FASAHA CAFE : Ratings ★★★★☆
Kaduna is a cosmopolitan city with many spots for residents who appreciate the arts and want a fine dining experience. In recent times that are changing as restaurants and cafes are starting to pop up in the city. Residents who need a break from their routine no longer have to plan trips to Abuja or Lagos to do artsy things and have a good time as it has been brought to them.
Today we will be reviewing Fasaha Cafe, a spot that opened up in the heart of the city about three months ago. It is the first of its kind in the city as it is a cafe, art gallery, and bookstore rolled into one. It is located at Unguwar Sarki, Isa Kaita road opposite Access Bank, and you may need to pay special attention to your maps as it is easy to miss.
The cafe’s ambience is a beautiful one. You are welcomed by soft music when you walk in. It is clean and tastefully designed, with different art pieces adorning the walls. Because the cafe is also an art gallery and bookstore, we headed upstairs where the art gallery is to have a look. More art pieces were hanging on the walls by different artists, which were very African inspired and done by indigenous artists. After taking in the beauty of the art gallery, we headed back downstairs to the bookstore.
I am a book lover, so I felt like a child in a candy store browsing through the books on the shelves, most of them written by African authors. The genres ranged from politics to romance. There is a book for everyone in there. We learnt that the books are not for customers to leisurely read but sale and the price tag on all of the books showed proof of that.
In one sentence, the staff were a bit cold but not unfriendly, answering questions that needed to be answered.
We moved to the back, where there are tables and chairs for customers who like to eat out in the open. It is a beautiful space with a couch and a TV to entertain guests while they wait for their food, a TV that stayed off the entire time we were there. The fans were blowing at full speed, so it kept the place well ventilated, and in a city like Kaduna, that is important. We caught up with the cafe owner, who introduced himself as Joseph Ike, a soft-spoken middle-aged man, smartly dressed. He explained the purpose of opening the cafe to create a space for art lovers in Kaduna who previously had no outlet to express their love for the arts. He also stated that all of the paintings on the wall were made by artists indigenous to Kaduna.
This was an opportunity for talented local artists to show their work to people who enjoy art and make a living off it. He explained why the bookstore doesn’t operate as a library. The authors need to be compensated for their work to be motivated to do more. When asked about expansion plans, he said there was room for that in the future, but in the meantime, his focus is to keep the present cafe running.
The food prices are not crazy, and you get your money’s worth for the food you order. I was pleasantly surprised when the food arrived, and the serving was very generous. It wasn’t the typical small serving for an unbelievable amount of money familiar with upscale restaurants. The prices range from N800 to N6000. If you have a little money and want to spoil yourself, you will find something on the menu that fits your budget. I recommend having at least N5000 per person.
We thanked him for his time and ordered food off the menu, which consisted of mouth-watering local and intercontinental dishes. After going through the menu, I finally settled on the coconut curry chicken breasts served with rice, simply because it sounded fancy and I had never had it. I also ordered some orange juice. It took over ten minutes for the food to arrive, and compared to some other cafes, that is a slow response time.
Then it was time to feast! The food was delicious even though it tasted like regular tomato sauce with a lot of curries. The orange juice was equally heavenly as it was freshly squeezed with no additives except for a bit of sugar.
It was a fantastic experience. We got to do three different activities in one place; admire beautiful pieces of art, look at excellent books and eat good food. The cafe is so aesthetically pleasing and gives off good vibes. I would give it an 8/10.
It is highly recommended if you are in the city and need a beautiful place to chill, take pictures and eat good food.