Bate Restaurant Featured

Authors: EatingInTranslation

Bate Restaurant
Bate Restaurant
Bate Restaurant

Tuesday twosome: Though their menus often list a score or more of dishes, at lunchtime most West African restaurants prepare only three, or in this case just a couple. (Some restaurants follow a set rotation, but if you're keen to try a particular dish, better to call ahead.)

Thiebou yap (Cheh-boo Yap, $10) is kin to thiebou djeun, but the rice, or "thieb," is accompanied by meat instead of fish, "yap" instead of "djeun." Today's meat was chicken, which also flavored the broken rice; when the meat of the day is lamb, I imagine that the rice takes on that flavor instead. Though lacking in variety of vegetables, this cheb did offer tangy-sweet stewed onion.

Sauce feuille ($10) was made with the leaves of sweet potato; cassava and spinach take their turns on other days. The leaves are stewed with palm oil, dried fish (a little goes a long way) and, I believe, chunks of smoked turkey. My dining buddy, Chris Crowley, has also identified the presence of a certain herb distinctive to the West African nation of Mali: fakoye, which adds a musky, slightly fermented aroma.

Bate Restaurant
860 Melrose Ave. (at East 160th St.), Melrose, Bronx

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