By AYO ONIKOYI

The Yuletide always brings with it some memories that leave indelible marks in our hearts, year in, year out.

The last one in 2021 was no exception. For me, it was my experience at Foodies in Lekki, Lagos State. I was kind of stuck on the Island, tired and hungry and decided to take a drive around the famous Admiralty Road to look for what to eat.

As someone who knows how to hunt for a good joint, I knew what would help in my search are people. Someone had told me long ago that the secret to knowing a good food joint is the amount of crowd or people you find there. On my drive through the long Admiralty Way there were a number of places, and mostly all with some glamour to offer the world, but what I wanted was a place to eat, a good cozy place and soon enough, one beckoned.

I didn’t even see the signboard, it was the crowd that attracted me. From the other side of the road I could see people going in and coming out, some with takeaway bags and the flood of cars both parked at the entrance of the place and the roadside seemed to run forever. It was as if a party was going on and my curiosity as a journalist was on red alert.

“I have to find out what’s going on here,” I said to myself. But it was easier said than done as I had a hard time finding a spot to park. I finally settled for a place on the sidewalk.

When I walked into the place I later found out was Foodies I was welcomed by an assortment of aromas that could only come from a potpourri of foods, both local, continental and intercontinental with a blend of pastries. The sitting arrangement was done with beauty and comfort in mind. There were hordes of people everywhere without any air of confusion, either peacefully eating their meals or waiting to be attended to.

At Foodies you are not exactly given a menu to peruse, it is the Mama Put experience as you have to approach the food stand to make a pick of what you want. When I approached the stand, an assortment of foods as long as the stand tantalizingly stared back at me. I wanted rice. That’s simple enough, isn’t it? But at Foodies you are dead wrong as I had to make a choice from about 13 different types from around the world! There were jollof rice, fried rice, Cantonese, Jambalaya, Wache rice, Ofada rice, Aso rice, concoction rice, brown rice just to mention a few (excuse my mistake if I get the names of some wrong. I just haven’t heard of them before). As if that wasn’t enough confusion for the worms in my stomach there were all sorts of “swallows” too with different delicacies of vegetable soups and stews with corresponding fish, beef, chicken, pork and all.

I was simply giddy with admiration but as they say, the taste of the pudding is in the eating and when I tasted the rice (I finally settled for Mexican rice and chicken with some shredded beef) it was simply sumptuous. It was so sweet I had to buy another plate to take away for my wife. She loved it too.

Although it was not a job round, the journalist in me needed some answers and I went looking for the manager, a gentleman who gave me the picture of the place and what their mission is all about. With a smug smile of someone who knows his job and enjoys it he opened up.

“ Foodies is one of the most recent fast food places that is taking care of people in terms of meals they eat. We don’t only handle meals, we basically deal and and we are more conscious about meals people consume these days, you know, these days it is not just to eat but eating rightly at the right time. Most of the meals that we prepare are meals that are good for the body not meals that will be an issue to your body after consuming it, and aside from the fact that we take care of meals you can see the environment, the environment is wow! Foodies is like a home away from home. We tend to give a wow experience to people that come around us. We do local, we do continental and intercontinental. When you talk about the local, people tend to come in and eat what they eat at home, it’s as if you are eating from your house. The kind of egusi we cook is homemade egusi in a modernized way. Our pounded yam is not a poundo yam, we do the pounding of the yam here. Aside from that we have varieties of rice, if you look at our display there, we have like 17 to 18 types of rice ranging from jollof rice, fried rice, Cantonese, jambalaya, wache rice, ofada rice, Aso rice, brown rice just to mention a few. So, there is no way you will come in even though you don’t have the appetite to eat, you will be forced to eat,” he said with pride.

The manager who introduced himself as Mr Dele Adeniji also revealed that they sourced most of their materials directly from the farms and asserted they use natural organic materials without any artificial inputs.

My biggest thrill of the day was when I tasted their homemade juice. I took pineapple and it was simply breezy. It was a special of the house.

The Foodies may call itself a Fast Food outlet but it is more like a food hub. Furthermore, it was a fun spot as it also houses a lounge and a VIP extension where meetings or small parties could be held.

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Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.