Location: 83 Kennedy Road South, Brampton
It wasn’t until I pulled up at the plaza that I realized that T&T (not to be confused with the supermarket) is in the exact same spot as Muchomo Grill House, another African restaurant I tried a couple of years ago. Many of the places I check out for this blog are completely deserted when I visit them, and it makes me wonder how they survive. The obvious (and sad) answer: not all do.
T&T is a Nigerian restaurant that serves pepper soup, a West African specialty that’s found in several countries in that part of the world.
It’s an interesting dish. I didn’t dislike eating it, but it has an incredibly vibrant and assertive flavour, and it’s safe to say that it’s an acquired taste.
It’s basically an atom bomb of flavours — it punches you in the face. T&T serves it either with fish or goat (apparently it’s traditionally served with any number of meats); I went with fish. The soup itself is intensely fishy, with a zingy, spicy flavour that I found to be exhausting.
It’s an absolute face-punch of ginger and spices and fishiness, with a puckery level of acidity that’s a bit overwhelming. Something to mellow out the flavour a bit would have been nice. Rice, maybe? Potatoes? I’m sure this is sacrilege to people who grew up with the dish.
The fish was freshly cooked, with a nice clean flavour and flaky, moist meat. Which is a good thing, because the soup is literally just fish and broth. It’s not bad, but I don’t think it’s for me.
Location: 900 Rathburn Road West, Mississauga
I think I should preface this review by saying that Village Suya has only been up and running for a few weeks; I wasn’t too crazy about the meal I had here, but it’s quite possible that they still have some kinks to work out. So you might want to take this review with a grain of salt.
For the uninitiated, Suya is Nigerian-style grilled meat, typically sold by street vendors on skewers. This particular restaurant serves beef and chicken; I went with beef, and got it with a side of fried rice.
The rice was easily the highlight. Though it looks fairly similar to Chinese-style fried rice, it definitely has a personality of its own. It’s a touch on the oily side (my mouth felt grease-slicked for at least an hour or two after eating), but it has a satisfying curry-tinged flavour, and just enough of a kick to put some sweat on your brow.
And whatever they’ve marinated the beef in is actually pretty tasty; it’s nicely seasoned, with another solid dose of spice. But (and this is a fairly big but) the beef was excessively chewy and dry — it’s kind of unpleasant (of course, this didn’t stop me from eating almost all of it, but I digress).
The meat was either severely overcooked, or they’re using a cheaper cut of beef that’s meant to be stewed (or, more likely, a little from column A, a little from column B). It’s too bad, because if the meat were a little bit more tender (or, more accurately, tender at all), it would probably be pretty good. The elements, otherwise, are all there. But when the beef is that jerky-like in its consistency, it’s kind of tough to enjoy — even if the flavour is pretty good.