We stepped out in to the dusky light, after the truck pulled up to the front of a beautiful wooden and stone building with ‘Les Banquettes. Bar & Grill’ lettered in gold on the outside. This restaurant is located on Rue Joss, number 96, it is near The American Embassy and also near Echo Bank, I may aswell tell you this now because as soon as I am finished writing about this amazing place you are going to want to visit.
The air conditioning hit us as we stepped into this amazing clean restaurant, which sometimes is not an easy thing to find in the Centre of Douala. The owner comes straight up to the door and introduces himself as Costa and seats us in a booth looking out over the quiet damp streets.
Immediately he grabs a menu telling us to pick a cocktail off the menu, there was so many so we just told him to surprise us, we also ordered a bottle of champagne. Costa returned with two mojito styled cocktails, one that had a cream base and the other a champagne, zingyness. They were both beautiful and relaxed me even further into the beautiful surroundings of this perfect bar, you could call it one of the best kept secrets, as before now I hadn’t heard about it, I had only read the stunning reviews on TripAdvisor.
The bar is lit up under the spirits in blues and reds making it look modern and inviting and the seating is either booths or traditional wooden tables with matching chairs, I look around admiring the wall art which are black and white pictures of different cities around the world with splashes of color complimenting the decor of the rest of the bar. Everything is so modern, you would think you would be sitting in one of London’s celeb hot spots.
Costa came by to check on us and offered us some light bites to soak up the tasty cocktails, again he asked if we trusted him and we nodded and he rushed off to the kitchen to place our order… I noticed that with every customer that came through the door, Costa would greet them making them feel welcome, in Douala that is rare, you usually get the stares from the locals and a quiet question of what beer you would like to drink, while your praying its cold….he greets them like old friends and sits them down getting drinks for them quickly. The waitresses and waiters are all dressed fashionably in black with denim accessories which give it a bohemian feel. The service is so fast and reliable. Someone is always around to take your order.
The food arrived on long plates and I almost laughed out loud with joy. In front of me and D were mozzarella sticks in a breaded batter and chicken dippers with a homemade tomato sauce. It was like America had come to Africa. It also helped that these were me and D’s fave foods. We dived in, and everything was delicious. Thats not all we got, just when we thought that was it, this huge salad with dressing dripping off the fresh wet lettuce was placed in front of us along with a side of warm french bread. The dressing was beautiful and the salad was one of the freshest I had tasted.
We slurped on our cocktails and licked our fingers clean as we chatted away the night, accompanied by the mood enhancing music of James Blunt. It was now time to get some champagne, Costa delivered the champagne in a standard silver bucket and hooked it on to the side of our table. within the bucket was long cocktail sticks pierced with fresh fruit including pineapples and grapes…to compliment our bubbly drink. So far it was perfect we chimed our glasses together and sat back in the smoky bar, people watching and noticing as the night went on the more the bar filled with EXPATS and other workers winding down on a Friday night. The atmosphere was brilliant, it made you feel comfortable and at home. We were only meant to be out for a few but we ended up staying out and meeting people, and the next thing i was being handed shot glasses with jager in it, I think it was time to go….dont need my head minced again. All and all though it was a brilliant night and so reasonably priced considering you feel you are in the hippest bar ever….I will be going back and I’m sure it will it will maybe become my regular Friday night haunt. Maybe see you there? Ill be the one sipping a mojito with sticky fingers from all the delicious food.
If my review isnt enough for you guys to head down there check out TripAdvisor and the amazing reviews yourselves below….
If you want me to check out a bar or restaurant or a POI for you please dont hesitate to email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on twitter @KirstenMackay19.