Afro Delight offers traditional Nigerian dishes in Limerick City and is eager to enter the national market
By Rachel Petticrew
If you fancied an African takeaway in Ireland tonight, you would find just one Dublin option when scrolling through food delivery apps. Michael Ololuo, owner of recently-opened Afro Delight in Limerick City, plans to change that.
Along with three fellow-Nigerian business partners, Michael has injected something new into Limerick’s street food offering since opening at the end of September.
“It’s something I’ve been thinking about since I came to Limerick about eight years ago,” he admits. “When I arrived, I remember thinking, ‘There are no African restaurants here, what is going on?'”
Serving West African cuisines, Afro Delights is an unmissable sight on Lock Quay; its yellow, green and pink mural offers a welcome break from the area’s usual greys and browns. Above the door, a hand-painted sign lets you know exactly what to expect – Authentic Nigerian Takeaway.
The idea to establish a taste of home in the Treaty City was not Michael’s alone; the idea was born at a friend’s party, who had also been thinking about setting up a West African restaurant.
“We saw a gap and we thought, ‘Why not fill that gap?'” Michael recounts. “Limerick is such a beautiful city, it has given us so much. Our kids were born here. So we wanted to give something back.”
Afro Delight offers a concise Nigerian menu, the majority of which is likely unknown to Irish customers. The most traditional dish on offer is tomato-based Jollof Rice, which Michael explains is popular the world over.
“We also have a traditional Egusi Soup made with melon seeds, so it’s very nutritious. Nigerian food is known for being really healthy. We slow cook our food, which brings out the nutrients and different spices we use,” he adds.
Other dishes available at Afro Delight are based around spinach and various slow-cooked meats. The kitchen uses Irish beef exclusively, and offers vegan and halal options.
The team have been overwhelmed by the support received in Limerick, with many locals popping in to sample the goods and offer feedback.
“People are warming to our style of food,” Michael says with a smile. “It’s all about trying something a little bit different. This is something very new here – it hasn’t been done before.”
Indeed, it hasn’t, and Afro Delight is eager to carve out a space for African takeaway in the national market. The business already has plans for a second Limerick location and hopes to set up shop in Cork and Galway too.
“We want to blend our beautiful culture with Irish culture,” states Michael. “I believe we are so similar culturally, and I just know that Irish people will enjoy our food.”
Afro Delight is open for collection or delivery at 11 Lock Quay, Limerick City from 5pm to 10pm, Thursday to Sunday.