My Ghanaian and I recently visited and had dinner at Yassa, a Senegalese restaurant located on Chicago’s south side. We enjoyed it tremendously. The food was so good and the atmosphere inviting.
My partner selected the Lamb and Jollof rice, while I embraced the Yassa Red Snapper Fish with sauteed cabbage and carrots. It was such a pleasure to embrace all of the many spices that went into preparing the meals. There is something about the way that Africans layer spices on top of one another to create such delectable melt-in-your-mouth cuisine. While the main dishes were tasty and filling, what I enjoyed the most was the Fataya Spicy Salmon Patty appetizer, that was accompanied with a spicy red sauce. I’m still kicking myself that I failed to take a platter of them to go.
While the restaurant isn’t large in size, it makes-up for in personality. It had the feeling of sitting in an oversized living-room with family members. The vibe and the conversations were bouncing off of the walls like soccer balls. And the smells were reminiscent of the motherland; hints of cayenne pepper, ginger, yams, and exotic fruit. And the sights were warming. African and Black art stretching across all four walls that were hovering over tables and chairs one would expect to see only in Africa.
One aspect that I found interesting about the restaurant was the eclectic nature of its staff and management. The owners, Madieye and Awa Gueye are from Senegal, the manager, from West African Burkina Faso, and the waitress, Nigeria. All of them welcomed us, and made us feel right at home.
If you’re ever in the Chicago area, and desiring great African food, and an embracing environment, please reach out to Yassa. https://www.yassarestaurant.com. They’re located at 3510, S. King Drive, Chicago, IL
Yassa is a spicy dish prepared with onions and either marinated poultry or marinated fish. Originally from Senegal, yassa has become popular throughout West Africa. Chicken yassa (known as yassa au poulet), prepared with onions and lemon, is a specialty from the Casamance region in the south of Senegal.