Konga Cafe: Saskatoon’s brightest diamond in the rough

By in Culture

Saskatoon has the highest number of restaurants per capita in Canada — so there’s bound to be a number of quality spots that you’ve never even heard of. Out of all them, you should know about Konga Cafe.

Get your Caribbean food fix at Konga Cafe.

Konga Cafe is one of Saskatoon’s few Caribbean-themed restaurants — and it’s authentic. For those who have eaten here, the café is known for its fiery, flavourful food, friendly staff and comfortable atmosphere. To give you an idea of the ambience, the chef greets you as you walk in.

Eating at Konga Cafe is a sensory experience, to say the least. Upon entering the café, you’ll hear reggae beats, smell aromatic Jamaican spices and see decor reminiscent of sandy Caribbean beaches. The café always provides good vibes, a family-friendly environment and impeccable jerk chicken.

If you’re craving quality Caribbean food, Konga Cafe has it — just look at all the five-star reviews on their Facebook page. It’s obvious that this is a favourite place to eat for many Saskatonians.

Part of the appeal of Konga Cafe is the array of delectable items. For instance, if you’re there for a small bite to eat, you can try their daily soup, which is served with one of their signature johnny cakes. Johnny cakes are simply delicious deep-fried dough. This soup-and-bread combination sets you back only $6.75 — did I mention that the Konga Cafe is also friendly to the student budget?

However, the real draw for Konga is their Jamaican jerk chicken. Although traditionally quite spicy, you can talk to the chef about toning down the heat if hot isn’t your thing. The jerk chicken entree is served with rice, peas and a healthy serving of sautéed veggies, so you won’t leave the Konga Cafe hungry.

I recommend trying the drool-worthy banana sauce on almost everything on the menu. Its spicy-but-sweet flavour can transform an otherwise bland dish into a great one. The sauce goes well on most of their dishes, but it’s especially good on their jerk chicken and shrimp creole.

It also makes the best dipping sauce for the chicken strips. If the banana sauce is to your liking, you can buy a bottle of the stuff to take home and share with family and friends who like a little bit of spice in their food.

Children can also enjoy Konga Cafe, with the kid-approved — and big-kid-approved — chicken strips. On top of the child-friendly options, the staff are really helpful and great at making kids feel welcome. If your child companions are lucky, they might get their drawings hung up on the wall.

If you’re feeling a little parched and want a good kick to start the weekend, Konga Cafe also offers a good selection of Caribbean-influenced cocktails. My pick is the Bomba Rum Punch — which is a fruity concoction made with pineapple, mango and lots of imported rum, so you know it’s going to be good.

What’s more, cocktails like this one will only set you back $5.50. And, if cocktails aren’t your thing, Konga also offers bottled beer and great ginger beer.

At the end of the day, Konga Cafe offers quality fare, an amicable atmosphere and a memorable experience — what are you waiting for?

Konga Cafe is located at 204 Avenue H North and is open Tuesday to Sunday. To find out more, head over to their Facebook page, where you will find their full menu.

Shirley Charles

Photo: Michaela DeMong