We went here last Saturday for our monthly supper club. This was my first introduction to East African food and it was a pleasant experience.
This restaurant is located on Edmonds Street, a few blocks before Kingsway in a seedier part of East Burnaby. It is also very tiny, probably not more than 40 seats in total. The restaurant is cozy and had some nice decorations of what I assume is traditional East African artifacts.
We made reservations ahead of time and our group of 10 took up 1/3 of the restaurant. Throughout the night, the hostess was turning people away, as other larger groups had also made reservations after us.
Now to the food. My wife and I started out with the cassava chips. It was really good. Cut into thick french fries, it was deep fried and crip on the outside, but tender and chewy on the inside. I've never had cassava before and the taste is somewhat similar to a sweet potato, but the texture is firmer and chewier.
I had the lamb kebobs for $15.99 and my wife had the skewered sirlon for the same price. It took a while for the food to come out, seemed like there was only one cook working. Also, the food came out at different times, sometimes nearly 20 minutes from the first dish being served, to the last dish. My dish came with 3 large kebobs on a massiave bed of rice with some lettuce, tomato and cucumber garnish. The kebobs were great, nicely grilled and the right texture with nice flavour. The rice was very good too, kinda yellow in colour (saffron??), with traditional Indian spices in it. It was very fluffy basmati rice, although a bit on the oily side. My wife's skewered sirlion was marinated and grilled nicely. It was flavourful and tender, and had a bit of a kick to it too. We finished off with a piece of cheescake with mango sauce and crushed pistachios. It was pretty good.
Service was not that great. There was a main server, older woman (probably owner's wife?) and another younger female server/buser. The orders for food and drinks were taken fairly promptly, but there was about a 15 - 20 minute wait in between the plates being cleared and her coming back to take orders for dessert/chai, etc. It also took about the same amount of time to get our bill. 15% gratuity was already added to the bill, which I was fine with as we knew ahead of time that was going to be done, so I guess there's really no incentive to provide great service.
One appie, 2 mains, 1 glass of house red wine, 1 dessert and chai came to just under $52 (tax and tip included). This was after $13 entertainment book coupon was used. That's a great price for the food that we got that evening. Without the coupon $15.99 for the entree is a tad on the pricey side, for what you got though. I would probably go again, if I had another coupon or if I was in the mood for East African food.