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My Safari Adventure

Ostrich, Crocodile, Kangaroo meat……… find it all here. I’ve never been to an African restaurant. I’ve always thought that safari food is all about curry & spices, but I was wrong. African cuisine reflects indigenous traditions, as well as influences from Europeans & Asians. safari african restaurant bar asakasa japanI have the pleasure to be invited to my friend’s Safari African Restaurant Bar, located in Akasaka, Japan. safari african restaurant bar asakasa japan tokyoWhile waiting for our food to be served, Yonas (co-owner/bartender) entertained us with his bartending skills. What makes a great bartender? A good bartender is not just about being able to mix drinks or how many cocktails he knows. He must be able to set the mood for the night, charismatic, able to mingle with the guests & keep them amused – the charming Yonas has it all.
safari african restaurant bar tender, asakasa japanWondwesen (owner/chef) on the other hand, was a superb host. In all, he has displayed his African culinary skills to our delight. safari african restaurant bar asakasa japan, chefThe first dish was an uplifting start. This tasty Beans Salad is light & flavourful, nothing I’d imagine in an African menu. safari african restaurant bar asakasa japan tunisian tajinThe next course was the Tunisian Tajin, which is a mix of egg, tuna, potato & cheese. It’s like an Italian frittata. I like this cheesy stuff very much. In rural parts of Tunisia, home cooks place a shallow earthenware dish over glowing olive wood, fill it, cover it with a flat earthen pan & then pile hot coals on top. The resulting Tajin is crusty on top & bottom, moist within & is infused with a subtle smoky fragrance. safari african restaurant bar asakasa japan, pelafeAfrican Pelafe – seafood, vegetables stir-fried with spices & you get a colourful, savoury plate of pilaf. safari african restaurant bar injera sour dough flatbreadInjera is a sour dough flatbread traditionally eaten in Ethiopia. Injera compares to the French crepe & the South Indian dosa as a flatbread cooked in a circle & used as a base for other foods. The taste & texture however, are quite unique & unlike the crepe & dosa. ethiopia safari african restaurant bar asakasa japanUsing one's right hand, small pieces of Injera are torn & used to grasp the stews & salads for eating. The spicy dish of meat is a little overwhelming & the chilli paste is too strong for me. But I do like the stir-fry vegetables, which consist of potatoes, carrots, long beans etc. It’s very refreshing. safari african restaurant bar asakasa japan eggsIt was time for some wildlife. Arrived at our table was a mixed of Deep-fried Crocodile & Kangaroo Meat. Crocodile meat tasted a bit like chicken but I can’t really describe the latter. These rare meats definitely go well with a glass of icy cold beer. safari african restaurant bar deep-fried crocodile meatNext came another surprise. This course is somewhat similar to what we call “Curry Puff” in Singapore, except that this is a gigantic version. I love the cheesy, potato filling & the outer crispy layer. This is an interesting palate. safari african restaurant bar asakasa curry puffSuddenly, all the lights went off & a loud blast of music was played. Out came Yonas, dancing with what looked like a Maraca in his hands. Next came Wondwessen, with a tray of dessert – Crocodile Nile. safari african restaurant bar asakasa japan crocodile nileHe ignited the ‘reptile’ & an impressive visual presentation was created. Now, that’s what I call excellent showmanship! safari african restaurant bar asakasa crocodile nile dessertDigged into the croc, you’ll discover a pleasant surprise - icy strawberry sorbet. Definitely a crowd pleaser. safari african restaurant bar asakasa strawberry dessertI ended my African journey with much delight. I’d like to thank Chie, my wonderful Japanese pen-pal of 20 yrs & her husband, Wondwesen, for the gastronomic safari expedition. Not forgetting Yonas, for his great service & entertainment.

3 comments:

  1. Surprisingly interesting! And the crocoodile dish is abaolutely stunning! ha ha...And very nice to meet you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sounds adventurous ! Thank you for sharing. Cheers !

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