Review: African Feeling (Newtown)

There are still plenty of eateries close to my house that remain unknown to me. That would be alright if I had plenty of time to try all of those places but the reality is that there might not be enough time. Because I could die tomorrow. Or, perhaps worse, I may be moving soon. Not far away, but possibly not within the same side of King Street.

Luckily, opportunities for eating out close to home present themselves once in a while. Yesterday, for example, Bonnie and I had two house inspections (four, considering that then we went to our places for a quick assets inventory). The day ended at my unit and we decided to have dinner nearby. We ignored the common choices (pub, Thai, pasta, pizza) in favour of the almost unknown: African food.

There were few customers when we entered African Feeling. My eyes were blinded by the vibrant colours on the walls and the table cloths. Even when I’m not a fan of colours, I find it cool to decorate a restaurant with the local “theme”.

African Feeling: Wall paintings

African Feeling: More wall paintings

African Feeling: Decorations

The friendly waitress handed us the menus and brought tap water. The options are labelled with their country or region of origin, and have (most of the times) a full description that helps you picture the dish. Most of the times because there are phrases like “with vegetables” or “with a delicious sauce” that are definitely too vague.

The place is pretty casual, they have one cook and one waitress and use cereal-type bowls for saucy dishes. The open kitchen didn’t look clean enough to be exposed, but we chose to don’t pay too much attention to it and enjoy our meals. The lack of staff has a consequence: the meals take a long time to arrive to the table. We waited while sipping refreshing and not too sweet African drinks.

African ginger beer ($3.50)

African Feeling: African ginger beer

Karkadeh (hibiscus drink) ($4.00)

African Feeling: Hibiscus drink

Being on a vegetarian day (I try not to eat meat two or three days a week because for some strange reason my body refuses to digest it properly 7 days a week) I decided to order the Vegetarian Jungle, a combination of any 3 vegetarian mains from the 5 offered in the menu. I chose Ladies Fingers (succulent okra in a rich vegetarian sauce), Spinach Granat Stew (leafy spinach and ground peanut stew) and Egwein (exotic sauce of black-eye beans cooked with palm oil, tomatoes and seasonal vegetables). Incidentally, all of them were from West Africa. The spinach and beans meals were super tasty, the okra one was nothing special.

Vegetarian Jungle ($20.50)

African Feeling: Vegetarian Jungle

Bonnie ordered Kuku Na Nazi (chicken breast seasoned in herbs & Kenyan spices cooked in coconut milk, from East Africa). Not sure if the name was somewhat inspired by Hitler, but it doesn’t matter because the dish was spectacular.

Kuku Na Nazi ($18.50)

African Feeling: Kuku Na Nazi

We ordered Chapati (African bread, according to the menu: “a great substitute to the normal rice, handy for stews!”) from East Africa. It was indeed handy, specially for Bonnie who ended up with lots of sauce and no chicken.

Chapati bread ($3.50 each)

Chapati bread

The menu also includes entrées, most of them wrapped in pastry and/or fried, as well as lamb, goat, beef, prawn and fish dishes, plus starchy sides (an African ground cereal, the chapati bread, cous cous and rice). There are two choices of set menus for $35 and $40.

African Feeling
501 King Street
Newtown 2042
(02) 9516 3130
www.africanfeeling.com.au

4 thoughts on “Review: African Feeling (Newtown)

  1. I just recently reviewed African Feeling and love your detailed description of the place! I felt I didn’t get the full African experience with there being no Injerah on the menu! I keep hearing that Lat Dior is the superior African place. Love your blog! Keep living it up in Newtown :)

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