Canaan Restaurant, SE5 0HB

Nigerian restaurant on Camberwell Road in Camberwell.

secretlondon, Kake, Palfrey, and two friends visited on a Saturday evening in September 2008, arriving around 8pm. We didn't need to book.

The main courses are divided into soups, yam dishes, rice dishes, and bean dishes, all priced between £6 and £10. They also have appetisers, chef's specials, and sides; though sides aren't really necessary as the mains come complete. Desserts are limited to ice cream or fruit cocktail (both £1).

The soups are actually thick stews/sauces photo, and once you've chosen your soup you also get to choose the protein (goat, beef, tripe, cow leg, or fish) that goes in it and the starch (pounded yam, semovita, or garri) that comes on the side. The pounded yam was great fun photo. Palfrey, who ordered this, was offered (and accepted) the choice of eating with his hands. Our waitress brought him a large bowl of water to wash his hands in, and explained the method; you pull off a little piece of the pounded yam, then dip/press it into the soup and then eat it.

The yam, rice, and bean dishes are all listed and priced by starch (e.g. plain rice, jollof rice, boiled yam, fried yam), but the price includes "stew" (a spicy tomato sauce) and your choice of meat or fish; the rice dishes additionally come with fried sliced plantain.

None of the mains are vegetarian by default, but they were happy to serve them without the accompanying meat or fish; of our two vegetarians, one had yam pottage photo and the other had beans with fried plantain photo.

secretlondon was the only one of our party to try an appetiser; the snail (£4 per reasonably-large snail) photo, which was rather dry and actually arrived after our main courses.

To accompany our food, we had palm wine (which was non alcoholic and interesting) (£3 for 600ml) photo and jugs of fruit juice (£3 for what looked like getting on for a litre). They were happy to bring us a jug of tap water, and we even got a container of ice with tongs for dispensing. They are licensed, though the wine choices are limited to one red and one white wine, no further details specified, served by the bottle or by the glass. There may also have been some beers on offer.

There was a projection screen on one wall showing Congolese music videos in the wrong aspect ratio.

The bill for five including non-alcoholic drinks and one starter was £50. Recommended as a good place to introduce oneself to this style of food, if one is unfamiliar, although perhaps not for vegetarians.

Accessibility: Tight entrance to get in but no steps. Toilets down steps though.

See also:

Last visited by secretlondon, Kake, Palfrey, and friends, September 2008.
OS X co-ord: 532453 OS Y co-ord: 177429 (Latitude: 51.480318 Longitude: -0.093970)
Last edited 2023-09-05 11:33:48 (version 8; diff). List all versions.