I recently posted a story asking if I should do blog posts on restaurants I plan visit outside of Abuja and a lot of you agreed to that. I will still maintain the focus of this blog on Abuja but there will be a new feature where I will write posts on places I visit in other cities every now and again. Let me know if that is a good idea.
My trip to Ibadan ( Oyo state, Nigeria), was short but memorable. Although the purpose of my trip was not food business related, somehow most people I met and interacting with were “certified foodies”:D. I did a bit of research prior to my trip and had a couple of places in mind. There majority of eateries and restaurants in Ibadan cater mainly local dishes and very few are restaurants and hotels that offer inter-continental menus. I was impressed with the food portions everywhere I ate. The prices were also affordable in comparison to Abuja.
I stayed at Adis Hotels ( 1, Akinsehinwa Street, Off Favos / Mr. Biggs Junction, New Bodija, Ibadan, Nigeria). It is a small boutique hotel located in a residential area within the city. The hotel had minimalistic décor, great room service, clean and decent room sizes with AC hot water boiler in the bathrooms and complimentary breakfast for all lodging guests. Free internet was offered but at times it didn’t work properly. This may have been due to poor network connections in the city of Ibadan itself because my personal internet couldn’t work most of the time I was there. They have continental and Nigerian menus for breakfast, lunch , dinner and the food was very good.
I would definitely recommend Adis if you are in Ibadan for the first time and need somewhere comzy and affordable to stay.
The restaurants that came up the most in recommendations were Ibachi and Wimpys. Wimpys is a Lebanese / mediteranean restaurant located in Onirike, Ibadan, Nigeria. Their menus had a lot of food I wish I got to try if I ‘d stayed longer in Ibadan. One the menu were some Italian , Thai and few indian dishes but the majorty were Lebanese. I ordered Humus and falafel as started and couldn’t move pass that, let alone finish it. The portions were big enough to feed all of us on the table.
Two of my colleagues ordered Italian and one ordered a thai dish.
One thing I have to say about the place is that if you are after good food that is affordable , Wimpys is the place but if it is for some fancy looking restaurant with well trained staff then you are far from getting that there. Best believe that they will feed you so well that all of the little flaws will be forgotten.
Ibachi was the second restaurant I had on my list. It is a Chinese restaurant located on 1 Theophilus Akinyele Way, New-Bodija, Ibadan, Nigeria. Ibachi has to be my favorite as it ticked all the right boxes. The restaurant is in a decent part of the city, the venue is well presented with a modern touch of Chinese design. There was a monotonous musical soundtrack in the background that set a relaxing mood, giving you the impression of being in a Chinese movie :D. Their menu was simple yet very elegant. Most dishes were write in Chinese and English.
Staff were helpful and very conversational. For starters we ordered some delicious chicken and vegetable spring rolls. I can still taste it just mentioning the name. They were Lecke ( delicious).
For the main , we had king prawns in black pepper sauce served on hot plates , king prawns in sauté vegetables sauce with Chinese fried rice as complimentary side dishes.
This was the best dining experience I had in Ibadan. I couldn’t fault a thing about the food or the service. Great atmosphere and excellent portions. The cost might have been on the high side in comparison to other places but kudos to them, it was worth it!
Another place we went to chill out at on one of the nights was the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Oyo Road , Ibadan.I am not sure how accessible easily this place is for the general public but we were lucky to be received by a client who was also a senior staff at the institute. It is definitely a place I would recommend if you are visiting the city and can get access in. A nice chilling spot on the weekend with life music and serene greenery surrounding about a hundred hectares of land. The food at their café was below average for my liking. Everything tasted bland. So if you like flavoursome food , I would suggest you order takeaway or make yourself a picnic bag with sandwiches before going there. I didn’t get the chance to take any pictures of the place but you can check their website here: http://www.iita.org/about/
I hope you enjoyed the post and hopefully go to these places the next time you are in Ibadan. If you have been to some of the places I mentioned or know other places , feel free to recommend them in the comments.