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About three weeks ago, I took a different route to work. There was a bit of traffic on that road so I started looking around the area. I noticed this big canopy that had quite a long queue in front of it. A closer look revealed that most of the people had plates in their hands. They must really serve nice food to attract this kind of crowd so early in the morning, I thought to myself. Since I had my breakfast and lunch with me, I decided I’d check them out at my convenience.

Last week Monday I woke tired; I had no desire to cook. So, at 7:10 am, I stopped at the canopy to buy food. Foods were placed in coolers of different sizes that were neatly arranged on two tables. About ten coolers were on display that morning. There was white rice, stew, Jollof rice, beans porridge, fried rice, fried plantain, plantain porridge, white yam; all were steaming hot. There were about three small warmers containing different types of meat. About six people came before me so I waited patiently for my turn. There were four staff at work, all ladies. They were neatly dressed. Three were manning the warmers.

Two of the people who were served before me went through the door of a small building. I looked up and saw AY Restaurant written on top of it. Interesting, I thought, as I followed them into the restaurant. It’s a long room divided into two, the counter and the eating area. It has no decoration whatsoever. There was another lady (the fourth staff) at the counter. I think there were about eight plastic tables in all. Each table had two chairs. There were OX fans on the wall and an air conditioning unit. All of them were working so the place was really cool. Behind the counter is the kitchen. At this point, I decided I had seen all I wanted to see so I stepped out to buy my food. (The waiters were serving two people that I was sure were not there before I went into the restaurant. But I did not complain; after all, na me go do look-look.)

When it finally got to my turn, I ordered Jollof rice, fried rice, plantain and two pieces of meat. I struck a conversation with the lady who was serving me and she told me that they sold under the canopy in the morning but move into the restaurant in the afternoon to continue the business. They sell soups like egusi, afang and even ewedu in the afternoon with swallow. Meanwhile, everything I ordered including the plastic takeaway plate cost about seven hundred naira. Their portions are reasonably large. I paid, bade the waiter goodbye and headed to the office where I enjoyed my food. It was tasty.

Ay Restaurant is located on King Perekunle Road, G.R.A. Port Harcourt. It’s definitely a nice place to eat. You can check it out sometime.

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This article was first published on 20th June 2019


Udevi, Obiamaka Angela holds a Master of Arts degree in History & International Studies. She's a freelance writer with a passion for food and healthy living. She can be contacted through her email address,

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