Tastes of New Orleans Pt. 2

So while walking the streets of the french quarter we unexpectedly stumbled across an african spot, Bennachin restaurant located towards the eastern end. Surprising to see such a place in a city that is mainly known for creole & cajun cuisine, I was eager to try out New Orleans version of african cooking.

The decor was bright & colorful, lots of african artwork on the walls that matched well with the exposed brick of the walls. First thing I noticed when I browsed the menu was that I was not familiar with most of the dishes offered on the menu. Most african restaurants I’ve tried in the past featured Senegalese cuisine. According to the waitress who served us, the restaurant was started by two women, one Cameroonian, the other Gambian. “Bennachin” is an african word that roughly translates to an african version of Jambalaya.

Bennachin restaurant

Bennachin restaurant

We started off with an appetizer of Akara which are black eye pea fritters served with a chunky spiced tomato sauce for dipping. They were light in texture, not greasy, the taste is relatively bland so adding the sauce jazzes it up.

Akara from Bennachin

For the main dish, my mom ordered the Chicken Yassa. It was different from the versions I’ve seen from Senegalese restaurants but still delicious. It was chicken in a light sauce with cabbage & carrots served over couscous.

Chicken Yassa

I ordered the Sisay Dourang Boneless chicken with roasted peanuts served over rice with a thick brown gravy. You can order all dishes mild, medium or spicy. I like spicy food so I chose medium which was a dash of chili powder to garnish the dish.

Sisay dourang

Portions were huge, we both ended up bringing home the rest of the food which made for a second meal. Service was on the slower side as all dishes are made to order. Using the restroom required having to walk through the kitchen so I got to meet the two women that were cooking. The restroom is shared with an Italian restaurant next door, but the courtyard looked pretty.

Bennachin courtyard

If you’ve never tried African food before definitely give it a try. For me it was a departure from the typical New Orleans fare as well as the typical african cuisine I’m used to. For the non-meat eaters, they also offer vegetarian options. They don’t serve alcohol but you can BYOB from a wine shop across the street.

Need a second opinion? Click the link below & check out this video review.

Bennachin Restaurant, New Orleans

Bennachin Restaurant
1212 Royal Street
New Orleans, LA 70116
(504) 522-1230

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