There aren’t very many African restaurants in Boston but I found one Senegalese restaurant called Tarenga, near the South End. You can check out my twitter feed about the location on KayNTee. It was a very small place with a homey feel that packed a large crowd of boisterous people, who chatted and laughed as they enjoyed their meals of authentic senegalese and other western African cuisine.
I ordered an appetizer of Nem, which are spring rolls. I’m sure when you think of spring rolls you thing of chinese food and not african food but it came about the large Chinese imigrant population in the western African countries. This asian influence brought about Nem which is now a staple across West Africa. It reminded me of the way my mother used to make them when I was younger. I’ve also become a skilled Nem maker thanks to my mothers super vision. The dipping sauce for the dish which is usually made with nuoc mam (fish sauce), vinegar and hot peppers was a lot sweeter then what I was used to. The presentation of the food was very nice with the asian spoon for the dipping sauce to give it a special touch. The filling inside had a lot of rice noodles and a lot less meat inside then what I’m used to but it was still a great spin on a dish I love.
The wait for the main courses was very long but the wait didn’t seem really bad because the atmosphere of the restaurant made you kind of enjoy sitting and just chatting while you waited for your food. Finally after waiting so patiently the food arrived and there was a lot of it. It wasn’t quiet what I expected. I ordered Attieke which is a dish that is native to the country of Cote D’ivoire. Attieke is a dish make out of skinned and grounded cassava. The cassava is broken up to make it look like a grain. Its always eaten with some sort of fish either fried or in this case baked. Freshly cut tomatoes and onions are always accompany it with s little bit of oil and seasonings. This Attieke I orders was very different from any Attieke I ever had because it had ginger and limes which made it taste a lot different from what I’m used to. The fish that came with it was huge and very well seasoned. The dish over all was different from what I’m used to but was still very tasty.The person I went with ordered Djebou jien which is the national dish in Senegal. Its usually served with fish and other vegetables such as eggplant, cabbage, carrots, and cassava. The rice is usually a orange in color because it is cooked in a tomatoes sauce with the fish and the vegetables. Its served with everything on one plate and a lime which is how I enjoy it. The lime is squeezed on top of the rice vegetables and the fish. Sometimes like in this case the fish is pre-stuffed with a mixture that is called roff which consist of parsley, garlic, hot peppers and other spices. This djebou jien was lacking a little flavor and a little bit dry but the fish was very good. The entire experience at this restaurant over all was very good and I enjoyed it as well as recommend it if you want to try something new and different in your dinning.