Updated: May 9
Sunday morning was rough. I had gone out clubbing the previous night and the alcohol in my bloodstream was causing nothing but problems for me. It was fun though, shoutout to Velvett. Now if you are a veteran in this drinking game, you'd know that Abula is one of the best cures for hangovers.
My friend called and said we should check out Yakoyo. It's on Otunba Adedoyin Ogungbe crescent and I had heard some interesting things about it, so I was doubly down to go.
We entered the building into the ordering floor and I immediately noticed they were a lot more organised than your average abula joint.
People lined up and waited their turns to be served, and it felt different trying to buy amala without chaos and a sprinkle of bad attitude from servers - but I preferred this. Wahala for abula joint wey no get velvet rope! The dining area was spacious, well lit and quiet, perfect for eating.
Our party of 3 was assigned a server who handled all the orders with a calmness and finesse that quite frankly surprised me and before long, we were heading upstairs. Our orders were outrageous but the bill wasn't; we had overestimated our abilities and each order came out between ₦1,500 ($3.93) and ₦2,000 ($5.25).
For those that don't know, let me break down the components of abula:
Amala - dried yam flour, mixed with hot water till it forms a soft grey paste. This is the vessel for carrying other things into your mouth. Doesn't have a strong flavour.
Gbegiri - a yellow sauce made from beans, and adds a rich creaminess to the flavour profile.
Ewedu - a green sauce with an almost elastic consistency which acts like a binder. It is made from jute leaves and doesn't have a strong taste.
Red stew - fried red sauce made with tomatoes and peppers, and bursting with spicy and savoury goodness.
Protein - can be any meat you want, I like mine with goat and cow parts (organs).
The amala was soft and warm, almost felt like a feather duvet for your stomach and the combination of the 3 sauces was magical. I have to tone down my love for amala sometimes because if kidnappers knew my weakness, it's all over. The star of the show was undoubtably the gbegiri, I don't think I've had gbegiri that rich before. The meats were tender enough for me to split with a spoon and soon, all discomfort from the previous night was gone!
I really stuffed myself but I just didn't have the capacity to finish the meal, so unless you eat like a blue whale, ₦1,000 ($2.62) will get you a good meal at Yakoyo. If you know any other places that have legendary Abula, please leave them in the comments, I'd love to check them out!
They have a shawarma spot and a grill outside and I had to do a double take when the guy said they had shawarma's for ₦1,000($2.62), definitely going back.
I went back to get the shawarma a few days later. The bare minimum shawarma (beef) was truly ₦1,000 ($2.62), but we decided to get the mixed shawarma with sausage and cheese for ₦1,500 ($3.93). I was still surprised by the price because this is Lagos and I have gotten used to pain and suffering of overpriced eating.
The shawarma was great! The saltiness of the cheese slightly mutes the sweetness of the sauce which I liked. The meats were tender and the overall composition was fairly even, so it was quite good. The end of the shawarma was a mess however, I think the melted cheese made things overly saucy so it dripped around a little. Thankfully, they served it in foil paper which I think is way better than regular paper which other places use.