If you have ever gone out to a restaurant in Lagos and enjoyed the seafood there, it would be safe to bet that it comes from this little fish market under the VI side of the Falomo Bridge. The market has been there for years. I remember going with my maternal grandma when I was much younger. There, we would get all sorts of weird and wonderful things and as I child I remember being slightly worried that so many random creatures lived under the sea. Whenever we went to the beach and a little bit of driftwood brushed my leg, I would immediately picture one of the mammoth beasty creatures with eyes hanging out and tentacles and scales and what not; and freak out.
The market is patronised by restaurateurs and people in the food trade because you can but almost any kind of seafood you can imagine. On the day we went, there were English chefs, South African chefs and Chinese chefs there. On this particular day, we were planning a seafood barbeque and so we got croaker, red mullet, giant prawns, and squid. We wanted to get lobster as well but the catch they had that day was rather puny and we didn’t think it was worth it. Perhaps our noon arrival was a tad late, as they set up shop from the crack of dawn. You can also buy fresh vegetables there, as some clever traders have figured out that people who are buying seafood are a captive audience for fresh produce. The other good place to get fish is The Fish Shop (one in Lekki 1 and one in VI). I will post pics when next I go.
Finally, here are a few pointers on how to select really fresh fish:
- Scales should be intact and not ruffled or patchy
- The fish should be firm to the touch, and ever so slightly slippery but not gunky
- Should smell briny, and like the sea, not too pungent or fishy
- Bright, clear eyes
- Bright red gills (a natural red colour, not a sludgy brown or a bright red dyed colour)
- Use your gut. If you stare a little fish in the eye and you don’t like it, put it down and pick up another one
Have you tried this market? What did you think?
P.S. Shout out to *HA* whose hand you see holding up the giant prawn. Hahahaha.