by The Culture Newspaper

Nigerian local dishes are popular because they are widely believed to be delicious and spicy.
Several dishes exist from the hundreds of ethnic groups that co-habit the vast area known as

TCN’s focus is on Amala, a dish popular amongst the Oyo people of the South Western part of
Nigeria but has since been adopted by almost every other person who fancies its richness.
Amala is a thick paste made from yam, which has been peeled, cleaned, dried and then blended
similar to Iyan (another paste made by pounding boiled yams into a soft fluffy form) but
normally darker brown in colour. It can also come in variants. The one made from peeled, dried
and blended yam and the one made from peeled, dried and blended cassava popularly referred
to as Lafun (normally white in colour).
Like other West African dishes, there are a number of delicious soups to complement the
Amala. Whether you choose to have yours with egusi, gbegiri and ewedu, efo riro and a host of
others, TCN has compiled spots in Lagos that will help you have the Amala feeling you so crave
away from home.
You should try these spots:
10. OYO – The Amala Place, Omole
Oyo Amala is an elite local food restaurant founded by Demola Alade. The restaurant’s unique
blend of amala, gbegiri and ewedu soup makes it stand out in its own right. Oyo Amala also has
a branch in Victoria Island, which obviously serves the needs of elite amala-lovers on the
9. Abula Restaurant, Lekki
Founded two years ago by popular Yoruba Nollywood actress, Iyabo Ojo, Abula has come to
stay. The restaurant is located at Omorinre Johnson street, off Busola Durosimi Etti street.
Lekki phase I. If you are in the area, feel free to have a taste of the best Amala spot in Lekki.
8. Topshot, Ikoyi
There is no gainsaying that the love for Amala knows no boundaries, whether you work in one
of the multinational firms, banks or corporate law firms, if you’ve got the amala fever all you
need to do is waltz into Topshot. It is situated in Parkview Estate, Ikoyi – you just can’t miss it.
It is what you may call ‘Corporate Amala’ but remember to roll up your sleeves!

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7. Yakoyo, Ilupeju

Yakoyo implies stop, eat and be contented. The quantity of food doesn’t often determine
satisafaction. With Yakoyo, your amala adventure is sure to be a never-ending experience. Food
prepared to ensure that you never stop coming for more. Whether you prefer meat to fish isn’t
a problem, your preferences will be well catered for. You’ll need discipline not empty your
wallets after swallowing the first morsel.
6. Amala Canada, Ebute-Metta
Another haven of amala meal is Amala Canada situated in Canada Villa, Ebute-Metta has its.
The food is great and puts you in the amala mood every day.
5. Amala Yahoo, Ogudu-Ojota
Amala Yahoo’s amala is delicious, the ambience is great and the location is quaint. Its
popularity has soared over the years that you may need to wait a while whenever you get there
before you get a chance to taste its richness.
4. Defence Car Park Canteen, Marina
Like Parkview, Ikoyi, Marina is home to men and women in suit and tie. But only Amala First Bank,
as it is also known, can make this tie come off. The staff are always eager to meet your demands and
make sure you’re back at your office before lunch break is up.
3. Iya Eba, Onikan
Onikan is not only home to Museums and art galleries (at least artists and curators need a good
meal too). It is home to one of the best local food spots in the country and this small restaurant
on Berkely street has earned its reputation as far back as the 80s. Their signature amala +
ewedu dish will leave you reminiscing about the delicacy for a while.
2. White House, Yaba
Yaba has been described as Nigeria’s Silicon Valley and as is the nature of things, even
programmers and startups CEOs need to eat. A personal favourite of most who work in the area
is White House Amala. It is very affordable. If you’re ever in the Yaba area, you might want to
dig into an exquisite plate of amala from the world famous White House.
1. Olaiya, Surulere
The secret to the ever-present crowd at the Olaiya canteen in Surulere has been passed down
from one generation to another. Whatever it is does not actually matter much to amala lovers,
as long as they keep serving wonderful amala gbigbona with ewedu plus gbegiri and lots of soft
crunchy kpomo. The real amala experience is in Surulere.

Yinka Akanbi

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