Menu Filter

Kitchen Ramarj

You'll probably never visit Liberia, but you'll definitely want to taste its food

Kat Rembacki

Kat Rembacki

Storyteller at Core Detroit
Dance party crasher; wordsmith; downtowner;Disney geek; whipped cream junkie; die-hard Tigers fan. Join me on on my epic quest for the perfect turkey reuben.
Kat Rembacki

Liberia was never a destination on our wanderlust wish list. Political corruption, widespread crime and deadly disease outbreaks had given us the impression that this was a desolate place where only military or public health officials dared to venture.

Actually, Liberia is a beautiful country, nestled on the western coast of Africa between Sierra Leone, Guinea and the Ivory Coast. Mangrove-speckled forest coastlines give way to rolling grassland plateaus as you travel inland from the Pepper Coast. Liberia’s 43,000 square miles – just a bit smaller than Ohio – are dotted with beachside barbecues, colonial cities and tropical rainforests.

Read about its cuisine and Liberia becomes lovelier still. Hearty stews ladled over fluffy rice, delicious sweets inspired by the American South, and a bounty of local fruits and vegetables.

You don’t have to travel all the way to West Africa to sample Liberia’s uniquely exotic cuisine, only to St. Cece’s in Corktown. That’s a trip we can manage.

Jollof rice, a popular Liberian dish. Photo by Kitchen Ramarj via Facebook.

Jollof rice, a popular Liberian dish. Photo by Kitchen Ramarj via Facebook.

Kitchen Ramarj is a new popup by Amina Marhaba, a Liberian-born chef with Lebanese family roots. She’ll be serving up four courses of authentic Liberian and Middle Eastern recipes tonight (Tuesday, Oct. 11) from 5-11 p.m.

If you’re thinking that Liberian cuisine might be too exotic for you, just take a look at tonight’s menu. Amina has designed a super approachable lineup of dishes to introduce you to the dishes of West Africa.

Dinner starts off with Tripoli Bites, a taste of the Mediterranean. Vegetables roasted in olive oil are accompanied by Lebanese hummus topped with feta and black olives, the perfect set of nibbles to ease your way into the region.

Up next are Monrovia wings, named for Liberia capital city on the Atlantic coast. Liberian style spicy chicken wings are rubbed with exotic spices and slathered with a spicy peanut butter sauce. Yes, the spices and the peanut butter are an unusual twist on chicken wings, but they’re still chicken wings! Everyone can get behind a well-prepared set of wings.

Liberian banana rice bread. Photo by Kitchen Ramarj via Facebook.

Liberian banana rice bread. Photo by Kitchen Ramarj via Facebook.

Now that you’ve been introduced to the flavors or Liberia, it’s time to get to know one of the country’s most popular dishes: palm butter stew. Typically made with boiled palm nuts, which are pounded into a soup base, plenty of recipes just call for peanuts or peanut butter. Kitchen Ramarj’s version simmers farm raised hens and tender beef in the sauce, slow cooked with exotic Liberian spices. The stew is served over a delicately fragrant white jasmine rice.

Dessert is a reflection of Liberia’s unique baking tradition, something you won’t find anywhere else in West Africa. Amina is baking up a wonderful batch of banana rice bread. The bread is served with a shot of nonalcoholic Liberian ginger beer.

Tickets for tonight’s popup dinner cost $40 and are available online (get your bevs at the bar at St. Cece’s, drinks are not included). For more information about Kitchen Ramarj and upcoming popups, check out their Facebook page.

Subscribe to Core Detroit

Get the best of Detroit in your inbox.

×
Welcome to CoreDetroit.com

We see it’s your first time! Thanks for stopping by. Sign up below to get the best of Detroit sent straight to your inbox!

×
Welcome to CoreDetroit.com

Thanks for stopping by! Sign up below to get the best of Detroit sent straight to your inbox.

The Core Detroit Shop

×
Holiday Shopping

Use code “holiday2014” for 10% off!

The Core Detroit Shop

×
Subscribe to Core Detroit

Get the best of Detroit in your inbox.


×