Nigerian Kitchen Eau Claire Brings the Flavor to Forage
new Nigerian restaurant operates out of downtown E.C. space
Nigerian Kitchen Eau Claire opened this fall, growing out of owner Funmi Okonmah’s catering business after a friend encouraged her to expand. Okonmah currently runs the Nigerian eatery by herself. Nigerian food may be a relatively new option in the area, but customers already have favorites from Nigerian Kitchen – such as the jollof rice and egusi soup with fufu (a kind of sticky dough) – and the menu also features lesser-known Nigerian food for customers to try.
Presently operating out of Forage (403 S Barstow St., Eau Claire) on Monday and Tuesday from noon to 3pm, Nigerian Kitchen Eau Claire is only set up for take out, but is working on offering delivery service. As Okonmah looks to the future, she seeks a permanent building to turn Nigerian Kitchen Eau Claire into a full sit-down restaurant.
Okonmah was influenced to start her business by her desire to share the value of connection through food, and that has not changed with her expansion plans. “I don’t want a place that will be so big that I would not be able to have a relationship with my customers,” Okonmah said. “I want it to be family-oriented. … Eau Claire is very small and I want to, as much as possible, know who is coming in, so that when I see them or they see me on the street we can say ‘hi’ to one another.”
Nigerian Kitchen Eau Claire has already been met with a positive response by the community. “People who turn up are really encouraging,” Okonmah said. “They will pick up food, then post on Facebook to advertise us.”
Each week’s menu is also uploaded to the restaurant’s Facebook, along with photographs, to keep customers updated about any changes in menu items or operating hours.