Tucked down a side street of the Born, away from the bustle and fumes of Via Laietana, is probably the last place you’d expect to find traditional food from West Africa being served up. Yet Teranga has been doing just that, sharing steaming hot dishes of the Gambian and Senegalese staples yucca, rice and couscous with the population of the city for years.
In Wolof, one of many languages and the lingua franca of Senegal, “teranga” means “hospitality” and is something that the Senegalese are proud of. You’ll be made very welcome here as you are presented the menu on a small number of individual, elaborately decorated cards. The choice is limited, but who needs lots of options when flavors are abundant and the dishes have names you’re unlikely to have come across before?
Try Maafe, rice or couscous with cubes of beef in a deep red peanut sauce. Sample Thiébou Yapp, fried rice piled high with aromatic vegetables and more beef or lamb. Or how about chicken Yassa swaddled in translucent, melting onions and vegetables? Boulettes are fish balls bathed in tomato and onion. Or for a completely meat-free option, there’s floury yucca topped with a mound of fragrant, wilted spinach.
For a quick lunch, laid-back dinner or eating in a group, Teranga is an excellent choice. Ordering is simple and portions are large, coming in well under €10 each. Plus there’s the added bonus of being amused by someone who makes the mistake of loading up their bread with the incredibly fiery paste that comes as you wait for your plate. Beware, a gentle dab is plenty, even for the most hardened chili lover!
Accompany your meal with a memorable long drink of ginger and rum, or choose it to end as a chupito shot to give your taste buds a final wake up.
Update: as of spring 2015 this restaurant is closed.