The first Spotlight on Life Without Spanxs had to be different and dear readers, I’ve delivered. Switching over from fashion to food *mini squeal for my fellow foodies* and shining an inaugural light on the men this time, SuyaSpot is definitely a brand to be reckoned with. Headed up by brothers Tomi & Tobi Akinbolagun and Folaju ‘FJ’ Oyegbesan, the suya-centric pop-up is the perfect balance of great vibes and moreish bites, bringing the kind of spice needed to London’s cultural melting pot.
Now about to see their 4th event come to life, I can personally say how much I have enjoyed watching the brand grow and meeting the eclectic mix these gentlemen bring together. Below, we discuss all things SuyaSpot; from the vibrancy of African heritage being at the heart of the brand to building on past experiences and personal strengths to take their events to the next level. Read on and, if you’re lucky, you may just learn a li’l something about bringing the heat to your love life.. #ChickenWingsShowCharacter
SuyaSpot: the brand
From bar talk to building blocks..
Dealing with challenges head on
from our first event, which have been applied to each following event and we've seen that learning process pay off.
Support Squad goals
SuyaSpot: the experience
FJ: We want to recreate the experience of having a good home cooked meal with your family but away from your family and everyone that comes should feel right at home.
On balancing work and SuyaSpot event planning
I am fortunate to have some flexibility around working hours, I will typically work from home the Friday before each event which helps if there are deliveries to be taken or orders to be finalised. However the bulk of the shopping and prep is done on the Saturday as we want our food to be as fresh as can be. Every SuyaSpot event has involved pulling at least one all nighter in the run up to the big day but as we learn the tricks of the trade we are becoming more efficient with prep, maybe we’ll even manage to get some sleep before the next event!
FJ: I am lucky enough to work for myself, so I am able to allocate as much time is needed to SuyaSpot. Also having three people dedicated to the vision helps, like Tobi said we share responsibilities and pick up the extra workload if one of us is busy or not readily available.
SuyaSpot: The men behind the machine
Date night x SuyaSpot – let’s bring the fire!
Starter - BBQ corn x Suya Butter, let's start the meal with something simple, sweet and fun. This is one of my favourite sides. The soft juicy corn is contrasted in parts by coal caramelised kernels, not only is it ridiculously tasty but there's also some symbolism here; the butter is going to melt all over the cob as she will in my arms by the end of the night.
Main - Beef Suya, our take on a timeless classic. The heat of the Suya is unencumbered. Ginger and chilli are two of my favourite spices, not only do they make the base of yaji (Suya spice) but they are also well known aphrodisiacs. That ought to heat things up and help this date along! Our cooling salad will help control the rising fires, after all we want this date to last all night.
Dessert - Plantain Pie. This game changing pie is making a debut at February's pop-up and is me on a plate. We’ll start from the bottom up, there’s the traditional well grounded short crust base topped with a soft, smooth, familiar but unique plantain filling finished by the hardened gold caramel crumb. All together this is a well-balanced and truly outstanding specimen.
FJ: Mmm... A SuyaSpot date night event this could be a new thing but back to your question.
Starter - I would say the Gizodo probably it’s the only thing we have on the menu that is kind of like a starter and it’s probably the easiest thing to eat on the menu at the start of the date. Imagine eating the BBQ corn x Suya Butter like you are playing the harmonica at the start of the date, it would be a madness.
Main – I would say a combination of the Beef Suya and Suya Wings in a sharing platter, it would be nice to see dynamic over sharing food – who goes for the last piece? Do they offer first or just grab the last wing? Also how you eat a chicken wing is crucial to character judgement, you have to see if they clean the bones, leave some bits on the bone or they chew the bone (stay away from that person!).
Dessert – The most important course on the date, in my opinion, when I pick a restaurant for dinner I always check the dessert first. If they have a good selection then I go. So for this SuyaSpot date it would be the new Plantain Pie, I tried the finalised recipe over the weekend and it was banging. It would be great to share with someone you like, personally I would get two cause Joey doesn’t share food.