Middle Eastern, Greek, Italian, Latin American, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Indian, and West Coast cuisines—you can acquisition them all on the way to the bank at English Bay. But a new enactment is confined up a card that sets it afar from that area’s culinary pack.
Arike Restaurant (prounced ah-ree-kay) opened aftermost anniversary at 1725 Davie Artery abreast Denman Street, the above area of Italian restaurant Grotto. Sunken beneath artery level, the 1,700-square-foot area seats up to 44 assemblage inside, with an added 16 on patio (which will accessible during warmer weather). Chef Samuel Olayinka, in an account at his new premises, told the Georgia Straight that they achievement to add added greenery and possibly alike a mural to the inviting, warm-toned dining room, absolute with dark-wood décor and African motifs.
The Arike aggregation of Olayinka and accepted administrator Mike Cayman had met at comestible academy at Art Institute of Vancouver. Back developing the abstraction for the restaurant, Olayinka said that they aboriginal approved out a North African card with classical French influences but said “it didn’t feel right”.
When he absitively to aback to his roots, he acquainted aggregate fell into place.
“It’s the aliment that consistently brought me memories of all the aliment and flavours that I’ve admired back day one,” he explains.
The Ottawa-born Olayinka, who has lived all beyond Canada, says he misses the affable of his father, who hails from the Yoruba association in Lagos.
Spicy, adventurous in flavour, and rustic—that’s how Olayinka describes Nigerian cuisine, and he divides it into two capital time periods: pre-colonization cuisine, and new cuisine afterwards colonization and all-embracing influences.
He says old-school cuisine consisted primarily of capacity such as beans, vegetables, and fish, alike snails, and peppers weren’t used, as they were brought in by the Portuguese.
For Arike’s menu, Olayinka says he autonomous for new-school cuisine, and uses Nigerian flavours and aromatics with bounded capacity and his own twist.
But he wants bodies to accept that it’s not acceptable Nigerian aliment (which he said is difficult to access capacity for here) but his own booty on it. He explained that he absitively to booty admixture avenue as an entrypoint, decidedly for those who accept never had a Nigerian meal before.
There are several North American staples, adapt aural African palates.
Take fries, for example, fabricated with cassava and served with chicken-fat emulsion, bonbon garlic mayo, and candied amazon dip. Or craven wings, brined for bristles hours in alkali and sugar, with ata din din (traditional pepper booze fabricated with onions, red approach oil, peppers, and habanero) and pickled onion.
Half of the card is adherent to flatbreads ($15 to $17). That’s because the above establishment, the Italian restaurant Grotto, larboard abaft a pizza oven. Instead of removing it, Olayinka absitively to advance it by adapting the compound of Nigeria’s agege aliment into a flatbread.
Flatbreads that are already hits accommodate braised oxtail and convalescent pork belly, with a caramelized onion base, dupe cheese, pickled habanero, and tomato; and the leg of lamb with suya and onion sauce, dupe cheese, pickled aubergine, and candied chili oil.
Suya, Olayinka explains, is a aroma mix commonly fabricated by tribes in countries like Nigeria and Ghana, but for his version, he bass bottomward the calefaction and leaned appear groundnut (or peanut) flavouring.
The added bisected of the card appearance sharable plates ($6 to $16).
As jollof rice is a archetypal dish, Olayinka says it was a requisite item; Arike offers it as absurd jollof rice with prawns.
One of their capital sauces is a amazon bouillon that uses tomatoes, red approach oil, and arena crayfish in a seven-hour action afore activity into the jollof rice, their Norizo sausages (Norizo is their own antic blend of Nigerian chorizo), and ata din din.
There’s additionally dupe spoon, or braised dupe with peanut and pickled onion, and ata din din, served on a copper-lined spoon.
Save allowance for ambrosia because one of Olayinka’s adolescence favourites is up for savouring. His own milo ice cream, with arena peanuts, aerated attic seed, and absolute caramel, draws aloft the “sweet, beautiful, chocolate, malty drink” that he, like Nigerian children, admired as a child.
Then there’s his booty on pof pofs. Unlike acceptable recipes, which he says produces a added savoury and close doughnut-like snack, he acclimated added of an “airy” chef that puffs up back deep-fried to actualize article lighter.
While the drinks menu, curated by bar administrator Roman Karidi, offers beer, wine, and archetypal cocktails, Olayinka says they will acquaint an African-influenced alcohol program, with accessible capacity such as hibiscus.
He adds that the card will change with the seasons, and they will acquaint a circadian entrée menu. Although they accept own greenhouse, Olayinka says they achievement to advance their own garden and acreage at some point.
However, their capital focus at the moment is to acceptable and acquaint diners to their offerings.
Although he recognizes that abounding bodies may be alien with African cuisines, he says that abounding cuisines that are now accepted in Vancouver had to affected this hurdle. But he thinks it’s aloof a amount of time.
“It aloof has to accept bodies or a association to accompany anatomy to it so it can be…like the added restaurants,” he opines. “I anticipate in this day and age bodies are absent to try new things…. Bodies are absolutely a lot added analytical than they acclimated to be for sure. And they’re a lot added adequate in aggravating new things and food.”
Recipes For Cooking Jollof Rice – Recipes For Cooking Jollof Rice
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