Taste Of Senegal

On friday night we gathered for a low key dinner at Fatou and Fama. It is a caribbean, soul food, and senagalese restaurant in University City, at 40th and Walnut. When I say low key, I mean it. There’s no aesthetic style at this place, not that that’s a bad thing. It has some african art on the wall, but otherwise, it’s quite unattractive. Extremely bright flourescent lighting, no air conditioning, some plain crappy tables and chairs. It’s not romantic, it’s not swanky, you’re definitely not here for any atmosphere.

They serve caribbean food (think jerk chicken), soul food (think collard greens and fried catfish), and senagalese food (still don’t really know what that is). The menu has lots to choose from. Since I am the queen of not being able to make decisions, I went with the option that didn’t require a decision – the buffet. The dinner buffet, at $9.95, is quite the bargain. It’s not a giant buffet, it’s actually quite tiny. They had 2 chicken dishes, a fish dish, and several veggie dishes. They had a salad bar consisting of lettuce and tomatoes and cucumbers, basically. They had some soup. They were supposed to have dessert but after having one piece, they ran out and refused to make more. Bummer. They were little beignets. They were yummy.

I enjoyed pretty much everything I had from the menu. Surprisingly, I enjoyed my veggie dishes the best. There were stewed cabbage, okra and corn, stewed veggies. I loved them all. The two chicken dishes were good too (don’t remember exactly what they were). And I don’t know whether they were west african or west indian. They were both good though!

I’m not sure what this dish is, I think it’s maafe lamb, which is a peanut butter sauce. You can also get this in chicken. They give you giant dishes of rice. Their rice is really buttery, I loved it.
This is chebujen, the Senagalese national dish of fish and veggies. It had an extremely strong fish smell but I was told it was tasty. It doesn’t look that appetizing.

I have no idea what this is. If I had to guess, I would say yassa chicken. I love onions though, so I bet this is good.

I enjoyed the food quite a lot. It was a good time and quite a bargain. I would have loved it if I could have had more beignets. The service was good enough, nothing to praise and nothing to complain about. It’s definitely a place I would try again. You should too. Just because it’s african food doesn’t mean that it will be like the ethiopian / eritrian places in west philly. It’s not!

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