On Friday I went to a hair shop in Hulme to buy some supplies. As I was walking down the street that the shop was on I noticed a cosy little restaurant discreetly blending in amongst all of the take -aways and hair shops. I hadn’t been down this street in years but I could tell that this restaurant hadn’t been here long, I went inside to find out more…
Yaba is an African and Caribbean restaurant that specialises in Ghanaian and Jamaican food. The owners, one Ghanaian and one African, had the idea of bringing both of these food types together to show just how similar they can be and to bring the African and Caribbean cultures together. I liked the idea and smell of the food so much that I booked a table for that same night.
I returned to the restaurant at 7.30 as promised and was greeted straight away by a lovely waitress. She told us to take a seat and gave us some menus. There was a vast amount of food available and being of Caribbean descent I recognised some, such as the Curried Goat, Jerk Chicken and Ackee & Saltfish but then there were African dishes such as Palaver Sauce, Red Red and Waakye that we were unfamiliar with so we had to grill the waitress as there wasn’t much of a description in the menu, which would have been helpful.
In the end my friend stuck to what she knew and had the Jerk Chicken with Rice ‘n’ Peas and I mixed it up a little by having Jamaican Curried Goat with African Jollof Rice. We shared a plate of Kelewele for starters.
Whilst we were waiting for our starter (which was cooked upon order- very impressive) I enjoyed a homemade Yaba Bay Punch- a thick infusion of tropical fruits like guava, watermelon and strawberry. It was very tasty and I ended up getting another glass, resisisting the urge to buy a third. Our Kelewele arrived and was more than enough for the both of us, it was good to see that this wasn’t the type of restaurnt where the food covers just a tiny part of the plate…we were going to go away with full and hopefully satisfied tummies!
The Kelewele, which is diced plantain seaseoned in ginger and pepper and then fried, was very tasty and left me looking forward to the mains. At £7.80 for each of our main meals a little more rice would have been nice but otherwise I have no complaints. My curried goat was soft and nicely spiced and the rice was the perfect texture. My friends Jerk Chicken was much much spicier, perhaps a ‘spice rating’ guide should be placed next to each of the products.
By the end of the meal we were too full fit in a dessert which was just as well as they had sold out and no more cakes had been baked yet.
Overall, I enjoyed my time at Yaba. The waitress was friendly and helpful and we felt really comfortable. I’ll definitely be going back.
Food: 9.5/10- descriptions needed
Decor: 10/10- bigger than thought, clean, warm and cosy
Ambience: 8/10- great authentic music and felt relaxed but would have been better on a busier night
Value: 9/10- could have had more rice!
Service: 10/10 waitress was lovely, kept us informed had made sure we were ok. Sincerely apologetic when people were waiting a while for their take away