8 Best Amala Joints in Oshodi-Isolo LGA
By Edith Igbokwe, Sunday Ogundiran and Olushola Okewole
Do you love amala, the soft paste of ground yam or plantain served hot and steaming in food joints across the city?
Most residents of Oshodi, Isolo and Ejigbo, the communities which make up our coverage area will surely answer ‘yes’.
Some would even add, that their love for a nice meal of Amal’s would rise if served with ewedu, topped with gbegiri ( bean soup) and garnished with such proteins as snail, goat meat, fresh fish or cow tail.
Four weeks ago, we set out to comb the nooks and crannies of Oshodi -Isolo LGA for the 10 most patronized amala joints.
Reporters were mandated to experience the culinary magic of many cooks and interview the regular patrons on what brings them to the same place to have their amala.
Well, at least eight met our standards of a neat, well-patronized, modest amala joint. These are:
- Iya Alamala @ 63, Ifoshi road, Ejigbo
- Toju Emi E, @1,Akinola street, Charity, Oshodi
- Ilya Fatiha Food Canteen @ 46,Igbehinadun street, Oshodi
- Oluwalogbon Food Canteen @ NNPC, Ejigbo
- IyaMushin Kitchen, @NNPC, Ejigbo
- Iyaileibadan @ Goloba Street, Isolo
- Iya Alamala @ Osolo way, Isolo
- Bolapat @ Mushin road, Isolo
Most of them have been serving amala for decades prompting us to investigate the business side of catering to the human gut. The revelations will surprise you.
For instance, the owner of one of the highly rated amala joints told ECHONEWS that on average, an amala joint operator makes about N300,000 naira turnover. daily.
The sales, according to her, depend on the standard put in place by the operator of the joint as consumers prefer neat and decorated place.
She also noted that the sales also depend on the location of the joint, saying an operator in the locality dominated by artisans and office workers are in the prospect of making more sales than others.
It was gathered that many people resort to commercial food canteen due to their inability to cook at home or as an avenue to get fed while at work while some others see it as an avenue to hang out either alone, with friends and sometimes with family members.
Mrs. Felicia Ayandiran fondly called Iya Amala, whose shop is located at 63, Ifoshi Road, Rashfunk Plaza, Ejigbo, disclosed that a minimum of 60 people patronise her just to eat amala from her shop as the number varied from day to day.
According to her, with just N300, a customer could get good meal with meat, but to eat to satisfaction with assorted goat meat, (ogufe), it would cost about N600.
In her shop, a wrap of amala costs N100, cow meat and Ponmo cost N50 each per piece while a piece of Ogufe is sold at N400. Croaker fish is N400, while dry fish round (panla) is sold at N200.
In many other joints, a customer could spend as low as N100 to have a meal. For instance, at Toju Emi e African Dish Canteen owned by Mrs. Lola Adeyanju and located at No 1, Akinode Street, Charity Oshodi, with N100, a customer can have something in the belly, even though without fish or meat.
At the joint, a wrap of amala is N50, pounded yam costs N100 per wrap, while a piece of goat meat costs N300/400, a piece of Titus fish is N200, round Panla fish is N200 while small pieces of meat and Ponmo cost N100.
The business has gone digital.
Customers also enjoyed online services at the rate of N1,500 for far distance and N700 for nearby order placed.
At Iya Fatiah Food Canteen located at 46, Igbehinadun Street, Oshodi owned by Mrs. Fatiah Adeosun, the items are sold at the same rate as Toju Emi e African Dish Canteen.
In Ejigbo metropolis, Oluwalogbon Food Canteen and Iya Mushin Kitchen are two of the most patronised amala joints located around NNPC, Ejigbo.
The customers are mostly petroleum tanker drivers, NNPC staff members, local government staffs and other workers.
To have a meal at the two joints, a customer must have at least N200 but to be satisfied with the meal accompanied with assorted meats, the least price is N700.
Though the two canteens share the customers in the area, they are patronised by more than 80 customers each daily according to the owners of the canteens.
Speaking on the amala business, the CEO of Iya Mushin Kitchen, who inherited the business from her late mother, Mrs. Bamesho said though food business is a lucrative business, it is not an easy task as one must wake up early every morning to set the business.
According to her, the business is also capital intensive to set up and requires deep training by the entrepreneur for the business to thrive.
She said: “After taking over from my mum, the phase of the meal business has improved better than how it has been in the past. I have tried to expand the business as I now have 15 workers with me to make everything faster due to my large customers.
“Apart from those who come in here to eat, there are various customers who order for food through WhatsApp and phone calls. We also supply them on daily basis. This is why I have to employ more workers as the business cannot be done alone.”
Mrs. Felicia Ayandiran of Iya Amala Canteen said for anybody to venture into the business, they must have enough startup capital even if they want to start small.
According to her, such a would-be entrepreneur has to get a shop well furnished to attract customers at a good location, get the ingredients and some workers to help him or her.
She noted that many of them need support to boost their business, appealing to the government to support them with loans.
Meanwhile, some of the customers who spoke to ECHONEWS expressed satisfaction with the canteens as they gave various reasons for patronising their favourite joints.
Oluwanisola Toheeb said: “Meals of the two food vendors (Iya Mushin and Oluwalogbon) are okay. They have been the only amala joints where workers around eat most of their breakfast with different packages being offered for customers’ convenience. You can order for any meal of your choice through phone calls if you cannot come around to eat which is done to make all customers feel at home.”
Anu: “I get my food from Iya Fatiah everyday because I enjoy her cooking, I either come by myself or send someone from my shop.”
Yusuf Sodiq: “I normally take care of my belle at Toju Emi E Canteen; her soup is always on point.”
Wasiu Azeez: “I don’t miss Toju Emi E food because I need to strengthen myself to do my mechanic work.”