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Yinka Olaiya’s Yakoyo Restaurant

By  | 6 June 2008 at 06:37 | 2437 views

I recently asked Nigerian business woman Yinka Olaiya, the meaning of "Yakoyo" her restaurant’s name. She smiled and said: "It means come in and be filled."

I think that name is appropriate because I and a friend were really filled when we recently visited this haven of comfort after a hard day’s work (but with no intention of going home . It was just 6 pm for Christ’s sake!). We had steaming jollof rice with huge tilapia fish and fried plantains. My goodness, we were filled half way through and my friend ordered a fresh "consignment" to take home. Yakoyo indeed!

Yinka(pictured) was born in Lagos,Nigeria, where she picked up her culinary art from her mom. She later became the household’s favourite cook with her dad asking her to prepare his food more and more often.

She later emigrated to Texas, USA, a couple of years ago and is now in Vancouver, Canada, with her husband, Ademola(another great cook!) and her three children.

Yakoyo restaurant, situated at 7677 6th Street in Burnaby, is, at first appearance,just like any other Canadian restaurant until you pick up the menu and soak in the sweet African music flowing around you. Then you will see several mouth-shaking goodies from Africa: Pepper soup with goat meat and fish, fufu and egusi sauce, beans and meat,jollof rice with fish/meat, pounded yam,amala, etc, etc.

You can of course select/choose from a wide array of drinks to go with your meal, to make you feel not too nostalgic about Mother Africa.

Yinka is also specially trained in continental cusisine after attending a number of professional schools in North America. She told me she is an expert in Italian food too.

Apart from Yakoyo,Yinka and her husband also run a catering business, ofering their services at birthday parties, wedding parties and any other social events.

Yakoyo is open from 11 AM to 9 PM everyday except Friday(Pepper Soup Night) when it opens from 11 AM to 12 Mid night.