Last Friday, my friends and I ventured into Harlem for a little taste of Africa. We dined at Africa Kine Restaurant to try out what was said to be authentic Senegalese cuisine. My verdict? Very authentic, very delicious, and good service.
We arrived late for our reservation, but the waitress did not give us any problems. After we sat down and busied ourselves with the menus, the waitress automatically brought us cups and two giant pitchers of water. She gave us plenty of time to look over the menu. We were given two plates of complimentary bread, which were still fresh and warm. As I looked around the restaurant, I noticed that all the customers looked like neighborhood locals and some were dressed in traditional African robes. It gave me the reassurance that the restaurant serves authentic African food.
I decided to order a glass of bouye and the dish of Dibi Guinar. Bouye is a juice made from the fruit from a baobab tree. It has a cloudy, white color and a yogurt-like taste with a tiny hint of flakes that taste like milk. It’s something that would be refreshing on a hot day, but a bit too yogurt-flavored for my liking. The Dibi Guinar is marinated, grilled chopped chicken served with onion sauce and a choice of couscous, rice, salad or french fries. The Dibi Guinar was served nice and hot with the couscous I ordered. The chicken was well-flavored with the salty marinade and grilled meat taste. The onions in the sauce were sauteed but were slightly sour, reminding me of the taste of something pickled. The moroccan couscous was also delectable with onions, carrots, and raisins mixed within, plus a hint of garlic flavor. The portions of the dishes were well-worth the price. I was stuffed from my meal and had enough left over for another hearty meal the next day.
Overall, the meal was delicious and quite worth the price. I think I’ll come back here again if I ever crave African food.
I apologize for the lack of pictures, but I was so hungry that I forgot to take pictures of the dishes. To make it up to you all, I leave you with a little geography lesson and a picture of the baobab tree.
Senegal is a country in west Africa, with Dakar as the its capital city. It borders the Atlantic Ocean on its left. Because Islam is the predominant religion in Senegal (about 95% of the population), pork is rarely seen on the menus of Senegalese restaurants.
Here’s a picture of the baobab tree. They are also referred to as “upside down” trees because of their interesting, reversed body form.