My Jamaican experience at Jamo Afrique.
I consider going out to eat my kind of entertainment since I am not a big partier. Besides, I really do not have to do much to keep my “pleasantly” slim shape. (Yeah right! Any excuse to eat more food!)
There has been a buzz about a new Jamaican restaurant in town and as an ardent lover of food, I decided to go check it out.
Jamo-Afrique, as the name suggests, is a Jamaican (and Nigerian) cuisine themed restaurant nestled amid the hotels, showrooms and office buildings that spice up the city’s rather busy and bubbly road, Oniru. It is set up in a brilliantly open location which was not difficult to find even in the middle of a rush lunch hour.
The parking space, though not big enough, can accommodate a quite number of vehicles when orderly arranged. It is a two-floor building, with the ground floor having a display of already cooked food, mostly Nigerian cuisine. The sharp colors on the wall give you a buzz as you walk in. The top floor, in my opinion, is where the real magic is.
Climbing up the stairs was a bit of a slow motion with my heels as the length of the steps was rather slim. Ladies (with heels), caution should be applied here, as well as for the kids. However, you are welcomed by a huge “Free Wifi” sign! Come on, who doesn’t love a free WiFi connection? Tell me about it!
The interior decoration will remind visitors of a non-minimalist as it is SUPER bright and colorful. You would totally love it! The chairs, I will say are not P A R T I C U L A R L Y ideal for dining, but I was quick to settle in so I was fine. Also, there is a bar by the corner with plenty of liqueurs if you decide to swing that way. You know yourselves.
Though I thought they could have done better with the quality of the menu pamphlet, it had an array of rich dishes, ranging from the typical Nigerian food and drinks to the Jamaican cuisine. For a moment I was spoilt for choice!
Now for those of you wondering what Jamaican cuisine really is, it includes various spices, flavors, and dishes from the different cultures brought to the island with the arrival of people from different places. The popular Jamaican dishes include curry goat, fried dumplings, ackee and saltfish (cod), fried plantain, “jerk” (jerk is a traditional form of barbecuing), rice and peas ( kidney beans). Jamaican patties and different pastries are also popular.
I started with the Jamaican Chicken Patty. It had a very tasty filling. It was absolutely what a patty should be. It was flakier (as compared to the regular chicken pie) and had a zesty aroma of curry and spices. AMAZEballs!!
For my main, I had Oxtail Rice and Peas. This was the highlight of my meal. I mean, looking at the oxtail sitting in a pool of rich and thick gravy got me salivating and I could not wait to dig in. It had pasta salad by the side but that was not my focus. The (savory) Oxtail was! The Oxtail was tender and very juicy. It literally melted in my mouth! I could tell that the spices kicked in real good. The coconut milk from the deliciously cooked Rice with peas (big kidney beans, actually) gave it an island flair!
For the side dish, I had the jerk chicken and the Jamaican Fried Dumplings. The jerk seasoning was obviously well spread. The fried dumplings which are fit to accompany any meal through out the day but are usually best enjoyed with breakfast were well cooked on the inside. Next time you are having a fried dumpling, make sure to tap it on a pan to see if it sounds hollow. Thank me later!
For my drink, I ordered the Jamaican Guinness Punch. This drink deserves a mention. It is traditionally known to act as a tonic to replenish strength. It contains Guinness stout, condense milk, cinnamon, nutmeg and raw egg. Yes, you heard right, RAW EGG, but not to worry, you don’t get a taste of raw eggs on your buds because the nutmeg and the alcohol from the Guinness seem to miraculously ‘cut’ the freshness of the egg. I enjoyed drinking this. It helped balance the spices and flavors from the food and also gave me a kick.
Sadly, I couldn’t get round to having dessert as I was beyond full but there were a few interesting desserts listed on the menu that I will most certainly try on my next visit.
Yes, on my next visit because it does appear I have found a new favorite spot in Lagos. Very friendly service, though slightly pricey but it was worth every naira! I loved it.
Jamo- Afrique Restaurant.
Plot 3, Block 3 Oniru Estate, Along 4 Points Hotel.
8 am – 12midnight
Reservations not mandatory.