Eating My Way Through Lagos

I went to Nigeria for the second time this year this past October. This time for my friend, S's wedding, and for some work too. Because this was going to be a longer trip, I planned to document my food. Yes, everything I ate. I would not necessarily call myself a foodie, but I like taking pictures of food, and I have a particular fondness for food photography. And we all know the one thing everyone misses about Lagos is the food. So with the opportunity to visit Lagos, I was on a mission: take as many pictures of food as possible. The problem however was that I went for meals with serious, smart,  chic people. This meant there was no way to take pictures of my food without seeming...uncool or unchic buhaha. Long story short, I resorted to taking only pictures of street foods that I ate in the car instead. Street foods are actually gems in Lagos, so this was a good problem to have. Enjoy the pictures.

Okay this one was technically not in Lagos. It was in London, at the Wagamama in Heathrow. I think it was chilli ramen, and it was meh. There was nothing fantastic about it so let's move on real fast.

My brother, my friend, E, and I wanted to wait out traffic on our way home one day, so we went into Casper and Gambini's at Ikeja. First of, I feel like things are generally overpriced in Lagos for no reason. I don't remember the price of what was supposed to be a mojito? But what I remember was literally tasting granulated sugar in the drink. Now I'm as much a sweet tooth as the next person, but no.
Super Yogo. Of all the street foods in Lagos, this is King. I feel like I took this every single day. Anyway this frozen yoghurt drink is what dreams are made of and what has been rescuing people in Lagos traffic since the beginning of time. It is usually paired with gala, another street food. This did not disappoint AT ALL. When we were kids, was it even Sunday if we didn't buy this or other variants of this after Church? I don't know how I would have lived my relatively healthy diet lifestyle if I lived in Lagos. There are so many seemingly healthy things that are filled with sugar. And the terrible part of most foods in Lagos is how they give NO dietary information about what you are eating. So weird. I always had to Google calorific and nutrient information Lol. But YOLO, man.
 Ofada Rice. Before I even left the states, I had been dreaming of Ofada. One time I told E I could give my pinkie finger for some Ofada rice, and she said she didn't doubt me. So this was my first attempt at Ofada or what was supposed to be Ofada and it was a fail. I got it from The Place, but it was still technically street food since I ate it in the car. But anyway, it was just pepper stew with palm oil. It was so underwhelming and disappointing.
 Coconut covered doughnut. This thing requires an entire post on its own; an ode, if you will. This thing got me through the worst traffic, and was just altogether glorious. Goodness. Let me explain. I don't care for doughnuts here in America because I consider them wack. They all taste like powdered sugar. Doughnuts in Nigeria are usually fluffier and more flavorful, but I didn't care for them that much either. But then we were at Shoprite one day, and I saw this and I have a thing for coconuty anything. So I took a risk. Let's just say, best risk ever. It was so freaking good! So good. Every time I went to Shoprite, I bought it. Soft, fresh, delicious, and flavorful. Yum. I miss this :-(
 Pasta? Another from The Place. I swear, the name of the place is actually The Place. No kidding. Anyway, whatever this was, was okay. One thing I don't include here but I feel like I should mention is the asun from The Place. It would be unfair for me to crap on everything from The Place, and not mention the one thing I actually really LOVED. Their asun is really good. Every other thing was not very good. But my friend, R, already warned me lol. On a second thought, this might not have been from The Place. I think it was from another fast food, but I don't remember. So scratch this. BUT, the asun from The Place is bomb nonetheless.
 Plantain Chips. Girlllllllll. Enough said. So good and so cheap. I loved it.
 Amala from a local buka. This is another one that was technically not from Lagos. It was from our trip to Ibadan. Bukas are basically local restaurants in Nigeria. Ibadan is a city in Oyo state  (also in South West Nigeria). Now, Ibadan is famous for really good Amalas. Hmmm, the thing is I don't know very well what the standard should be for Amalas from bukas, but if my standard is homemade Amalas, then this was not excellent. It was not very good. If this was the first Amala you ever tasted, you would hate Amala. And Amala is a beautiful, delicious meal. There was way too much oil than stew in this. And excess oil in stews irritates me. Also the meats were too tough, and this was a challenge on Lagos-Ibadan expressway, with all the potholes. Meh. Still, being inside the buka, and placing our orders was an anthropological study in itself. Haha.
 My second attempt at Ofada. Yay. This was actual ofada rice and ofada stew, courtesy of E. She knew my desperate attempt to eat ofada, so one fine Monday morning, she called us to come over  because she bought Ofada from an Ofada hawker. Now, you gotta know, no better ofada than those sold by hawkers in leaves too. It was delicious. Hella delicious. And I loved it.
This was ewa agonyi, basically overcooked beans with palm oil sauce, locally made with some smoked fish. This was okay, especially when paired with fresh bread. My only problem again, was too much oil. Otherwise, it wasn't too bad. I was really scared about upsetting my stomach, but I was good afterwards.

So there you have it. Some of the street foods I ate in Lagos. To be honest, these were the real winners. So even though I couldn't take pictures of the actual meals in restaurants because ahem, I couldn't be uncool, they were mostly not as good as some of these street foods/snacks. Honorable mention, and exception to the previous sentence is Wheatbaker Hotel. The food from that place was hands down the best meal I had: all courses. But I don't have pictures, sorry.

This was fun! I will take more pictures of food or I should say, I will post more pictures because I always took pictures anyway. Haha.

How was Christmas?

Love,

I

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