Happy Friday, friends! Today is a first for me: it’s a West African food review!
(photo from Le Mandigue website)
I have never been a fan of the West African dishes that I’ve tried. I’ve had egusi, fufu and jollof rice, but I just wasn’t wowed. However, I really wanted to try something different. So I decided to give West African food another try.
I order from Le Mandigue in Philadelphia. As an aspiring vegetarian (that fails frequently!), I wanted to opt for a meatless entrée. So I got the vegetarian fried rice and steamed vegetables. I also got degue, monie callama and kallah, which I didn’t realize at the time were all desserts.
Here are some photos of the meal:
Fried vegetable rice and steamed vegetables (cabbage, peas, corn, potatoes)
Closeup of monie callama
I ordered through UberEats and my food arrived quickly.
The fried rice was tasty and substantial. The steamed vegetables were well-seasoned and weren’t overpowering at all.
And the desserts! I How did I not already know about these amazing deserts?! These were the most interesting part of the meal. Dege reminds me of the rice pudding or tapioca pudding available at some Indian restaurants: creamy, sweet with a hint of sourness (probably because it’s made with sour milk). It’s the mix of flavors that make this such a multidimensional dessert. Monie callama is like a liquified jelly, yummy and smooth, with tapioca-like starch suspended within. Just yum!
I wish I could have enjoyed this in the restaurant but alas, I ordered it to my room. However, I will be sure to visit the restaurant in person when I return to Philadelphia. I’m so looking forward to it!
While in Nairobi, I made the pilgrimage to Carnivore restaurant. This meat lovers haven is similar to the Brazilian churrascaria, with endless rounds of barbecued meats. While I’ve never eaten at a churrascaria, I couldn’t leave Nairobi without trying the local fare.
Yes, I ordinarily adhere to a vegetarian/pescatarian diet. I was a bit nervous about eating meat after going so long without it. However, the meat served at Carnivore is all local animals that have not been fed the toxic ingredients often provided to animals sold commercial in the US.
I tried the following meats, which were barbecued and sliced at my table:
My camera was dying while I was out, so I didn’t get as many pictures as I wanted. In any case, here are a few photos from my Carnivore adventure:
Grill as seen when first entering the restaurant.
Place setting and fresh maize (corn) as an appetizer. Maize isn’t as sweet as what’s usually offered in American restaurants. I prefer this more savory varietal.
Soup prior to enjoying our meal. I meant to ask what kind of soup this was, but I forgot to inquire before the entrees were served.
Lamb and beef. I haven’t had either meat in many years: it was tender and savory, just like I remember LOL
One of my favorite desserts, the blondie. It was delicious!
I enjoyed my Carnivore experience immensely! While I wouldn’t make it a habit (I don’t know if my body could handle so much meat on a frequent basis), I’m glad that I tried it during my Nairobi visit.
Have any of you visited Carnivore? Let me know all about your experience in the comments below!
No one won the prize I offered in my Guess Where I’m Headed post, so I’ll be the sole benefactor of some neat Kenyan souvenirs. But even if you didn’t guess the location correctly, you can still check out my pics from the trip: I have photos on my Instagram but I’ll also share a few on this post.
Since I enjoyed a lot of activities while I was there, I will have a LOT of reviews coming over the next couple of weeks. I am excited to talk about my hotel experience, sightseeing at major landmarks, my museum visit, my first safari, dining out, and more. I also plan to do an in-depth video explaining how anyone can afford international travel, and how to plan for domestic and international trips (including timelines and helpful tips from an experienced traveler).
Without further ado, here is a soupcon of my photos from my time in Nairobi, Kenya. Enjoy (and look out for those reviews soon)!