But now there's good news for all the foodies out there! Lekukai at Bakadaji Hotel - the new kid on the block - is definitely a restaurant to add to your to-do list. With the African- and Continental-inspired menu, the restaurant caters to the needs of the guests staying in this beautiful environmentally friendly hospitality outfit and welcomes outside guests from morning till evening, from breakfast to dinner. The restaurant's name is in line with the hotel's theme - purely Gambian. In Wollof, Lekukai means A Place to Eat. Very apt indeed!
The restaurant has three seating areas - one indoors and two in the open air for the outdoorsy guests. The decor and ambience of the indoor dining take your breath away. Bright and aesthetically pleasing, the upholstery has a sunny touch, which is very welcoming. The lights, encased in bronze metal mesh pendant lampshades, cast a warm and soothing glow across the dining area and the bar. Another plus point is that the indoor dining opens to the open-air dining bringing in lots of fresh air. Outdoor dining, on the other hand, has a very different touch! Mountain grey rattan garden furniture paired with deep red upholstery to offset the glare of the natural lighting. A sight for sore eyes indeed.
For all who like a bit more intimacy and a garden feel, there is the third dining area under the tall palm trees. The layout of the elevated terrace was designed around the existing trees to complement the tropical-garden ambience and follow the sustainable path, which is part of the hotel policy. The comfortable rattan chairs with upholstery in a bright sun-matching colour palette are carefully placed amongst the green shrubbery that borders the view of the pool.
There are two fully functional, clean and spacious kitchens with state-of-the-art equipment. The chefs have the requisite training from the UK, Spain and Nigeria and have decades of experience under their belt.
Keeping in mind that Hotel Bakadaji aims to be environmentally friendly, they use only fresh and local produce in their cuisine. They also consider any special dietary needs, such as gluten-free or vegan - but please inform them beforehand if you have any food allergies.
Their daily buffet dinner menu focuses on various African dishes yet is complemented by a selection of delicious continental specialities. There's a choice of A La Carte or Set Menu for lunch - a choice of two starters, two main courses and, of course, the dessert. We recommend calling in advance for a reservation and inquiring about the daily offer.
The A La Carte menu consists of soups, snacks, sandwiches, pizza, and pasta, and then there is a variety of fancy dishes in the main course. For diners looking for the sugar rush, they won't be disappointed either.
From their extensive fish and seafood a la carte menu pages, some of our favourites so far include Aromatic Fish Soup served with Seafood Chunks and Rouille Paste (Bouillabaisse Marseillaise), Fried Prawn Dumplings for an appetiser, Pasta Puttanesca, Beef Fillet Steak served with Blue Cheese Jus and Pea Puree, and Grilled Seafood Bonanza. As dessert lovers, we could not get enough of the fluffiness of their in-house pastries-Pineapple Cake and Lime Buttercream Cake. We stuffed ourselves with passionately prepared African dishes from the daily self-service offer. We thoroughly enjoyed Supa Kanja with Fufu (pounded rice dumplings), Nyebbe with Fried Yam and Akara with onion sauce, freshly fried at their live cooking station. Saturday evenings are devoted to BBQ Buffet with live music, while Sundays are a Brunch affair.
Lunch and pool access are available for GMD 1,500 per person, while lunch only is GMD 1,000. Kids under twelve and five years will be charged 60 and 30 per cent of the total price, respectively.
Please note that a pool pass will only be issued with a meal. And the pool is not open to children at the moment.
Breakfast will be served from 7 am to 10 am. Lunch will start at 1 pm and end by 3 pm; finally, dinner times will be from 7 pm to 10 pm.
Room service will be available for in-house guests from March 1st onwards.
For those of you not looking to eat, they also have a well-stocked bar in the restaurant, which stays open from 10 am until the clock strikes midnight. At the bar, you have everything from liquors to wines, champagnes, liqueurs, beer, cocktails, mocktails, smoothies, milkshakes, hot beverages, soft drinks, local juices and, of course, water.