Following the recommendation of a friend about the kebabs being wonderful and the restaurant being run by an Iranian I made a note to visit, having had fond memories of Iranian restaurants on London.
I thought I recognised the man when I walked in but was busy scanning the menu which seemed varied in a Middle-Eastern way- ordered an option which had several side dishes and asked about one of them which reminded me of Boulanger Choka. Sat down to eavesdrop on the owner, presumabably, sitting talking to another man-- after a while I surmised that they were talking Spanish and not Brazilian as I had expected.
No wonder the girl behind the counter was a bit confused when I asked her about the purple thing (sumac)they sprinkle on the rice as it turns out that this restaurant is run by the Venezuelan couple who had opened one at the old Del Casa building a couple of years ago and closed rather rapidly after their prices just kept rising at each visit. I had taken my staff there and as my receptionist was having a 'vegetarian day' we had ordered an elaborate sounding eggplant dish with Pita bread-- when it came she snorted in disgust/sucked her teeth as it was Boulanger Choka smoothed out in a blender and roti-- she claimed hers tasted better!
So the actual Kebabs weren't too bad-- we have good non-Mad Cow-diseased beef in Guyana, however it was a bit salty for me as our family tend to cook with less salt and oil than most Guyanese. The blended Boulanger Choka resurfaced along with a Chickpea paste, supposedly Hummus-- couldn't tell if it had tahini in it but flavoured with lots of lemon juice, or maybe it was the Tabbouleh that had spread its juices. The rice dish tasted very much like our Cook-up, guess substituting local ingredients must alter the taste a bit.
Chatted with the owner as I was leaving and asked about his wife who was up in Canada as her daughter was expecting a baby and I thought -- oh our neighours in Venezuela do the same-- stick a toe in the Great White Hope of North America!