Abuja is a beautiful, sane city and a wonderful place to visit. It is undergoing resurgence and will soon get an influx of new people: politicians and their hangers-on with the change in government at the centre. Sadly, the old ones are staying put and not relocating. Abuja is that good, they are here for good! Anyway, if you are new to Abuja, there are some new and fabulous places to show you. Please follow me!
All traffic stops here
Traffic restaurant hidden away in Maitama is a gem on the highway. Well, it’s not on the highway but it sure puts you in the mood for a leisurely evening drive of heavenly pleasures. I could not believe such a place exists. I am not a culinary expert by any means, but I like what I like and I like good food. The garden restaurant is a pleasant experience that never fails to surprise.
In this regards, I am partial to their Spanish rice. If you have had Jollof, fried and even Chinese rice before, this will knock your socks off. Have it with curry chicken breast. Visitors can actually order a little of all that is on offer to get an appreciation of the tornado cooked in their kitchen. I did and I cannot fasten my belt normally anymore!
Feel a million at Dullion
DullionSuites, Maitama is an American style bed and breakfast situated in one of the most exclusive residential neighbourhoods. Small and chic, with 10 exquisitely furnished rooms on a set with royal palms and manicured tropical gardens. This is a secluded guest house where American Southern hospitality meets warm Nigerian Charm.
Many hotels feel like a market place which makes DullionSuites stand out for me. You get privacy, peace and tranquility, luxury amenities and special packages for birthdays and personal celebrations.
I bet you at Ibeto
Ibeto hotel is a stylish retreat for classy people. The hotel is brand new and has raised the bar for standard and comfort. People with back or neck trouble are guaranteed a pleasant nice sleep without pains and plenty of sweet dreams. You will not find a water bucket in their bathroom and even Obama can stay here without bringing his own beddings.
Dining is a fantastic experience in the cool and classy restaurant. The breakfast and lunch menu are a delicious variety. Food is often buffet style and you can eat to your hearts’ content, especially if you are a foodie. However, I bet you will feel a million dollars at Ibeto, which is perhaps why you won’t eat too much!
Nkoyo me, I Nkoyo you
Nkoyo restaurant in the Ceddi plaza is a diamond. There is great ambience and style in the layout of the restaurant. The environment is captivating, simulating a native village garden. A wonderful menu with the food presented as if they are rare jewels. This restaurant is a gastronomic journey with choice of Indian or Nigerian cuisine. The food is absolutely delicious and you just have to try the grilled shoulder of lamb in mint gravy, cooked to perfection.
You choose, relax and you will be served like a king in no time. If you take someone to this restaurant, they are sure to return the favour. It was love at first sight, baby!
Kentucky Fried Chicken for real
Okay, you have had Kentucky’s Fried Chicken in Europe and America. The one in Abuja matches those others pound for pound and Naira for Naira. It is wonderful to compare the taste of their chicken with other restaurants even as far as Dubai and find them just as scrumptious.
The service is actually what keeps me going back on a lazy afternoon. The girls smile like you are bringing them a diamond engagement ring. Often, I wonder if they are smiling at someone behind me!
Have you had Clara?
Clara’s bakery does the best bread in Abuja. The bread is sweet, soft and damn tasty. If you want to eat bread, eat bread, if you want to eat great bread, eat Clara’s soft centre. You can dunk it in tea, swipe stew with it or make a tuna sandwich. Seriously, a day without Clara is dull and boring.
Slide into Salamander
Salamander restaurant is a great place to have an office dinner party or hang-out with friends. It is small, secluded, private and cosy in parts. It doubles as an art and craft place, a library and a hangout for creative types. Now, Salamander is on Bujumbura Street, Wuse 2. I say this for the intelligentsia because this is one place where you will find good food, great people and some pretty intelligent individuals. I don’t go there often enough!
Step into hot Charcoal
Charcoal Grill and Coffee shop is our final offering. They have great food, excellent service and free piping hot pop corn while waiting. The restaurant has a comfortable ambiance with a patio overlooking central Abuja. You can see a bit of the city from here and the view at night is truly colourful. This place is worthy of a visit for a first timer.
It is set on top of another favourite haunt of mine: tutti frutti yoghurt place. So when you finish at the grill, come down and have your choice of chilled, fresh, healthy yoghurt with a wide variety of fantastic toppings. I might be the chap in the corner with an iPad, watching music on the television and eating a large piece of cake! Okay, okay, only a small piece is remaining.
But then, you know it is very Abujalicious!