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Al-amir Restaurant, Gambia
     Yellow Pages   Restaurants   Kololi   
  Contact Address Details:
 Alamir Restaurant Gambia Ltd.

 Kololi, near Senegambia Hotel
 Banjul area
 Kanifing Municipality, Ksmd
 The Gambia, West Africa

 Tel no: +220 446 3446 (reservations)
                     990 0590


 Senegambia Strip area

  Menu Overview:
 Lebanese cuisine

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Your arrival at the front door of the rotunda which is Al Amir is observed by a gilded mermaid and a cheeky dolphin of similar hue, who peer provocatively from behind Doric columns which herald the splendid daring of the bold interior. The sheer white ceiling ascends to a point supported by a rough cast central pillar down which cascades a waterfall, and round which is arranged a circular buffet table.

The crescent shaped bar is formed by imitation wine barrels, the walls are decorated with framed colour photographs of scenes of Lebanon and the whole is lit by crystal style lamps. The drapes are predominantly a deep shade of red and tied with silvery cord. The wall is punctuated by a conglomeration of gilt chains and plastic ivy.

In imitation this would be kitch, but Al Amir is a glorious original!

Your host is Chef Ali, ably assisted by his most attractive wife and several members of the family.

The welcome is BIG! You will be greeted graciously, served willingly, fed adequately, and never rushed. It will be impossible to cause inconvenience by your demands or your questions. A party of two will be treated with the same egality as a party of twenty two.

The spacious tables and the comfortably upholstered chairs can be moved ad hoc.

It is an oft expounded fallacy that Lebanese food is boring. It is not. Certainly some Arabic countries produce dishes with hotter spices and with more sauce. But the food is well cooked, beautifully presented and incredibly nutritious. And so the experience of a visit to Al Amir will always ultimately represent good value for money in Gambia.

Start with some humous, (chic-pea dip) and a few pieces of pitta bread. Chef Aliís humous glistens with virgin olive oil, is flavoured with a hint of garlic and is embellished with parsley.

If you are a stranger to the nutty flavour and unique texture of this dish, do not rely on your first impression. There is a delightful after-taste which suddenly urges you to crave more.

And the quaffing of a Lebanese red wine, Les Breteches du Chateau Kefraya will enhance the dips, and any other course which follows.

Take your time with the steak or the chicken kebabs. Accompany them with chopped salad with croutons. Leave space for the prawns with cous or rice and do not forget to try the chicken breast, roasted with just a hint of garlic and a squeeze of lime.

Very easy to replicate at home. "Taste this" you can say to guests, "It is a chicken dish I learned last week." And nobody can argue with you!

I remarked that Lebanese cuisine can tend towards a simple wholesomeness, and salubrious, moustachioed Chef Aliís buffet is supportive of that concept.

But do try.

It is a safe and reliable introduction to a broader spectrum of stylish and interesting food available in Kololi.

In the breathing space between courses ask a member of staff to bring you the a la carte menu for your perusal. Read carefully. Ask questions. And when it is revealed to you just how much further Chef Ali can accompany you into his dream I will guarantee that you will start planning your next visit to one of The Gambia's finest restaurants.

Food writer: Harmattan

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