Carlitos – The review

Monday, 7.25 P.M,

Hey y’all

Every new year comes with new aspirations right? This year I have decided to change tactics. Remember how I would say I didn’t think it was appropriate to review new restaurants? I met someone recently who made me see reason why it is important to review them; it’s funny that even this blog’s demographics points towards that too. So hurray to those wanted that. So you see, I do listen.

This review was done at the relaunched Carlitos restaurant & lounge. It used to be in VGC  but it has recently moved to Victoria Island. The main dinning room itself isn’t particularly big but the space was well utilized. It will probably sit about 40 people on the inside and about 10 guests dinning alfresco. The decor in the dinning room was not wow but it was neat and  well put together.

Whilst we waited for Fregz (it was his birthday) to come, we ordered the virgin mojito(N1800-$8) and Prawn spring roll (N1,800-$8). We must have read the menu wrongly because we assumed that it was prawns and mayonnaise spring roll because when it came, it didn’t have mayonnaise. Instead, it was served with coleslawsliced lettuce, dinner rolls and sweet & sour sauce as a side dip. It was slightly different, in that the spring rolls were smaller sized. It tasted nice albeit a bit dry but then I can attribute that to the fact that we were accustomed to eating it with mayonnaise which moistens the inside. We tried it with the sweet and sour chilli sauce and it definitely tasted better. The cole slaw and dinner  rolls on the other hand were not particularly fresh but it was not off either…you just know these things. We also had a problem with the plating  of this dish- the plate was too small and there was too much going on with it.See picture below

 

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We got tired of waiting for the birthday boy so we just went ahead and ordered our mains. We ordered the 7- hour braised beef oxtail with pesto rice and grilled vegetables and The Chicago Style  BBQ Pork Ribs with French fries, cole slaw and corn salsa. Na hin we begin wait oh. The food took about 40 minutes to be served. Hiaan!

Finally, the food made an appearance by which time, the birthday boy had come too . Pheww! Did I hear someone say about time?  He ordered the Spanish Jumbo Prawns with  Gnocchi and Pesto oil. Thankfully, this didn’t take too long to come.

We decided to split all the meals. We started with Renee’s Chicago style barbeque pork ribs (N5,880- $28). The menu described it as “fall off the bone tender…” but it wasn’t. Don’t get me wrong, it was not hard but it definitely was not fall off the bone tender. It was neatly seasoned  with the marinade and then grilled. We cleaned it out in no time with the fries, the coleslaw and the corn salsa on the hand were left  untouched because they didn’t taste fresh. Am I alone in believing that ribs are best enjoyed with your fingers? i.e the bone crushing  African way ?

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We moved on to my 7 hours braised beef oxtail served with grilled vegetables and pesto rice. (N7800-$36 ). Hmnnn. I doubt the veracity of how long  this was cooked for because if meat was cooked for that long and it doesn’t soak up all the seasoning and juices of the broth, then “na abami meat you cook oh” this was the case of the oxtail. It either was not properly seasoned or cooked long enough in the broth . In this case I reckon it was both. The oxtail could have tasted better if it was better seasoned and it was not soft for something that had  been cooked as long as they said it was cooked for. Eating it with fork and knife was “getting long” so we used our hands *covers face* . The pesto rice wasn’t any better even with salt added.The seasoned and grilled peppers and carrots on the other hand were  amazing. They were crisp and nicely seasoned.

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Then came  Fregz’s Jumbo Spanish Prawns (N7,800 – $36).  The visual appearance of this was appealing. It was by far the best looking dish of the night. I stopped for a second when it came. Three  jumbo prawns were opened up , seasoned and grilled. It sounds pretty simple right? If only I could cook it like that . The icing on this prawns was the charred  lime! Yup you heard it, the lime was charred. I knew lemon and seafood was a great combination but the grilled lime took it  on a whole new level of deliciousness. I don’t think the sweet and sour sauce on this was appropriate.

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This was my first time eating Gnocchi  as an accompaniment , i have always had it as an entree. Gnocchi is dumpling cooked in thick rich creamy sauce . This was a very good interpretation but I am not sure it worked with the prawns it was served with. It looked like 2 separate dishes. If I were the chef, I would serve the gnocchi on its own tossed with mid sized prawns… But then I am not. Hehehehe.

Before the birthday boy came, we had requested that the chef made the dessert extra special for him. For desserts, we ordered their Apple pie (N2400-$11) nsogbu! N2400 for Apple pie in Lagos! When I saw this price I asked if it was the whole apple tree that would be put in it. The dessert was served by a singing waitress, boy!! She could singgggg. For that voice?, I will pay 2500 sef. We had to make her do it a second time and it was just as good!  Well the apple pie itself didn’t do it for any of us. I am not a fan of serving it cold or lukewarm, I like apple pie hot. This was served almost cold. Hmnnn, i didn’t like the presentation either- a large chunk of apple pie on a plate and then there were 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream on another plate. I didn’t understand the logic behind serving the ice cream in a different plate.  The apple pie didn’t werk for me at all. It’s not value for money and it didn’t taste great. Why are desserts so pricey at these restaurants?

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I did a round of the restroom and it was sparkling .

Would I go back there? Yes

We paid (N30,960- $144) for 2 entrees, 3 mains , 1 dessert, 2 bottles of water and 2 non alcoholic cocktails. Whilst writing this post , I realized we over paid by N1,200. The menu advertised the Prawns spring roll as N1,800 but our bill had N2,400 per portion. Oya make una do refund shaparly!

MY SCORE CARD

Layout / Ambiance / Aesthetics- 7.5

Quality of food- 7

Value for money- 7.5

Customer Service- 8.5

 

CARLITOS RESTAURANT

 Oju olobun 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.

 

 

LA VERANDA ITALIAN RESTAURANT- THE REVIEW

Monday 10.40 A.M,

Hello people.

How have you all been doing? Thank you for all the feedback on the last post. I would like to point out that I have NEVER received any freebie to review any restaurant. Yes, there have been several offers but I usually turn them down.I turn them down because I need to remain as objective as possible when assessing the restaurant. You shouldn’t  look a gift horse in the teeth now, should you? When / If I start taking freebies? It will be clearly stated that the meal was unpaid for or sponsored. So now that we have cleared the air on that, we will move along swiftly.

It was my friend’s birthday recently and we decided to meet up for lunch at La Veranda- an Italian restaurant In Victoria Island. Hmnnn, how does one do healthy eating  with all these eating out sef? If you have a winning formula, please help a sister out. Please don’t say I should order salad or limit eating out  to my cheat days. For now, I will stick to portion control.

La Veranda is housed at the back of Blowfish Hotel in Victoria Island.To get to the restaurant, you would need to go through the hotel reception and then through the pool side. You can choose to dine alfresco or stay in the main dinning room. The dinning room overlooks the swimming pool.The decor was pretty basic with pink, white and blue furnishing. it will probably sit about 25 or 30 diners. In one corner sits a masonry oven and the end had the cashier’s till. There really isn’t much to say about the decor. I would classify this as warm and comfortable.

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A polite waiter showed us to our seats and handed us the menu. I wanted a glass of white wine badly but i had to restrain myself so I ordered water and jazzed it up with lemon and cucumber. The girls settled for Chapman. Did you know that Chapman is a Nigerian mocktail?

The menu had loads of Italian staples- Soups, Pastas, Pizzas,Salads and Sandwiches. We asked the waiter what he would recommend and he reeled out a list of things but eventually, we all decided on Pasta- Tagliatelle and Linguine. For our starter, we ordered Gamberoni Pil-Pil and Salmone Affumicato. For mains, we ordered Tagliatelle con pollo, Tagliatellie al salmone and Linguine del mare. No one wanted desserts so I  secretly ordered Tiramisu for the birthday girl.

Quite surprisingly, the meals did not take too long to come, first up were the antipasti. We started with Gamberoni Pil-Pil (N3,800- $20).This was prawns sauteed with probably olive oil and capers served with some sort of spicy brothy sauce. It served with sliced baguette. It had the right amount of spice and seasoning. Delicious. One question I had to ask though? Was it value for money at N3,800? Absolutely Not!!

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Next came the Salmone Affumicato,(N3,800-$20). Sliced smoked salmon served with toast quarters with capers, sour cream, lemon wedge and a sliver of lettuce. Hmnnn, there isn’t much to write about this. There was no actual cooking done by the restaurant. It was all just plated. At least that’s what I think.  For N3,800? yet again, I say this isn’t value for money.

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When the pasta dishes came, it smelled delicious. You know that feeling of just get in my belle already? Everyone claimed theirs was the nicest. My girls  opted for the spicy version of what they were having. Well, mine was Linguine del mare-(N4,200-$23). The waiter described this as seafood and pasta in pink sauce. Hmmnn, when it came, there was nothing pink about it. It was not like the colour  mattered much but  I still wonder why it was called pink sauce .It was very well put together. It had the right amount of the “pink sauce” and pasta cooked right  with the mussels, prawns and calamari  nicely seasoned. The portion was quite generous too. I couldn’t indulge as I would have wanted to because I am doing portion control** double eye roll*. so I ate a quarter and had the remaining packed as take away. On the second day, It tasted even nicer to me. I would have given this an ace if it was better plated. In as much as this wasn’t just slapped on the plate, it wasn’t high on presentation either. A pop of colour would have made a difference.

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I had bites of the Tagliatelle con pollo (N3600-$19.5) and Tagliatelle al Salmon (N4,100-$22). It’s so difficult to say which tasted better. They were both really nice.The Tagliatelle con pollo was tagliatelle tossed in white creamy sauce, with sauteed chicken and mushrooms.Well, this was a bit varied from what they normally serve because  my friends wanted it spicy. You could actually see the pepper flecks in it. It was too spicy for me to indulge in but the owners loved it. The salmon was pretty much the same- just substitute the chicken for the salmon and leave out the mushrooms. The portions were reasonable but I still had a problem with the plating of these dishes.

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la veranda 06When it was time for desserts, everyone chickened out. I would have been miserable if we didn’t order that Tiramisu oh. We had the perfect excuse, it was Seun’s birthday!!! and we had to sing her the bee-day song surely there had to be some semblance of a cake abi?. Oh well, I had told the manager beforehand that the birthday girl was with us . So when the Tiramisu(N,2400- $13) was being served it came with a cake sparkler and the birthday song was playing. Her expression when she saw it? Priceless, hahaha. So after the whole birthday song shebang, we decided to split a portion of Tiramisu 4 ways. It was sooo worth the extra calories, a tad sweeter than I would normally like it but it was still the rich creamy mascarpone with layers of ladyfinger biscuits and coffee. When I saw the price, fear caught me sha. Yes mascarpone cheese is imported, yes but the portions and the prices aren’t just at par. Most restaurants in Lagos are guilty of serving over priced desserts and food. Hian 

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I did an inspection of the restroom and it was sparkling clean.

We paid N30,280 ($164) for 2 Appetizers, 4 entrees, 1 dessert, 3 drinks,and a bottle of water.

Would I go back there? Absolutely

MY SCORE CARD

Layout / Ambiance / Aesthetics- 7

Quality of food- 8.5

Value for money- 7

Customer Service- 9

LA VERANDA

BLOWFISH HOTEL

17,OJU OLOBUN STREET

VICTORIA ISLAND

08121111222

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.

RESTAURANT WEEK SWEEPSTAKE

Hey people,

How have you all been?

To those who have said they couldn’t afford to dine at some of the restaurants I have reviewed, here’s the perfect opportunity to dine for a fraction of what it cost normally. This is made possible by  Lost in Lagos Restaurant Week sponsored by Mastercard . It starts on the 7th  of April and ends on the 17th April, 2014. Its featuring over 20 premium  restaurants –  La Scala,  Bazaar, Ginger Tapas and Grillz, Rhapsodys Ikeja & Victoria Island to mention a few.

A 3 – course lunch is  served for as low as N4,400 per person. 3 course dinner is N6,600  per person. You will get a further 10% discount if you pay with your Mastercard.  Sounds too good ehnn?  This is certainly one awuf  that wont run your belle! 

 

They have been generous enough to offer one of my readers free lunch at one of these restaurants , who knows, I might be generous enough to make it two readers. To read more on the menu and participating restaurants please follow this link

To Enter

1. Simply tell me why you deserve  the free lunch…. easy right?

2. You must live in Lagos

3. You must be a  www.theservicecriticng.com subscriber or  follow me on twitter – @Pejuu or  on Instagram -the pejuu 

 

Sweepstake ends on the 14th of April , 2014. ( You must use your coupon by the 17th of April 2014)

 

Thank you for always reading.

The Critic.

THE CRITIC’S 2013 / SWEEPSTAKE

At the beginning of this year, I remember saying we would take one day /post at a time till I am able to post weekly. This year I did 25 posts of restaurants in Lagos, Who would have thought? Last year, I was barely doing a post a month. I ask myself sometimes if it’s actually worth it ,but you my dear faithfuls have helped me more than you will ever know. Can I say thank you enough? I don’t think so!

This post is about the best dinning moments of the year 2013. Shall we call it the service critic’s award? OK let me not get ahead of myself here, but you catch my drift abi?

Based on the restaurants I blogged about, my categories will be

1. Best Dinning experience

This was more difficult than I thought it would be. Finally, I shortlisted to two.They are

(1) Uptown Restaurant 

(@) Restaurant La Provence

WINNER- UPTOWN RESTAURANT

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2. Best Value for Money

(1)Rhapsody

(2) Spice Route

WINNER-SPICE ROUTE

 

3. Best Ambiance

(1)Rhapsody

(2) Spice Route

(3) Uptown Restaurant

WINNER- SPICE ROUTE

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4.Best Customer Service

WINNER-  EKAABO RESTAURANT

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5.Best Meal of the Year – This was a tie . I couldn’t wriggle my way out of this one.

WINNERS: (1)The  Grilled Salmon Fillet with mashed potatoes and vegetables from  Uptown Restaurant

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(2) The New Zealand Lamb and sauteed potatoes from Restaurant la Provence.

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For good measure, I decided to do the worst dinning experience of 2013( please  close your eyes if you don’t want to see this).

6.Worst Dinning Experience of 2013.

I had 2 contenders for this category.

(1) The Voyage Restaurant  – Radisson Blu hotel

(2)  Orela Grill House.

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WINNER:  THE VOYAGE RESTAURANT.

 

SWEEPSTAKE.

Last week, I promised I would do sweepstake and here it is!. Another opportunity to critic a restaurant with me.

In 50 words or less, tell me your best or worst  dinning  experience f0r 2013.

To Enter:

1.Please send me an email with the subject title   – My best or worst dinning experience in 2013 to thecriticng@gmail.com

2.You must be 18 0r older.

3. Since this is for the service critic faithfuls, you must follow @pejuu on twitter and  thepejuu on instagram.

This sweepstake ends by midnight on the 11th January,2014. The winner will be announced shortly after.

Thank you for being a part of my 2013.

HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!!!!!!!!

 

MILANO RESTAURANT- INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL-THE REVIEW

Tuesday, 8.30 p.m

Hello people,

Thank you all for your kind words and encouragement. I hope my letter got to the Messrs Restauranteur, I patiently await their response(s). For those that missed my letter to Mr Restauranteur please  click on this link. I have got quite a number of mails asking why most of the restaurants I review are on the Island, I have done quite a few on the mainland. I am open to suggestions on places to review  on the mainland. Proper restaurants only please i.e no fast  food places.

I had heard a lot about the restaurants at Intercontinental Hotel in Victoria Island. This day  seemed like a good opportunity to explore so we ended up at Milano Restaurant. This is the Italian restaurant on the second floor of the hotel.  Milano Restaurant is a well laid out dining room that seats about 60 guests. The furnishing is quite contemporary and elegant with well laid out tables. Most outstanding piece here is the champagne wall or shall we call it a divider? It had almost unending rows of premium bottles of champagne. The view is quite lovely- overlooking the lobby area.

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milano 03milano 04Once seated the waiter brought the menu. E be like say  I go need a language instructor to order food here. The food was written in Italiano so you would have to try to pronounce the names to order. I shan’t gree.  With the help of the waiter, I ordered the meals.  I asked the waiter if they had any house wines, he said yes , he offered to show me the bottle. Unfortunately they did not have rose I wanted. I opted for white wine. He brought the bottle to show me before pouring but he did not pour it in my presence. There was no price for the house wine , I begin wonder oh. Should i be worried?

After about twenty minutes,  the waiter came with the appetizer- an assortment of Italian breads and dips. The breads were a breathe of fresh air. They were  fresh!  We had bread sticks ,sourdough bread and a “baguetty” like one I dIdn’t know. The breads were served  with the “traditional ” olive oil and balsamic vinegar dip, the crushed olives dip and a salsa dip. I have been told several times by an Italian chef and a few culinary school classmates that  dipping bread in Olive oil with balsamic vinegar is not a traditional Italian practice , they also said that serving bread before pasta is not typical of Italians .The reason they gave was that  balsamic vinegar ruins the rich taste of  their highly priced olive oil and also that eating bread before a meal ruins the appetite. The Italians said so , no be me oh! And errmm, some of you might be wondering why they didn’t just give us butter, The Italians don’t do bread and butter…they say.  let’s just leave that story for another day, I learnt that in quite an embarrassing way…..

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The entrees came after about forty – five minutes, in my books that is forever. First up was the Petto Di Pollo Ripieni (N 7,900-$48 ), this was described as  chicken stuffed with liver pate served with truffle whipped potatoes. I subbed the truffle whipped potatoes with baked potatoes. …..as my Ghanian friends say. bluffo(sp)…. big grammar. In my opinion this was a basic meal with a fancy name. When it came I was not wowed. Yet again, the term -value for money comes into play . I have had better Italian food. The chicken came with some sort of gravy I could not place. It was basically stuffed grilled chicken with baked potatoes served with vegetables. It was quite nice but was it commensurate to the price paid for it? No.

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The second entree was the Carre’d agnello con crosta d’erbe (N8900- $55) . Hmmmn, I will buy you one plate of  Ofe nsala and pounded yam if you can pronounce this right…. that’s if you had no prior knowledge of Italiano. The menu described this as baked rack of lamb with whole grain mustard and herb crust and truffle whipped potatoes. This entree had three chunks of  lamb chops with mashed potatoes , vegetables and the same sauce that came with the first entree. I was not impressed  that it was the same sauce that was served with the chicken and the lamb….. the sauce seemed a bit watered down too. If you read my post regularly, you would have noticed that I don’t quite fancy breaded foods, this was no different. I painstakingly  scraped off the breaded crust before eating the lamb. It was very nicely done, well seasoned and tender. The truffle whipped potato was mashed potatoes with a smoother and creamier texture. very nice, it tasted too smooth and rich to have been from freshly mashed  potatoes, I suspected that it was boxed mashed potatoes. It was very nicely done so it didn’t really matter.

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The dessert menu had three desserts on offer. One of which is my favorite  dessert ever- Tiramisu. I absolutely love this dessert. but I had to borrow myself a brain when I saw the price. It was a whopping N 3,800 ($23), Make una no worry, the juju no catch me. It had better be a whole tray of Tiramisu for that price. I  jejely nursed my glass of wine after my meal.

I observed that the menu was not that extensive. I was hoping to see a variety of pasta  meals especially  ravioli, seafood and cured meats but the menu was in trickles of these , In my opinion, it  lacked the originality and staples of a typical  Italian restaurant.

P.S :  The glass of house wine caused N 2,300… The wine was called San Valentin…. Lagos na wa. Way overpriced if I may say so.

For a glass of “house white wine” and 2 entrees , we paid (N19,850- $121). did anyone just scream blue murder. Well I did.  It brings me to one  conclusion. Would I be right to say that in Lagos, we actually pay for ambience and not the meal per se? Help a sister out here please.

MY SCORE CARD

Layout/ Ambience  / aesthetics -9

Quality of food-7

Value for money  6

Customer Service – 7

MILANO RESTAURANT

Intercontinental Hotel

52, Kofo Abayomi street,

Victoria Island ,

Lagos

01-2366666

DEAR RESTAURANTEUR

Hello gorgeous people,

I have deviated from the norm this week. Following a spate of bad service and  and feeling ripped  off, I have decided to take laws into my own hands.  Please find below my letter to Uncle Restauranteur.

Shall we call this post, Dear Restauranteur?

Dear Restauranteur,

Thank you for opening such a fabulous place. I write this candidly to draw your attention to certain things that have badgered me since I last visited. Please find below.

Is it possible that when I enter your restaurant your waiters have the presence of mind to stop chatting amongst themselves and me feel welcome? Can they  show me a table or ask me where I would like to sit? When I have taken my seat, please give a few minutes to peruse the menu! There’s a reason why you have a long list of food …..even the ones I can’t pronounce. Perhaps, you could start by teaching your waiters the pronunciation of these names so that they can in turn, school me right when I manage to screw up the pronunciation.  Bros, while you are doing that, please also let them know halitosis and body odour are a huge turn off. It would be of benefit to all parties involved that as a customer, I am there to be served, so please serve and move on…. still on this issue of waiters, can they not give me an attitude when I change my mind about something I have ordered?

Sir, could you please explain why as a patron of your grand establishment ,I am expected to pay service charge, VAT, consumption tax, “well done sir- turn this way sir- open the door for madam -happy weekend sir tax “and then be regarded as evil or stingy when I don’t give huge tips or no tip at all? Its called dining out, not going bankrupt. Come to think of it, does the service charge go into your pockets or  the waiter gets it? No vex say I ask oh. To the best of my knowledge, you pay either service charge or you tip. but una dey do us wayo in this town we pay both.

I once asked a waiter at your establishment why my wine was not poured in front of me ? Yes i buy by the glass….. I know. I shall graduate to buying  bottles some day soon – onye bulu na turn by turn. He  said management did not fancy that.  If you have a nice range of wines which you always display and describe with the year of manufacture and all,  perhaps it would be a nice idea to let me really verify that its what I am getting. Ehnnehnn! i should also use this medium to ask why your wines & liquor are cut throat prices . Haba, the price of 1 glass can buy me 1 bottle o. Oluwa mi uncle restauranteur, haf marcy oh.

I ordered an entree the last time I visited, your absentminded waiter mixed up the order and it was not cooked to standard,when I asked that it should be returned he starred me down reminding me that I still had to pay for it. Who does that? May I suggest that when you “mistakenly” serve substandard meals at a premium and the client returns it, there’s no moral justification to charge the said client. I would like  to have value for my money please.

What is with the portion you serve these days? I understand that you are anti- fat but some of us orobos need our  big girl portions, I don’t want to spend all that money and leave hungry, it makes me binge eat when I get back home….. choi, your desserts  ehn! Na die. If your chef doesn’t know to make desserts, outsource it to me or send him or her to me for training. Still vivid in mind, is a case of a certain pannacota and chocolate mousse . it was unbelievably small and nasty but I still got charged an arm and a leg.  Isookay. Help us out please, serve yummy desserts at  a reasonable price but if you insist on charging a premium, please make it worth every kobo..

So I am one those  Lagos chics that has to freshen up after my meal…. you know that chop and clean mouth thing we Lagos girls do? You cant blame us na , we have the menfolk to impress. So when I get into that restroom, It would be nice to have a ladylike room, dainty and all. I know you can’t possibly be happy with smelly restrooms and wet floors. It won’t be appealing stepping  out of that restroom smelling like I swiped my body with a dead rat. You catch the drift?

Lastly, could you please train / educate your waiters that after I have paid all the payables, they should please bring my change back? I am tired of waiters assuming that my change is their transport  fare home. What if I decide the change was too small and I wanted to tip in forex, na so dem go do bebeto collect coins leave better money.

Thank you for understanding.

I hope this mail will be treated as urgent.

Kind Regards

The Critic.

Uptown Restaurant ( The Avenue Suites) -The Review

Monday 4.50 p.m

Hey My Lovlies,

My name is ‘Peju ……I am an addict…yes  a food addict. It has just sunk in. I have not gone out to eat  in like three weeks and it feels like forever.  I sincerely apologize to you all for being AWOL. I have been unbelievably busy with work. One piece of advice to all the  entrepreneurs  out here especially the artisans…know your business….know it well too. I have been itchingggg to go out to eat.

Someone needs to start paying for all these meals oh, my kolo is not jingling again….my list of places to review is getting longer by the day. It is getting quite confusing choosing too. A friend whose judgement I trust added Uptown Restaurant  to my list.

Uptown Restaurant is on the 6th floor of  the Avenue suites on  Victoria Island . It has a sweeping look over the the Atlantic ocean. The view is to die for. The first thought that came to mind when I saw the restaurant layout and view was that whoever did the layout and decor sure knew their marbles. It was beautifully done. The  well laid out tables, contemporary furnishing and light fittings  gave off  a grand layout. I loved the fact that they played with colours in there. 2 words aptly describes this setting…elegant and romantic. For my buddies looking for where to propose….In my best igbo accent ,  I say dis na d very place.

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uptown7xWe were shown to our table overlooking the ocean…..there was just something about the ambiance of this whole setup that made me all mushy. When the waiter came with the menu I was somewhat disappointed with the quality… Laminated paper written in ink? naaa. Not for this kinda  place. Moving on, I am still not doing cocktails or wine these days. so we ordered a bottle of water. The waiter  brought us  popcorn and nuts  for our appetizer… that’s a first in a restaurant (the popcorn). I stilll love that combo…good ol’ guguru and epa. I had to make the perfect pairing with that…coca-cola! Have you had the combination before? ….yeah thank me later if you have not.

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uptown4Back to  the menu, it was not very extensive ,they had sushi platters, pasta and pizza and some intercontinental dishes. we decided on a fusion of meals so that we  could assess extensively. we decided on Quattrocento pasta, the grilled salmon  with tatrtar sauce and for our appetizer, we had  steamed shrimp dumplings.

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We started off with fresh baguettes  with olive spread and butter. Then came the piping hot  steamed shrimp dumpling(N2880-$17)  served with  soy sauce. It was served in the traditional steam basket and chopsticks. It was delicious. The dough was freshly rolled and soft. The portion was quite generous too, ( we had 6 pieces of dumpling) I would have liked it better if the filling was more.

I was not sure how much more I could eat after the appetizer. Remember that I had had popcorn, groundnuts, baguette rolls, and the dumplings. All that changed when the Quattrocento pasta(N4,320-$26) came. This was a fabulous idea in my books, The Quattrocento pasta was our choice of any four pasta dishes from their pasta menu (lasagna was not included) . We chose –The spinach and ricotta cheese ravioli, The Tagliatella Al Salmone, The Tagliatelle Alfredo and Penne Arrabiata. It was served with a mini bowl of cheese. Whoever  came up with this idea is a genius….talking about having the best of all worlds.

First up was the cheese and spinach  ravioli, this was pasta dough filled with spinach and cheese. ( I am not sure it  was ricotta cheese). It was served in a creamy sauce . I found the  filling to be  slightly saltier than necessary, the hub did not think so. It was nice nonetheless. We moved on to the tagliatelle al salmone and tagliatelle alfredo. I have paired this two together because they were quite similar. The tagliatelle was cooked to perfection in a white creamy sauce served with salmon, mushroom and peppercorns. It was garnished with an assortment of herbs. The next was the Penne Arabiata. I am not a fan of penne pasta but we ordered it for variety  sake. Did I fancy it? Not particularly, It was just alright. Two things worthy of note here. The presentation of each selection of pasta was quite appealing. secondly, the portion was generous.  My favourite here was the tagliatelle al salmone.  I would order it again and again.

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a- Tagliaatelle Alfredo        b.-Tagliatelle al salmone      c- spinach & ricotta raviolli    d. -Penne arrabiatta.

The grilled salmon fillet came and I got the biggest surprise of the day, If I had to judge this dish based on presentation alone. I would score it a 10 out of 10.  Please permit me to say that I fell in love with this dish instantly. I looked for something to complain about , there was nada!  This dish comprised of perfectly marinated and grilled salmon fillet , laid out on a bed of vegetables served with tartar sauce. The chef  added a dainty touch to it with a wedge of lemon garnish tied up in mesh fabric. The guy sure knew his marbles. The mashed potatoes was creamy and fluffy.  For me this dish was an ace! The portion was generous too. We actually requested that  the remaining food be packed as take out as we had had more than enough to eat.

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Talking about take out… kai, this people fall my hand o. They charged me for the take out pack. If it was a fast food place I went to, it would not be an issue. but for a proper restaurant to charge for take out pack? That to me , is taking a piss. In my opinion ,if you must charge for it, factor it into the cost of the meal . This should be a hidden cost ,

There was  no room for desserts. The menu did not look too interesting anyway. On our way out, we were given a feedback card to fill.

We paid N15, 100 ($93) for 1 appetizer, 2 entrees, I large bottle of water and 1 bottle of coke.

I did a check on the restroom and it was spotless.

Would I go back there?…Absolutement!

MY SCORE CARD

Layout/ Ambience  / Aesthetics- 9.5

Quality of food- 9

Value for money- 9

Customer Service – 8

UPTOWN RESTAURANT

6TH Floor,The Avenue suites

1390, Tiamiyu Savage street,

Victoria Island

Tel: +23419033300/08

Thank you for always reading