Cassava Cuisine has an indoor walk-up window for takeout orders with sanitizer placed at the entrance, as well as a patio for outdoor dining.
Cassava Cuisine focuses on the ingredients, dishes and cooking techniques of Nigeria and the Congo, especially cassava.
Their specialty here is grilled meats, but you can also find some rarer African items here like fufu, puff puff, cassava bread and fumbwa.
The restaurant takes up residence in the eccentric conglomerate of businesses right next to the entrance to Lansdowne subway station.
Cassava fries make for a good starter or side, intensely dense and starchy with a mild flavour, one of the first things I encounter here dusted with signature cassava spice blend. It's a house mix of African spices that's a fragrant and a bit peppery.
Suya beef is $18 or $23 with a side, a Nigerian dish of pan seared dry rub spiced beef. The meat comes off as quite dry but has lots of charred flavour, and comes topped with an intense amount of Csb as well as more refreshing raw tomato, cucumber and onion.
Plantain is a safe bet for a side to pair with just about anything, sweet and caramelized to a golden brown.
Grilled goat is the same price as the suya beef but a little juicier, Ontario goat that's chopped, marinated and char-grilled. It's served with a house hot sauce and a house cassava salsa made with tomato, veggies and CSB.
Make this into a meal with fumbwa for $30, a stew of Congolese wild spinach with smoked fish, bell pepper, onion, and house ground peanut butter that contributes the most to the flavour profile.
It's basically mandatory to pair this with cassava bread (also known as chikwangue), a mild, spongy steamed product used to soak up the peanutty stew.
You can also get ubiquitous African eba (grated cassava dumpling) or fufu (pounded yam dumpling) as sides.
Cassava cuisine makes their own juices ($5) such as a ginger zinger or zobo with hibiscus, ginger and pineapple.
For dessert, there's puff puff ($7) a type of small African donut served with mango ice cream and a chocolate drizzle, or on a stick to go.
They're also known as beignets in the Congo (where French is spoken, which it also is here) though they're not much like the square sugar dusted variety you'd find in New Orleans.
A patio seats eight right out on the sidewalk with little privacy, but yellow umbrellas and plants add cheer.