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La Marmite West African Restaurant Harlem – Plate Of The Day
African Food

La Marmite West African Restaurant Harlem

December 18, 2005

La Marmite West African Restaurant Harlem

La Marmite West African Restaurant Harlem

2264 Frederick Douglas Ave @ 122nd St
Harlem, NY
212 666-0653

Back uptown for food this weekend. This time up in Harlem doing some Christmas shopping and went to La Marmite for lunch. It’s truly a treasure of a restaurant that the locals highly value. First off, how can you go wrong with the bric brac decor – check out the straw hut awning over the doorway and within the restaurant. I wanted to order the Yassa Poulet which is a thick piece of dark or white chicken in a spicy lemon sauce served with white rice ($9), but they poulet braisewere currently sold out and the waitress suggested (and upgraded me to) the Poulet Braise ($10) which is a half baked chicken in a spicy mustard sauce served with vegetables and a spicy onion sauce. The chicken was amazing : it was marinated in a sweet mustard sauce and pan fried to a crisp as if it was deep fried. The chicken was served with a heap of “onion sauce” – caramelized onions fried with a curry like spice that definitely had a strong kick to it. The white rice was a short grain that was deliciously soft and tender and made a great compliment to the spicy onion sauce and the crispy chicken. The portions were enormous and for just $10, this could have been lunch or dinner for 2.

thiebou djeunWe also ordered a plate of Thiebou Djeun – a famous West African dish which includes salted red snapper, yucca, stewed carrots over fried rice. The fish was soft and tender and stuffed with a mix of herbs and spices – not too salty nor spicy. I had half expected it to be extremely salty and smelly like Chinese salted fish, but this was more subtle and more agreeable to my taste. The sides included eggplant, stewed carrots, yucca, and a cardamom bean mixture. The fried rice was also a short grain variety and had the consistency of Asian sweet rice.

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8 Comments

  • Reply Maaki June 5, 2006 at 4:32 pm

    Gross!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Make me gag
    I am only on here to do a report on the foods of Africa!!!!
    I am so grossed out, do you have any normal food?

  • Reply Simon June 6, 2006 at 4:46 am

    I don’t really see what’s so gross about the west african meal above?

  • Reply anju August 26, 2006 at 11:51 am

    i dont see anything gross in that. Infact i love the fish dish. its senegalese. I used to live in ethiopia and i had lots of senegalese friends and i used to eat the thiebou djeun.i love it and i love the yassa too thats ivoirian from cote d’ivoire.

  • Reply Karen September 28, 2006 at 7:27 am

    I strongly suggest that the people who maintain this website delete the first comment above. It looks like the irresponsible posting of a youngster; perhaps a junior high school student. Unfortunately, it mars the positive impression this restaurant, and this informative review, deserve.

    La Marmite’s food is delicious and nutritious. I visited it before reading this review and now can confirm all the info in the review. I can’t wait to go back.

    The place itself is small and friendly. Three of us shared both of the dishes depicted above, plus a lamb dish, for lunch a couple of Sundays ago. Portions were large and we could barely make it through.

    The thiebou djeun came with a dollop of a delicousl homemade, tangy hot sauce made with a minced leafy green vegetable w/ which I am unfamiliar. I would buy that sauce by the pint if they’d sell it to me. As it was, they gave me a tiny container of it to go, which I thought was very nice of them.

    Tip: you can get salad instead of rice for the dishes which are served w/ white rice. I don’t know if that’s the case for the thiebou djeun fish dish too, which is served with a special rice.

  • Reply Neighborhood Stroll « UPTOWN flavor November 20, 2006 at 10:03 am

    […] While jaunting around the neighborhood I noticed a couple of new businesses sprouting up. For fans of La Marmite they are expanding and opening La Marmite Too over on 7th Avenue between 133rd and 134th Streets. So far just a sign announcing the opening. […]

  • Reply cmitch April 1, 2007 at 12:25 pm

    La Marmite is the best west african restaurant in Harlem…I used to eat there once a week for lunch when I was in grad school at CU…The thiebou djeun is killin’ and try it with the homade hot sauce…i am anxiously awaiting their re-opening…hurry hurry!

  • Reply Bree May 19, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    I have been eating there for years. I come from Brooklyn for the best fish ever. I also love the lamb and plantains.All the food is good.They have recently closed this location but operate the one on 7th avenue near W 132nd st.Worth my trip from Brooklyn.

  • Reply john merch January 23, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    cooking is what i love 2 do , like to try all diffronts foods , you can lean so much from cooking

  • Leave a Reply to Bree Cancel Reply