R.S.V.P – THE REVIEW

Sunday,  7.35 p.m

Happy New year!!!

How are you all doing? I have been very lazy to blog about food and other things i love doing. To those that have asked if I have lost the passion for food blogging , it’s an absolute No…I have just been caught up with all sorts. I will endeavour to do better this year… 1 post at a time, so help me Lord.  🙂

I am always skeptical about reviewing new restaurants but I didn’t have a choice in this case. My dear friend “uncle J”  goaded me into it.  We reviewed R.S.V.P restaurant . It has only been opened for about seven weeks or thereabouts.

R.S.V.P restaurant is a mid sized  fusion restaurant that sits about 40 people. The decor had this minimalist monochrome feel to it…you know that barely there , no fuss but elegant feel to a room? That is it! The dinning area had several long line tufted sofas with individual tables that were neatly laid out with personalised napkins and well polished cutlery . To a corner, sat a mini bar and a cashier’s desk.

A waiter introduced himself and handed us the menus. The dishes listed on the menu were a breathe of fresh air. It was somewhat tilted  towards the middle eastern cuisine. It didn’t have the fancy exaggeration of a typical restaurant menu in Lagos. Straight to the point , no fuss descriptions. I do not remember what the drinks menu listed but we sha ordered something.

For our drinks, we ordered the Pina colada and the Naija spritz. For food, we asked the waiter for recommendations and he told us everything was delicious. To me , he sounded like he was not conversant with the dishes on the menu. Uncle J took laws into his hands  and almost shut down the kitchen with all the food he ordered. Our starters were the Salt & pepper cauliflower, the Quinoa crunch salad and the fish machos. For mains, we ordered the fish fillet & chicken tajeen. For dessert, we had the chocolate almond tart a la mode. Hmnnn, all these for 2 people?

I don’t know why I bother ordering mocktails in restaurants. They always fail to impress me. My Pina colada (N1,900-$10) was too watered down to make sense to me, it had more ice than the drink mix itself. I was told the Naija spritz (N2,200) was watered down too. So there’s nothing to review here. Why do these guys charge premium for drinks and still can’t get it right?

When the starters came, I was confused for a second. The three came together. The question was which to start with. We went with the fish machos. The fish machos (1900-$10) was flaked sauteed fish mixed with cream or mayo, spring onions and thinly sliced red peppers . It was served on crisp plantain tacos. It was finished off with delicious sun dried tomatoes. The combination worked so well. I found the plantain crisp a tad oily.

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The second starter was the Quinoa crunch salad (N3,400- $17). Before this review, I had been anti – quinoa… just because it’s usurping my beloved rice’ s place, all in the name of fit fam and this healthy eating fad. I am not anti healthy eating but biko leave my rice. Anyway before I digressed, this quinoa crunch salad is the best thing I have eaten in a while. It seemed rather simply done but it had the right balance of everything. The cooked quinoa was tossed with juicy tomatoes, apples, olive oil, watercress and spring onions. Sesame seeds were supposed to make an appearance somewhere in the mix but I didn’t see it. This dish is not something I would have ordered on a regular day but I am glad I did. We both decided it deserved an ace!

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The third starter was the Salt and pepper cauliflower(N2200-$11.5). If you have read enough of my post, you would know I don’t fancy breaded foods. I didn’t have a problem with this because the menu said the batter was light. If you are doing fit fam ,“don’t tink it oh”..Yes it’s vegetables,  but fried vegetables with batter on it equals a milli calories. Or you can be like me, you eat it and pay the penance later. This was cauliflower seasoned with salt and black Pepper, lightly battered and fried. It was crunchy and fresh. I found this a little oily as well. It was served with chili tahini dip. I had not heard of this dip before but I didn’t like it because it had a somewhat bitter after taste. It looked and tasted kinda like hummus but it didn’t work for either of us so we left it.It was nice even without the tahini dip.

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The mains were brought and we started with the fish fillet (N6200-$33) served with steamed rice. The plating was a problem here, see picture below. The rice was in a small cast iron skillet, the sauce in a bowl and the fish fillet on the plate. The plate looked stark. I don’t know what they could have done better but this plating didn’t werk for me. The concept behind the dish was nice but it was bland. This dish was two breaded fish fillets, sandwiched with a spicy filling in the middle and then baked. It didn’t have salt and it was overcooked . The sauce that accompanied this was not properly seasoned and it was not reduced enough so it was too light for the fish. This did not work for me. I also felt this was overpriced.IMG-20150123-WA0004

The menu described the chicken tajeen (N4500-$24)  as pomegranate chicken served with couscous and Moroccan spices.This was  iffy for me. The sugar/sweetener in the sauce used to marinate this chicken was over the top. I didn’t fancy this at all. The chicken was tender but the sauce  was poured over it so we didn’t eat it. We could have sent it back but we decided to let it slide.

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The dessert menu was not particularly interesting so we settled for chocolate tart a la mode (N3000-$15). When you order dessert a la mode it means that it is served with an accompaniment i.e ice cream or sorbet. The waiter brought our tart and it was not a la mode, I asked him why, he said that was the way their a la mode was served. I asked him to go back to the chef to ask . He came back to retrieve the plate. He came back with the tart served with vanilla ice cream. This is one of the best desserts I have had in a restaurant in Lagos!!! The chocolate filling was rich, smooth and not too sweet. If you have trained palette for chocolate, you will know premium chocolate was used. The tart shell was crisp and nice. The ice cream was smooth and creamy. We thought it was a known store bought brand but the waiter said it was made on site. Who were we to argue? Errr, I had a problem with the pricing. I wasn’t expecting a whole tart or anything of that sort but this dessert for N3,000 was pricey!

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I took a trip to the restroom and it was spotless..

Would I go back there? For that quinoa crunch salad and chocolate tart? Oh yes!!

We paid N24,650-$130 for 3 starters, 2 mains , 1 dessert and 2 mocktails

 

MY SCORE CARD

Layout / Ambiance / Aesthetics- 9

Quality of food- 7

Value for money- 6

Customer Service- 8

 

R.S.V.P RESTAURANT

9, Eletu Ogabi  street,

Victoria Island

Lagos

Thank you for always reading.

 

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

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LA TAVERNA – THE REVIEW

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.

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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!!!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

 

LA TAVERNA

48, Balarabe Musa Crescent

Victoria Island.

08051788782

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SKY RESTAURANT

Hello good people,

I can’t believe it’s August  already. We were screaming happy new year like 2 minutes ago. I hope you are doing well. An article I recently read got me thinking –  Is it right for premium restaurant or restaurants generally  to run a No-Kids policy? This particular restaurant’s reason was that some customers complained that noisy kids distracted them from enjoying their meals and/or just generally ruined the ambience of their outing. What saith thou? Kids or No Kids?

It was our wedding anniversary last week, so Mr U and I went to Sky Restaurant for dinner. Sky Restaurant is probably the highest restaurant in Lagos. It is housed at  the penthouse of Eko Hotel and Suites with views to die for. Depending on where you are seated, your view could either be the Atlantic Ocean or the city view. On entry, to the right is the lounge whilst to the left is the  formal dinning room.

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I can’t particularly put a theme to the decor but it seemed kinda dated for what the restaurant was touted to be.There were the sequined see – through curtains acting as wall divider. The dining room had traditional dinning chairs and tables which were nicely laid. It was not out of sync but it was not particularly grand. I am of firm opinion that decor in Lagos restaurants has evolved beyond this.  I later found out from the waiter that the restaurant  would be closed for about a month for renovations and redecoration so  I am guessing that they know too.

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We arrived at about 5.30P.M, to be told that dinner service was not until 6P.M. We decided to have aperitifs , errr not exactly aperitifs  because we ended up with a mocktail. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t pay attention to the name so I can’t tell you what I ordered. I didn’t like the way it looked and even the presentation was not  great ( mismatched straws and boring old glass) but it tasted really nice…. I left it for a bit  because I got carried away with loloxing  and  the drink became layered. You could see the cream layer and whatever else was added to it had its own separate layer as well, not a pleasant sight.  I asked for nuts to “hold belle” and the “oncle” brought me some dodgy looking peanuts with the skin on. Issshh, I cant shout abeg. The next thing will be garri, ice cubes and bowl. This is a premium restaurant for pete’s sake!

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At 6P.M prompt, a smartly dressed waitress introduced herself and showed us to our table. We opted for city view. Did I mention how gorgeous it was? Pardon me for repeating it but I felt like I was floating in the sky (exaggeration). The menu was a fusion menu. It had Italian, Asian, French and American dishes. Well, having a wide variety on your menu is one thing, availability is another.

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We ordered the assorted seafood tempura as a starter, Grilled Salmon with stuffed vegetables with dill beure blanc ( ina su oyinbo), Roasted lamb rack, oven grilled eggplant  with mozzarella and  rosemary juice.  We added a side order of Hong Kong rice. For dessert, we ordered the Brooklyn choco mousse cake with pistachio  ice cream and chocolate sauce. Those are really long names I know but no be my fault oh, na so dem write am.

After about 10 minutes, sisi waitress said there was no seafood tempura so we ordered  sushi instead. We ordered the sweet sixteen roll sushi and whilst we waited, she brought a basket of assorted dinner rolls with butter. How predictable! Why does it always have to be dinner rolls?

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Eventually, the sushi came and it was nicely plated. Sweet sixteen roll sushi ( N3700-$22) had  smoked salmon, avocado, cream cheese, shredded cucumber and shrimps rolled into the rice. It was served with wasabi, pickled ginger and soy sauce. The rice had the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness and it didn’t smell fishy at all. (If you order sushi and it smells fishy, it means it’s not top grade sushi even if it has fish – no be me talk am oh, na my Japanese chef friend talk am). If you can not tolerate pepper (spicy food) please steer clear of wasabi.I learnt the hard way years ago.

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Our main courses with the Hong Kong rice came at the same time. We decided to start with the Grilled Salmon  with dill beure blanc and stuffed vegetables (N7200-$44). I don’t know if I can  say it was well plated or it was neatly arranged. I will leave you to be the judge (see picture attached).  Whilst I can’t make up on my mind on the plating, there were no doubts about how beautifully done this entree was.The outside of the Salmon was crisp and the pink insides was moist and nicely seasoned. The addition of the creamy dill beurre blanc (butter reduction sauce) was a perfect accompaniment to the fish. Even the vegetables was nicely seasoned and steamed but it was not stuffed like the menu described it to be. We cleaned out the plate in minutes! This dish deserved an ace but I am being stingy because I had to pay for a side dish. The Hong  Kong rice (N2,400-$14.5) was not great, I found the rice to be a tad oily and over cooked. 

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The second entree was the Roasted lamb rack served with oven grilled egg plant, mozzarella and rosemary juice (N6,800-$41). I requested not to have the grilled egg plant because I don’t particularly fancy it. Yet again, plating was an issue for me. Or was I the one expecting too much? The picture always tells the story, have a look. I have repented from ordering overcooked meat  so  when the waiter asked how cooked I wanted it, I ordered medium- well.  I had no idea what rosemary juice  was whilst ordering but it was sooo good with the lamb. It was probably reduced broth spiced with rosemary….my guess.  It was a perfect  match with the tender chops which incidentally was not as fatty as I knew it to be. It was nicely seasoned too. We had this with Hong Kong rice.

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For desserts, we had ordered the Brooklyn Choco mousse cake with pistachio ice cream (N2950-$18) but we had to change the order because it was not available or something like that- I really don’t remember. So, we opted for the Chocolate Bavarois (N2,950-$18) which was not  listed on the menu,it was recommended by the waitress. We were mistakened  for another couple who had made a reservation for their anniversary on that day as well. We told the waiter who asked  we had not made any reservations but it was our anniversary as well. So when the Bavarois came, it was with the waiters singing with candles on our Bavarois. They actually put in an effort with the whole presentation. The plating came into play yet again. The Bavarois was just there, it didn’t leave me wanting more. For one, it would have tasted better with less gelatine. The chocolate was not top notch either or maybe it was that,it was not properly tempered because it was grainy.

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The restrooms were well apportioned and kept sparkling.

We paid  about N26,000 ($157) for 1 starter, 2 entrees, 1 dessert, 1mocktail and a bottle of water.

Would I go back there? Oh Yes

NOTE: This is more pricey than your average Lagos restaurant , so be well prepared if you don’t want to wash plates o. #justsaying

 MY SCORE CARD

Layout / Ambiance / Aesthetics- 8

Quality of food- 9

Value for money- 7

Customer Service- 9

SKY RESTAURANT

Eko Hotels & Suites

Victoria Island

Thank you for always reading.

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

 

 

BASILICO ITALIAN RESTAURANT- THE REVIEW

Tuesday, 5.15P.M

Hello Gorgeous,

How are you all?  The Nigerian circle on social media was agog this past week because Miss Kemi Adetiba, a renowned video producer was refused entry into Spice Route restaurant on Adeola Odeku, Victoria Island.  She was refused entry because she was not accompanied by a male . Yes! You read right. I know they have a right to who they admit and all..  but  biko , since when did we need to have male escorts to eat out  or even get soial? Only in Lagos. Absolute balderdash! What’s your take on this? Kemi, (if you happen to see this), even though you are always taunting me with food pictures and harassing my eyes, me thinks you should sue the pants off them for gender discrimination.   * straight faced*

I went out on a dinner date with my dear friend Fola  of the stylefash25 blog. We went to the newly opened Basilico Italian Restaurant on Musa  Yaradua street,Victoria Island.  There was just something warm about the restaurant that drew me in. I tried to figure it out before we  left the place, but I couldn’t . Probably  because I was too carried away with chatting with my dear friend.  I felt the room was a tad sterile with white walls and an odd painting here and there. They had traditional seats with  nicely laid out tables. The best word to describe this would be Warm and Comfortable. OK, I know that’s two words. : ).   There was also an outdoor eating area, this area would be my choice any day of the week if it the weather was fine. I have not uploaded any pictures of the interior of the restaurant  because, the manger came to us and requested that we didn’t take pictures  because management didn’t allow it.

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For once in Lagos, an Italian restaurant is sticking to Italian foods only! No continental meals or a few Nigerian dishes to make the menu look “full”. They had straight up Italian foods. Even the wines and digestivos were Italian . The menu was loaded with Italian yumminess, from salads to soups, bruschetta,  cheeses, spaghetti,  risotto,  ravioli, lasagna  etc.

We ordered the Assorted starter – Basilico style, the artichoke  ravioli with shrimps and basil sauce, Ossobuco creole sauce and saffron rice and mousse al cafe as our dessert. We also ordered  2 glasses of red wine~( I dont remeber the names ) whilst we waited for our food to come.

The waiter came with the bottle of wine, and asked if we wanted to taste it first.  Hmmnn in Lagos?  She gave us tasters and we said we liked it, she filled our glasses. The wine  was served with complementary  fish balls and cherry tomatoes. Oh Lawd, please don’t let this free fish balls be IGG,- if you don’t know what IGG is, I cant help ya … The fish ball was OFF THE HOOK! I  don’t know what kind of fish  was used but it was very well seasoned and it was piping hot! I kinda thought it would have been nicer with some sort of sauce with it, maybe a sweet chilli sauce , but then that’s hardly Italian right? With or without the sauce , it was all forms of amazing.

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The Assorted Starter-Basilico way (N1500-$9) was a combination of Grana cheese cuts, Smoked ham, seasoned yellow bell peppers with cheese and a mini serving of  chicken salad. Move over Dr Dolls, this chef is my new besto….yes I agree that i am a friend for food.  This chef sure knew a way to my belly. I wish  there was a picture of me savouring this starter, that would be some picture though.  The yellow bell peppers was tossed in olive oil,  shaved cheese and some black pepper and  probably some secret seasoning, . the chicken salad was not a salad per se , it was well marinated chicken tossed with carrots. it was my first time having Grana cheese , i liked it . All these “elements” put together was one fantastic combination.

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When we were placing our order for our entree , we requested that the entrees were to be brought together , uncle waiter brought the Artichoke Ravioli with the starter so we sent it back.  On hindsight, we shouldn’t have, we should  just  have enjoyed it whilst it was still hot because by the time he brought it back, it was warm. The Artichoke Ravioli( N3,500-$20) was freshly made ravioli pasta that was stuffed with artichoke and shrimps, . it was served with  basil sauce and some grilled tomatoes. I liked the plating of this dish. The chef added colour to it with the sauce stained plate, the tomatoes and fresh basil leaves. For me, this meal was an ACE! I  had no complaints .

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The Ossobuco creole sauce with Saffron rice (N3,500-$20) – this was browned and braised veal that was  cooked sooo tender that it came off the fork without any hassles. The creole sauce was a first for me so I didn’t know what to expect. Alas! It was  brown spiced  gravy. I liked it. It worked well with the veal. I however did not like the Saffron rice. First it was cold and secondly, it was bland. Even salt and black pepper didn’t make it better. It was risotto-ish. I am not a fan of risotto so maybe that is why I didn’t fancy it. To me, risotto is soggy rice, unless I have never had it good. If i am wrong, can someone recommend  a good place to get fab risotto in Lagos?

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We called for the desserts menu and I was disappointed. There was no Tiramisu on the list. An Italian restaurant without Tiramisu? What a shame. They had about 3 or 4 items on the desserts menu, ice cream, creme brulee and Mousse al cafe. We opted for Mousse al cafe (N900-$5). I didn’t like the way it was presented but it was delicious. it was a chocolate mousse  with a layer of what I suspected to be condensed milk , it was finished off with a dusting of cocoa powder. The contrast of the unsweetened cocoa powder to the sweetness of the mousse created a perfect balance to this dish. I would still have wanted my Tiramisu but this sufficed in this instance.

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After all the food indulgence , I decided to visit the restroom. Hmnnnnn. I wasn’t impressed one bit. The restroom smelled musky, it was a full sized bathroom with a standard sized bath tub in it. Chai chai.…, this people fall my hand no be small! To make matters worse, when you finish doing your business in there, you would have to use the same towel that probably 10 others before you have used .Not a good way to end such foodie goodness. I hope their management will come across this post and do something pronto.

At a little corner in the restaurant, sat a delicatessen, where they had Italian goodies from savoiardi biscuits, virgin olive oil, espresso , all sorts of pastas. Well, since Tiramisu wasn’t available in the restaurant, I bought espresso and Savioradi to make my own Tiramisu at home.

We paid N 11,650-$67  for 1 starter, 2 entrees, 1 dessert, 2 glasses of wine,and a bottle of water. All taxes were inclusive. Be sure to have cash , as their POS machine wasn’t working on the day we visited.

Would i go back? ASSOLUTAMENTE!!! ( Thank God for google translation)

MY SCORE CARD

Layout / Ambiance / Aesthetics- 7

Quality of food-  9

Value for money- 9

Customer Service- 8.

 

BASILICO ITALIAN RESTAURANT

15, Musa  Yaradua street,

Victoria Island

08068447246

Thank you for always reading.

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