Saturday, May 11, 2013

Africano @ Kota Damansara

African food hasn't unleashed a culinary contagion in the Klang Valley so far, but if it ever does, we probably won't pinpoint the outbreak to Kota Damansara's Africano.

A Nigerian cook's in charge, assuring the authenticity of this 'egusi' (RM5) mix of West African cucumber seeds, tomatoes, leaves & seasoning that tastes like scrambled eggs & spinach soup with curry. Oily but pleasantly flavorful.

Amala (RM20), a thick, sticky & misshapen lump of yam tubers that might taste like (depending on which of us you ask) cement paste or melted shoe soles.

Pounded yam, also an acquired taste, with slimy cow skin & spiky cow tongue.

Jollof rice (RM10), a heap of tomato rice that's less mouthwatering than it could be, with fried fish (RM20!!!) that's less fresh than it should be.

Okra-tomato soup. We considered also ordering goat meat, catfish & semolina paste, but realized that maybe African specialties aren't for us.

Africano,
8, Jalan PJU 5/20D, The Strand, Kota Damansara.

30 comments:

  1. This is actually fascinating. Slimy cow skin, spiky tongue, and okra-tomato soup sounds delicious, for me.

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    1. Ron: heh, yeah, I guess it's an example of one man's meat being another man's poison. I'm not exactly squeamish about the ingredients, but they just didnt quite hit the spot for my taste buds. Good to have a few African restaurants around for variety though, definitely, and other customers might appreciate the dishes here more than I did =)

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  2. Hmmm...I think I will skip...hehehe

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    1. Missyblurkit: heheh, I don't think there'll be a Round Two for me here, but I'm glad there was a Round One :D

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  3. I have never had African food. Not sure I would enjoy it...however, I always enjoy your posts and photos, Sean!

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    1. Linda: thank you! Yeah, this was an interesting gastronomic experience. I must admit, I think i prefer South African dishes, which might be more 'mainstream' =)

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  4. Hey Sean,

    When I saw Kota D'sara, I said to myself, "Hey, this is my hood, gotta try it out." Ermmm, on second thought, perhaps not :) But it does add variety to the dining specialties in KD. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. YummyLicious: hi jimmy, yeah, i think there are safer and (probably) more satisfying choices out there in kota damansara, heh. lots of interesting choices in your hood. hundreds of eateries, yeah =)

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    2. Yup, there are a lot of interesting choices but very few gems. I just browsed through all yr blog postings for Kota D'sara. You featured so many outlets in Sunway Giza way back 2-3 years ago :) Must be yr favorite hangout place since there are a lot of pubs (cough, cough) Hehehe.

      Unfortunately, most of the places you featured have either moved or closed down. My next culinary adventure here will be Tranquerah. Look forward to yr 1st order soon Sean. Cheers bro ;)

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    3. Yummylicious: true, maybe it's a case of quantity over quality right now at KD. Heh, yeah, Sunway Giza as well as The Strand started out promisingly but now it seems to be mostly beer-serving pubs that serve the same thing in all their outlets. The Tranquerah was pretty good, but I haven't been back. And yes, I believe that order will be coming soon now, on a weekday when I take the day off to service my car =)

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    4. Awesome, look forward to yr 1st order soon Sean :) Just the right timing as we just introduced our 1st Korean burger, the K-burger. Pls order 1 day in advance as we cook2order. Alrighty, catch up with you soon. As Melaka is my yearly holiday destination (feels like a 2nd home), will try to get pointers from you on places to check out for food in my next trip to Melaka.

      Thanks Sean and keep the foodporn coming ;)

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    5. Yummylicious: heh, i think you know more about malacca than me, since i only go back once a year at the most! :D

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  5. There used to be Out of Africa in PJ, still there? Was staying in the hotel next door...but was not adventurous or not so into food then - did not stop by to try.

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    1. Suituapui: oh yeah, i think my most recent visit to Out of Africa was in 2011. as far as i know, it's still going strong. it's a good option for food though, and there are lots of recipes offered that should cater to even the unadventurous! =)

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  6. Do they serve the African peanut butter soup? My friend gave us the recipe before, but we lazy to try at home, hahahaha.

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    1. CK: ooo, no peanut butter soup here. it sounds like a very interesting recipe. if you ever make it, i want to try! :P

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  7. It's not so much African food as much as Nigerian food, which is certainly an acquired taste. South African like Out of Africa is definitely more aligned with our taste buds.

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    1. Ketiak: you have a good point, i guess i shouldn't lump all african food in the same category (as in, not all asian food is thai or chinese, heh). oh, and i agree about Out Of Africa ... it used to be one of my favorite restaurants. love the ox tongue, the stews, the soups and the chunky sausages there :D

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  8. I guess the only thing I might try is the egusi.. other than tht, errrrrr, no thanks.

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    1. Baby Sumo: ooh, out of the five dishes above, my favorite was definitely the egusi! we didn't manage to finish some of the other dishes, heh. but ya, it's always good to expand our gastronomic horizons, challenge ourselves and educate our taste buds :D

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  9. I have an African friend. Or Nigerian. Let me chk - on both his nationality and the food here. HAhahaha! I had African food before (cooked by africans ) and it was somewhat similar but entirely. But it sure didnt taste as bad.
    Also, this is the one near burger junkyard yes? I kept tellin myself to go try each time I'm at BJ

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    1. TNG: ooh, yeah, maybe i ordered the wrong dishes here, heheh :D oh yes, Africano is just a few shops down from burger junkyard. i think there's also another outlet in this neighborhood that's a retail shop for african liquor =)

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  10. I used to eat a lot of Nigerian food in London as I had many Nigerian friends who cooked! Some of it is definitely an acquired taste, I never acquired one for okra soup or pounded yam. My friends cooked jollof rice differently, and it became my favourite dish.

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    1. Footfringe: ooh, i should have visited this outlet in kota damansara with you; then we could have discussed whether the food here is on par with real homemade nigerian fare. the pounded yam tasted almost inedible to me, which was a surprise, since i usually enjoy yam recipes. and ya, i was expecting the jollof rice to be comfort food, kinda like how paella is soul food, heh :D

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  11. Beef roll and crunchy octopus sounds interesting, it should go well with beer !

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    1. Wong: oh yeah, could be bar snacks! =)

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  12. Um...Andrew Zimmern...that's all I'm thinking off right now.

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    1. Sycookies: hahah, yeah, bizarre foods (although bizarre for us would be ordinary for the folks who created these recipes) =)

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  13. *applause to Sean* African food also you've tried.
    Erm...the cow's tongue...really spiky!

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    1. Melissa: heheh, ya, the cow tongue looked so weird! :D

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