Dundu

http://www.dundukitchen.com • 914-930-7470

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African cuisine is pretty thin on my blog, but to be fair, it’s kinda thin in the United States in general. In fact, even in a city as culturally diverse as New York, there’s no Little Africa like there is a Little Italy, Chinatown, Little India and Koreatown. But the thing is, African cuisine can be so many things sort of like “American.” For example, food in Morocco or Egypt might be considered more Middle Eastern, where as Ethiopian is almost a thing unto itself. And then there’s the contemporary cuisine of a country like South Africa and the exotic game of places everywhere in between. And finally there’s the almost Jamaican-like fare of West Africa, which is where Dundu comes in.

The dish I went with was the pepper chicken with rice and plantains, served with a cornmeal cake and coleslaw. Now, with the exception of the coleslaw, if I had said this place was in Montego Bay you probably wouldn’t even question it, which poses a very interesting question, why do Jamaica and West Africa have such similar cuisines? Well, you can thank England, because back in the mid-1600’s the British took Jamaica from the Spaniards turning the island into sugar plantations, which were run on slave labor sourced from, you guessed it, Western Africa.

But enough with the history lesson, albeit the most interesting part of this review, and let’s get to the food. The chicken is dry and not all that “peppery.” The rice is dry as well and the plantains aren’t very sweet. Even the cornmeal cake was dry. In fact, the only thing that wasn’t dry was the coleslaw. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, however, I only ate from their stand in Herald Square. Not giving them the benefit of the doubt, there is no restaurant. So it’s either a stand or catering, which means my sampling was at least 50% accurate and enough to know not to use them for catering should I ever decide to go back and get a Bar Mitzvah.

1 tooth

Boma

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge • 2901 Osceola Pkwy. Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830(407) 938-3000 disneyworld.disney.go.com

boma

Like most buffets it is over-priced and underwhelming. That said there are a few bright spots. I highly recommend the Bread Pudding French Toast- but be sure to use the drizzle next to it. Sometimes with bananas. Sometimes with nuts.

The other thing that rose above the norm were the eggs with feta, tomatoes and baby spinach. It’s a little on the runny side for my tastes, but at least it has more flavor than most buffet eggs.

Skip all of the pastries. They are all pretty atrocious. As is most everything else I didn’t mention, which made up about 98% of the buffet.

And speaking of bad, in general, across the board at Disney restaurants we were CONSTANTLY seated in shitty seats. By the kitchen or the wait station or the bathroom. Even in restaurants that were 90% EMPTY!!! Not sure what the deal was, but when you are dropping the kind of coin we did to stay in that very hotel, it’s a bit insulting. And no, we are not freakish looking or smelly- at least I don’t think we are.

That said, my advice… Skip this place and just head straight to the parks. You’ll get a better meal for about a quarter of the price.

1 tooth

Sanaa

Animal Kingdom Lodge 3701 Osceola Pkwy. Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830 • (407) 939-3463

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I’m guessing Indian and African fare is few and far between in the rest of the country, but by New York City standards, there’s a place this good, or better, every ten blocks. But that’s only in reference to the food. The service was actually pretty slow. They took us late for our reservation and ultimately sat us across from the service station in a half empty restaurant.

Now as for the food, skip the lamb sliders. They are VERY dry and therefore don’t “slide” anywhere. They just sit their in your mouth begging your saliva ducts to bring a little moisture to the party.

Then there is very mild fish curry dish that is so mild it’s not even worth remembering the name. Apparently mild means boring to the chef. Fortunately there is a spicy curry dish as well, and it is MUCH better, meaning I actually ate it. In fact, it was so much better than the fish, I dumped the fish into the spicier sauce just to make it worth opening my jaws.

The only other thing we had at the table was a special fish dish, which was a solid good, but a far cry from the stars people are throwing down on TripAdivsor and Yelp in praise of this extremely mediocre restaurant. But please don’t think I’m just some New York Foodie Snob (granted I am) hating on Disney. There are two other restaurants over at The Boardwalk Hotel, that blow Sanaa out of the water jungle, Cat Cora’s Kouzzina and Flying Fish Cafe.

2 teeth

Carnivore

69 Drift Boulevard (R114), Muldersdrift, South Africa • 27 (0)11 950 6000 • http://www.recreationafrica.co.za/carnivore
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Well, it certainly lives up to its name, I’ll give ‘em that. Because if you’ve ever been to a Brazilian style BBQ restaurant where they bring by various meats to the table on skewers, this is basically the same, only instead of it being things like beef, chicken and pork, it’s virtually every cute animal you just saw while you were out on safari. Spring Buck, Hemsbach, Zebra, Ostrich, Giraffe, Kudu, Crocodile, etc…

It’s like they’re trying to prove out man’s dominance over other species by eating them. And truth be told, it kinda works. You almost feel animalistic as you transform into a flesh eating Neanderthal, super villain. It’s also a bit macabre with the waiters all dressed up like they’re a part of a barbershop quartet.

And while the food isn’t amazing, it’s not half bad either. Granted it has very little competition as it pertains to comparisons for the title of “Ultimate Zebra dish” but it’s still worth a visit for the novelty alone. After all, it’s not like you’ll be eating Zebra again anytime soon, unless you jump the fence at your local zoo and go all Hannibal Lecter on it.

3 teeth