Zion Soul Food is a catering business that specializes in authentic Caribbean and African soul food. For 15 years, the owner, chef and founder of Zion Soul Food – Randy Agyei – cooked in Toronto. Last year, he decided to leave the “Centre of the Universe” because he wanted to bring good food to Calgary. For this post, let’s play “Soul Man” by Sam and Dave.
I first heard about Zion from foodiegyal7. She’s posted about this place on her Instagram account a number of times. Foodiegyal is really picky about her Caribbean food, so if she raves about the food, it must be good.
If that wasn’t enough to make me try the food, Dianathefoodie recommended Zion Soul Food. Diana joked she was going to lose her Nigerian citizenship if anyone found that she said Zion’s Ghanaian jollof tastes better than most of the Nigerian jollof she’s tried in her life. After both Foodiegyal17 and Diana’s ringing endorsement, I had to taste it for myself.
I sent a direct message on Zion’s Instagram and asked Randy what was on the menu for Friday. The feature was Ginger Jollof Rice and Suya Chicken ($20). Delivery for my neighbourhood was $10. If you live in the NE or the downtown core, delivery is only $5. Delivery for lunch is offered Thursday to Sunday. If you order from the catering menu, delivery is free with a minimum purchase of $100. Pro tip – both foodiegyal7 and 4jki recommend ordering from the catering menu versus the lunch special because you get more protein versus carbs. For payment, just e-transfer the amount to Zionsoulfood@gmail.com the day of.
Holy Batman. This food is unreal – it’s a game changer for our taste buds. I can’t believe I’ve been missing out on all this flavour. Both L and I had a hard time describing what we tasted, just because everything was so unique to us.
I found the chicken incredibly moist and tender. The spices in the dry rub were so mouthwatering, it made my eyes pop with surprise. Foodiegyal17 is right. Zions food is high quality and deeply flavourful. Everyone needs to try Suya chicken.
The plantain looked like it was caramelized, the texture was gelatinous. To L, the plantain tasted a little like fried cornbread. I thought the plantain was an awesome balance of slightly sweet and savoury notes. I would order this again.
The jollof rice was chewy and fragrant, with a smoky flavour. The kwahu shito sauce was so unique – spicy, salty, with distinctive notes of fish and shrimp flavouring. I’d put that kwahu shito on everything.
I wasn’t sure if there was a proper process to eating the side of avocado. So in between bites of rice and chicken, I’d take a scoop of avocado, or a bite of raw onion and bell pepper. The corn was a winner – sweet and covered in a juicy, buttery sauce.
I’m eager to try some other Caribbean restaurants – such as Bellyfull (formerly Caribbean Choice), Krazy Jerk, and Food n Vibes. For a comprehensive list for all black-owned restaurants in Alberta, check out ashdoesfood’s Instagram account. Hitting the Sauce gives Zion Soul Food two fat thumbs up.