Hello Ladies & Gentlemen,
It’s been a longggg time. I have missed you guys oh. I don’t have many excuses for not blogging in almost two months. It’s just been one thing or the other! To the dear faithfuls that checked up on me one way or the other. Thank you!!! And even those of you who didn’t. ..I nor fexx.
I recently watched the movie The Chef and it opened my eyes to how I might be perceived by some establishments/chefs. If you have watched the movie, you would understand. I would like to reiterate that I am not out to witch hunt or malign any food catering establishment. My posts are about my dining experiences. I once described it to someone as giving people informed choices about where to eat in Nigeria and I am sticking to that. I have never been paid a dime to review these places. I do it on my free volition so why should I be biased? The movie has further hardened my resolve to believe that my wishes and aspirations will come to fruition if I work hard towards them . Hard work & persistence does pay. Phew!! rant over (I need the sweaty emoticon here ).
I was out on a dinner date with Mr U to La Taverna– a Chilean/Spanish/Italian fusion restaurant. It’s deeply tucked into one end of Balarabe Musa Crescent in Victoria Island. As always, we didn’t have a reservation but it didn’t seem to be a problem. The decor was basic. A bit rustic like a typical spanish trattoria. Nothing fancy with traditional chairs and tables with a wine “cellar” to one end . The other end had arranged wine barrel tags from different wine manufacturers around the world. There is an area for alfresco dinning but it had some sort of private party going on there on the night we visited.
The menu was quite extensive with fusion Chilean/Spanish/ Italian staples. This was my first experience with Chilean menu. I wasn’t sure what to order, so we agreed on ordering from the 3 countries.
Whilst we waited for the food, I ordered a glass of moscato which was delicious. I don’t remember the name though.The appetiser was Camarones a la parmesana. The mains were Prawns ravioli and Grilled salmon with mashed potatoes. And dessert was Tiramisu. (They had desserts du jour written out on a board in the corner).
Next came a basket of bread with some tomato dip. I am not sure I can describe this properly but I was dazed by how lovely the combination was. I had to ask the chef what he put in. The bread was soooo darn good. It was a Chilean staple called Marquetta. It’s dense and sweet kinda like agege bread but far better- perhaps it’s agege bread’s posh cousin. They bake it fresh every morning. With the tomato dip? Heavenly. No it didn’t taste like bread and stew 🙂 . I did oliver twist , I asked for seconds and I still got take away. This appetizer deserves an ace!!!
Then came the starter- Camarones a la parmesana. This was prawns baked in cream and cheese. It was baked with a slight crust so it was slightly crispy on the outside and stringy like hot cheese on Pizza. It was served in a seashell. I thought that was quite original. In the looks department, it wasn’t grand but it tasted amazing.
The mains came and they did not look too happy either…hahaha. To me, it seemed like they made them and just slapped them on the plate. Starting with the prawns ravioli, looking at it did not impress me one bit. It was basically ravioli pasta ,stuffed with prawns and cooked in tomato sauce. Here plating was non existent. It was just poured in bowl, no garnish whatsoever.When I tasted it, I was quite surprised because the tomato sauce was good . The pasta on the other hand, had a bite to it, somewhat chewy.Like it had been frozen and not properly thawed. I am trying to convince myself that a restaurant that sells seafood pasta would make their own ravioli fresh. My conclusion was that it had been previously made and had just been hurriedly thawed before it was tossed in the tomato sauce…I could be wrong.
The salmon.. Hmnn, I need to remember when next I go out to review that it don’t have to have seafood. The Salmon did not look interesting either. As always, I added black pepper to the mashed potatoes. The never judge “a book by its cover” rule applied here. The mashed potatoes was creamy, fluffy and no lumps! Yes, no lumps, that’s a breathe of fresh air in Lagos. The menu stated that the salmon would be served with lemon sauce but when it came, there was no lemon sauce.. It came with some sort of creamy sauce but definitely not lemon sauce. I think it was a little overcooked but it still tasted alright. Yet again, it was slapped on the plate. So if per chance they happen to see this review, PLEASE your meals are too nicely made to be slapped on the plate! You can do better with your food presentation.
For dessert, I had requested for Tiramisu, unfortunately, it had finished before we placed our order. I didn’t feel like I wanted anything else so we skipped it altogether. Sob….
I got a chance to speak with the chef- Cristian who was friendly. I discovered that they offered cooking classes. That’s a date idea for those that send mails asking what they can do for date night, you can both learn to cook and then eat your creations afterwards. Win-win situation if you ask me.
We paid about N14,000 for 1 appetizer, 2 main entrees , a glass of wine and a bottle of water
P.S : I apologise about the quality of these pictures. I could not adjust my camera settings with the lighting.
MY SCORE CARD
Layout / Ambiance / Aesthetics- 7
Quality of food- 8
Value for money- 8
Customer Service- 9
48, Balarabe Musa Crescent