The owners of St-Henri grocery store Aliments Yasolo have stepped into the restaurant business, opening a casual restaurant right next door on Notre-Dame West.
Named Maquis Yasolo, it’s billing itself as an Afro-Québécois restaurant, serving an array of dishes grounded in the cuisines of sub-Saharan Africa (in particular, areas around the Republic of Congo and Democratic Republic of Congo, both in central Africa), alongside some North American touches — for example, a jerk burger, which is served with yucca or plantain fries.
There’s also more than a dash of Caribbean influence here (of course, various Caribbean cuisines also draw on the pan-African heritage of many of their citizens), with jerk chicken, Haitian griot (spiced, fried pork), or curries (both vegan and chicken) wrapped up in flaky roti.
Most dishes come in around $15, and a couple of more elaborate dishes cost a fraction more — for example, taba, a well-marinated goat dish, grilled and served with chikwanga (a Congolese bread), yucca, or plantains. Vegans have a few options, and seafood also crops up in a couple of dishes such as Ivorian-style attiéké, a fish dish served with fermented cassava.
Culture site Nightlife gave a warm first look at Maquis Yasolo, dubbing it a lieu d’échanges culturels (a place for cultural exchanges), and approving of the spicy, affordable fare offered up by owners Solange Pati and Alain Tanoh. That article also explains the fusiony approach of Maquis Yasolo: The offerings also draw on the dishes that Pati’s children cook, which integrate flavours from a range of cuisines (plus, Aliments Yasolo is quite an international store, meaning Pati and her kids obviously have access to a wide range of ingredients).
Maquis Yasolo seats around 60 people in a simple space, decorated with an array of plants — a welcome addition to the neighbourhood, especially since the only other restaurant serving any kind of African cuisine, Gracia Afrika, closed down in late 2019.
STATUS — Maquis Yasolo is open at 3763 Notre-Dame W.
- Maquis Yasolo [Facebook]
- Sortir avec Montrealista: le nouveau resto afro-québécois Maquis Yasolo! [Nightlife]