Been wanting to try foods of a different culture for a while. Finally my chance came when I went to dinner with GRock. He gave me 3 choices: Korean, Ramen, or African. I picked African right away.
So that became Simba’s Grill on Denman (they also have a location in Burnaby). Apparently another coworker had raved about it.
I immediately looked up the menu online and I’ll have to admit, I was slightly disappointed to find out that it’s more “African Fusion” and the food is more like Indian-African. In other words they really serve curries and such. They do also serve kebabs hence the “Grill” part of their name.
But then, I guess I wasn’t really hoping for lions and elephants.
The interior is nicely decorated. Very low lighting so it’s quite romantic really. Aside from the boss guy, they servers were Japanese dressed in (?) African attire.
From the start they placed a place of condiments down. The server did forget to bring us water though, we had to ask for it.
From the top, is a savory coconutty sauce, next is a spicy tamarind sauce and then it’s a thick yogurt-type dip.
The boss guy came around to every table to greet everyone. When he arrived at ours, GRock asked for recommendations. He asked if we liked Lamb and I do, but unfortunately GRock doesn’t, so we digressed. He did give a few recommendations such as the cream curry and the grilled lamb. Alas, we did not go with his recommendations.
We didn’t really know what to order but from reading reviews online I knew I wanted the coconut curry (Paka; $14.99). You get to pick from chicken, tilapia (fish), or prawns. We also chose another chicken dish so that was out of the question. GRock has a thing against prawns so that left the tilapia.
Now I had mixed feelings for this. For one, I didn’t like it and wouldn’t order it again. The fish was quite fishy and bland, as was the sauce. It wasn’t as tasty or creamy and I thought it would be. However, the curry went really really well with the saffron rice (extra $3,99) by itself. But aside from that, again I will not order it again.
Like I mentioned, rice is $3.99 extra. It was a decent portion, and was actually pretty good. We also ordered naan for $1.49 but that was only for one piece. It tasted as good as naan should be- fluffy, warm and soft.
Our other dish was the Kebab of minced chicken. It came in 4 quite decent sized sausages. This was actually very very good and a bit spicy. Very moist and flavorful, beats the fish any day. However the thing is I don’t see the “African-ness” of this, after all it’s just grilled meat. But then I’m no expert in African cuisine so who am I to talk huh…
This came with a salad of sorts and we substituted the rice/fries with Muhogo (deep-fried cassava root) for an extra $1.99. It was a nice touch, as we’ve never tried that before. It was quite starchy though, but we liked it.
They do have an coupon in the Entertainment Book so our total only came to $34 including tips. Quite a good deal and overall a good meal.
By any chance, was the “owner” trying to upsell you some of the dishes, not to mention yelling at the waiters/waitresses? I went to this place a couple of years ago before I started food blogging and, well, the experience was bad in more ways than one, thanks to the “owner”. Wonder if they have straighten things up but, from the one night impression, I have no desire to go back…
Nope he was fine, friendly and helpful.