Bon Appetit: Destination Côte d’Ivoire


I mentioned last week that I was going to experience African cuisine every week-end this summer for fun. And so fun started this past Saturday when I made a stop at “Chez Vero” also known as “Akwaaba” which means “welcome” in the Agni dialect. The restaurant is a few blocks away from my place so no going out of my way here for food:-D. Akwaaba serves mostly Ivoirian food but other West African dishes are also available such as thiebou djeun. So after half a day of starving myself in anticipation of my trip to Akwaaba, the wait was finally over the minute I started devouring a dish of foutou banane and sauce graine. Aww good God, what a liberation:-D, this popular Ivorian meal was even more delicious than I recalled (from my days in Abidjan). The sauce is made from African palm nut pulp (Elaesis guineensis) with pieces of beef in it. Although it is consumed throughout tropical Africa, sauce graine is often said to have originated from the Cote D’Ivoire. In fact, I’d say the combo of sauce graine and foutou banane are the best things to happen to Cote D’Ivoire, after footballer Didier Drogba of course :-D. As for foutou banane, it’s made from mashed plantain and yams. Akwaaba restaurant (the sign reads Chez Vero:-/) is located on 116th street between Park and Madison avenue in Harlem. I’ll update the post with the exact address later. Stay tuned for next Sunday’s mystery destination ;-).

4 Responses to Bon Appetit: Destination Côte d’Ivoire

  1. Barima says:

    Akwaaba also mean Wecome in Akan. I need to be in Harlem more often. I’ll get the address of a Ghanaian restaurant in the Bronx for u. Kudos.

  2. Papa Shongo says:

    Yea no doubt I’ve never been to a Ghanaian restaurant but I’m suspecting the cuisine to be similar to that of Cote d’Ivoire right?

  3. Barima says:

    Yeah, somewhat. But we have a lot of dishes that are uniquely Ghanaian.

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