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Iya-Oyo: Legendary Abuja amala spot, where customers queue in hundreds, clean plates before buying meals


Are you willing to wait in line, at least for a little while (between 20- 30mins) just to enjoy the taste of good food or otherwise quench hunger? If yes! You’re qualified to join hundreds of Abuja residents at Matosh Kitchen, popularly called Iya Oyo, in performing the daily rites of queuing and cleaning your plates to get served legendary delicacies that you then pay for in cash- no POS, no transfers are accepted here.

Despite the rate at which Amala restaurants are springing up in Abuja, Iya Oyo’s uniqueness remains unparalleled; It is located at the Wuye District, which is just a three-minute drive from the Berger roundabout and about ten minutes drive from Area One roundabout.

A long line of exotic cars parked outside this famous restaurant is one benchmark which greets and tells a first-timer how important the ‘Amala joint’ is in Abuja.

More shocking, is to access the entrance and witness the queue of hundreds of customers waiting patiently in line for their turn to be served lunch or eating en-masse after beating the long queues to get the highly prized meal – here has become one of the few places in the nation’s capital city where Nigerians act truly united; Iya Oyo’s food effortlessly draws several classes of people under one roof.

From low income earners to top managerial staffers; from contractors and civil servants to bankers and several other persons from every walks of life…this local buka serve them all.

Iya Oyo draws major customers due to its nearness to major institutions like, Wuye modern market; Family Worship Centre, Pacesetter Schools and the Finance Quarters.

One of the restaurant’s customers, Tunde Aduloju said the place has become a go-to place for lovers of tasty meals.

“ For me, it is not just about eating Amala, what I come here for is the quality of their yam flower (Elubo). I can tell you that several people who come here to queue for lunch are also aware of other places where these same meals are served. They make it so well, I love the meal (Amala) because it is easy to swallow and light.

“If the amala is well prepared but lacks the right soup, it is not always tasty; here, they always serve varieties of soup that accompany Amala well – Iya-Oyo’s gbegiri and ewedu soups are always hot and ready. Apart from the quality, the price is very affordable; anyone with 1000 naira can eat to their satisfaction, whereas this same amount can’t get you similar experience elsewhere.

Another customer, Bunmi was asked about the long queues and plate cleaning rites, she answered “here is a local restaurant, I have gotten used to it. In fact, If I walk into Iya Oyo and I don’t see the queue, I will almost feel something has gone wrong. what I like about their service is that they equally have the high numbers of workers who help to ensure that customers on queues can get prompt attention.

The arrangement is orderly. As regards plate cleaning, I don’t see it as such, the plates are washed already, what we do is to use serviettes to clean the plates.” She replied.

Audu, from Nasarawa, said he joined the Iya-Oyo club over a year ago, stressing that he is now a bona fide candidate of the Amala shop.

“I presently stay in Garki, but that doesn’t stop me from driving down to this place to enjoy my meals. Sometimes, I can come here four times weekly. All their meals are tasty, Amala, Pounded Yam, Rice, you just name it. he did not like the meal but since a friend, a lady from Oyo State, introduced him to it, he has not stopped taking it.It was a friend who introduced me to this place over a year ago, after I relocated to Abuja from Nasarawa, now I come here alone, I am now a bona fide member” says Audu

However Mr Victor Adamu, a native of Kogi State who has spent several years in Lagos before moving to Abuja said what stands Iya Oyo out of the several Amala joints in the FCT is originality. “To get the right Amala spot in Abuja can be difficult, you go to some, they will give you good ambience but poor meals; some will serve you good meals but not with the local exactitude they do here. I will rather drive down here, stay in queue and get the best rather than waste my money on just any meal.

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