Whenever I travel outside Lagos, I try as much as possible to explore the local cuisine, culture, sights and scenes. However, on a recent trip to Dublin, Ireland I decided I wanted a taste of home instead. It was a long 5-day trip and I can only have so many cold sandwiches and roast turkey before the cravings for soft, smooth pounded yam and egusi soup kicks in. A couple of friends and myself decided to have dinner at Decency African Cuisine Restaurant, located at 40 Mountjoy Street, Dublin 7; phone: +353 1 830 8320. My friends were very excited about the restaurant and spoke about how authentic the food is. But I was not super hopeful, considering that the restaurant recommendation came from my non-Nigerians friends. At the minimum, I figured it will have a fun evening catching-up with old friends.
We took a taxi to the location, and the taxi driver, as can be predicted, was a Nigerian that had spent over 10 years canvassing through Europe for greener pastures, mostly in Italy and Ireland. It was an enjoyable ride with the driver sharing several hilarious adventures and feeling nostalgic about life back home. We eventually got to the restaurant. It is simple, clean and somewhat comfortable. It can easily sit about 12 people but not much room for more than 15 customers. The ambiance is casual with pedestrian wall paintings. We were warmly greeted by the waiter as soon as we walked in and promptly seated. This was refreshing considering the poor service one often experiences in Lagos, but can be explained by us being the only customers. We visited on a Wednesday and my friend mentioned that it is busier on the weekends.
We ordered the Jollof Rice with fried plantain and beef, moin-moin with barbecued fish and more plantains, and pounded yam with vegetable soup. They had a relatively comprehensive menu with additional soups items such as Ogbeno soup, Naala soup, Biter leave soup and Oha soup. See pictures of our orders below. The food came in generous portions. The quality was average. The fried plantains were perfectly golden yellow with just enough salt, but the Jollof rice was dry and the fish was not properly cleaned before grilling. We asked for red stew, a staple in every Nigerian kitchen, but they were out. The total bill came up to 37 Euros (they only accept cash) but bottled water is complimentary in Dublin, which was a nice surprise. Overall, this restaurant is not the place to impress a first date or a key client but I’d suggest it as a nice hang-out spot to enjoy a little taste of home.