28th April, 2019
By Bayo Adeyinka
I thought I knew all the major good eateries in Ibadan until Kola Fabeku told me about ‘Shooting’ pounded yam. That eatery is beside Shooting Stars club house at Jericho. It’s absolutely non-descript. No signages- but five elderly women pounded away at yam inside a mortar with their pestles while several cars were parked at the frontage. When I tried to take the pictures of the women pounding away, they were only too glad to oblige. “Ya mi daa daa o” (make sure you take my pictures well), they chorused.
Now, if you have never eaten ‘Shooting’ (pronounced Sooting) pounded yam, only Heaven knows what you have been eating. It’s the kind of pounded yam you will eat and share testimony later. The pounded yam comes straight from the mortar and it is steaming hot. The pounded yam is soft and from another pot comes the ‘efo elegusi’. The aroma of the vegetable showed that locust beans (iru) were added to it. For your information, vegetable is never complete without locust beans. The soup was done using firewood. Maybe you don’t know but ‘firewood soup’ tastes better. Just like ‘firewood jollof rice’. So I had a chance to point at the type of meat I wanted.
Now, Mama Ekiti (that’s what I heard someone call the owner) is a lover of democracy as all of us stayed on a queue with our bowls in our hands. When it got to my turn, I carried my bowl proudly and made my way to the makeshift open-air canteen. Well, it’s not quite open-air as we sat under a tent with natural breeze blowing on our faces. I flung my tie backwards as I dug into the dish. No tie that was fashioned against me shall prosper. I saw two of my staff at the place and I told them to expect their queries when they get to the office. Keeping ‘Sooting’ pounded yam secret from me is an offense tantamount to treasonable felony.
And if you want a highbrow eatery where you can take a guest to and still not feel ripped off, try Chrysallis. Chrysallis has two outlets in Ibadan: one off the road behind the Bodija Police Station and the other beside Leadway Insurance at Ring Road. Their outlets don’t have any signage as their main strategy for selling is word of mouth. No restaurant in Ibadan has the quality of service that Chrysallis has. Right from the security guards at the gate to the staff at the restaurant, everyone delivers excellent service. If I need a staff, I’ll come right here to poach one. If you visit this restaurant, please ensure you visit their rest rooms also. They are sparking clean with hand towels meticulously arranged for just a one-time use. The toilets have removable and flushable seat covers. My favourite meal is their yamarita with African salad. But then, if you are really hungry, please call and place your order at least 30 minutes before your arrival. Overall, you’re guaranteed a memorable experience.
Click to read the rest here: www.thenewsnigeria.com.ng/2019/04/ibadan-series-sooting-pounded-yam-lounges-malls-supermarkets-and-evaburator/