooked on the bone, and an assortment of slightly spongy deep-fried pakora. Roti are pretty good though, and service is friendly. You should see the state of their napkins though - you wound't use them to wipe the floor.

Not bad, for a cheapish buffet lunch, but not somewhere I'd rush to make a booking.

Adjoining the restaurant is a small shop selling spices and a few indian products. It's slightly cheaper than Haldiram's, and sells some of the harder to find items like mustard seeds.

After a long wait - it must be over 18 months - Zaika has finally re-opened. I'm sure what took so long to be honest, as the refurbishments are barely noticable, and the place looks like it could do with, er, a bit of a refit. The toilets are somewhat nearer to the restaurant than before, so no need to take your hiking boots anymore.

Never mind. Mango lassi is inconsistent - a little better the second time round, while curries are about the average UK bottom end of the high street standard. I've had better biriyani elsewhere, although the tandoori chicken and fish come up to scratch. Samosas come shaped like cornish pasties, and are a bit heavy, but otherwise OK.

Of the two, Zaika is the better in terms of quality of food, and cleanliness of table linen. Don't expect too much from Zaika, but when you've been without a proper curry for a while, it might just satisfy the craving.

1 comment:

givemeaminute said...

This stuff is excellent, and right on! Was wondering how you would feel about Peace Corps Senegal using some of your restaurant reviews as part if our Dakar guide for volunteers? you can e-mail me at joeyvalente@gmail.com. Thanks!