Lat Dior African Eatery
150 Enmore Rd Enmore (just up from the Enmore theatre)
I have been to Lat Dior twice in the past month and seeing how I haven’t written anything for The Bon Vivant for about the length of time (– Bad Danny) I thought I should share my experiences with you, the Bon Vivant’s loyal followers/readers/twitterers.
I am ecstatic about discovering Lat Dior. This is the kind of place which you very happily call one your local haunts. This is because Lat Dior has a lot of good things going for it. Firstly, it is relatively easy to find located on Enmore Rd just up from the Enmore theatre. Secondly, the staff at Lat Dior are friendly and attentive. Finally and perhaps most importantly however is that there is a good range of traditional offerings with all the ones I have tried being incredibly delicious and terrifically priced. They don’t even mind if you bring along a bottle (or two) of your favourite drops to enjoy with your meal either!
The menu itself brings you a large array of African dishes from all across the continent with dishes tradition to West Africa sit above or below dishes from Madagascar. Typically each dish is served with what Lat Dior calls a “starter” which is normally a healthy servings of greens. It is a good foil to each of the one of the mains where greens and other vegetables are somewhat lacking. These starters are fabulous – my favourite is the green beans which are served just how I like them, crunchy and covered with spices and sauce. It is light years away from having to force your greens down as a child.
In the mains I have sampled enough of them now to have my favourites. Here are some I reckon are definitely worth a trip on the 423/426.
Varenga: A beef dish, marinated overnight in African spices and then fried. A delightful dish if I do say so myself the beef is delicately cooked and the spiciness of the dish brings it to another level
Thiou: Slow cooked chicken marinated in African spices and served with a good bit of fried onion. Not as spicy as the varenga above but served moist not overcooked at all
Ndambe Lamb: My personal favourite, cubed lamb served with Red Kidney beans and lentils. The lamb is perfect –melt in your mouth stuff with the Red kidney Beans and lentils providing good crunch to the dish. I would probably say it is a little bit spicier than the Varenga but it isn’t a hot spice it simply adds more sensation to your meal.
Other important things worth mentioning are firstly the ginger drink which is a homemade mix of freshly squeezed ginger with vanilla sugar. If you are adventurous or you just like ginger beer give this a go. Initially this starts quite sweet on the palate with the Vanilla sugar component of the drink coming to the fore but then you begin to notice a zing from the ginger come through it starts off quite small but it builds significantly from there. A definite crescendo of flavour leaving you with lasting burst of ginger well after you have finished your drink.
Overall, I am very happy to add Lat Dior to my list of regular haunts. The food is fantastic and the value can’t be beat. The last time I was there I got away with an order for a main with a starter and the ginger drink for $20 which I think is cracking value.
Obviously given I have written anything here for a month or so I would love to hear your feedback on this. Are there any other African places that you have been to across SYdney that I should visit? Let me know at my pretty new email address – I can access it on my iPad now - email@example.com
Final Tip: Bring along a bottle of cool climate shiraz to enjoy with your meal. Think of regions like Orange (NSW), Heathcote (VIC) and Great Southern (WA) the spiciness you regularly find in these particular wines should add to the overall flavour of the dishes you choose. Afterwards, head across the road for Cow Moon Gelato – The lime in the coconut Gelato is to excellent.