Cafe D’Afrique, 137 Nicholson Street, Footscray. Phone: 9689 9411
Consider The Sauce was once a regular – a few years back – at Cafe D’Afrique.
But for coffee only.
It was excellent coffee at an equally excellent price.
But I never got a handle on the food situation.
Sometimes there seemed to activity in the kitchen, sometimes not.
Sometimes some customers were eating, more often – IIRC – no one was.
Certainly, there was no menu or blackboard.
So I gave it up, and even moved on from coffee visits as work and other activities had me looking elsewhere.
But today, having completed a few chores nearby, I spy at least half the 20 or so customers chowing down.
“This is ridiculous,” thinks I. “There’s food here – and I want to try it”
So I initiate a to-and-fro discussion with genial gent I take to be the owner.
“Beans,” says he.
This would be the foul I see being happily consumed by several customers.
Ordering done, I take a seat at a back table and wait.
But not for long.
I’m very happy with my lunch.
The salad is typically African – fresh, zingy and powdered with pepper.
The lentils are mush, mild and nice.
The lamb is fantastic – lean, pan-fried, free of fat and gristle, seasoned with something that could be just plain curry powder but definitely includes turmeric.
It’s a beaut, light, tasty and satisfying lunch.
An ultra-low coffee price means nothing if the brew isn’t good.
Still, I’m stunned to discover the admission price for my cafe late is STILL $2.50 – same as it was several years ago.
Best of all, my coffee is utterly excellent.
I’m told the name of the Sudanese dish I’ve just enjoyed is cheya. From what I can gather from Mr Google, this means something like “fried meat”.
As I depart, I see a recently arrived customer served what appears to be tibs and injera, so there’s more going on here than the absence of a menu might seem to indicate.
But you do need to ask.
Personally, I enjoy this sort of scenario – it requires enjoyable engagement that can be missed by merely pointing at a menu entry.
It feels good to be fed and back on familiar terms with such a righteous Footscray fixture.