Seven hungry onions gathered for lunch at Kendejah, a newly opened Liberian restaurant in San Leandro. We shared a diverse and delicious set of dishes:
Fried chicken wings
Oxtail with rice and beans
Fufu and soup
Fried fish with grated cassava
Everything was delicious and full of flavor. Some foods like fufu and grated cassava were new to me, and others foods that were already familiar were spiced in new ways. The meal was an excellent introduction to a cuisine I had never tried before and a great way to meet my fellow onions.
Chili sauce: none of the dishes were spicy, we were given a green chili sauce to spice our dishes according to our preference. The chili sauce was moderately spicy with plenty of green pepper flavor, and integrated well into all of the dishes.
Chicken wings: coated with a spice rub and fried, they were addicting and one of my favorite dishes. Any guesses on what goes into the rub? We asked and were told it was a secret mix of spices.
Bean torbogee: another favorite that reminded me of southern red beans and rice, except the beans were black. With all of the dishes, there were no dominant spices that I could detect, so savory goodness is my best description.
Oxtail: yet another favorite that I would love to eat again. The oxtails were cooked to tender and the sauce was more savory goodness that was different than the beany savory goodness described above.
Fufu and soup: the fufu was plain flavored but perefect cut up into gnocchi sized pieces and tossed into the soup. Based on appearance, I was expecting the fufu to have the same texture as mochi. It was similar but a little more coarse, perhaps due to the plantain flour? The soup was flavored with peanut, more savory goodness.
Jollof rice was like a fried rice or chicken biryani. It was good but probably the least interesting dish.
Fried fish with grated cassava: the fried who tilapia had crispy skin and fried to well done, but not to the point where you could eat the bones. Grated cassava is a little bit like a stiff couscous.
Portions were generous and easily split amongst seven. Service was friendly but slow - we didn’t get our silverware until a few minutes after the food arrived. Since they only recently opened and since we were a large group sharing all the dishes, the slow service isn’t surprising and should improve with time.
Fellow diners will be chiming in with their pictures and opinions.