Actually pronounced with the intended Yoruba intonation (which I believe is a very Yoruba/Ibadan way of saying lick your lips), PONULA culinary festival is a booksellers Ltd event, which also took place at the booksellers building. They brought together some of the best chefs in town from restaurants like Martha's Kitchen, Bankyloolas cuisine, Chrysalis, Danjuma Suya, Jade's cuisine and lots more. The vendors were established restaurants and catering companies, Hence certified vendors, you’re sure you won’t be having food poisoning in a few hours.
Hats off to booksellers. The event really surpassed my expectations. I’m not really a crowd person but I was glad to meet a well coordinated crowd. The setting was great, the ambience was lively, the music was easy on the ears and the vendors were friendly enough.
Although few vendors with limited menu options, I like that I didn’t need to scratch my head so much to decide what to eat.
After trying to get a seat as it seemed like a seat down event, we gave up and decided to have a look around first. We spent a lot of time at “bankyloola”, I mean cocktails and booze, sounds like home. We had one extra sweet Long Island cocktail (which was made just the way I liked it), one spiked chapman and bankyloola's own classic ''zobo''.
Also checked out the grill section from Martha’s kitchen. The orange looking grilled shrimp was an attraction. Martha also had displayed some very “street snacks”, I liked that. Apart from the normal fancy stuffs,there was also “dodo ikere” (locally fried over ripe plantain), “Ojojo” (water yam fritters), local soups and even some natural treats from nature’s cafe.
The spiked chapman from bankyloola
The grilled shrimps from Martha's Kitchen
The not so long “Long Island”
ABI: Martha’s Kitchen stall called my attention with the grill (I think a grill is a must at a food festival). There was grilled shrimp and fish. I got the grilled fish, it was very juicy and well seasoned. I would go back for more. I was fine with just the grilled fish as it was quite big but I they had dodo ikire...I’ve always wanted to try it but I’m not one to buy road side food so but Martha’s kitchen had it, I guess it was specially for the event, I don’t think you’ll find it in their restaurant. They also had ojojo (water yam fritters), was super excited to see this, it reminded me so much of home. Those were the few things I had among their many options.
A few other restaurants were there but I guess Martha’s kitchen stood out for me. Going to a food festival I wouldn’t really want anything heavy to eat which is what the other restaurants had. Cafe crystallis had a few baked goods which looked nice and you could actually take home.
I wish they had more grilled/barbecue options though.
Abi's Plate: Wrapped Grilled Fish X Yam fitters X Dodo Ikire