The last time I wrote an article for Be501, I showcased one of my favorite foods – fried chicken, specifically Stickeyz. Today, y’all, I’m here to testify about the deliciousness of one of Little Rock’s hottest, new places – Kontiki African Restaurant. Folks, I’m here to tell you, this place is fantastic.
Admittedly, I was skeptical heading into the experience because I’d never eaten African food before, but I left with a full tummy and new appreciation for African cuisine. Now, before I describe the experience itself, I’ll share some backstory about how Kontiki’s presence came to be known in the Little Rock area.
Originally from Sierra Leone, owner Christian Domingo, started the restaurant in the old Alexander Country Club. The establishment offered a new take on traditional African cuisine and brought new tastes to Central Arkansas. As the popularity of the restaurant took off, Domingo and his wife moved the restaurant to South University Avenue, where they’d have more exposure to the Little Rock market, and it’s seemed to pay off. On the day I visited, there was a steady crowd in and out enjoying a tasty lunch.
I chose Jollof Rice and Stew, which was white rice cooked with tomato paste, bell peppers, onions, and West African spices. The dish is either served with beef or chicken, and I chose beef. Having grown up on a cattle farm, I’m pretty picky about my beef being of quality cut, as well as being cooked just right. It didn’t disappoint. It was tender and packed with flavor. The spices weren’t overpowering, and the heat of the dish was enough to make my nose run but wanting more. My friends and I also ate some of the meatball-like appetizers, and they were every bit as good.
Pictured: Jollof Rice & Stew
Before I left, I asked a guy, Jake, about his take on Kontiki, and he said, “this is my first time here, and I’ll be back. My coworkers and I decided to give it a try, and we’re all glad we did. I’m impressed with the food, and I think it gives something a little different for people here in Little Rock.”
If you’d like to check our Kontiki for yourself, their hours are 11:00am – 9:00pm daily, and they’re located at 3901 South University Avenue in Little Rock. You can check them out at Facebook.com/KontikiKitchen or call 501-615-8504.
Article by: Jackson Alexander
At just 25 years old, Ross Owyoung has accomplished more than most people his age. Ross was recently named the new Director of the UA Little Rock Downtown campus. Ross started in the development office at UA Little Rock in August 2018, and his drive and determination quickly led him to being promoted to Director of the new downtown campus just two short months after starting.
Before achieving rockstar status at UA Little Rock, Ross graduated from both the University of Arkansas and the U of A Clinton School of Public Service. He graduated from his undergraduate studies with a double major in sociology and criminal justice in three years. During this time, he helped start the UA Student Alumni Board (SAB), where he served as the Networking Director, as well as a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity. Wanting to even further his education, he started at the Clinton School in Little Rock and recently graduated back in May 2018. While at CSPS, he was elected as the First-Year Student Body Representative on the Student Government Board.
During his time at the Clinton School, Owyoung was involved in various projects and worked with organizations, such as Jericho Way Research Center and The Venture Center. Both projects included studies of economic and social analysis. For Owyoung’s third project, he traveled to Panama and implemented an after-school program for a Panamanian community center. After his travels, Owyoung was grateful to have had that experience and said, “I came back a completely different person. It’s something that was much needed for my life I would say. It definitely changed the way I viewed the world.”
Ross is also involved in non-profit work. Two of his favorites are Jericho way and The Venture Center. You can also visit his website here.