Following the sound of drums, we walked into Africa - Ivory Coast Small Kitchen. We saw Bony (An Lee), the owner from Ivory Coast in West Africa, sitting next to wooden tables and chairs against a green wall backdrop, performing African drums with friends.
Bony studied in Austria, met a Taiwanese girl in Vienna, and got married in Taipei in 2006. He first worked with international sales in Tainan and later moved to Hualien. He said, "In Hualien, the air is fresh, and people are hospitable. Although not knowing much about West Africa, people are very friendly to me. I like Hualien very much, so I persist in bringing West African culture and cuisine to Hualien."
Today, in addition to customers from all over Taiwan, there are also customers from the United States, Canada, Europe, and Africa. Bony designed an easy-to-understand and straightforward menu, using photos and illustrations, to explicitly describe the cuisine of his hometown.
The classic North African grain "couscous" is the most popular dish on the menu. It is cooked with colorful vegetables, such as gherkins and green peppers, and the sauce Arachide Ivorienne, or Côte d'Ivoire-style peanut sauce, gives a distinctive flavor. Furthermore, Ivory Coast is abundant in bananas, so one of the main dishes, "Alloco," is fried banana slices that are crispy and sweet.
African BBQ highlights sauces that are part of the food culture in Ivory Coast. A variety of special desserts are also signature refreshments. For example, "Sweet Dreams" is based on homemade coconut ice cream, topped with South African Amarula Cream Liqueur and Whiskey; "Degue" has a unique taste and is a mixture of North African millet, fruit, yogurt, and peanuts. The owner prepares unique desserts for tourists to discover.
Bony grew up in Africa, studied in Europe, and lives his life in Taiwan. His life is as colorful as his cooking. He likes to take a stroll at Dongdamen Night Market and often walks around Beibin Park in his free time. He said, "The blue sea is like that of my hometown. Hualien is my second hometown."
Africa - Ivory Coast Small Kitchen
Address: 54, Datong St., Hualien City, Hualien County 970, Taiwan
Opening Hours: 11:30~14:30 & 18:00~21:30, Tuesday through Sunday