How I Found The Best Banga Rice In Port Harcourt
Everyone has that food that they find fascinating. The term foodie is now vague so I always try to avoid to describe myself as such. But I love to dabble in the color and flavors that food is. The palm fruit (Banga) happens to be that food item I am fascinated with.
Sorry, I think I have digressed a bit but indulge me a little more. The palm fruit popularly known as Banga or Akwu can be used to prepare several delicacies. The idea is to use the extract from the palm fruit. But somehow, cooking with the extract from the Banga and with already processed oil never turns out quite the same. There is always that distinct difference to people with trained taste buds. If you do not believe me try to compare Oha soup cooked with Banga and with processed oil.
I think that difference is why I lean to prefer Banga rice. That tease on the taste buds that dangles between eating a local soup and Jollof rice. It used to be a delicacy while growing up but now being an adult has left me with no patience to prepare it myself. So in every new city I visit, I always try to find the best restaurant where I can go to indulge myself. After one year in Port Harcourt, and several visits to recommended fast foods and restaurants, I gave up the search sadly. There was always something off. My journey to find the perfect Banga rice was therefore short and sad. I had to settle for other popular varieties- fried rice, Jollof rice and now the Chinese fried rice (this would-be story for another day).
Not so long ago I stumbled on a Facebook post detailing his process of preparing Banga rice. I started a conversation about my frustration on not being able to eat well prepared ones in Port Harcourt. He was kind enough to convince me to give another try. This time the recommendation was the new Pepperoni fast food at Rumuodara.
It was close to my house, meaning I would not lose much. On a Sunday evening, I walked in an scanned through the food display and settled for the Banga rice. My first cut through the chicken was a delight seeing it was well seasoned. I started eating and did not pause except to drink water until I cleared my plate. I guess that pretty much explains a lot. Finally, I had found my precious. With the right amount of spice, small pieces of dry fish and pomo everywhere, it is easy to say that I would be returning. First impression they say matters a lot. Did I mention the scent leaf was still fresh and not overcooked?
Pepperoni has a lounge, fast food and cinema in one building so it is pretty much a go-to hang out spot for residents of that area. It was crowded and I couldn’t easily find a spot to sit and dine. if you are looking for a quiet place to relax on a Sunday evening, this is not the right place for you.
I found the best place to eat Banga rice in Port Harcourt city, if you think there is somewhere else I should try out please let me know.
I am hunting for where I can eat ofada rice and lick my finger so please do help with suggestions in the comment section.
If you want to make this at home, sisi Yemmie’s recipe makes it simple and easy to navigate.