Monday, 26 June 2017

Edinburgh: MaDeb African Shop

Out on a discovery
I stepped out of my hotel this evening to go for a meal and thought I’ll walk to a group of restaurants around London Road and Leith Walk in Edinburgh. However, instead of walking up London Road, I had a sense of adventure to go down Easter Road where I had noted from Google Maps that an Italian Restaurant might be open.
Half a mile down Easter Road, the restaurant was closed and I am beginning to realise that some restaurants and takeaways are closed on Mondays.
Unsure of what else to do, I decided to take a side road that I thought would get me to Leith Walk even if my bearings thought I was on the wrong path, I did end up on Leith Walk, one of the longest stretches of road in Edinburgh that seems to have so many names, you better not look at the road signs.
A homely wonderland
I crossed the road and walked upwards into town as my eyes caught the sign of an African goods shop, my curiosity got the better of me as the two ladies in the shop beckoned to me, and so I yielded and walked into the shop. All indications were they thought I was from Eastern Nigeria, but I introduced myself differently as my eyes darted around the stocked shelves to see familiar goods and wares that excite the West African palate.
I could not decide what I wanted when I was informed they had frozen jollof rice and stew, and if I had access to a microwave oven, that would do just fine.
MaDeb African Shop had only been open two months and whilst for me it was a chance discovery, it might well be the only purveyor of goods and wares the West Africans would only be too familiar with. The African Flavour Restaurant that I wrote about over a month ago had closed, it was a bad business that failed to take advantage of the monopoly it had to serve a particular clientele and that is just a shame.
More and more
The list of things to get from Madeb African Shop is almost inexhaustible, the shop uses three areas, the main shop, the back where perishable goods are kept and refrigerated and the basement with cosmetics and hair products.
In the main shop, there are spices, flours, canned foods, dried and smoked fish, Agege bread, ingredients to various stews as Egusi, Ogbono, bitter leaf, fermented peas (iru), mint leaves (efinrin), palm oil, kola nuts, plantain bananas, tubers like yams, sweet potatoes, suya packs, Nigerian drinks and beverages. Ointments like Robb and Aboniki, this is your perfect nostalgic corner shop.
For those who prefer their West African dishes ready-made, the shop provides a cooking service as well as preparing meals for events. I have the feeling this outfit would be a better replacement for that lackadaisically useless restaurant.
Get there and shop
The ladies were humorous, pleasant and nice, on getting back to my hotel, I defrosted my jollof rice, added some stew and downed it with a can of Afrimalt, I must be tipping the scales on the wrong side of zero.
MaDeb African Shop,
5 Croall Place,
EH7 4LT
Edinburgh
Photos



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