A hodge-podge of reviews

Crepe Cabana: Ikeja’s best kept secret.

One of my oldest friends and I had arranged to meet for my post birthday celebrations. She had malaria and asked if we could go someplace quiet and where the options for food were not spicy.

I’d been seeing their sign for a while although I’d never entered. Plus I didn’t want to go to the mall. Since it was up to me to pick the place, I chose this one.

Cons

a. We had to write our own orders. To give them due credit, this was probably because my friend kept waffling as to what she wanted to eat and what she wanted to take away.

b. Improper communication: Our orders were taking too long, because they had to prepare it from scratch so they offered us an option to reduce the wait time; a platter of puff puff fresh out of the stove. We ordered drinks as well. Our orders came about 15 minutes later. But the problem was when we decided to leave. We’d placed 4 orders as our take away options. And they only delivered 3 and when we questioned why the fourth was not included, they mentioned that they did not have the raw product to make it. As that was the one we’d most wanted to taste, it grated a bit.

c. POS: They didn’t have one. It’s a bit aggravating to have to go withdraw money from the ATM. Or dig around in your car for spare change.

Pros

a. Affordability: The menu is extremely affordable. Prices ranging from N100 to N1500. So we took full advantage. At the end of the day, we’d ordered 8 crepes, 2 crepe wraps(crepes with a hot dog filling), a platter of puff puff, a platter of akara, a portion of Dun Dun (fried yams, didn’t take to it), pepper sauce with 2 pieces of beef included, some crepes to go, a grand total of four eggs, 3 special, one plain, 2 bottles of water, a carafe of tea. And at the end of the day, our bill came out to be N3100.

b. Niceness: The staff was very helpful and quite nice. From being super patient when we didn’t decide on our orders on time, to humoring my request that the AC be put on and set to the lowest setting possible. Their niceness and general helpfulness was the major reason we didn’t take offense when they asked us to write down our orders or when they didn’t include our last takeaway order.

c. Space: We ended up spending about 3 hours there and apart from us, not many other people came in. I’d wanted to help them bring in more customers by leaving a great review on Google Maps but the restaurant is not listed there. They’ve been open for 2 years and they’re not listed there. Weird. Well, the space and the freedom to talk freely was an unexpected bonus. I really just want to leave them an awesome review though.

d. Beautiful utensils: I know this may seem arbitrary, but they had the most beautiful utensils ever. It took me a while to realize it was even plastic. The presentation was really good as well.

πŸ“Έ Olayinka Oluwo

All in all, it was a very very beautiful restaurant and I enjoyed my time there. They are located at Testing Ground, Oluwalogbon Motors near UBA. Go visit, grab a bite, thank me later.


I found this place on a day when I was craving small chops like crazy. It was evening time, I’d just closed from work and I was ruminating about how delicious it would be if I could just find a place to eat a couple of spring rolls, puff puff, chicken and and mosa. This was what I used to look out for in small chops. So many people have told me that they don’t like their mosas but not me. I bloody adore it.

Desperate, I asked one of those Shawarma guys if he had a pack of small chops. You know, because they had a sign claiming they sold it? Turns out, they did not sell it, smh, but I got directed to this place. I ordered a N400 pack and it was pure bliss. Remember how I mentioned that the spring roll, puff puff, chicken and mosa were what I looked out for? Well, I don’t know what this guys put in their samosas, but I finally finished one. Yes, I used to taste it and drop it for someone else to finish but these days, I compare any and all samosas to this one. I’m crazy about this place

Completely unrelated, but I adore my fingers. So pretty.

Sorry the picture isn’t showing clearly

NB: Their delivery service was unreliable as at the day of my birthday this year (07-10-2018). I ordered 24 packs and they promised to deliver it by 10am, so I stayed to receive it. Well, they finally delivered it by 1:30pm. I’d cancelled the order by 12:15PM. If I find something amazing, I’ll mention it to everyone, no matter what bullshit goes on behind the scenes. But it really hurt that I didn’t get to eat small chops on my birthday. But I’ve gone there like 4 times since then. Like I mentioned earlier, I’m addicted to them, poor delivery service notwithstanding.

NB 2: If you go check them out especially if you’re going after work, at their Oregun Ikeja branch, be sure to take a stroll up ahead and check out Deedoves’ asun opposite Access Bank. You’ll be in food bliss.

I wasn’t going to review this event. I really really wasn’t. But I realized my review could persuade you to donate to one of the sponsors: Socially Africa who provide food boxes (love boxes) to children in disadvantaged neighborhoods or attend the next one. So, here goes something.

Chinedu Ahanonu (Nedoux) called me and asked if I was free on this Saturday (the day the event was going to be held). I said I’d be. We arranged to meet. We met, even though I ended up wishing I’d arrived about 45 minutes later.

Anyhoo, we got to the event center after some diehard volunteers (shift one) had arrived and were waiting. The backseat of the car was packed with 20- something sewing machines, about 16 rolls of ankara, 5 rulers, 2 boxes of pearl head needles, 5 elastic rolls, some cardboard paper, 2 irons, a cloth cutting machine (to cut between layers), 2 towels etc. We made a stop to pick up an ironing board and it could not even fit.

We quickly unloaded and set up sewing stations and cutting stations. Later on, we set up ironing stations and more as needed.

Adagarfield. I call her First Daughter of a Fat Cat

I’ll say this, the work that goes into putting an event like this cannot be easily overlooked. And it is a lot of work. From cutting different patterns in time for the sewdiers, to ironing in a hot environment and with precise measurements, hence the tape around her neck ( and those irons were heavy), to sewing and finishing. I got home 15 hours after I originally set out.

We had small chops and soft drinks though. I got to meet a lot of people including Natachi with the lovely earrings she refused to give me πŸ™„( but I love that name) who really really impressed me. She was combination photographer, P. A and generally amazing dogsbody. One of the first to arrive, one of the last to leave. I met so so many other people with nothing more on their minds than helping. Self sacrifice on a greater scale. See Natachi’s video here

All in all, it was a beautiful but tiring day. But we have to do whatever we can possibly do to help people wherever we can.

Pay it forward, please.

Love and kisses.

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THE DAY AFTER 7/10

As I move further into my 20s, I find that I tend to feel happier the day after my birthday. The pressure to be visibly happy is reduced greatly as is the pressure to do things you’d rather never do for the sake of social media.

I’ve found that there tends to be so much pressure put on birthdays and it starts from childhood. I’m sure some of us can still remember the days of primary school when we’d share goody bags. And there was always that one person who had everything in their goody bags. So we’d go home and wonder why we didn’t have all that stuff in our goody bags and then resolve to change it up on our next birthdays. Except by then, the goalposts would have changed once again and the cycle and questions would continue, and the pressure would increase.

I don’t do well with pressure. It makes my heart race and gives me what I call pressure paralysis. It makes me feel extremely anxious like I’m back in Law School, up on stage in front of 5,000 people and I know what I’m supposed to say but the words won’t come out and I start having a panic attack.

I figured out a hack that has helped me greatly: if the pressure to do something a certain way is choking you, scrap that idea and do it another way.

My birthday was yesterday and I did nothing out of the ordinary. I had planned this birthday to the last second, I’d have 2 cakes, small chops, juice, I’d have professional pictures taken, I’d go out and turn up etc etc. And then on the week of, I noticed I had literally no energy to do anything towards that. So in the end, I did absolutely nothing. No cakes, no professional pictures, de nada.

What surprises me is the peace of mind I had yesterday. I’d bought small chops and asun for the ones who gave me life on Friday and I’d praised the One who made it worth living on the day of and there was no one and nothing for whom I had to pretend anything for. So relaxing.

It’s the day after my birthday today and what started out as a thank you post has now become an op-ed. 😊
Getting back to the purpose of this post, I’d like to say a HUGE thank you to my village. The people who stand by me every day, every time. My brothers, Olayinka, Ayomide, Joy, Fifi, Mobi, Tomi, Rukayat, Yanmife, Nedoux, Bisola, my cousins, my uncles, my aunties etc etc etc.

I’M SO GRATEFUL I GET TO DO LIFE WITH YOU ALL!

THE LEGEND OF LEONA LEWIS

The year was 2009. I couldn’t sleep. NEPA rewarded me for reading with my torchlight like every other diligent student of fiction, with some electricity. It was almost 4am then and history suggested that sleep would not come until 6am so I went to the living room, book in hand, put on Trace TV and was listening while reading. Then the video of the song Happy came on. I abandoned my book to watch that video because I was fascinated by the concept. And then I noticed; I had goosebumps.

The month was December 2010, I was in a car with my cousins in Abuja and the station was set to 96.9 Cool Fm; the song Love is Wicked segued so perfectly to Bleeding Love and for a short while, we had ultimate silence. And I noticed again, I had goosebumps.

The date was 19th of November, 2016, I was walking down the road, Joshuaville’s Night of Worship had concluded and I was hot, dirty and irritable. While walking down the road to Spur’s Seven Eagles for breakfast, I noticed that I had 17% battery left, enough to make the journey a little more tolerable and the shuffle landed on Leona Lewis’ Run, and again I noticed on a morning that was gearing up to be a scorcher, I had goosebumps.

Every one of us has gifts. In Leona Lewis’ case, it’s the gift of raising the hair on my arms and legs by being an amazing singer. In my case, it’s writing.

Every one of us has multiple gifts. There was a time, when I first opened my blogs, I was writing copiously, I’d spend hours on one 100 word article and hours again on the next, I’d sprinkle jokes that I’d developed, I’d have guest writers etc. But life comes in seasons and and I allowed my dedication to my writing to go with the season of 2015 as well. Partly because I did not feel it was getting the credit it deserved, partly because I didn’t know how to market myself but mostly because I had the persistent fear that no one cared and they were reading just to humor me.

My writing trickled down till it got to a point where I could not write anymore, where I started doing other things then and it turned out, I was reasonably good at those other things. Leona Lewis has not been singing except for features since 2015. She has been acting on Broadway though and writing songs for other people but I listen to all her old songs and they still affect me as much as they did the first times, and whenever I read my old articles, I can clearly see that my fears were not valid. Because I’m a damn good writer. But good writers need to write to be considered good. So I promise myself, that by the end of next year, I’ll have written at least a 100 articles. Maybe some of them will give a reader the goosebump effect. Maybe not.

We sort of look alike.
Happy birthday to me!

I know though that I want to try.