Serengeti Kitchen Opens in East Harlem



Doughba Caranda-Martin in his new East Harlem restaurant, Serengeti Kitchen.

The much anticipated Serengeti Kitchen opened its doors in East Harlem, a welcome extension to the beloved Serengeti Tea & Spices which opened on Frederick Douglass Boulevard in West Harlem in 2013.

At the helm, is Dougha Caranda-Martin, with a passion for teas, coffees and herbs, from a childhood growing up in Liberia, walking through his grandmother’s farm garden, and learning the sights, smells and tastes of local herbs. Caranda-Martin immigrated to the United States in the early 1990s, during the First Liberian Civil War.


We were not surprised to learn that Canada-Martin is an artist by training, evident in the architectural design and woodwork at both of his shops. Serengeti Tea & Spices continues to focus on sourcing teas, coffee and herbs from east and West Africa.

The new Serengeti Kitchen will celebrate African flavors, with a revolving Coastal West African menu every few months, giving patrons a culinary experience of an entire continent. Today, we see Black Truffle Yuca Bisque and Braised Wild Board (sweet burnt onion, Kenyan black tea & apricot reduction) served with plum tomato braised rice ~ and those are just a few culinary delights on the menu. Also listed are suggested tea pairings. We expected no less.

Below are a few photo’s from our recent visit, as we wandered through the main entrance into the front dining area, and into the back garden/bar area. A total transformation from the previous inhabitant, Island Salad.



Entering the (now enclosed) garden area, with hand-painted concrete floor.


Bar in the back-garden area






Serengeti Kitchen

Serengeti Kitchen is located at 22 East 125th Street, between Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue. Serengeti Tea & Spices is located at 2292 Frederick Douglass Blvd, near West 123rd Street. Follow Serengeti Kitchen on Instagram or hashtag #SerengetiKitchen. (closed on Monday).

While you’re there, stop in at Harlem Underground and Brownstone Boutique, on either side of the restaurant. All three, members of The New East Harlem Merchants Association (NHEMA).