I can't believe it's taken me this long to finally try Simba Grill. This is the Tanzanian/Indian restaurant on Donlands, just South of O'Connor (across the street from Fresh From the Farm). The owner is Indian, but lived in Africa for many years.
I ordered the following for take out:
- a dozen beef samosas
- mogo (fried cassava, akin to big french fries)
- chicken pili pili (a half of a small chicken which came w/salad and fries)
- ugali w/beef curry
My mouth is still happily tingling from all the wonderful flavours of the food. Everything was just bursting with spices.
The samosas are positively addictive. The pastry is unlike traditional samosa pastry. The closest equivalent I can think of is a thin tortilla that's been deep fried. It stayed crisp and non-greasy after an hour in the container in my car as I ran errands. The filling is a lovely and simple ground beef, lightly spiced. While it could maybe use a pinch more salt (something I rarely need to say of restaurant food), once I dipped it into the slightly sweet dipping sauce, the flavours came together perfectly. I could eat a dozen of these. Samosa King officially has a contender for my samosa love. I will try the veggie samosas next time.
The mogo were simple and a tasty alternative to french fries. Closer in flavour to a sweet potato fry, but with a tougher texture. I'd love to try these fresh out of the fryer, instead of after hanging out in a carry out container.
The chicken was simply wonderful. Very reminiscent of the best Portuguese churrasco. The skin was very red from the pili pili sauce (which the owner makes in house). The primary difference from piri piri seems to be the use of lemon juice as a base instead of vinegar. So tasty.
The ugali was an interesting change of pace from rice or potatoes. It's made from cornmeal, so has a flavour similar to polenta. The texture is much thicker though, and apparently, you're supposed to pick up a chunk, roll it into a ball, then flatten into a scoop to pick up whatever you're eating. The plain flavour was complemented well by the flavourful curry, which had lots of tasty sauce with some tender chunks of beef. I'm not a cornmeal fan in general (don't like polenta), so I can't say I was bowled over by it, but I was really happy to have tried it and can certainly recommend that you try it at least once.
Hubby loved everything as well and we can't wait to get back and try the other things on their menu. The bill for everything above (which was enough for 2 meals+ for us) was $42. Please go and try this place if you haven't, and let's keep our local gems in business! The owner was so friendly and he clearly puts a lot of love into his food. It's made fresh to order, so don't expect speedy service. I waited about 35 minutes for my order. Fortunately, I had already planned to hit Fresh From the Farm to pick up some fresh veggies, so just made it a more leisurely visit. BTW, FFTF has some great veggies in -- it's clearly harvest season in Ontario!
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