African Restaurant Jollof Kitchen

Located in the heart of Nishi Ward in Nagoya, a unique culinary experience can’t be found anywhere else in Japan. The African Restaurant Jollof Kitchen is just a 3-minute walk from Nakaotai Station on the Meitetsu Inuyama Line. It is well-known for being the only provider of Gambian cuisine in the entire country. The restaurant has a vibrant interior decorated with colorful African textiles, which transports diners to the bustling streets of Gambia, creating an authentic dining experience that is both welcoming and exotic.

Jollof Kitchen owes its success to Ms. Bintu Kujabi Djalo, who is not only the owner but also the Honorary Consul General of the Republic of the Gambia. Ms. Bintu’s journey began 30 years ago when she moved to Nagoya. She recognized the need to bridge cultural gaps and introduce Gambian culture to Japan. She envisioned the restaurant as a means of cultural exchange. Initially, the restaurant faced challenges, including residents’ hesitation. However, it has flourished, attracting a diverse clientele with its unique offerings and Ms. Bintu’s warm and welcoming presence.

Jollof Kitchen’s menu is centered around Gambian cuisine, which shares several similarities with Japanese food. Rice and a variety of vegetables are prominent in both cuisines. The menu has been thoughtfully curated to cater to Japanese tastes, with adjustments made to the spice levels while preserving the flavors’ authenticity. The restaurant’s signature dishes include “Domoda,” a popular peanut sauce dish, and “Chicken Afra,” characterized by its robust seasoning and a surprising touch of yuzu. These dishes reflect Ms. Bintu’s deep understanding and appreciation of Japanese culinary preferences.

The Jollof Kitchen offers more than just a dining experience. It is a cultural hub where guests can explore Gambian culture through food, music, and events. Additionally, it is home to the Gambian Consulate on the second floor, which highlights Ms. Bintu’s commitment to building connections between Japan and The Gambia. The African Restaurant Jollof Kitchen is a testament to the unifying power of food, bringing cultures together and providing a taste of Gambia in the heart of Nagoya.

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