The Esporta Restaurant

The Esporta Restaurant is reported to have been the first African-Caribbean restaurant to open its doors in the Gambia. Apparently two chefs, visiting from the United Kingdom, were quite simply unhappy with the lack of choice and very poor quality food that was available at the time of their visit and therefore set themselves a mission to be leaders in standards of hygiene and quality of food. There are already plans in the pipeline for two other satellite branches of the Esporta Restaurant to open in Senegambia and Banjul, the capital.

The Esporta Restaurant offers a unique blend of African and Caribbean flavours, catering not only for blue chip business clients, but also for every budget. It is particularly widely renowned for Southern Fried, Piri Piri, Jerk and Afra flavourings. Truly mouth watering! Their specialities are made from only the finest, freshest ingredients, using local suppliers where possible.

It is not necessary to pre-book your table in advance, but if you would like any particular speciality dish, it is advisable that you ring ahead with your requirements on telephone number 449 4316. The Esporta is located on Garba Jahumpa Road, off Sabena Junction and on Kairaba Avenue.

The Esporta Restaurant is very clean and well laid out, if not cafeteria style, with small tables and wooden chairs. It is fully air conditioned, offering the latest most up to date music choice and sports entertainment, all via satellite. There are some unusual art pieces adorning the wall, making for a clean, but intensely friendly atmosphere. Seating is available outside on the patio area, ensuring that for those of us who wish to dine 'al-fresco' and take in all that Gambia has to offer in the way of beautiful sunsets, the option is available. Apart from this, the majority of seating is inside the building and there are plenty of tables and chairs available, making the Esporta Restaurant a perfect choice for large groups and individuals alike.

Non-alcoholic drinks are on offer and these include some outstanding milkshakes. Particularly flavoursome and tasty is the peanut milkshake, or the more traditional banana milkshake, both equally lush. For the non-alcoholic beverage try 'Heaven Non-Alcoholic Champagne', with red grapes, apple or white grape flavours. Perfect for those of us who don not like hangovers!

There are a huge range of fresh fruit juices available, as well as soft drinks such as Coke, Fanta, Vimto and Sprite, alongside tea and coffee.

The menu is conveniently set out, so that you can quickly see which dishes originate from which country. African dishes are Half Chicken Afra, Lamb Afra and for those of us who just can't decide, an Afra Mix whereby you get both chicken and lamb. There is also Chicken Yassa with chips, rice or salad.

Traditional Caribbean dishes are also available, ranging from curries using goat, beef or chicken, to their famous Piri Piri chicken - which is marinated in their own Piri Piri sauce and cooked over a charcoal barbecue. A very tangy and spicy combination.

Vegetarians are amply catered for and not just with a choice of salad either. There are vegetarian versions of spaghetti bolognaise and a vegetable stew. A wholesome, interesting meal to be enjoyed with good company and in lovely surroundings.

From around 8.30am until about 12 noon, there are a large number of breakfast options available. Their full breakfast consists of halal sausage, or if you prefer you can have a corned beef option, or even fish fingers, 2 eggs, beans and vegetables, served with a bread selection. If you have a sweet tooth you may prefer pancakes, served with maple syrup or jam. A brilliant way to start off your day.

The main menu, or 'Continental Menu' as they refer to it, starts from 12 noon and you are not short of choice, there are both African and Caribbean dishes. Whatever your appetite or taste, you can find something delicious to suit you. A couple of the choices include chicken burgers or beef burgers and chips, a popular meal suitable for anyone who likes to stay on familiar culinary ground. The menu covers all budgets, from those who just want a cheap, quality snack in a clean friendly environment, to those seeking a luxurious three course meal and a relaxing drink to soak up the Gambian atmosphere.

Whatever your choice, a visit to the Esporta Restaurant will not disappoint, quality food at a reasonable price in clean, hygienic surroundings, served by qualified friendly staff.

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