Much has been written about Guangzhou's African community, which numbers anywhere between 30,000 and 200,000, depending on your source. Sino-African trade volumes exceeded US$110 billion last year, and much of that trade seems to happen in part of the bustling metropolis commonly referred to by monikers such as 'Little Africa'. The eight-kilometre strip from the pink-hued Tianxiu Mansion at the intersection of Xiaobei Lu and Huanshi Zhong Lu all the way down to Canaan Trading Centre at Guangyuan Xi Lu is chock-full of locally run restaurants serving up quasi-traditional feasts suitable for a lion's appetite. However, to find a bona fide fufu (mashed plantain), onugbo (bitter leaf soup) or jollof rice (slow-cooked rice in tomato sauce, spices and meat) is more challenging. Finding the right eatery for a dose of simple yet time-honoured Nigerian or Ghanaian fare is to slither in and out of messy alleys crammed with cheap Chinese commodities, arriving with a hearty appetite for an African-style culinary adventure. Here are five of the best: Best-way African Restaurant Helen, a friendly English-speaking waitress with loads of local know-how, knows her Igbo food like the back of her hand - so much so that this place does not have a menu. Simply ask for what you crave, or point to your neighbour's half-eaten dish. Dimly lit and accessible down narrow stairs to the basement, this cosy eatery is famed for its home-style cooking, Nigerian music wafting through the speakers and low prices - perfect for a quick meal after a day haggling in the markets. For a true taste of home, try the pounded yam dish with seafood or meat sauce, called semo and egusi soup, thickened with melon seeds. No 003, Bole Trading City, 99 Guangyuan Xi Lu (opposite Canaan Market) Tel: +86 (20) 6114 7501/6114 7502 Average cost per person: 20 yuan (HK$25) to 60 yuan Open from 11.30am until 3am Kitchen Delight Bright yellow walls, purple chair covers, zebra-print sofas and welcoming sounds of gyrating African music await you in this newly opened haunt. While not at ground level, this seemingly hidden gem is true to its name. Serving up traditional Ghanaian and Nigerian delights, this restaurant is a solace for anyone looking for a place to entertain guests or be entertained. Tip: Ask for Yvonne or Michael. They run the place and make helpful recommendations. Near Tian En Clothes Market, 89 Guangyuan Xi Lu (opposite Canaan Market) Tel: +86 (20) 8652 5480 Average cost per person: 30 to 80 yuan Open from 11.30am until 11pm Guo Zhan Clothing Market 'African Food Court' On the fourth floor of this busy clothing market, half a dozen tiny shopfronts with a few tables and chairs double as a mini food court, much like Chungking Mansions in Tsim Sha Tsui. While the decor is spartan, the basic menus of about 15 to 20 dishes cooked in tiny makeshift kitchens are sufficient to fill your tummy at very reasonable prices. Okija Amaka Restaurant serves fufu for just 10 yuan, and ora soup; the salted and dried stock fish and goat pepper soup is just 25 yuan. Uzor Omex African Restaurant is rumoured to have one of the best jollof rices in town. Takeaway and catering services are also available, but the real experience lies in visiting this hotbed of African culture. 4/F, Guo Zhan Clothing Market, 89 Guangyuan Xi Lu Okija Amaka Restaurant Tel: +86 137 2521 0471 Uzor Omex African Restaurant Tel: +86 134 1634 1844 Average cost per person: 20 to 50 yuan Open for lunch and dinner Mr. T African Restaurant New to the scene, this home away from home serves more than just the staple African delicacies. Proprietor Prince Tunde, or Mr T, a Nigerian native married to a local Chinese lady, is proud of his new endeavour - especially his menu, which has a smattering of Chinese dishes to encourage unity between communities. It's a hot hangout, especially on Fridays and Saturdays when they play Ghana Highlife music. Orders can be taken online. 2/F, 600 Hotel, Xia Tang Xi Lu (Xiao Bei Lu) Near Tianxiu Building, beside Deng Feng Hotel Tel: +86 (20) 8358 2357/8348 9855 Open for lunch and dinner Average cost per person: 30 to 80 yuan www.mrtrestaurant.com Moka Coffee Moka Coffee, the first port of call for all African traders to meet and greet, is located at the infamous Tianxiu Building - site of many police raids, much illegality and the deaths of many Africans. It's been around for years, serving halal African-inspired food, bakery delights and hot and cold beverages by Muslim-Chinese wait staff. The food is simple and hits the spot; imported fufu with a light chevron (goat) soup, cassava-based banku and okro soup of okra with chicken, barbequed spring chicken and fish, jollof rice, shawarmas, pizzas and burgers. Step into a world of faux brick walls, low hanging lampshades and russet-coloured tables and chairs, occupied by relaxed diners from more than 20 different African communities at any given time. A visual treat for anyone looking to discover the multiracial facets of 'Little Africa'. 1/F, Tianxiu Building 300 Huanshi Zhong Lu Tel: +86 (20) 8356 3416 Open from 8am to 1am Halal For more information about the African community living in Guangzhou, visit lensafrik.com/index.html.