Last spring, I wrote about Victoria’s new Colombian restaurant, La Fogata Latina. I ended my review with enthusiastic appreciation for the global cuisine we enjoy in the capital city, with ethnic eateries offering up everything from Ethiopian, Indian, Polish and Thai dishes to Middle Eastern, Mexican, Spanish and and Sri Lankan.
We can now add West African to that list. Le Petit Dakar serves authentic and incredibly affordable Senegalese takeout from a small space in the Crystal Garden building on lower Douglas Street, across from the bus station and Victoria Conference Centre.
Senegalese food has influences of French, Italian, and Brazilian cooking, with spicy accents of ginger and garlic, cloves and peppers.With just four tables, this little nook has a takeout buffet with half a dozen hot dishes. I chose black-eyed beans on rice for the princely sum of $6.25. The texture of the beans and complexity of the spices was absolutely delicious.
Chef-owner Binetou Toure welcomes every customer with a big warm smile. I asked her about the regular vegetarian options at Le Petit Dakar. She says they have at least one and usually two every day (carrot soup and veggie samosas are other options). These are usually gluten-free as well.
For the carnivores, there may be peanut butter beef stew, Senegalese beef bourguignon, or lamb curry. Toure let me sample an incredible sauce intended for one of the chicken dishes, loaded with fried onions and giant green olives. Meat dishes are generally $8-9.
As Victoria’s weather shifts from sunny Indian summer into damp and chilly fall, I expect to be frequenting Le Petit Dakar for their hearty, spicy, savoury stews on a regular basis. See you there.
- Le Petit Dakar (250-380-3705), 711 Douglas St.