After more than a year of going out to local restaurants and mentioning them here and there on the blog, I have finally decided that it is time to start reviewing them -- at least some of them. First up -- Baku's of Amherst.
Baku's African Restaurant is on North Pleasant Street in Amherst. A small restaurant featuring no more than five tables and seventeen chairs. We had passed it by many times on our to and from the Toy Box, frequently commenting that we should actually stop and try it -- one of these days. "One of these days" finally arrived a few weekends ago, on a warm and damp Halloween night.
Baku's features southern Nigerian cuisine, and its small menu lists appetizers and meals in variations of rice, beans, meats, and vegetables. The menu is gluten, dairy, and dessert free, representing the traditional diet of the African region. The owner and head chef is also authentically Nigerian, a great cook, and quite a character.
When we arrived at Baku's, a group from Connecticut was just finishing, leaving the restaurant all to us. We took the menus from the counter, consulted with each other on our meals, and ordered back at the counter, paying when the order was complete. Water was served, our drinks were delivered, and small salads presented to occupy us while our food was being prepared. Our meals arrived quickly: the Flavorful Lamb entree -- stewed lamb in a rich curry tomato sauce over jollof rice -- and the house special Curry Chicken. Delicious. The lamb was succulent and tender and the sauce was just as not-spicy as I had asked. The curry chicken was also good, but a touch dry. After eating ourselves full, there was still plenty to take home -- which I packaged up to take to work.
The meals at Baku's are simple but savory and range from $10.95-$13.95 for a dinner entree, with appetizers and small plates starting at $3.95. The kids menu stands at $5.95 and family meals begin at $29.95 for 3 people. Baku's also caters events and delivers through Delivery Express.
Baku's has been open since 2005 and attracts customers from all over -- and when you try their home-cooked food, you'll understand why.