MY FRIDAY LUNCH AT LITTLE CHINA RESTAURANT ABUJA - Aliyu Gidado.
Friday afternoon at quarter past 2pm, prayers were said and exchange of pleasantries was done. On this particular Friday I spent almost one hour saying hello to different people that it was as if most of the people I know had planned to pray in Maitama. Well..... a wedding fathia followed immediately after prayers.
I got into the car and found myself at No1 Rudolf close off Katsina Ala crescent with the IG of police residence as its major land mark. Upon my arrival to the said address which I had copied correctly from the instagram page, instead of seeing a sign post indicating LITTLE CHINA RESTAURANT, to my surprise I saw an obituary placed at the gate. I got confused and asked the security men seated under a tree adjacent to the place if there was a restaurant and all three men shook their heads saying no.
I opened my instagram page again (luckily I had data) and called the phone number on the page and the man said he was coming out. Under a minute he came and ushered me into the compound. I observed that there were different flats and I wondered to myself why run a restaurant in a residential area with no atom of sign post or even a banner.
I got in and sat down. Rather than having the menu brought to me, I saw some flyers on the table and I opened it and there was the menu all written on it. Hmmm.... and there was no power as well so I immediately concluded it was a mess.
While going through the said menu the generator was switched on and the cooling system came on. I settled for crispy vegetable spring roll for starters while spicy Kung pao chicken with steamed white rice as main dish. As usual I asked the waiting time before the food served and the default 15 minutes was the answer. I smiled and said ok.
By the name Little China, it was indeed a small space that could seat 8 people. Being a Chinese restaurant one would expect it to have Chinese interior but it didn’t, which made seem like a normal cafeteria. I also noticed the refrigerator was directly under the television which didn’t sit well at sight. In fact it served as storage shelf aside chilling water and drinks.
At the expected time my meal was served. Chicken Kung pao, white steamed rice with vegetable spring roll ulala. What a display of delectable culinary skill. The spring roll was crispy and hot and that didn’t take me much time to consume before facing the main dish. The Kung pao chicken was slightly spicy and contained fresh vegetable, boneless chicken, groundnut in dark sauce which was dulcet. It was palatable and satisfying.
There was nothing to complain about as the meal was professionally executed which I find ambrosial and appealing. I mean how many Chinese restaurants in Abuja actually serve you the proper rice? This was a different experience as it was one of the few that knew how to execute a proper Chinese meal.
Let me tone down the praises as all wasn’t perfect with LITTLE CHINA RESTAURANT. First of all it’s advisable to have more than one pos machine. For instance I wanted paying with my card but I was told the pos machine was taken out with the dispatch team and my questioned was what if I didn’t have cash on me, what would have happened? Would a staff have followed me to an atm machine? That wasn’t professional at all. Also the staff should learn to smile often. Keeping a straight face isn’t always welcoming. Finally, kindly place a banner or sign outside for customers to be sure of where they are. But on a scale of 0 to 10, LITTLE CHINA has built a 7 feet wall for herself. Lest I forget, they offer delivery services to all parts of Abuja metropolis and they are quite affordable. A trial will convince you.
Words by Aliyu Gidado
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