You won’t always get the exact same dish at Bantaba — they often market out intermittently, and speedily — but I can practically warranty regardless of what you purchase will be good.

And seriously, you really should check out their whole menu.

The Lynnwood counter-services eatery serves up West African dishes. A lot of seem vibrant purple and orange from an exuberant use of tomato, chili, curry powder and other spices. These flavors soak into the meat, the rice, the meltingly-tender greens like cabbage and eggplant.

All menu things are rib-sticking foods: Even their best-marketing black eye pea slaw can be a fulfilling lunch with its inexperienced and crimson peppers, carrots, crimson cabbage and cilantro, all mixed with a juicy, evenly spiced vinaigrette.

If you’re not Hulkishly hungry, you are going to possible have leftovers.

The 1st time I went to Bantaba, they were being out of the coleslaw and fried plantains. My coworker and I were being bummed but forged forward. My coworker ordered Yassa rooster ($11), a Senegalese dish usually flavored with caramelized onions, mustard, lemon and other spices. Bantaba’s variation was saucy and arrived with a side of white rice.

I requested the benachin with fish ($11). Also called jollof rice, this tomato-primarily based rice dish is as straightforward as it is moreish, with a bit of lingering spice. Bantaba serves their fish bone-in below, imparting far more flavor on the dish. The pores and skin on the fish reminded me of a good, saucy hen wing. Tangy and prosperous and salty. You can also get the benachin with beef ($12) or lamb ($13).

Bantaba in Lynnwood serves their fish benachin with tender cabbage, silky eggplant and hearty cassava. Each individual vegetable took on the flavors of the tomato-prosperous rice dish. The skin on the fish was reminiscent of a tangy, saucy rooster wing. (Taylor Goebel / The Herald)

Even if you have in no way tried using West African food, Bantaba’s dishes will make you feel right at household. The parts, primarily the benachin, are enough to make you sense like grandma plopped seconds on your plate, then thirds.

The 2nd time I purchased from Bantaba, they have been out of fish so I tried the benachin with chicken and could flavor how deeply the marinade had permeated the meat. They had the black eye pea slaw this time way too. Following my takeout feast, I sat in my chair, ft up, convincing myself that I was substantially way too entire for just one additional bite of slaw.

Other well known dishes consist of a peanut stew with beef ($11), deep fried tilapia ($14) and their vegetarian plate ($11).

Bantaba has a modest eating spot, nevertheless they have been nonetheless takeout-only the final time I was in. The counter servers are delighted to help with recommendations and questions.

The meat parts are generous but the jollof rice seemed to improve exponentially with each bite. I was in a position to split the dish into two servings.

I have recycled the rice into unique meals. For a filling breakfast, I’ll crisp up the rice on the stove ahead of cracking a number of eggs on prime. Through a composing deadline, I’ll hover above the counter and shovel my leftovers down the gullet, chilly. I phone these rushed midday foods my Unhappy Lunch, but cold Bantaba rice is infinitely greater than popcorn and spoonfuls of peanut butter.

Bantaba had fried plantains in inventory the next time close to, but I didn’t buy them. The benachin and slaw had been plenty and anyhow, I wanted a new dish to glance ahead to on my subsequent Bantaba run.

If you go

Bantaba African Cafe

19417 36th Ave W., Lynnwood


Do you have a beloved restaurant or meal you’d appreciate to see in The Everyday Herald? E-mail foodstuff reporter Taylor Goebel at tay[email protected] or connect with 425-339-3046. Twitter: @taylorgoebel. Be a part of The Herald’s food stuff-centered Facebook group, SnohomDish.


By Taba