Location: 849 Albion Road, Etobicoke
The last time I tried fufu (which is basically a much starchier version of mashed potatoes that’s generally made with cassava or plantain), I found it to be an acquired taste that I haven’t quite acquired.
Well, Afro Continental Restaurant serves a very fufu-like dish called diehuo, and it was absolutely delightful.
Diehuo is a Ghanaian specialty that the menu describes as “smooth white corn dough in sauce with goat meat, tripe, cow foot, and cow intestines.”
The diehuo itself was tasty enough, with a nice thick texture that isn’t overly starchy or gummy. But it’s the “sauce” they serve it with (which is really more of a soup or a stew) that absolutely makes the dish.
It’s an absolute bonanza of flavours, with an addictive vibrancy and a decent amount of heat to keep things interesting. It has a mildly slimy texture, but not in an unpleasant way — it reminded me of mulukhiyah, a really tasty Middle Eastern soup.
And with the exception of the tripe, which was leathery and inedible, all of the meats were tender and delicious (though I didn’t get any intestine).
It’s the type of dish that makes me really happy to be doing this blog, because it’s something I otherwise probably never would have tried, and it’s so good.
Location: 5 McMurchy Avenue North, Brampton
I think the meat pie is one those dishes that’s served in basically every part of the world. From Jamaican patties to Argentinian empanadas to Cornish pasties (and beyond), it’s safe to say that wrapping meat in pastry is a universally beloved concept.
What’s not to love? You’ve got tasty pastry and savoury ground meat, all delivered in a convenient hand-held package. It’s great.
I recently tried African pepper soup and found it to be an acquired taste that I clearly haven’t acquired. Well, the meat pies they serve at Kejjis are the complete opposite. I could eat about a million of them.
The pastry shell is closer to an empanada than a Jamaican patty, with a slightly denser texture (perhaps a bit overly dense) and a lightly crispy exterior. It’s decent enough, but it’s clearly just there as a vehicle for the meat; the meat-to-pastry ratio is something like like 10:1.
And that meat is absolutely fantastic — it’s tender and moist with no greasiness, and the flavour, oddly enough, reminded me a lot of an enhanced version of an American breakfast sausage (think: Jimmy Dean, Bob Evans, etc.). It’s definitely not what I was expecting, but it was absolutely delicious.
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: 2428 Islington Avenue, Etobicoke
I’ve had a few dishes over the course of doing this blog that feel like acquired tastes that I haven’t yet acquired. That was definitely the case with fufu, a very popular West African dish consisting of mashed cassava and plantain.
It’s… interesting. It tastes a lot like a much starchier, gummier version of mashed potatoes. It doesn’t have much flavour, but then I don’t think it’s meant to be eaten alone.
It’s traditionally served with soup (in the photos I’ve seen online, they’re served separately, but here it’s all in one bowl). I got the peanut soup (something called “light soup” was also an option), which was rich, flavourful, and pleasantly spicy.
It’s an absolutely enormous portion, and I found myself getting sick of eating it long before it was done. I actually quite liked the vibrant soup — the slightly elastic, gummy fufu, on the other hand, I wasn’t as sold on.
It comes with a few chunks of beef and fish, which weren’t great. The beef was so incredibly tough that I could barely pierce it with a fork, and the fish was dry despite being submerged in soup.