Am a sucker for Amala, and I try as much as possible to know where to get the best Amala around my environment. Amala is made from Yam flour basically and turns into a black dough when added to Hot water. It can be eaten with different types of soup but ewedu and gbegiri seems to be the favourite.
And so the search for the best Amala around me took me to JUST AMALA, Oduduwa way, GRA, Ikeja. It is located behind Rumours Night Club, popularly speculated to be owned by one of Nigeria’s foremost and most popular musicians, Tuface Idibia. It was a long walk from our office down to this place.
The setting of the JUST AMALA buka is very spacious, well arranged and definitely not designed for everyone. From my own observation, the Buka was built with the upwardly mobile and sophisticated working class executives in mind because we met quite a number of them there.
I proceeded to the counter and ordered for Amala, just like I said earlier, this place was not meant to serve people with shallow pockets. A small ball of Amala costs N100, and for my tiny size, I needed to buy at least 3 balls.
I moved over to be served soup, there were options of Ewedu, Okra, Gbegiri, Efo riro and Egusi soup. I decided to go for the Egusi soup and I was told I will have to pay N100 separately for the soup, hmmmmm. I thought this was a Buka and not Shoprite. Anyway, I told her serve me the egusi as I was willing to pay and I really did not feel like taking the Ewedu which she made clear was the only free soup available. I added a Turkey, sold for N500.
My food was packed and we left for the #Foodprefect lab to analyse.
Getting to the Lab and opening the food, here’s what it looked like. The aroma of the food was really nice I must confess. It smelt like something a new girlfriend will cook for her new found rich boyfriend. I took my 1st morsel of the Amala, and it tasted unexpectedly very good.
This 1st taste was accompanied by expressions such as “Hmmm, hmmm, very good, this is good”. The food was so tasty and well seasoned and I immediately forgot the long trek to Just Amala and back from my office. It was Amala and soup very well prepared, well garnished and well eaten.
The Turkey was totally out of this world, it was soft, succulent and tasted absolutely great and homely. Reminds me of real owambe party flavours.
The total package costs N1000 with take away pack and the likes.
Big ups to Just Amala, the food is great and I hope it stays that way cos I really can’t wait to go back there.
If you are familiar with computer village, the tech hub of west Africa, located in the heart of Ikeja, Lagos, then you must also know Stella’s kitchen.
It is located on Otigba street, just after the computer village police post. Even if you are not aware of the fact that there is a canteen around, the moment you are within the vicinity of Stella’s kitchen, the aroma in the air tells you immediately that you can satisfy your hunger cravings nearby. I have always know this place for close to 5 years but I never ventured in, due to the fact that the canteen is vey highly rated as only the top brass of the computer village market can afford to patronize this place regularly.
On this fateful day, I had just finished a meeting around Ikeja and was really hungry so I decided to head to the “World Famous” Stella’s kitchen on Otigba.
Getting there, I knew I was in for something different. The environment was very clean and tidy and you could smell the aroma of good food all around. I took a seat and a young man promptly came to take my order. I ordered for a plate of Iyan ( pounded yam ) and egusi soup with assorted meat. The food came few moments later and I settled in to the task ahead.
The Iyan was flawless, soft, smooth as silk and without any koko. The egusi on the other hand did not taste as good as it smelt. In fact, it tasted like it was not fully cooked. I also noticed that the egusi soup did not have a single thin shred of dried fish or any other sort of accessories, it was flat out half cooked egusi. Well, I pretended to swallow and enjoy the food as everyone around me seemed to be having a good meal. I eventually finished the food and found out soon after that a plate of iyan with 2 meat and 1 bottle of water is N900 here.
The assorted was good and tasty but it could have been a bit softer in my opinion.
The next day after the meal, I found out the hard way that the egusi soup may have been cooked using what we call “white maggi” in Nigeria. I paid countless visits to the “white house” and lost weight in few hours. I told someone about this experience and they also recalled a similar experience. He said ” Their Iyan is the best but they lack good soup.
Frankly, I think Stella’s kitchen is over rated, it’s really not worth all the hype as it holds nothing special or extra-ordinary when it comes to great tasting food. Feel free to visit and share your experience with us.
The layout of the place is quite impressive and the environment is definitely welcoming. I observed La Mango is a 360 degree relaxation place which also offers facilities for clubbing, lounging, pool side parties, launchings and of course plenty of food. It’s located on Adekunle Fajuyi way, GRA, Ikeja.
I attended the launch of a new brand here and couldn’t wait till they served the food meant for the launch as I was really hungry, so I checked their menu for what I could order. They serve different types of Nigerian and continental dishes. I was not in the mood to try anything new so I just ordered for Fried rice and Fish pepper soup. It took quite a while for the food to be ready, say some 25-30 minutes after the order was placed. I was not impressed by this because it meant apparently I had spent half of my lunch break time just waiting for food to be ready. The food was served and I was ready to eat. It came in 2 take away plastic containers. One contained the fried rice while the other contained the Fish pepper soup.
I must say here that I really did not know what to expect with the price tag of this meal fixed at N1000 ( although it was happy hour and the same meal would cost N1500 after 2pm ). The fried rice was full flavoured with the regulars of fried rice, carrots, green peas, green pepper, tiny pieces of fried liver, sweet corn and the others.
The Basmati rice used also added some aroma and nice twist to the fried rice although it kept tasting like Chinese rice occasionally. Over to the Fish pepper soup, it was lovely. The pepper soup came with rich stew and a full medium sized fish unlike the regular watery sauce that comes with most Fish pepper soup dishes.
The rice tasted extra ordinarily delicious when you add a little of the Fish stew.
The fish was fresh and undoubtedly very tasty, I had fantasies of eating that stew with other meals such as Yam, bread, and even swallow.
I need to mention here that the La Mango serving staff are not very professional with their work, they are easily irritated and tend to ignore questions when they are under pressure. I remember asking why my food was taking forever to be ready and being ignored with no explanation or apology, I was already on the verge of leaving before the food was finally declared ready.
The food was great and satisfying, and is highly recommended. Note that La Mango does not deliver meals, so when you order, you need to go pick it up yourself.
It was lunch time at the office and for some reason, I just didn’t feel like taking any sort of solid food. Apparently, am getting tired of the Rice-Iyan-Porridge-indomie-beans circle. A colleague at the office was going to Barcelos for lunch so I simply tagged along.
Getting there, I went to the pastry section and ordered Cup cake and Scotch egg. The cake cost N300 and Scotch egg costs N300.
My colleague also got her food and we left for the office. Getting to the office, I settled down to savour the taste of my lunch. I must mention here that right from the counter where I ordered these snacks, I had a feeling the snacks would taste great. The odour from across the counter was so aromatic and inviting and I concluded without tasting that Barcelos had to have one of the best pastries around Ikeja.
Now, taking the 1st bite of the cake, all I could say to myself was “I was right, the cake tastes really good, fresh, crunchy but not hard or dry. This was a perfect mix of butter, milk and other ingredients. I hurriedly ate the cake so I could get to the Scotch egg and I must confess I was disappointed when I eventually got to it. The scotch egg was nothing special as it tasted like something out of a showglass and the egg was even so small, haba, small egg for N300 scotch egg? That’s terrible!
There are quite a large number of Amala joints all over the world, especially in Ibadan, Abeokuta and Lagos state. In Lagos, some of the best places to get Amala include White House, Amala Shitta, Belgium, Amala Shonola, Iya Isila and Ola Sheu.
Today, we remembered our long time canteen where we usually have this delicious Lafun meal with “ewedu Elegusi”. Food prefect thought it was time to showcase another local delicacy around Ikeja environ, precisely Agege.
Ola Sheu canteen is located very close to Agege stadium at one sharp koro ( corner ) like that. Immediately you pass the main Stadium gate, keep left. There is one small koro ( footpath only ) right beside a church, this leads straight to Ola Sheu Amala canteen.
We got there around 3.30pm and the place was full of people eating different colours of Amala with different animals as toppings. One of the servers came to us after about 2 minutes and asked what we wanted. We told her we wanted to buy take away as I was not in the mood to eat there because the plan was to really dig into and analyse the “Lafun” at our secret Lab. She told us she would get the person in charge of Take away and this took almost an extra 12-15 minutes, I was already getting impatient as I hate being made to wait when I am hungry and the food isn’t free.
Another server came after to take our order and took almost another 15 minutes before she brought our food. When eventually the food landed, we paid and left immediately for the secret Lab.
Digging into the food, after the 1st two handfuls of Amala with Ewedu, seasoned with Egusi and very tiny pieces of Panla fish, it was obvious that the egusi soup was not well flavoured as it lacked the bite and sharpness of salt, maggi and other seasonings. Even the added stew did not taste any better.
Nevertheless, I went on and as each handful passed, I became accustomed to the fact that I was eating half flavoured lunch. The mixture of stew and soup had too much oil in it. It made the food slightly irritating as am not very used to eating oily food. The oil was really too too much.
- Ola Sheu is a cool spot for Amala, from the looks of the canteen, it was recently renovated. Out of 10, I will rate the Amala 7 today, though we will be back some other time.
- The staff should be more polite, remain patient and pay attention when taking orders, honestly speaking the girls there are not very smart.
- The soup was too oily, something should be done about this as it is a major turn off for some folks.
- The taste and seasoning of the food should be improved upon.
I will still recommend Ola Sheu anyday as it still remains one of my top choices for all types of Amala.