Posts tagged street food
The Eat.Drink.Lagos Guide to Buying (and Enjoying) Street Food

You won’t read it in the big publications, but Lagos is a great “street food” city. The frantic pace of the city and its streets, teeming with bodies, are the secret sauce to this greatness. For as long as I can remember, there have been hawkers and vendors and the hole-in-the-wall places called ‘Mama Put’ or Bukas selling all kinds of delicacies.

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From akara and dundun to boli, Lagos is home to an array of street food spots. To navigate, here are a few tips that might help. They definitely helped me.

Ask the locals

Puff Puff

Puff Puff

You can never go wrong with this. Ask people who live around or work around any particular place and they can point you to the best street food vendors around. I mean are you even a resident if you can’t point out the best suya or best Amala joint in your area? That’s right, ask the locals.

Timing

Timing is very important in the art of buying street food- especially from mobile hawkers. While some are available through the day, other delicacies are available only at certain times during the day. The times may vary from vendor to vendor, but generally you find food like koko and akara in the mornings, roasted corn or boli in the afternoons and suya at night. I don’t trust any who sells suya in broad daylight, to be honest.

Brace yourself

I know this sounds scary, but if I don’t tell you who will? Be ready for delectable meals but also some not-so-great ones. People may have raved over a particular joint and how amazing the food is but don’t go trying it expecting your mind to be blown. Most of the time, raves are accusing sometimes,-they aren’t. Also, watch out for your stomach, I have had to race to the restroom more than a few times after trying new places, lol. But you win some, lose some right? It’s a risk I’m willing to take anyway.

The famous White House in Yaba

The famous White House in Yaba

Dingy is better

The last tip might be a little terrifying as well but hear me out. The more hole-in-the-wall a Mama Put place is, the more likely it is to have really tasty stuff. Don’t believe me? Think of the buka in your area that sells the best Amala. I remember this one place near my old office in VI that was an alley sandwiched between two buildings. Their Amala was divine, and always made me want to go back and conquer all the work on my desk.

Don’t Tell Ambode, Bangkok Just Banned Street Food

Bolé. Roasted corn. Suya. All gone.

Well, not here, but I imagine Bangkok residents feel a pain that I can’t even fathom as their government just went and banned all street food.

Wanlop Suwandee, chief adviser to Bangkok’s governor, said officials are “now working to get rid of stalls from all 50 districts of Bangkok” and return the pavements to pedestrians.
“There will be no let-up in this operation. Every street vendor will have to move out,”

What a spoilsport.

Bangkok, recently named the city with the best street food by CNN, has almost over 20,000 (!!) street food vendors scattered around the city. Meanwhile, did CNN come to Lagos when polling that because we have some serious objections.

“Street food was still too popular with the locals,” she said. “Of course, it would make Bangkok less charming. But it also takes a big chunk of cheap options away from working Thais, and closes up an avenue of work for many. Where will shop employees, construction workers and taxi drivers eat?”

With the Otodo Gbame fiasco, this whole thing feels like something Ambode could do. He better not get any ideas. To be fair though, Ambode looks like he enjoys a wrap of Amala or two, with hot ewedu and gbegiri and small Star on Fridays. His tie is carefully placed on his left shoulder as he descends into the amala. We doubt he'll make any drastic changes. That said, we're watching.

Officially, it’s being tagged as a “cleanup campaign” but we all know what the deal is.It does bring up one serious question though: What happens to the displaced vendors?

Pulling this “cleaning up city” move is all fine and great, but the displaced vendors are suddenly without jobs. Like the spike in crime caused by the forced evictions in Lagos, Bangkok might have some bigger issues to deal with. It’s crazy how these cities don’t think about the social cost of actions like these.

[The Guardian]

There’s Another Wine Bar In Ikoyi

Liquid Hub by Spronks

2 Webb Road, Ikoyi, Lagos

0803 381 6508

NOSA: I “discovered” wine bars a couple of years ago in grad school. If I remember it correctly, that’s exactly the point I started becoming washed and began my slow transition to “get off my lawn” mode. Wine bars were the perfect spot to get hammered and hang out with my fellow olds.

FOLLY: He's not that old. 

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NOSA: From my little research, there are 4 wine bars in Lagos - Wine House, the one on Awolowo that no one wants to share with me, the one in Yaba, and Liquid Hub.

FOLLY: Yeah I didn't know there was one in Yaba, and I'm pretty sure the one on Awolowo road is an urban legend. 

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NOSA: What I really liked about Liquid Hub was that they have actual food on their menu. It’s not the most extensive menu, but it’s infinitely more than what Wine House has to offer.

FOLLY: The wine list is disorganized. There's absolutely no method to the madness. It's not arranged by colour, type, grape, year, nada. It's all listed in the order the person pulled them out of the carton or something equally as random. 

NOSA: The food took forever, but the waiter appeased us with cheese and crackers so I’ll let it slide. 

FOLLY: It's funny because they just out of the blue offered us complimentary cheese and crackers, promptiing us to ask for the food, and then they told us it'll be some time. I had the grilled tiger prawns with mashed potatoes, which according to the menu is the owner's special. 

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NOSA: The mash looks like eba. Tasted better, thankfully.

FOLLY: Eba with yellow garri. 

NOSA: It had some lumps in it, but on the whole, it was pretty serviceable mash. 

FOLLY: This consistency of the mash was very thick. It could have been smoother as Nosa highlighted, but the lumps were few and far between so I'd give it a 6.5/10. Yeah, I don't know why it looks so yellow either. 

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A better Yoruba Nigerian than me would have loved the tiger prawns because they were very hot and peppery. The menu said the prawns were marinated in a green pepper sauce and served with a green chili sauce. So, the lay(wo)man that I am imagined that the green pepper sauce was made with green bell peppers, and not the same green chilis that were going into the sauce that was served on the side which, because I fear God, I didn't touch.

NOSA: For my main, I got the Nigerian Platter, which consists of Ojojo, Akara, Dodo, Dundun, and gizzard. Basically, it’s everything you can buy on the roadside in Lagos. It’s a street food platter more or less.

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FOLLY: I only tasted two things from this platter: Akara and Dundun (which I honestly thought was sweet potato).

NOSA: Awks...it's not sweet potato?

FOLLY: No, Dundun is fried yam and fried sweet potato, is well, fried sweet potato. 

Anyway, growing up, I never ate Akara that much. I know in most homes Akara and Ogi was reserved for Saturday mornings but in my house, we had yam & corned beef. The Akara in this platter stood out for me. It had crayfish in it, and I've never seen that done before. 

NOSA: I hate akara, but I loved the Nigerian platter. This platter is everything I wish Wine House had. 

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FOLLY: I feel like we should also have reviewed Liquid Hub on the quality of its wine list considering it's a wine bar. However, I'm not going to pretend that I know whether they're packing or not. They do have wines for every budget, however, so if you do visit I'm sure you'll find something that works for your taste and also pocket as well. 

NOSA: You know what’s hilarious? Considering how often I went to wine bars, I could never become a wine snob. But then again, I drank boxed wine…so yeah.

FOLLY: I've never drank boxed wine. 

POSTSCRIPT

NOSA: There’s a little to be desired but I think Liquid Hub is our little diamond in the dirt. There’re some things that I wish were a lot better aesthetically like the mash and the menu, but there is something to this place. 

FOLLY: Liquid Hub has pretty good service. Our waiter was attentive and when he wasn't knowledgeable on certain things, he went to find out instead of BS-ing. 

NOSA: This spot would be perfect for post work drinks. Get a bottle of wine and a couple of platters, and your group is all set. 

VERDICT

DAMAGE

Nigerian Platter - N3500

Pineapple Daiquiri - N2500

Grilled Tiger Prawns - N4000

 

PARKING

Liquid Hub is in a complex with a large parking lot. 

Searching For The Best Shawarma in Lagos: Murphis Plaza

Murphis Plaza

27, Sanusi Fafunwa Street, Victoria Island

FOLLY: So far it seems Nosa and I are pretty much in agreement on our reviews on the blog. That ended today when Nosa disagreed with me that Murphis' Shawarma wasn't the best shawarma in Lagos. Feel free to disagree in the comment section, I just won't believe you. I just might try out your recommendation next time I get a shawarma craving which is rare these days because I definitely OD'd last year.

NOSA: You know why Murphis isn't the best? Because Ebeano shawarma exists. EVERYBODY knows Ebeano has the best shawarma in all of Lagos. You can be contrary for the heck of it, I'll indulge you. Just like I indulged Folly today.

FOLLY: Imagine, I drove to VI in the middle of the day on a weekday, in quite a bit of traffic to buy a shawarma. Sigh. 

NOSA: We could have gone to Cafe Neo and avoided all that stress, but my good friend here vetoed that idea.

FOLLY: Anyways, Nosa said something about the chicken being dry and the ketchup-mayo ratio being wrong.

NOSA: The sauce had no kick and had more ketchup than mayo in the mix. 

FOLLY: He prefers Ebeano Shawarma. I've had their shawarma twice and both times I found chicken skin and chicken bone in my shawarma. Do I really need to explain further why Ebeano shawarma is bad?

NOSA: 

FOLLY: If you still think Nosa is right, you're wrong because can you really trust a man who doesn't like Mega Plaza shawarma because it's "too authentic"?

NOSA: That's a valid concern. The thing tastes and smells like it came straight from Lebanon or wherever. Imagine going to a Chinese place and they give you real General Tso Chicken. None of the MSG stuff

FOLLY: Dude, that was the first shawarma I ever had, my dad introduced me to that shawarma when I was still in primary school man. When La Pizza was still around. The good ole days. 

Damage

Chicken shawarma with hotdog - N1,200

Chicken shawarma - N1,000