I'm a sucker for any cuisine I've never tried before, so the first time I drove past Drelyse a few weeks ago, I knew I was going to have to check it out. Drelyse offers food from many different countries in Africa, and if you're in the area, the place is well worth checking out.
Drelyse is located off the beaten path, south of Dublin Granville Road between Cleveland Avenue and Karl Road. The owners are extremely friendly, and they took the time to explain to me what dishes on the menu were vegetarian-safe.
The kitchen crew is multinational, representing three countries in West Africa. Each nationality brings native dishes to the menu, although the cuisine of Ghana is the most prevalent choice. There are also dishes from elsewhere on the African continent, including Senegal, Kenya and Ethiopia.
The majority of the menu is dishes made with beef, chicken, goat or fish. However, they are planning on adding a vegetarian sandwich to the menu in the near future.
I started with an order of vitumbua, a Kenyan/Tanzanian bread that makes your mouth water with its soft, savory mix of flavor. Vitumbua is a rice bread made with coconut and cardamom. Imagine a less flaky biscuit that melts in your mouth and you can just about picture the satisfying flavor of the steaming baked good.
Ghana's signature vegetarian dish is called red red. Red red is black eyed peas pan fried in palm oil with onions, tomatoes and a liberal dose of spices. Some places will prepare red red with seafood or a food additive called maggi, which is an African version of bouillon. However, Drelyse prepares its red red vegetarian.
Traditionally, red red is made with a side of plantains. The plantains were perfectly fried. They were not greasy at all. The sweet and starchy fruit was a perfect complement to the Indian-esque main course. Both were delightful.
Drelyse also offers a limited selection of traditional African beverages like non-alcoholic palm wine and malt beverages. Much of the clientele spoke languages I am unable to identify (and as we all know, patronage by residents of the homeland is a great indicator of restaurant quality).
The combination of great food, friendly service and vegetarian options makes Drelyse a great option if you're in the area. Yesterday was my first experience with some of these dishes, but it definitely won't be my last.