Smile Politely

Sepelas restaurant is now open in Urbana

A plate of African meats with plantains on a golden platter at Sepelas African restaurant.
Alyssa Buckley

Sepelas African restaurant is now open in the plaza behind Walgreen’s at Five Points in Urbana. The new restaurant serves a Congolese menu of grilled proteins in addition to sides of rice, plantains, kwanga, fufu, fries, and beignets.

The interior or Sepelas restaurant has red chairs with brown tables.
Alyssa Buckley

I stopped by Sepelas for lunch. Of the protein options (goat, chicken, steak, pork, and fish), I ordered the grilled pork ($9.99) and grilled chicken ($9.99) with a side of plantains ($4.99).

A white plate with chicken, pork, and plantains on a golden platter at Sepelas restaurant.
Alyssa Buckley

Served on a golden platter by Chez Maman Ketty, the lunch looked beautiful. The order of chicken had two drumsticks covered in a delicious, oily sauce with peppers and onion. The chicken had a great smokiness, and the skin was coated in flavorful seasonings. Topped with the same sauce, the pork was a little fattier than I expected, but the grilled meat tasted good. I really loved the chopped plantains; the edges were slightly crisp and so yummy.

While I was eating my lunch, the chef brought out a bowl holding a half-spoonful of red sauce.

A white bowl with a spoonful of red pepper sauce.
Alyssa Buckley

She warned me that it was spicy, and it was! It was wonderfully, painfully hot. Just a drop was enough to sting.

The restaurant is owned and operated by the same owners as Ashar African Market located just a few storefronts (and one La Mixetca) down from the new restaurant. Here’s the menu.

The menu at Sepelas restaurant.
Alyssa Buckley

At this time, Sepelas is cash only, and the manager said he hopes to accept credit card payments soon.

The exterior of new Urbana restaurant Sepelas, owned by the same owners as Ashar African Market.
Alyssa Buckley

For more information, check out the restaurant’s website.

Sepelas African Restaurant
510 N Cunningham Ave
Suite 8
M-Sa 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Su 3 to 10 p.m.

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