New York in the summer is a blast of energy. From Manhatten’s monied half mile to the bustling neighbourhoods of The Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island, this is a metropolis of the 21st century filled with every degree of human experience you can dare to imagine.
Everybody is here.
Beginning with the Irish and Germans in the 1850s through to the 1900, New York is a city of immigrants. The West-Indians. The Italians. The Africans. The Vietnamese. The Latin Americans. The Chinese. The Indians. The Russians. Everyone arriving in exactly the same way; clutching their cultures, their worlds and their dreams.
If anything demonstrates the multicultural fusion of a city like New York, it`s the huge parade of foods from across the globe. It is really intoxicating. From pizzas to pasta and Parisian fine dinning to hot dogs and street food from the Korean peninsula, New York has it all.
To wander around the city is to be courted and mesmerized by an array of world cuisine. In Brooklyn, I found something quite special.
Joloff is a Senegalese word which links back to the history of the Senegalese people. Walking in, I felt completely at home. The atmosphere was bursting with colour and a delicate arrangement of very simple but comfortable furniture. The walls warmed by soft lights and hues of blue, lemon and green.
From the splendid pieces of curated art- African paintings, carvings, fabrics and small objects dotted meticulously around the room, Joloff was more than just a restaurant.
It was making a statement. This felt like a carefully considered amalgam of flavours with a proud connection to the West African coast of Senegal. I was captured by its ambiance, the bright motifs, the art and the welcoming smiles of the staff eager to please.
We were hungry and the menu was a delightful revelation. In Brooklyn for 21 years, Joloff had developed its repertoire of Senegalese recipes in synthesis with the cosmopolitan feel of New York.
My favourites like fried plantain, fresh green salads and Joloff rice were welcome but there was more. Joloff had options even for vegans and vegetarians. Couscous and steamed vegetable, Okra and Tofu in curry sauce.
There were also national Senegalese dishes like- Yassa Ganar– Chicken braised in lemon and onion sauce, Tiebou Jeun grilled fish with a selection of sauces and Mafe Yapp-, lamb stewed in peanut sauce and okra.
We tucked into a very satisfying meal. I wandered around enjoying the interior and the fine paintings. The walls also carried the memories in photographs of the atmosphere when Joloff springs to life at the weekends. With the raised platform used for live music and evening entertainment, Joloff is also a melting pot for many who simply come to eat, lounge and marinate in the rhythmic sounds of Senegal and the comaderie of people who have a love for life.
Lunch was fantastic. Joloff was inspiring. I will definitely visit again. If you happen to find yourself driving on Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn, stop at number 1168. Joloff is waiting to wow you too.
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Visit Joloff Website and book online here:0