Bad enough that we have five restaurants in every three streets in Lagos, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but the figure is almost close. But to keep the focus, imagine not being sure what the restaurant you are dining at is called. The focus of this article isn’t on the name of the restaurant; but on the category of the restaurant you are dining in – is it a buka, bistro, or café? Let’s help you identify it.
IYA BASIRA: What a name! When you eat by the roadside or purchase food from your street, you have patronized an Iya Bashira. These ‘cooks’ often set up their tent or little stall in the street basically to sell to school children, office workers, and people who delight in the taste of their food. We all must confess; the way their eggs soak in pepper and the ponmo folds in their deeply fried oily stew is usually the highlight.
BUKHA/MAMA PUT: Bukhas have been in existence for a while too. Those little shops that can fit 15-20 people at a go are bukas. They sell any type of swallow, rice, goat meat, and always have fried Titus fish. The myth says Mama puts waiters/servers are usually very aggressive; the more aggressive they are, the tastier the stew. Do you agree? Examples of bukas are Eniafelamo and Amoke Oge.
CAFE: The word originated from “caffeine”, so cafes are small establishments that sells coffee, beverages and pastries to go with.
FAST FOOD: Places like The Place, Bukha Hut, and Just Munchies are fast food spots. Basically, a dining space where you go to get food with no expectations. The difference between fast foods and bukas is ambience; fast foods have bigger sitting spaces, settings, and more polite servers.
LOUNGE: Lounges are waiting spaces in bars, restaurants, or any establishment that serves light drinks and meals. They could be rooftops, mini sitting areas, etc.
FINE DINING: Fine dining restaurants are sophisticated restaurants with fancy interiors; you can tell fine dining from the way the waiters are dressed and the tiny portion of meals that are overpriced.
Can you identify the restaurant categories you’ve dined? Tell us in the comments.