A cluster of African-inspired restaurants will debut in Bristol this summer, promising “a uniquely dynamic menu” and an exceptional dining experience in the city.
Founded by entrepreneur Omair Ali in 2018, Afrikana was created on the concept of fusing popular traditional dishes with African flavors.
Starting in the Midlands town of Aldridge in 2018, Afrikana has since opened seven more branches, including Derby, Cardiff and Leicester.
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Aiming to offer a wide variety of dishes meant to pay homage to African culture, art and music, Afrikana will next bring their iconic brand to Bristol during the summer season where they hope to serve “mouth-watering dishes, exceptional service and a relaxing atmosphere.”
A representative from Afrikana said, “The vision started with a dream to deliver authentic, home-cooked African-inspired cuisine. Our lovely Bristolians can look forward to a uniquely dynamic menu covering most dietary needs – halal, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free.
“Along with this, we place importance on creating a complete experience and guests can expect regular live entertainment, African drummers, dancers and DJs for a lively, fun and authentic environment.”
Brother and sister Afrikana franchisees Waseem Farid and Naheed Akhtar Qamar believe the restaurant chain offers a range of dishes and flavors needed by Bristol’s foodie scene, while hoping Afrikana can be a springboard to put the kitchen on African in the foreground.
He said: ‘I was looking for lots of franchises like German Doner Kebab and Pizza Hut and a lot of them were take out. Now I live in Cardiff and there’s a very saturated road of all these franchises called City Road.
“Afrikana is a restaurant which is also on City Road but there aren’t many restaurants like this in Cardiff. We don’t have a lot of Asian restaurants, African restaurants and there isn’t much choice for Halal unless it’s a mixed grill in Turkish or Lebanese places.
“After researching Afrikana and visiting a few of their restaurants, I thought there was definitely a gap in the market for franchise restaurants that are also halal. And it’s not just restaurants that attract a single group – you can be British, African, Asian or Chinese. As long as it’s halal.
“I looked at Bristol as a place and as an Asian myself and a Muslim there are hardly any halal restaurants in Bristol which is very shocking. Bristol is bigger than Cardiff with more people and more wealth and if Afrikana comes to Bristol he can bring a variety of different dishes.
Waseem pointed out that although the restaurant cluster is simply “African inspired”, he says continuing to pay homage to African culture, music and art in Bristol is suggested as a form of gratitude and appreciation. appreciation that can unite communities through great food and a vibrant atmosphere.
He said: “There are dishes on our menu that are inspired by Africa – for example jerk chicken, jerk seasoning and jerk flavor. There is also plantain as an option and it is African.
“There’s creamy coconut pasta and it’s African-inspired – not African. The steak comes with a jerk sauce if you prefer. You have jollof rice and again it’s African. This does not mean that the whole menu is African because we have a very varied menu.
“Afrikana is constantly changing menus to be ahead of its time, such as adding plantain which was not on the menu until last year.
“When you walk into an Afrikana restaurant, the whole restaurant is African themed and it’s our tribute to Africa. The paintings on the wall will all be of African women and the artwork is about Africa. Some of our dish names range from Kicking it in Kenya, Boneless Banquet in Botswana to Ethiopian Sea – it all has to do with Africa.
Waseem is looking forward to the inauguration of Afrikana in Bristol and although launch dates are yet to be confirmed, he strongly believes that with further openings in cities such as Nottingham and Milton Keynes, the restaurant group is creating one day a positive impact both locally and nationally.
“What we’re bringing to Bristol is a two-storey breakout-style restaurant. It will be one of the first multi-menu halal restaurants. It will appeal to everyone, from children to vegans to vegetarians. There will be an amazing vibe in terms of live music playing in the restaurant.
“The variety of food for a halal restaurant is very important to us and it has proven to be a success everywhere, like the one in Dalston (London), where we want it to be a multicultural restaurant. is that if you love food, you love food, and we’re here to do just that.
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