I came across Safari Grill on my way back from Tiffin Curry and Roti House as the two are practically situated just across the street from each other. Safari Grill is located in a northeast strip mall called Short Pants Plaza, which is also home to many other ethnic eateries such as Lloyd’s Patty Plus and Village Pita Bakery. Safari Grill specializes in East African/Indo-African cuisine. When I arrived, I was a little taken aback by the decor. In addition to the flashy Bollywood videos on the flat-screens, there was zebra print everywhere, from the wall paper to the booths and table tops as well as the place settings too.
To start, my friend and I shared an order of the Beef Ribs ($11.99). In terms of flavours, we had a choice to teriyaki, salt & pepper, honey garlic, mild, medium, hot, or suicide. We decided on “medium” as we weren’t too sure how spicy they would be since this was our first visit to Safari Grill. As it turns out, “medium” wasn’t very spicy at all. I’ll probably order them “hot” next time as I was craving for more spice. Though a bit on the pasty side, these thinly-sliced barbequed short ribs were smoky, tender,and flavourful. We really enjoyed them and would definitely order them again.
For a main, we shared the Afrique Chicken ($15.99), which consisted of half a BBQ Chicken marinated in periperi sauce. Periperi is the Swahili word for the African bird’s-eye chili pepper. I had expected the chicken to be a lot spicier but it actually turned out to be quite mild. The flavourful chicken was served on a bed of slaw along with corn and a choice of vegetable rice, masala fries, or pilipili fries. We chose the masala fries as I had read that they were really addictive. The masala fries consisted of potato wedges tossed in Indian spices with crushed tomatoes. At first, I didn’t think much of the masala fries, but it didn’t take long for me to be addicted to them too. They were really flavourful while being crispy on the outside and toothsome on the inside. The corn was crisp and acted as a nice palate cleanser between the chicken and the fries.
Our food came with tray of complimentary dipping sauces that included a green chili chutney, a hot sauce, a tangy tamarind sauce, and a creamy raita made of yogurt and spices. The sauces tasted ok although I didn’t use too much of them as our food was well-seasoned already. These sauces were similar to the ones that I got with my meal at Tiffin Curry and Roti House.
Overall, we enjoyed our meal at Safari Grill. Despite having some similar menu items, the ambience at Safari Grill is indeed quite different from the Tiffin Curry and Roti House. The Tiffin is more cafeteria-style whereas the Safari Grill is more of a sit-down restaurant. But the one thing that has me perplexed about Safari Grill is why they have Western items on their menu such as steak, Philly Cheese Steak melt, and Caesar salad. Since their specialty is East African/Indo-African cuisine, it really makes me wonder how many people actually go there for a Philly Cheese Steak sandwich or a Caesar salad. For myself, I know I’ll be sticking to the East African/Indo-African dishes.
225 28 St SE