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Restaurants & Bars

Miliki Restaurant--West African in Oakland

alfredck | Feb 5, 201108:22 PM     4

Had the egusi with bitter leaf at Miliki today. Third time having egusi, each at a different restaurant (also have some in the cupboard, but haven't gotten around to cooking it). A contrast in textures and flavors between the bland iyan (pounded yam or fufu--almost like slightly bitter, doughy mashed potatoes that dissolved and slid easily down) and the chewy, gamey, fishy, boney proteins in the stew (goat, stockfish, and cow leg/cow skin I think). The stockfish was like fish jerky that delaminated into chewy, translucent sheets. The food is supposed to be eaten with your hands, and I think the iyan is supposed to be dipped into sauce and swallowed without chewing. I cheated, using a spoon and chewing the iyan. I thoroughly enjoyed the meal, but it probably isn't for everyone. I also tried the amala (made from dried yam flour, it reminded me of poi--slightly sour, slightly bitter) and the pepper soup, which burned more going down the throat than on the tongue. The very nice proprietriss said that she has some specialities which aren't on the menu, including giant African land snail and a "village stew" of ox-tail, shrimp, and periwinkles. Been looking for giant snail for a long time and look forward to trying it next time...

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