African BBQ House

Address: 385 Tompkins Ave, Ottawa
Hours: 11am – 9pm daily (hours may differ during and after the pandemic)
Website: Socials only; also on UberEats



When life pulled me out to Orleans recently, that meant one thing: trying a new-to-me restaurant! Well, that and booking a CommunAuto for these cross-town errands.

My target of choice was African BBQ House, located at Tompkins and Tenth Line. I wanted to mix things up a bit compared to the usual grilled chicken, so I ordered a mixed skewer plate – one lamb, one beef, medium spice – which also comes with jollof rice, fried plantains, and salad.

I came in the mid-afternoon, so things were fairly quiet, and I decided to make this my first eat-in experience after the post-Christmas lockdown. Since they’re running a charcoal grill, it took a little bit of time for things to get fired up (literally) and the food cooked, but it went by quickly while chatting with the very friendly owner, Amandeep.

Skewer combo - African BBQ House

Both the lamb and beef skewers were masterfully cooked on the grill, with a big punch of charcoal smokiness, but still quite tender and moist, with a peppery seasoning adding further depth. A lingering spice was balanced out.

The jollof rice was a darker red than I’ve usually seen at Afro/Caribbean restaurants, and while the rich rice was good, I prefer a brighter jollof that is more of a counterpoint to its paired protein.

Skewer combo - African BBQ House

Working them angles

I am a lover of fried plantains, and these were no exception. Cut long on a bias, there was plenty of plantain to give a tender, lightly sweet chew.

Garden salad is gonna garden salad. It’s never anything to write home about, but all the produce was fresh and in good condition, and it helped relieve the spiciness of the meats.

Shrimp skewer - African BBQ House

When I was nearing the end of meal, the owner graciously brought out a skewer of his grilled shrimp for me to try. Cooked just as perfectly as the red meats, the large shrimp were tender and flavour-packed from the grill itself and their slathering of herbs and seasoning.

Talking with Amandeep, I was glad to hear that African BBQ House is doing quite well despite the pandemic, and with the food, service and hard work he’s putting in, it’s no surprise.


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