VILLA MEDICI- THE REVIEW

Monday 11.42 A.M

Hello Valentine and Valentinas ,

Sooo, the Love season is here again . There are all sorts of deals on dinning, flowers , romantic getaways etc. Shall we say Valentine’s day on a Friday will be plenty chaos in this town? Plenty nlaru (sp)  things* winks*. I sometimes get uneasy with all the commercialization going on with Valentine’s day. I recently read an article where there was some sort of bidding contest on who would “win” the services of a Michellin star chef that would  dinner cook a four or five course meal  for 2 people for $100,000. yes you read right, 100 grand!!! Biko wetin he wan carry cook am? I am not being  judgmental  but that will feed all of us from my village. LOL.

It was my Sugar’s birthday recently and we went out for dinner at Villa Medici. It used to be known as Medici to the best of my knowledge so I guess the name change  occurred recently. Villa Medici is a fine dinning  restaurant that serves intercontinental dishes leaning ever so slightly to the french cuisine. It doesn’t have a set theme  but it’s quite well put together : contemporary paintings on the wall, an odd mask here, antique light there. It all worked  together nicely. The table setting was informal- neatly laid out. I would like to describe this restaurant as an upscale  and romantic restaurant.

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Villa Medici 03I must say, that for a Monday night, Villa Medici was packed.  Some  sort of private party I  later figured. We were given a table in a quiet corner. Our assigned waiter  handed us the drinks menu. The drinks list was quite extensive.  We ordered the Virgin Bellini (N1000- $5.5) and the Apple Colada.(N1,800-$10.5) He came back swiftly with a basket of artfully wrapped  toasted garlic bread and some dinner rolls.

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Whilst we waited for the drinks, he handed us the food menu. The food list was extensive. They had quite a number of  dishes that were different from the norm for Lagos . This was the first time I was seeing Carpaccio and Frog legs on a menu in Lagos ( I am not saying it doesn’t exist).  We ordered a smoked Salmon and Prawn salad, Seafood ragout, and the Fillet Steak Royale.

The starter was the smoked Salmon and Prawn  salad (N3600-$21).  The picture shown below doesn’t do this plate justice at all. I was too impatient to eat to have gotten a better shot. I apologize.  I liked the presentation. Most restaurants where I’ve had this salad,  serve the  prawn and salmon on a bed of greens but this was the reverse. The salmon  and prawns were served as the bed with the greens in the middle. The greens were tossed in some sort of vinagriette . I didn’t bother  asking the waiter what it was . Miss gulu had reared her ugly head. I added a dash of  lemon juice to it and gobbled it in no time.  I found the prawn perfectly cooked. The salmon was  a tad too salty from the curing i guess. I enjoyed it nonetheless.

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The 1st main course was the Seafood Ragout (N5,750-$33) served with Potato Tatin and steamed vegetables. The first thing that came to mind was that I had ordered seafood stew, it looked just like that. Hmmnn, It wasn’t slapped on the plate just like that but it was not that interesting to look at as well.  The menu stated that  it was light Prawn broth with Seabass , mussels, Prawns  and calamari. It was chunks of  sauteed Calamari , Prawns and Fish tossed in tomato sauce garnished in parsley.. It wasn’t a broth and there was no mussel in the dish. The seafood was well cooked  but I found it to be a bit under seasoned. When it comes to potato tatin, I am quite queer, I like it with a crust. I would prefer to eat the crust than the baked potatoes itself, This had a bit of both, so I loved it.The steamed vegetables was fresh and crunchy and it added the some colour to the dish.

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Villa Medici 10The second main course was the  Fillet Steak Royal (N6,750- $40) served with Potato Tatin and steamed vegetables. When I placed my order for this, the first question  the waiter asked was how well done I wanted it to be. If you are a regular reader of my posts you probably know the automated answer by now. Steak well done please. I am a typical naija chic that must eat all things overcooked . hahaha. Well he said to me ” ma’am may I suggest that you  try the medium -well done  so that you can enjoy it better. He explained that  steak well done  often tastes tough to chew. Hiaaan see me  see wahala oh? Well, I agreed to steak medium well. When it came it didn’t look too bad,it had mild  traces of pink. Four  thick slices  of span seared  steak was served with  reduced mushroom sauce. It was well seasoned and flavourful . I hate to admit that it was actually less chewy than what I normally had.  I shall do medium – well from now on. It was served with the same potato tatin and vegetables. I absolutely loved it. If only I could “thief ” that reduced mushroom sauce recipe… Note worthy is the portion size , it was not baby portions like most restaurants  in Lagos serve.

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Whilst  going round taking pictures for this post , I got talking with the manager of the restaurant. He was a charming chap who asked if everything was alright. He was probably wondering why I was taking the pictures. I later introduced myself to him and he instantly recognized the  name. Hmnnnn…endangered species move. I need to start thinking of disguises when I go out to eat now oh or else…….Anyway, I introduced him to the hub and told him it was the hub’s birthday.

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When we called for the desserts menu, the waiter left like he was going to bring it. Some minutes after, no waiter, no menu . As if on cue, the lights dimmed  and the husky voices came up with the birthday song, we were pleasantly surprised. It was such a thoughtful gesture .  He was given a  chunk of cheese cake with Happy birthday written on the plate. With the free cheesecake, we didn’t need to order desserts again. Just by some stroke of luck they read this, Thank you guys. I still called for the menu to see if there was anything interesting on it. There was no list, it just said desserts from the trolley. It was (N1,800- $11). I was able to get a picture of the trolley whilst another table was being served. I am not one to look a gift horse in the teeth but the cheesecake would have been nicer with a little less gelatin.

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For lovers of alfresco dinning, there’s a lovely outdoor area .

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For 1 salad, 2 mains, 2 cocktails and a bottle of water , we paid N23, 280-($137) inclusive of all taxes.

I went to inspect the restroom, yes it was clean and the mini sitting area was daintily done up but it had a smell, like disinfectant had been used. The connector pipes for the WC  were rusty. I know this will be overlooked by some but its a fine dinning restaurant, its not appropriate .

Would I go back there? Oh yes!

MY SCORE CARD

Layout / Ambiance / Aesthetics- 8

Quality of food-  9

Value for money- 8

Customer Service- 9

VILLA MEDICI

1, Babatunde Jose  street

Victoria Island

Lagos

08191495381

DISCLAIMER: These reviews are my opinion of my dinning experiences  at these places. They are not sponsored  by any establishment unless otherwise stated.

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