Rio dos Camaraos
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Posted: Thu Jul 31 2014
In 1472, Portuguese explorer Fernao do Po happened upon the Wouri estuary in Cameroon and swooned at the sight of enormous quantities of shrimp milling around in the water. With admirable sang-froid, he named it 'Rio dos Camaros' or 'Shrimp River'. Today, the name also graces an excellent restaurant in Montreuil, run by the Bella Ola family.
No far from central Paris, Rio dos Camaros stands out from the many dodgy outfits one can find in the north of the capital. Set on a quiet street with a wooden deck overlooking the cobbles, it's an appealing proposition. Once inside, the kitchen is hidden behind a wall of spices and heat, and from it issues forth a stream of maafe (Wolof for 'groundnut stew'), ndoleh (meat or fish stew with vegetables) and various types of yassa curry. Spices, manioc and ginger abound, giving kick to the famous shrimps or to marinated chicken accompanied by fufu (manioc paste) and green banana chips. Though it isn't as cheap as you might expect, the blast of charm from the staff more than makes up for it. If you've never got serious about discovering West African cooking before, this is the place.
Rio dos Camaraos 55 rue Marceau