During my recent Lagos trip, it was great to see all my friends I hadn’t seen in a while. Every one tried to take me to all the happening joints. Yellow Chilli, Coldstone, Buka hut, Debonairs pizza and even one coded bar like that in Ikeja that my friend Busola and I had to use google maps to find. I have a few photos. I have gained some weight that everyone seems to be excited about, but I am back to my running and working out, because you guys wont be cheering me when I blow up like a ballon before your faces. This is not to say I don’t appreciate all the hangouts. They were great times to say the least. There was one place that stood out, and that place is the reason for this post.
One of the afternoons, I followed my friend to University road in Yaba (on the mainland) from Lekki to make her hair. First of all, who goes that far to make their hair.
Anyway we got hungry afterwards, and she decided to take me somewhere nice. Somewhere nice turned out to be someplace called WhiteHouse. Before then, I had never heard of it, so I followed. The traffic we ran into trying to get to this joint was enough to just die of hunger. We couldn’t go back. We were in it already. After 40 minutes of being in traffic, it was now time to find a parking spot. We had to park so far away from the place and walk back. By this time I honestly could have started eating sand, but my friend reassured me the food would be worth it in the end. She suggested pounded yam and soup as one of the best meals to buy.
So we enter into WhiteHouse, and the first thing that greets me is the smell of thick smoke, mixed with the stillness of Lagos air. Then I see a crazy long queue. Yes, everyone is trying to buy food, and there are different segments of queues. One for rice, spaghetti and the likes, another for eba, amala, pounded yam etc. We join the eba, amala queue and progress, thankfully. There are about six ladies serving food as quickly as they can to hungry customers, and they are all talking at the same time. I imagine the amount of sprayed out saliva that has entered the egusi I am about to buy. I wondered if they washed their hands before starting to cook. “Eran melo? eba meta, shaki ti tan, ogufe lo ku, gbegiri ati ewedu, e fi ponmo si. This was the kind of conversation going back and forth over food. It was slightly magical how the ladies could systematically dish amala from such huge pots, and know exactly how much it was worth just by looking at it.
My friend led the way. Anything she ordered I ordered, except for when it was time for soup. I decided to stay with the very familiar egusi I have known all my life. Eating plain efo riro in places like this can be very dicey. I wasn’t ready to start purging the next day. Anyway long story short, when I began eating this food (pounded yam, egusi, goat meat and ponmo) , it was like heaven on earth. In that moment, I forgot all the possible saliva that may have gotten into the food, and just kept eating. It took a while to finish as I was sniffing by the 3rd morsel or so. What did they put in this food? How and why is it different from regular restaurants? Did they wash put? Well really at this point who cares if they wash put? The food has digested. With each morsel, I forgot whatever care I had in the world. This pounded yam wasn’t only redemption from hunger, it was bliss in a plate. I topped it with freezing cold Coca Cola, and by the time I was done and couldn’t stand up, I knew it was worth it.
It wasn’t anything fancy or expensive, but it was a much needed break from pizzas and fries and ice cream. As we walked back sluggishly to the faraway place where the car was parked, one thing was on both our minds. SLEEP!!! During the ride back, with the breeze blowing my friend’s newly done hair on 3rd mainland bridge, and sleep beckoning, I thought to my self; What a wonderful World.
It was hard to take a lot of pictures. The food was too sweet 😀