Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Lagosian Cuisine

Yes, you can find fresh local and organic produce in Lagos, Nigeria! And with this good stuff, you can prepare all the wonderful dishes that are native to the region. At the Life House on Victoria Island, there are monthly Souks where all kinds of delicacies are sold - like Ofada rice, for instance! During other times of the month, numerous road-side stands abound where all manner of fresh fruit and veggies can be found.

If you're not to keen on road-side produce and don't mind paying substantially more, a nice place to shop is L'epicerie, also in V.I. The shelves are well stocked with myriad choices, though not all local. The quality is consistent, however.

Here you can also get all the unique spices, seeds, grains and beans that go into Nigerian cuisine. Everything is artfully displayed in bins and you can buy in bulk. Ogbono, Egusi, you name it!

Perhaps, you don't feel like slaving over a hot stove in the Lagos heat or are lacking in the culinary skills department. Not to worry, the options for eating out in Lagos are many. To start, if you are new to Nigerian food, you might try the Sunday buffet at the Eko Hotel. Here you will find a variety of options; traditional, Chinese and what is known here as Continental cuisine.

Here you can pick and choose and create a medley of sorts, all on one plate. I put together a heady mix of Fish Stew, Ewedu Soup, Curry Salmon, Spinach Salad, Lentils, Rice, Potatoes and Fried Plantain. Whew, I know!

For a pure experience of Nigerian food, check out Bogobiri House, an outstanding restaurant, hotel, music venue, and art gallery in Ikoyi. Enjoy a delicious plate of Stewed Red Snapper with Couscous and Dodo (fried plantain).

If you're lucky, you'll get invited to one of the ubiquitious and grand Lagos parties, where food is served up in royal style. This amazing plate of Ofada Rice, Jollof Rice, Boiled Plantain, Moi Moi (a steamed bean cake), Efo (a spinach-like dish), Grilled Fish and Dodo, was actually made right on-site in traditional pots over an open fire!

Smoking pots of delectable food!

Eating outdoors has a way of making the food taste even better than it already does and this next event was no different. With a buffet of traditional soups and stews (including snail)!, different types of rice dishes and of course, Moi Moi and Dodo, even without the open fire, the food rocked!

Lagosians love to celebrate in grand form and the food rarely disappoints.

So, please do come hungry!

If you are not lucky enough to be a VIP at some gala event, again, not to worry. There is plenty of excellent food for the taking at B-Jays Restaurant and Bar just off the main road in Victoria Island. A tasty meal of Efo and Fish Stew can be made to your order.

At TerraKulture, you can even eat Fish Stew with Beans and Dodo before checking out a Seun Kuti live performance in their on-site theatre.

Whoever said that Lagos was not a food mecca, was clearly mistaken. This is a place you can eat and eat well! The food is exceptionally delicious, healthy and fresh if you know where to go. And now that you do, don't waste time. Come to Lagos and eat with me!

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