- COUSCOUS AND TILAPIA: An entree offered daily at Kontiki.
Been out to Alexander lately?
There's not an awful lot in this tiny town (pop. 2,901, astride the Pulaski and Saline county lines). Maybe you've swung through Alexander on the way to the Bass Pro Shops or the newish outlet mall, a couple of interstate miles away. Perhaps you've name-checked Alexander in the middle of giving directions to somewhere else. Alexander is, like many small towns, rarely thought of as a destination.
With the arrival of Kontiki African Restaurant, owned by Sierra Leonean emigre Christian Domingo, prepare for that to change. It's a place you'll want to plan on finding.
Kontiki is the new occupant of the building that used to house the Alexander Country Cafe, and the exterior still retains the "big front porch" feel of a place more likely to serve biscuits than plantains. The interior is smallish and
The Kontiki menu is fairly limited — four appetizers and six entrees — and focuses on cuisine from Sierra Leone. We started with a plate of rice Akara ($2.99 for six), which resemble Arkansas hush puppies but were actually banana fritters made with rice flour and nutmeg, served with a
West African food is known for being spicy, but our entrees were flavorful without being too hot. The cassava leaves and rice ($13.99, offered Wednesday and Friday-Sunday) were flat-out delicious — spinach-like in consistency and
Our table also ordered Kontiki's Jollof Rice and Stew ($12.99, offered daily), served with white rice and made with beef or chicken, bell peppers, onions, West African spices and tomato paste. The dish was adventurous and hearty, though neither soupy nor traditionally stew-like.
Finally, we sampled up the most ordinary-sounding item on the entree menu, an order of beans and plantains ($9.99, served daily). This consisted of a generous side of sweet
- FRIED PLAINTAINS: The dishes of Sierra Leone have come to Alexander.
Other entrees include a traditional Fufu & Okra or Egusi ($13.99, offered Friday-Sunday). Fufu is made by pounding cassava and
Kontiki does not offer alcoholic beverages or
The verdict from our dining party: Alexander is home to a winner. Kontiki is a fine and welcome addition to the Central Arkansas dining scene. While the menu is limited, it consists of tasty choices that we hope will be joined by more selections as the restaurant grows and thrives. Our group looks forward to many return visits soon.
Kontiki African Restaurant
13420 State Hwy. 111 S
Hours3:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Other infoNo alcohol.