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Teranga, Boston, Massachusetts

By Heidi Sarkozy | October 13, 2011

Thiébou Djeun
The Interior of Teranga

Teranga is the only Senegalese restaurant in Boston and is officially a hit.


Open since May 2009, Teranga is located two doors down from Toro in the South End.   The food is unique and yet familiar due to its Vietnamese, French, Middle-Eastern and Indian influences.   Some of the more recognizable items on the menu are spring rolls (called ‘Nems’), skewered lamb and chicken dishes.   Make no mistake however, the exotic spices, sauces and marinades give these familiar items a wonderful, surprising twist.

Marie-Claude Mendy is the owner and head chef of Teranga and can be found in the kitchen most nights.   She is self-taught, and learnt her technique from watching her mother as a child, and then later by observing some of her friends who are professional chefs in London.   Mendy’s mother often sends special ingredients from Senegal that cannot be found locally.   Mendy says her biggest challenge in creating the menu is the bias that most people carry when they enter an African restaurant, such as all the dishes must be extremely spicy.

Mendy emphasizes that authentic Senegalese dishes are seasoned but never so fiery hot that you cannot taste the basic flavors.

The décor is a mix of Swedish-contemporary clean lines, yet cozy with various wooden and exposed brick walls.   The staff is welcoming and will happily describe the daunting African-named dishes.   The crowd is a melting pot of families, professionals, academics, couples on dates, and large groups excitedly trying each other’s dishes.

The bar serves a variety of wine and beer and they also serve delicious fresh non-alcoholic juice cocktails ($3) such as Bissap juice with sorrel, hibiscus juice, pineapple juice, orange flower water and vanilla sugar.


The Sangria (with alcohol) is worth mentioning because of its velvety smooth flavor and ingenious addition of tropical fruits.   The bottom of my glass held fresh kumquat, pomegranate, kiwi, and strawberry.

Fataya is a delicious appetizer: ground fish seasoned with tomato and spices, deep fried in perfectly crispy pastry dough accompanied by a mayo-based dipping sauce. Accara are black eye pea fritters with a zesty onion tomato chutney dipping sauce.   All appetizers are $7.

The most popular of the main courses ($14 - $17) is Thiébou Djeun, Senegal’s national dish.   A herb stuffed Kingfish filet cooked to perfection in a tomato stew and served over delicious, slightly crispy, broken Jasmine rice which has been slow-cooked in a tomato sauce.   This dish is accompanied with perfectly stewed carrots, cauliflower, cabbage, eggplant and cassava.

Another entrée I sampled was the Brochettes, grilled skewered cubes of filet mignon served with yucca fries with an onion & mustard-spiced dipping sauce.   This dish is no ordinary kebab skewer; the flavor is a powerhouse of herbs and spices that will energize you for the remainder of your evening.

The desserts ($6) are a must, so save some space! The Beignets are a variation on the traditional French pastry made instead with millet dough, and drizzled with a honey cinnamon glaze.   Thiacry is a cold vanilla pudding with couscous and pieces of chopped tropical fruits.   This takes the cake on original desserts for its complexity of fresh flavors and combination of texture.

The unique flavors and stylish ambiance make Teranga a unique and welcome addition to the neighborhood.

TELEPHONE(617) 266 0003

1746 Washington Street
Boston, MA 02118

WEBSITE: www.terangaboston.com


Daily: 11AM - 11PM

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