>> Hawa Restaurant | Eat the World NYC

20 February 2020

Hawa Restaurant


The intention on this chilly afternoon in late January was to dine at African American Best Food, which had firmly been living on the to do map for a few years. One attempt came during a renovation, another had been made on an unannounced closed day. As of a month ago, it was completely gone.

Since a new place with a similar menu had quickly taken over the space, Senegalese lunch was still possible. The staff here said that the new team had nothing to do with the old, a completely new endeavor. Onward marches New York City, as always.

A few almonds at each table.

As with most West African restaurants around town, it is best to ask what is available before looking over the menu, especially at lunch. On this day there were just three options at around 13:00, and the atmosphere made it seem like no customers came before this time. Maybe do not show up too early.

Thankfully one of the options was exactly what was desired on this day, thiebu djen ($12.99, below). Meaning "rice and fish" literally, this fish and rice dish is one of the staples of Sénégal, enjoyed throughout the country. Their very light djolof rice is excellent here and sets the baseline for the plate.

There may not be a more filling and satisfying meal then thiebu djen, with fish stewed in tomato sauce and placed over the rice with carrot, cassava, and white cabbage. Do take care with that scotch bonnet pepper, as even just dragging it through the rice leaves a nice trail of heat.

The rest of the West African menu, when available, is basic for a Senegalese restaurant in town. What might be a bit of a surprise, but not when considering a desire to expand the customer base, is the items of Caribbean descent like oxtail and curry goat.

HARLEM Manhattan
410 Lenox Avenue
Hawa Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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