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“A gem .. . but needs some work”

Bolat African Cuisine Restaurant
Price range: $0 - $25
Cuisines: African
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups
Dining options: Delivery, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighborhood: Lakeview
Cross street: School
Transit: Red Line and Brown Line Belmont stop. The #22 Clark Street Bus stops in front of the restaurant.
Description: Savor all of the flavors of Africa with Bolat's rolling Sub-Saharan culinary excursion menu. Choose from hearty dishes, including meaty stews and soups. Vegetarians will find a fair share of tasty vegetarian options, prepared with a variety of vegetables, fresh fruit and grains. For those that crave meat, Bolat boasts an extensive list of entrees, from the more traditional like suya (kabob) to the more adventurous, such as goat and oxtail. And, diners tend to favor the jollof rice (rice cooked in tomato sauce), as the perfect side for any meal. Don't forget to browse the list of specially blended premium cocktails, exclusive South African wine selection, and the palm wine, a sweet treat from Nigeria that is definitely a great compliment to your spice-laden meal. So come on in and take a culinary journey with us through a continent that's as rich and as complex as any other.
Reviewed May 18, 2012

I won't argue with the comments regarding Bolats operations/service. We had some concerns because the restaurant didn't open on a Tuesday (granted we didn't make reservations) and the hostess was very late on the following day to open the place. For whatever reason, there are some operational kinks that need to be worked out. We wanted to give it a chance because of great reviews one of friends gave it.

We certainly weren't disappointed with the food. The dishes were authentic and delicious. I had the jollof with goat and I'm still talking about it with my wife. The rice was had a familiar spiciness without the familiar greasiness (which is a common problem with jollof). The goat was tender and complimented the flavor of the rice. Finally, the fried plantain dish was also a hit.

Also, the service was extremely friendly if not entirely punctual. Maybe an effort to provide an authentic West African regional dining experience?

I will certainly be back the next time we are in Chicago because the food was fantastic. I will also recommend it to anyone with an appropriate caveat about service. I do hope that they can improve on their operational issues because this place has a lot of potential.

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Thank BernardA865
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (9)
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8 - 9 of 9 reviews

Reviewed April 6, 2011

We went to Bolat on a Tuesday evening around 8 pm and found ourselves as the only guests, not a good sign. I was disappointed that they had a minimal and boring wine and beer selection, with nothing from West Africa.

The menu is very intersting, with items from many West African countries. I had a shrimp piri-piri appetizer, a main dih of peanut soup with goat meat from Nigeria, and a Senegalese sorbet as dessert. I did not car for the goat (bony and stringy) but the other items tasted very good, The panut soup was surprisingly spicy.

The service was fr iendly but not expert. The bill for two was around $80, including 2 beers for me and 2 glasses of very ordinary wine for my wife. After I paid, the waiter informed me he would have preferred cash to credit..

If you're adventurous, give it a try but I can't say I would go back.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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Thank niemand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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