Little Africa

358 Victoria St
North Melbourne, VIC 3051
You’re in for a good time. There is no way a meal that starts with the waiter asking if we would like any cutlery could go wrong. And it’s even better when he carries over a plate big enough for me to sit on, covered with food. I admit that I don’t know much about African food, but after a co-worker brought in a traditional African meal that smelt hypnotic, I wanted to find out more. And whilst Footscray seems to be the place to go for African cuisine, there’s a location much closer to home – Little Africa, right by Queen Vic Markets.  
Stepping out of the weather with rain squelching in our shoes, Little Africa was a haven of dusky lights and the mellow aroma of spices, and I loved it on sight. The restaurant is tiny, hardly bigger than my living room, and it has the feel of an entirely family-run business; and probably is, as a matter of fact. 
Combination of the Day ($25pp)
Little Africa is a bit like Moroccan Soup Bar in that, despite having a full-sized menu, everyone inevitably gravitates to the banquet option. We chose the Combination of the Day ($25pp) in favour of the vegetarian alternative, and soon we were presented with a monstrous platter of chicken, fish, lamb, and an assortment of vegetables, lounging on a futon of steamed flatbread. 
Combination of the Day ($25pp)
This is the kind of food that begs for company and good conversation. The flavours on the plate ranged from the mellowed spices of the creamy lentils, to succulent chunks of chicken, braised in oil with chillies and herbs. Each dish packed so much flavour, yet was comforting in its own right, especially when scooped up with pieces of the sharp, yeasty bread, its sponginess perfect for soaking up thick sauces.  
Dining at Little Africa was a one-of-a-kind experience for me. It’s incredibly rare to come across a meal that tastes of long hours in the kitchen, made with the love of cooking for family. The food may have been delicious, but it’s the warmth and sincerity that will bring me back.
Rating: 14/20 – little africa, big heart.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit. 

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