Hello. *looks at feet* My name is Madeleine… and I am a foreign food-obsessed chef who knows barely anything about African cuisine. Please don’t tell anybody – I’d be mortified if anyone knew my secret. Oh, no… now YOU know! *breathes frantically into paper bag* That’s fine! Fine. Fine, fine, fine… because… well, because I’m doing something about it! In fact, I started my education on Monday evening at a casual and friendly little place called Funmi’s Café, where delicious and modern Nigerian cuisine is served to the enchanting rhythms of traditional African music. So there! :)
Prepared daily from fresh ingredients, each dish is cooked to order with sincere love from the friendly and beautiful woman who runs the café. There are many tempting and authentic options on the menu that can be tailored to your personal heat tolerance – mild, medium, or spicy. Also, there is an impressive number of substantial vegetarian or vegan choices. I found myself wanting to try almost everything. In fact, the chef let me sample a piece of goat, which was surprisingly delicious and nothing like what I had imagined. Either she’s magical or goat is yummy. Probably both.
I did manage to eventually choose Prawns Mozambique, which is grilled tiger shrimp in peri-peri sauce (an essential African chili pepper marinade that I actually knew about!!) with rice and fried plantains. It was humble and perfect. Once you’re finished reading, go to Funmi’s and order this dish. Get it spicy, too – you will not be disappointed.
The well-balanced rice hummed a warm, sweet-tart tune, and the fried plantains were spectacular. Easily the best I’ve ever had, they were caramelized to a crisp, golden brown with lush insides that were smooth and sweet. And then there were prawns. Outrageously delicious prawns. Plump, fresh, and perfectly cooked, they were tender, well-seasoned, and incredibly complex in spite of their simplicity. The initial sweetness gave way to a lovely warmth and subtle hints of cinnamon, but then a tingly dance of spice slowly spread over the back of my throat, simmering gently to form a taste memory that I won’t soon forget. Just hot enough to dazzle the senses, my dinner date and I forgot to talk as we closed our eyes and savored each bite, letting our contented sighs fill the silence. These prawns are simply gorgeous. Go eat them, please.
What are you waiting for? Scoot!
NEW LOCATION : 3028 Bardstown Rd.
Hours : Monday – Saturday from 11 to 2 for lunch and 5 to 9 PM for dinner
The lovely April Singer enjoyed my shrimp, as well. :)