There’s probably a reason the restaurant reviewed here is the only Nigerian restaurant in Las Vegas. The review and a translation below. But first, let’s start with the fact that this was the dish that was featured in the photo in the print edition:
A bowl of fish pepper soup cost $12.99. (Brian Sandford/View) @nweditor
Online there was also this photo:
The lunch special, jollof rice, came with chicken and plantains. The rice was cooked with blended tomatoes, onions and spices. (Brian Sandford/View) @nweditor
(Would you eat something that appears to be looking back at you?)
Las Vegas Valley’s only Nigerian eatery offers distinctive food and decor
By BRIAN SANDFORD
VIEW ASSISTANT EDITOR
Nigerian food might well be an acquired taste. If so, one probably needs to visit Chiamaka Food Nigerian Cuisine more than once to acquire it.
[ ‘Nigerian food be nasty. You’d have to force-feed it to yourself for years to stop noticing its nastiness.’ The dinner-table scene from “Mommy Dearest” comes to mind.]
The restaurant, fairly well-hidden in a nondescript shopping center just southeast of UNLV, has its charms. [ ‘The restaurant is a storefront in a ghetto strip mall.’ As for the charms:] No two tables or sets of chairs in the dining area were alike, giving the place an antiques-store vibe. [ ‘They got the furniture out of a dumpster, like the hippy-run places do.’] A sectional couch faced a flat-screen TV that played overly loud music videos until the restaurant’s operators accommodated a request to turn it down. [ ‘In case the grossness of the food and the whole scene wasn’t enough, it’s loud too.’]
A warm greeting from a restaurant employee was followed by a half-hour wait until the food arrived. [ ‘We had to wait half an hour to get our stomach-turning dishes.’] The lunch special, jollof rice with chicken and plantains, was a good value at $9.99; the fish pepper soup, which was served in a bowl about 6 inches in diameter and cost $12.99, was not….The bitter soup consisted primarily of thin broth and chunks of whitefish, the latter of which included skin and bones. That made it difficult to consume; a couple of the bones were more than an inch long, while others were too small to be picked out easily. [NO TRANSLATION NECESSARY.]
Chiamaka was empty at 11:30 a.m. but nearly full an hour later. The swelling crowd might explain why it took a long time for the bill to be processed. [ ‘Then we had to wait a long time to pay for our nasty lunch.’]
I’d say a restaurant may be the biggest Nigerian scam yet.
I’ll tell Nigerians what I tell Texas transplants who insist on still buying Blue Bell ice cream because it’s from back home: Just because you’re from a certain place doesn’t mean you have to keep eating the shitty food. Nigerians, you’re in America now — there’s edible food here, with civilized menu options. Just look at me: My first day in America saw me liberated from the Russian frozen-fat delicacy known as holodetz, and upgraded to Frankenberry.