My cousin, Adaobi and I travelled to Enugu during the festive season. When we concluded our business, I decided to ring up an old friend who lived in the city to see if she was free to hang out with us. She was. She asked what we had in mind and I told her we wanted a place where we can enjoy correct local delicacies like abacha. She said she knew the perfect place. So, we met up at Shoprite and hired a cab to the place.
Chi-Chi’s Special Abacha Joint is a roadside buka located in Uwani, Enugu. The joint is a long room divided into two sections, the kitchen and what you could call the dining room. It is erected with bamboo sticks but the zinc is made from aluminium. Palm kernel shells were used for the floor’s design. The furnishing comprised of plastic tables and chairs. Disco light was used for illumination; I think this is more for effect than for brightness. Music was slow. Standing fans were strategically placed to aid ventilation. The downsides to this structure are the lack of convenience and the absence of a parking space. Customers park along the road and this causes traffic congestion from time to time.
Chi-Chi’s Special Abacha Joint is quite popular with the locals. When my friend, Nkiru pronounced it the best abacha joint in Enugu, I waved the comment aside. I grew up in Enugu and I have had the pleasure of enjoying really good abacha on several occasions. Besides, I’m rarely moved by people’s comments about food. As far as I’m concerned, tasting is believing.
We arrived at the joint at about 5:00 pm and I was surprised to see that they were still doing brisk business. Most abacha vendors I know do their business between 11:00 am and 4:00 pm; they are mostly mobile vendors, however. Anyway, a waiter met us at the door and led us to a table. She left after taking our orders. More customers arrived after we did. Soon, there were no seats. But the customers kept coming. I shook my head in bewilderment when these loyal customers chose to stand and wait for those rounding up their meals to finish so they could take their place. The minute a table is vacant, a waiter efficiently cleans it up to give room for another customer.
Our food arrived promptly. I was impressed with the food presentation but more so with the promptness of service, given the crowd. We were given cutleries and clean bowls to wash our hands as well. When I had a taste of Chi-Chi’s Special Abacha, I understood the customer attraction. The abacha was as scrumptious as the palm wine was sweet. It was, for me, the perfect meal to end the day. Interestingly, this joint offers reasonably affordable meals that fit well into the budget of the high, middle and low-class income earners. So, my people, if you are in Enugu and you want to dine the Igbo way, visit Chi-Chi’s Special Abacha Joint. You won’t regret it.
Featured image source: fojusi.com