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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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.

 

 

ORELA GRILL HOUSE IKOYI- THE REVIEW

Saturday 8.54p.m

Hey people,

September is upon us already! Where  did time go? The month of August was a hectic one for me at work, I am hoping September will be better…the one thing that got me going was my birthday, the day came in a flash and I could not even enjoy it. I had so much to do and I had the mother of all headaches, so all celebrations were moved to the weekend after. The weekend came and I was not sure where I wanted to go ( I lost “the list“- my phone crashed yet again). We ended up at Orela Grill House in Ikoyi. I’d tried to review this restaurant before but it was  closed, apparently they  do not open on Sundays. ( I consider that rather  strange).

Orela Grill House is on Awolowo road, Ikoyi. It was not particularly easy to find because the signboard was not exactly legible. When we got in, the dinning room was empty … on a Saturday afternoon?  Should I be worried? I did a brief survey of the dinning room and I  came to the conclusion that it’s a small space that has been well utilized. The decor was quite “english”….the uninteresting  kind – wooden parquet floors with papered walls. A long lounger (sofa) with throw pillows and dark leather clad tables  covered one section.  To a corner sat a high back modern Chesterfield sofa with the same leather clad tables. On the opposite side was a piano.

OR 1

OR 2OR 3A waiter came with the menus and as always I was left to place the orders. I went through the food menu first, there was a nice selection of dishes, not very varied though. I asked the waiter about several of the dishes and he seemed quite savvy. For our starter, I ordered the The French Sample. The main meal was Grilled rack of ribs with barbecue sauce, Lamb chops and whole grilled croaker fish. A couple of minutes after he took the order, he came back to say the whole croaker fish was not available.  I replaced it with the Grilled Jumbo Prawns.

OR 11

The drinks menu was very extensive but in my candid opinion, the prices were an overkill.  I do not remember seeing any house wines…this could be an oversight on my part. We decided on water….good ol’ water, even that was overpriced!

We were served peanuts…seasoned peanuts, lets just say it did not werk for any of us. So we waited for the starter to come. When The French Sample (2200-$13) came, we were stunnneddd! Stunned because we could not believe that we were expected to pay N2200 for it. The French sample was described as ” prime beef, cubed, flash grilled, simmered in honey mustard and served with bearnaise  sauce. In lay man’s term, I would describe this as grilled meat (“suya “– with different spice/ seasoning ) . There were 10 MINUTE pieces of beef… yes! The picture below was zoomed.  I counted it. Even if they doubled this portion, it would still not be value for money at this price. One word for this starter, I am screaming from the top of my lungs… RIPOFF.  Little did I know.  The French sample was served with bread rolls, which was not  fresh…thank goodness for microwave. it was warmed up but it still gave off a somewhat rancid after taste. The portion aside, the meat was nicely seasoned and grilled. I quite liked it but I can’t wrap my head round the portion and price.

OR 5

The main entrees came and air was sucked out of me. Talk about “wozing” us from both sides of our faces at once. First up, was  The Grilled rack beef  ribs with barbecue sauce (N6, 000- $37) served with  jasmine rice as a side. The problems with this entree were quite numerous. Portion came to play here again . To the best of my knowledge, a rack of ribs is averagely about 12 ribs. I even googled it just to be sure . Well, at Orela Grill House, a 500g rack of beef ribs is 3 and half ribs, yes you read right, 3!  How do I begin to explain that it was served with three tablespoon of rice, we had a spoon each and the rice was finished. The worst part of this was that the rack of ribs came with plain barbecue sauce….probably poured straight  from the bottle .Someone please help me out here. Rice with barbecue sauce and “rack of ribs” at a premium restaurant? Baba goddey dey watch this chef and his managers for 4D TV. This was an absolute No No! Well each of us took a piece each and it was all over. Was it nice?  Very and that made it even more painful. What  chef  worth his salt will serve just jasmine rice with barbecue sauce? It sounds like something I would have enjoyed as a youngie when my money ran out and I had to manage whatever I had left.  And the portion of the vegetables? hmmnnn.OR 6

The second entree came- The Lamb Chops (N6, 500-$40). The menu described this as Grilled Karoo lamb loins, tossed in a sauce of lemon juice, garlic and rosemary with a splash of white wine with peppercorn sauce……hmnnnnn, ina su beekee….in English language you are blowing grammar, when the lamb chops came, it was three pieces of emaciated chops( If I can call it that, It was more bone than lamb chops)  served with 3 shriveled looking pieces of potatoes,  4 tiny pieces of  shaved  carrots, 3 tiny  pieces of cucumber and a mini bowl of “peppercorn” sauce. It was nothing like what the menu described it to be. If only there was something “to chop off the chops”.  The  meat was under seasoned and tough to cut even with the steak knife. The baked potatoes was probably not freshly baked because how do you explain cutting through freshly baked potatoes and it doesn’t let off steam? it was bland too. Our money must not burn o. We added salt and black pepper and just lemmed the thing. The peppercorn sauce was watered down too.

OR 7

Third entree was Grilled Jumbo Prawns (N4, 380-$28). Even the menu described this wrongly , see a screen shot below.  After going through the menu , I requested that the prawns should not be breaded, I wanted it grilled. straight up.  It was served with Plantain fritters and tartare sauce and a “dash of vegetables” -as described above. What came was 2 pieces of skinny prawns …. aint nothing  jumbo about these prawns. The plantain fritters did not “werk” , it was bland and dry. The jumbo prawns was charred giving  off a bitter  aftertaste.  Epic fail, that is what I would say if i were to define this.

OR 12

OR 8I requested for the menu again to see what desserts were available , there were 3 , out of  which only 2 were available. Was I ordering? No, I was just going to look through, considering how the other meals had gone? No way!

We paid N 22,862- $141 for 1 starter, 3 entrees and 1 bottle of water yet we left Orela Grill House hungry…yes hungry! Has that happened to you before? What shame and waste of money . After we paid, we requested to see the manager, the manager was not available, someone stepped  forward as the supervisor,  we told him about our dining experience, he offered us the feedback card which we filled and returned…see the copy below.He also said they were working on new prices and menu….he didn’t sound convincing to me.

OR 10

I felt sooo cheated after all these. I asked myself why we did not complain sooner, Mr U did not think it would have made any difference. We kept having to call the waiter for dinning basics…tissues , to remove plates and replace them with plates cutlery. I reckon he was quite absent-minded because he was watching soccer!

Dr D did a check of the restroom and she said it was nowhere near tidy. The seat was soiled and the floor was wet.

Would I go back there? No….Absolutely Not.

 

MY SCORE CARD

Layout/ Ambience  / Aesthetics-5

Quality of food-2

Value for money- 2

Customer Service – 3

 

ORELA GRILL HOUSE

114, Awolowo Road,

S.W, Ikoyi

Lagos.

01- 8425250