Vida & Psicología

Roberto Pocaterra Pocaterra – Guarenas//
Ibadan, Mama Ope, “Inastrait,” My Mechanic and Sundry Matters…


By Bayo Adeyinka

I am incurably attached to Ibadan. I was born and bred in that city and I’m always so nostalgic about that city of brown roofs. Apart from the hospitality of the people, one reason I’m in love with the city is the cost of living.

Roberto Pocaterra Pocaterra

On Saturday, I took about 10 people for lunch at Mama Ope. If you don’t know, Ibadan has many fantastic local eateries with specializations in different delicacies. For Mama Ope, no one in Ibadan does rice and beans like she does. Her fried stew comes with a special recipe. It’s the same quality and taste anytime and has been like that for years- right from when she started in a small kiosk opposite Veterinary at Mokola. Of course, she not only prepares rice and beans but she has other varieties also

Inastrait  is the best Amala and Abula (Gbegiri with ewedu) restaurant in the whole wide world ( Gbegiri is made from ground beans).  Inastrait (adapted from the world “illiterate”- the late founder of the restaurant who was unlettered described herself as “Inastrait” and the name caught on) is seated on Mokola hills beside the Cultural Centre. Life is not complete without her steaming plate of Amala, Abula and goat meat. You even have the opportunity of looking into the steaming pot of meat and choosing the particular meat you want. Life certainly doesn’t come better than that. The late founder’s daughter who now runs that restaurant embarrassed me one day when she greeted me in the presence of colleagues who came with me from Lagos, “E ku Ojo meta” (it’s been a long while). My colleagues wondered if she was my Facebook fan. Before I finished the meal, she had sent a souvenir of face towel and ceramic cup as my gift to my table. So much for loyalty

Then, there’s Mama Soji on the way to Eleyele- not far from Magazine Road roundabout. Her pounded yam is the best in town. Off Adamasingba/Mokola Road and not far from Fessy Electronics is Mama Samson. If you want Amala as early as 7am, Mama Samson is the place to be. You just won’t mind the fact that she keeps pets and some dogs which will stroll around as you relish the hot plate of Amala– and my, oh my, she uses a lot of red oil for her soup that I often wondered if she was given free of charge. The way she handles the serving spoon and divides the actual soup from the palm oil is reminiscent of the way the Red Sea was parted. Of course, Mama Samson is our own Moses

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