University African Restaurant Provides Full Bellies, Cultural Experience


Kontiki has an a warm and welcoming vibe, with the smells of spices and an African tang; I can guarantee you will be enticed to eat more and keep coming back. (photo by Bri Fleming)

African restaurants are rare in Central Arkansas. In my household, they are a delightful treasure and a necessary pitstop when we go out of state. But, to our and other African food lover’s luck, a new place has opened not too far from Central. The African restaurant, Kontiki, is a new addition to University’s strip, and many have fallen in love with the quaint place.

As soon as you open the doors to Kontiki you are greeted by sounds of background African music. The walls are lightly decorated with African paintings, drums, and more culturally suited decorations. There is a welcoming vibe, and even though I went late on a Tuesday night, the workers made had no problem keeping a energetic mood and timely manner because I was on time crunch my food was made to-go. But, when it comes to African food, I would not recommend it as a fast-food option. Most of the food has to be prepared in a process that takes time, and every minute and second spent on your meal means that it will be that much more fulfilling and tasty. The workers there seem to take pride in their skills, as I heard them talking with some customers about their dishes were made. It’s a meticulous process, but it’s certainly worth the wait.

My mother loves to eat oxtails and is a huge fan of Kontiki’s. She could vouch for more for the meat portion of their menu; whereas I only can give you a look into their vegetarian options, which they have a great range to choose from. I ordered beans & plantains. It was a big portion that was inexpensive, and of course, tasted delicious. I would like to continue going back to Kontiki to explore their other vegetarian options. A couple of their other items (including meat meals) were: Jollof rice & stew, peanut butter soup & rice, Cassava leaves & rice, Fufu & okra of Egusi, couscous & chicken or fish.

Kontiki has many rave reviews on Google and Yelp, and I can only see it becoming more popular as time passes by. They are promoting African culture and filling our bellies up with the amazing food that reflects the rich culture. Kontiki is a sit-down restaurant where you might have to wait a while to get the desired taste and perfection of your meal, but it is truly worth it. The workers are sweet and want to help in any way they can. Make sure and support them and get a taste of some great African food. They are located at 3901 S. University Ave Ste. 23 Little Rock, AR 72204. (Refer to picture for their opening and closing times.)