124 Victoria St, Seddon. Phone: 9687 0560
It’s something of a shock to realise how long it’s been since we went African.
We’ve been pleasantly distracted – Indian, Asian, kebabs and all sorts of other stuff.
Nor have we got around to enjoying Africa taste and blogging on it, despite the fact we were regulars even before CTS lumbered into their cyber air.
So tonight’s the night.
The place has undergone some natty renovations. The kitchen has been moved further to the rear of the building. There’s a bigger counter area and more room for hungry folks, though Africa taste remains comfy rather than roomy.
Sadly, it seems the days of us waltzing up any old time we like and grabbing a table are gone.
Even on this Monday night we are lucky to grab an unbooked early table.
We presume this is to do with the booking of two separate birthday groups, but later learn this is pretty much a standard situation on any night of the week.
It seems bookings are the go here now, not that we resent any success Africa taste has earned.
We love the food, the points of difference from Footscray’s African eateries and the fact it’s closer to our home base. The relaxed charm seems to have faded away a little, but we can live with that.
Our standard order on most of many previous visits has been chicken or lamb tibes and the Africa Taste salad – a magnificent jumble of leaves, tomato, cucumber, onion and crunchy spiced pita bits.
Tonight, at dad’s insistence, we venture further afield.
We’ve been a bit wary of some menu items previously, fearing an uncomfortable level of stodginess.
We are delighted to proven so wrong by the Genfo African Fufu (Gnocchi, $10.95).
The gnocchi of toasted barley flour are plain yet delicious. Some of them have a little crunch, though there is little or none of the chilli mentioned on the menu. Instead there is a rich brown gravy and a big dab of cream.
It’s much more filling than it looks, and we are glad we went without the $5 option of extras such as chicken, lamb or fish.
Bennie, extremely fishily ambivalent as he is, is somewhat unimpressed by the inclusion of Spicy Fish Tibes ($13.50) in our order.
But even he, injera in hand, likes the viscous and spinach-infused gravy that is very garlicky and, like the gnocchi, lacking much of a spice bite despite the menu description and the clearly visible red flecks.
His dad loves the many and generous chunks of butterfish that are tender and mild of flavour.
It’s a fine meal and a bargain at $24.45.
And it’s swell knowing there are still several dishes on the menu that await exploration by us.
But we know now that future visits will require a little more premeditation than has been our impromptu habit.