Monday, March 09, 2009


What a mighty name for a restaurant. Mogador sounds like a baddy from Lord of the rings, played by an 18 foot hammer-fisted Brian Blessed on PCP. Mogador eats cats, smokes children, and does very unpleasant things to those naughty Hobbits.

A swift google reveals that Mogador is many things:
  • The Portuguese name for the south west coastal region of Morocco
  • An ancient Phoenician fort in Morocco
  • A small hamlet near Margery Wood (would she?) in Surrey, UK.
The Mogador in Dakar is a fine dining establishment with a snow white interior and some neat outdoor furniture for the summer. I'm told that the ladies loos are 'the most luxurious in Dakar'. So make sure you spend a penny.

The menu sticks to very creative French stylings with none of the miserable ethnic diversions common to Dakar fine dining. While the wine list offers the usual suspects at not too outrageous prices. We stick with the usual suspects - beers and Beaujolais - and I make another mental note to remember to bother to learn more about wine.

Amuses are a delicate diversion from the usual mini-crostini type annoyances, but nowt special. Mrs jiffler's potato gratine starter disappears quickly, although the truffle oil didn't really assert itself. My starter demonstrates that some creative thinking is going on in the kitchen. A neat pastry feuillette comes bursting with smooth melted Bresse Bleu, accompanied by a camembert ice cream. The competing yet strangely complementary flavours and temperatures of these two cheesy components form a whole far greater than the sum of it's parts. A slightly odd bush of salad on the side appears irrelevant at first, before it's intended purpose as a bitter mop for the unctuous bleu presents itself. My word. In Dakar.

We could have continued on this creative trajectory through main courses and desserts, but decided to test the chef's hand with straightforward steak frites. Over poncification of steak frites spells disaster, but Mogador serves it straight up and smoky, rare as requested, and hung like a horse. A five pepper sauce, and proper chips are simple perfection.

No dessert. That steak will take some digesting. Petits Fours Secs are made in-house and amuse Mrs Jiffler over good coffee.

Two courses, a beer, water, bottle of brouilly, coffee comes to 51,000Fcfa for two. Not cheap, but better value than most upmarket places in Dakar. We're not talking molecular gastronomy here, but I'm glad somebody in Dakar is taking things a little further than the usual French school dinners with a token selection of mediocre sushi. I await the day when the chef at Mogador gets hold of a sous vide cooker. Then those pesky Hobbits had better watch out.

More from Dakar at Dakar Restaurant Reviews

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