Unique flavors aren’t hard to find in the City With Soul, but African food has eluded the scene for too long.
Fortunately, loyal followers have found Sambou’s African Kitchen on County Line Road (and so have nominations for a James Beard Award).
When most people think of spicy food, they think of hot food seasoned with hot chilies or cayenne pepper, but that is not the traditional African way.
Restaurant owner Joseph Sambou is from Gambia, and the spices he brings to his restaurant are typical of those popular in the West African country. Spices like ginger, chili, nutmeg, turmeric, thyme, sesame, lemongrass and coconut make for bold and flavorful food unlike many before.
Chef Sambou describes his restaurant as a family-run eatery that utilizes Gambian culinary methods to deliver a delicious menu that excites the senses and delights the palate. He says, "We offer authentic West African cuisine that's soulful and unapologetic in the use of bold flavors. Our cuisine is cooked with love from our hearts and plated for our customers to enjoy with their loved ones."
Amongst a sea of American, Mexican and Asian fusion restaurants in Jackson, Sambou's is one of only a few restaurants serving traditional African dishes. Sambou was inspired to open Sambou's African Kitchen after discovering how woefully underrepresented African dishes are in the region. "Our main mission is to represent Africa," he says. With the unique and flavor-packed menu, Sambou's does just that.
This menu is unlike any other in Jackson. There are four appetizers:
- Ebbeh, a soup made with shrimp, cassava, palm oil, lime juice, herbs and tamarind
- Grilled kabobs, made with lamb, caramelized onions and mustard
- A meat pie stuffed with beef and vegetables
- Black-eyed pea fritters
The daily menu includes offerings such as Chicken Yassa: chicken marinated and sauteed in onions, lemon, and mustard and served with white rice or couscous. If you're looking for a light but satisfying soup, the Egusi Soup is perfect. This hearty and delicate leafy soup is made with melon seeds, crayfish and palm oil and served with a fufu ball (cassava flour) or white rice.
Sambou's also offers daily specials, served alongside their daily fixed menu. From Gambian Jollof rice to peanut butter stew with lamb, there's no way to be bored with menu offerings at Sambou's.
Written by Julian Brunt
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