Izanagi-The review

Wednesday, 5.15p.m

Hellossssss,

How are you guys holding up? This Lagos heat wave na die? Even my MIFI bucked under the heat. (see picture below). Chai!!, Lord, please help me to do right by you always so I don’t end up in hell fire! To think  that the dreaded hell fire is nothing compared to this?! Repent ooooo

mf

I have been to Izanagi a few times but I just realized I had never reviewed their food for you to read. My friend Fola  and I decided  to have late lunch there about a week ago. The decor is quite inviting. The interior is partly painted soft pink and other parts were adorned with beautiful purple floral wallpaper. It had rows of bright turquoise blue seats paired with neatly laid tables. The decor is simple but it was tastefully done. The lighting here just gives it that right ambiance. It’s a cross between an upscale and romantic restaurant.

Izanagi is a Japanese restaurant that serves mainly Japanese staples. From Sushi to Sashimi , Teriyaki , Teppanyaki etc.You are enthralled right by the entrance with a beautiful artsy display of sushi. The precision with which these foods are carved  leaves me in awe every time.True food craftsmanship I would say.

We were shown seats by a waiter who introduced himself and handed us the menus. He informed us the kitchen closed for recess by 3.30 pm so we had just about 15 minutes before they closed. Choi, see better seafood for this menu… I remembered that I had promised I wouldn’t order seafood for this review in my last post. So I didn’t!! Boohoooo.

We ordered  Ultimate Sushi, Seafood Yaki Soba, Teppanyaki Chicken, Veggie Fried Rice, and Lava cake for dessert.

After the orders were taken, the waiter came to apologize that they had run out of  soba noodles but they could substitute the soba noodles for udon noodles. Well,  we would not even know  the difference if it pierced through us. So we obliged him.

The Ultimate Sushi (N1,500 – $7) was the first to be served. The chef didn’t pay attention to the presentation of this dish. Their plating  is usually fab but this was not done right. The rice cubes were crooked and the pickled ginger was just slapped on the plate. You would normally see all sorts of artsy stuff done with the green Baran garnish and wasabi but this was just placed on the plate. There was also no soy sauce or side dip for the sushi abi isn’t that always the accompaniment? Am I being unnecessarily fussy here? The plating aside, it tasted great.The  crumb coated rice was stuffed with shrimp, salmon, crab and tobiko (fish eggs) and a bit of mayonnaise I think. It was served with pickled ginger and wasabi.  I have only had pinkish pickled ginger but this was off white but it still tasted just as nice. I didn’t touch the wasabi as always.

iza1

When the mains were served, I was appalled. First up was my Chicken Teppanyaki (N3900- $18). The food was literarilly scattered on the plate. The chicken was to one side, the veggies another, and the soy sauce to another. This was such a shame. I tasted a cut of the chicken with sesame seeds and it was dry and not properly seasoned. I tried the vegetables and I almost spat it out. I am not being overly dramatic about this but this was the worst I have ever had at Izanagi. The chef wanted me to OD  on soy sauce.It was way too salty. I tried the rice and it was just alright . E be like say dis chef see me for dream. This meal went almost untouched .

iza4iza5The Seafood Udon Noodles (N3,200- $15) looked and tasted much nicer but I knew I couldn’t eat too much of it because when the waiter asked how spicy my friend wanted it to be and she opted for it to be very spicy *double eye roll * .The veggies and seafood were properly seasoned.Even the noodles had the right bite  to it. There was much more veggies in it than seafood though. We came to the conclusion that the chef just couldn’t be bothered with plating because yet again the noodles was just slapped on the plate .Who plates a dish in a premium restaurant and you can see pepper and seasoning flecks on the plates. Please see pictures below. Ishhh.

iza 3

The dessert menu is quite different from what we get around town, I would have loved to try the Tempura Fried Ice cream, but my friend was “craving”  The Chocolate Lava Cake.(N1,900-$9). My gulucious mind processed this as molten lava cake, don’t judge me please hahahaha. So when it was served and I saw it was dense chocolate cake and vanilla Ice cream I was kind of disappointed.I thought there was an error but apparently not. It was a warm slice of dense chocolate cake, a scoop of vanilla ice cream with drizzled chocolate syrup. It was really good.The cake  was delicious and it did not have that cheap cocoa taste that’s synonymous with brownies and cakes in this clime. Even the ice cream was rich and creamy.This one hit the spot. No complaints at all.

iza6

When the waiter came to clear the plates, he asked if we enjoyed the meal, we both said ‘No’. We invited him to taste The Chicken Teppanyaki  but he said he couldn’t in the main dinning room but he assured us he would taste it behind closed doors. He came back to apologize that he tasted it and said it wasn’t done right.

Were the meals hurriedly prepared because of the lunch break or what? I wish I had a crystal ball to see what happened in the kitchen that day because the food is usually on point. On this day! It was NOT!

I like the fact that the bills are given in this cute treasure boxes . The waiter apologized again about the teppanyaki and said we didn’t get billed for it. Before nko?

So for 1 portion of sushi, 1 main, and 1 dessert , we paid about N9,000- $41. (Remember we didn’t pay for the Teppanyaki. It should have come to about  N13,000- $60).

I didn’t go to the restroom to assess on this day because I had to leave hurriedly. 🙈

Would I go back? Oh yes (I know that sounds partial but I have had lots of good stuff here).

MY SCORE CARD

Layout / Ambiance / Aesthetics- 8

Quality of food- 5

Value for money- 5

Customer Service- 8.5

IZANAGI JAPANESE CUISINE

19B, Idejo Close ,

Victoria Island

0706 222 222

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.

 

 

Advertisements

Sakura- The Review

Monday 5.15 P.M

Hey Beautiful people,

Now that elections are over, we can all go back to our regular routines. Congratulations to the newly elected public officers. Hopefully, we would not have cause to kick your behinds in 4 years time.

In my two years of writing food reviews, it has never taken me this long to write a review . This has taken me almost a month to write . #sayNOtowritingonelineaday. Am I losing interest or my mojo? H-E-L-P!!!!

My review this week is on Sakura Restaurant in Victoria Island. Sakura is a Thai / Japanese and Chinese restaurant. I don’t remember seeing any Chinese staples on the menu though but the menu was quite  extensive with different kinds of Sushi, Sashimi, Teriyaki , Teppanyaki  and their likes.

The  restaurant was quite sizable. It would probably sit about 70 or 80 guests. The interior wasn’t quiite as “grand” as I expected it to be. It also didn’t have that oriental feel synonymous with Asian restaurants. I expected a whole lot more as per the decor.  There isn’t much to write about the decor to be honest. I however loved the fact that you can dine alfresco.

I was handed the menu by this “interesting ” waitress. I ordered a mocktail which was promptly served. I ordered “foreplay on the beach “ or something like that. It was nice. No complaints about it at all, that’s  a first in a very longggg time. Well I described the waitress as interesting because when she came the waft of air around me went sour. She had body odor. I almost died when she raised her arm to point something out on the menu. Arrgghhh. Is it that people don’t know when they smell bad or what? Thankfully she was not the one that brought the drink.

For our starter, we ordered the Naked Spicy volcano (sushi) and Chicken Gyoza (dumplings). For mains, we had the Lobster Teppan, Shrimp Teriyaki, Chicken Teriyaki, garlic& beef fried rice, shrimp fried rice.

My Spicy Volcano Sushi (N2700-$14) was first up. Atop my Meshi (rice) sat a combination of  minced salmon, avocado and cucumber.The rice cube itself had some  julienned crabmeat and cucumber inside it. It was served  with pickled ginger. I don’t fancy wasabi so I requested that it wasn’t served with mine. It was so good that I had eaten it half way before I realized i hadn’t taken a picture!! Hence my picture of a half eaten plate . Yes before you abuse me I am a gulu.

sak6

Next up was the Chicken Gyoza (dumplings 2500- $13).We had the option to either have this steamed or fried but we chose fried. I would say you can liken the fried Gyoza to Samosas. In this particular case the chicken and vegetables filling was  beautifully seasoned and folded into pleated filopastry and fried. It was juicy on the inside crispy on the outside. The best part of this dumpling for me was the sauce it was served it. I am used to eating steamed dumpling with soy sauce but this was served with a different sauce . I asked the waitress what the sauce was called but she didn’t know. It perfectly complemented the Gyoza.

sak 2

The first main entrée was the Shrimp Teriyaki(4500-$23). This gave me instant food envy. I looked at it and I was like I shoulda ordered that.This was 2 large teriyaki sauce glazed jumbo shrimp that was grilled and served with cabbage,lemon slices ,tomatoes and cucumbers. It came with the same sauce that was served with the Gyoza. As this wasnt my meal, my tasting was minimal. It tasted even better than it looked. I give it to this chef with the seasoning of his proteins. There were no complaints from anyone as per this dish.

sak3

The Chicken Teriyaki was next, personally I am tired of chicken so when Mrs O ordered chicken teriyaki  , I just rolled my eyes at her. Una no dey tire to dey order the same thing?! Hiannn! To be honest , there was no difference between the Shrimp & Chicken Teriyaki…well except the sesame seeds the chicken was garnished with.They were both marinaded in teriyaki sauce and grilled. It had the same side salad and “that sauce “.   Why use the same dip /dressing for everything? I am of the opinion that proteins should be treated according to how delicate each is.

sak4

I have spoken to my sub conscious not to order seafood when next I go out to review a restaurant... Is something wrong with me? 95% of the time when I go out to eat, I order seafood. Well this was no different,  I ordered the Lobster Teppan( N5900- $30).The plating was quite clever. The cooked lobster meat was neatly arranged under the shell of the lobster so it looked like it was cooked whole. It was served on a bed of sautéed vegetables and thankfully the generic sauce didn’t accompany it. It tasted great but I found it a bit over cooked because it was chewy. The Oliver Twist in me, did bebeto and went a -digging for more lobster meat in the head. There was lobster meat quite alright but it was raw which made me question the cooking method. If you look carefully at the picture you ll notice the raw looking purplish part of the head. Why would anyone plate cooked and uncooked seafood together?  This put a damper on the goodness of the dish .

sak7

We had a side order of garlic and beef fried rice and shrimp fried rice. The rice did not blow me away but it wasn’t bad either. I preferred the garlic and beef fried rice though because it had more flavour.

We didn’t bother with desserts because we super stuffed and also because the  menu didn’t look too interesting, I don’t remember what they had on it. It would be nice to go to a  speciality  restaurant  and they ll have desserts accordingly . Even if it’s ice cream you have for dessert , surely there has to be a certain way it is served. Abi am I asking for too much?

I went to the restroom to do an assessment, whilst it was not unclean but  it was not spotless either. There was water on the floor and it smelled a musky.

As a diner, my advice to this establishment is to school their waiters on the meals they serve.They kept going back to ask another waiter or the chef what the dish was about.  It is imperative to tell them the importance of good hygiene. I don’t want someone leaning over or opening their mouth to describe something and I almost pass out from the  smell. That’s not too much to ask for is it?

Would I go back there?….Yes

We paid (N27,800- $143) for 2 entrees, 3 main dishes, 3 mocktails and a bottle of water

MY SCORE CARD

Layout / Ambiance / Aesthetics- 6.5

Quality of food- 7.5

Value for money- 8

Customer Service- 6.5

SAKURA RESTAURANT

 2A,Saka Jojo street off Idejo street,

Victoria Island

Lagos

090990409363

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.

 

 

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.

IMG-20150123-WA0000

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!

IMG-20150123-WA0002

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.

IMG-20150123-WA0001

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.

IMG-20150123-WA0006

 

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!

IMG-20150123-WA0005IMG-20150123-WA0003

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.

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.

la taverna 5jpg

la taverna 6jpg

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!!!

la taverna 4jpg

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.

la taverna 3

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.

la taverna 1

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.

la taverna 2

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

.

 

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.

basilico 256

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.

Basilico 1

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.

Basilico 2

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 .

basilico 3

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?

basilico 4

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.

basilico 296

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.

 

 

 

CAFE JADE- THE REVIEW

Sunday , 12.05 P.M

Hello to the good people of Foodieland,

I have been quiet right? I know and  I am almost certain you are tired of my apologies.  Work has been very hectic. You know I have to work hard and extra hours too to be able to afford this my eating out habit (hahaha)... I have not gone out to eat in five whole weeks!!! I actually went to check my calender to be sure. I need to do better, please bear with me.

.Recently, I met up with my friend  Funmi for Lunch at Cafe Jade. I was a little confused with the name because i kept thinking it was Jade Garden (The Oriental Restaurant). They are different…very different.  Cafe Jade is a small restaurant that will probably sit about thirty people. The sitting area is rather small but the space was well managed with lounge sofas to one side and formal dining chairs to the other side.  A television at one end and the other end by the entrance had the mini bar. It didn’t have a particular theme, but it was clean and tidy. It was somewhat too compact for my liking.Good things come in small packages abi? Lets see….

dinning room

dinning room

CJ7The menu was not elaborate. It was simple easy meals, It ranged from breakfast to sandwiches, pasta and finger foods. Even the beverage list was simple! They did not have alcoholic beverages on the menu , even though I saw some bottles up on their bar shelves. For cocktail perhaps?  Have you been to any restaurant or cafe in Lagos that didn’t sell alcohol?

For our starter, we ordered the spicy chicken wings. For mains, we got the chicken curry with rice  and  Spicy Prawns with boiled sweet potatoes. I ordered sweet potatoes because I am /was tired of  eating rice. I am not sure a day passes without eating rice. Hiannn. We also ordered the virgin Pina colada (N1,000-) and good old Chapman( N1000-). I learnt a trick a while ago from an older friend. When ordering chapman or any drink with ice, you get more value for your money when you order with ice in a different glass, that way you get more of the drink and you can add ice at your pace so it doesn’t get too watered down. We did that with Funmi’s chapman and it worked!

CJ

The drinks came with the chicken wings ( N1700- $9), When it came, I realised the waiter didn’t ask how spicy we wanted it to be. Well, it was nice and juicy and it wasn’t too spicy, you know the type that you would like to chew to the bone but your are busy forming? yeah..that type. One question please, Do you enjoy chicken wings or pizza when you eat with fork and knife? If you answered yes, na OYO you dey. 

CJ2

The Pina Colada was a bit watered down. I complained about it and the waiter apologized and promptly brought back a glass of thicker Pina Colada. It was alright…just alright. Funmi’s Chapman was a bit too concentrated but remember we asked for it without the ice which was supposed to water it down? so be mindful of that when doing the trick.

CJ3x

The food came promptly. First up, was the Chicken Curry – (N3,700-$21). It looked nice and it was not just slapped on the plate. I had food envy instantly because mine didn’t look as good. I took some from it and i really liked it, The curry sauce was thick and it had just the right amount of seasoning. The vegetables was crunchy and chicken was moist and well seasoned. Commendable also, was the portion of this meal .The chef was not miserly with the accompaniment. I  didn’t try the rice but Funmi said it was nice.

CJ5

The menu stated that the Spicy Prawns – (N4,000- $22) as grilled prawns served with green pepper.  When my meal came, it was peppered prawns, like pan fried prawns in tomato sauce, in my chef fregz voice- ata dindin. Infact, i’m almost sure he used the same sauce that he used for the spicy chicken wings for the prawns as well.You dont believe me?  See the pictures and tell me what you think. Why do restaurants in Naija do that? You describe the meal as one thing on the menu, when it is served, it is served as something else, yet you charge the same! I didn’t complain about it which is very unlike me , I was too hungry to. Yes the sauce was nice but that was not what I paid for . The sweet potatoes was cold and just slapped on the plate. I  didn’t like the way this was served too, He could have garnished the potatoes with some herbs and butter. This was just slapped on the plate with oil seeping onto the potatoes. There is no point writing about it again as I have already described it . it was just the same sauce as the chicken wings

CJ4

They didn’t have any desserts that day so we decided to go to Sweet Kiwi In Lekki Phase 1 for Fro-yo. Hmnn, it was sooo good. I have realized the need to do a series of non- restaurant posts soon.i.e .Best place for  burgers, pizza etc so watch this place for what’s coming.

For two entrees, one starter, two mocktails, one bottle of water ,we paid about  (N11,600 -$67).The waiter brought back the change after he signed off on the bill. All taxes were included.

Would i go back? Probably.

 

SIDE NOTE

Remember  the Lost in Lagos restaurant  week sweeptakes I posted sometime ago? Well, I bought some of the lunch voucher for my self and my hub . I also entered for the food photo contest. All I had to do was send pictures of my meals at the restaurants and tag @city chops and @lostinlagos12 on social media . I was super chuffed when i got a tweet and mail from them saying I had won a hamper from @angelikasthehomestore. I won?  How?  I have crap luck when it comes to winning stuff so this got me on a good day. I hope someday SOON, I will announce that I  have won biggggg money or something like that.* winks*.  When I went to pick the hamper from Angelikas on Akin Adesola in Victoria Island, I almost exchanged Mr U for all the fabulous crockery and displays items  they had there. LOL. I need to go back there. Y’all should check them out  too.AngelikasAngelikas.2jpg

 

MY SCORE CARD

Layout / Ambiance / Aesthetics- 5

Quality of food-  6

Value for money- 7

Customer Service- 8.5

CAFE JADE

Plot 1139, Bishop Oluwole street

Victoria Island

Lagos

 

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.

 

 

355 RESTAURANT & LOUNGE – THE REVIEW

Thursday, 10. 06P.M,

Hey People,

How have you been? I know I went AWOL yet again. I apologize, its been rather hectic at work . The life of an entrepreneur in this town is not for the lily- livered . May God bless the hustle.

I don’t particularly fancy reviewing  new restaurants but quite a number of people have spoken to me about this restaurant so I finally caved in. I chose to go during the week because restaurants are generally calmer then, unlike weekends when the chefs have to work under so much pressure.

I asked my friends who recommended 355 Restaurant what they liked most about it  and they unanimously said it was the theme.  The decor is New- York themed- places, landmarks etc . The furniture and lighting were contemporary, with a slight twist with stone wall tiles. They had street name tags adorning the walls. At the reception, there was a large framed picture of the Brooklyn bridge with a backdrop of the New York skyline. The menu cards were done like New York subway map. This was quite ingenious in my opinion. I really fancied the fact that it was a No Smoking restaurant. Phewww! Good bye to the smell of stale dinning rooms. This is quite a small restaurant, but the space was well utilized.  I felt it was kinda tight …. a little bit

355 Restaurant 3

355 Restaurant 8

355 restaurant 2We were met by a smiling waiter who introduced herself and showed us to a table, we sat for a couple of minutes and decided to change tables. We realized we were sat near the rest rooms. while it didn’t smell foul, it was quite odorous with a strong disinfectant smell emanating from there .

355 Restaurant 7

We were handed the drinks  and  food menu. The menu was quite extensive… hopefully they had everything they advertised. They  had some Mexican , Italian and American staples. Breakfast was available all day too! Will it still be called breakfast though? hahaha. Anyway, I ordered a bottle of coke ( I had been craving this BADLY) with some corn chips and salsa. My date wanted nuts but they didn’t have any, so he opted to share  the corn chips. For the meals, we ordered the Chicken salad, Prawns Aoili, smoked Salmon with mashed potatoes.

Our drinks , Corn chips and Salsa ( N700- $4) came together. I loved the corn chips, the salsa was a No-No, it was way too watery and it tasted off . I can’t explain it. I told the waitress who promptly took it away and replaced it with another bowl, this time less watery but just as off and bland. I had my corn chips plain.

355 restaurant 1

The food took a bit to come. I was taken a little bit aback when the salad  I ordered as a starter came together with the main course. we had to keep the salad aside to go for the mains otherwise they would both cake up. We decided to share both meals so that we could have a fair assessment of the meals

We started with the Prawns Aoili  (N3000-$17), I didn’t particularly enjoy the pasta in this dish.  It was cooked right but it wasn’t memorable . For starters, it was almost cold. I  had to ask for salt and black pepper because it was bland. Could the chef have forgotten to add seasoning? The pasta was served with chili sauce. I don’t fancy spicy food per se but I decided to try some of this. It then dawned on me that maybe the  chili sauce was meant to be mixed in. I added some to the pasta and it tasted much better. So what happens to people that don’t eat spicy food? Will they be forced to eat this too? I felt like I was eating pasta and stew with Prawns. Talking about the Prawns, I don’t know what the chef did to it, but it was delicious!

355 restaurant 6

355 restaurant 4

We promptly moved to the baked Salmon and mashed potatoes (N5500-$31) . When I was ordering this,  I don’t remember the sauce she said it would come with it, but  I know she asked me to choose. When the meal was served, it was without any sauce or gravy (see picture below). Was I supposed to chow down the mash and salmon like that?  so I asked her. She came  with the same spicy chilli sauce. My date asked me  if the sauce was  generic to all their meals.  I didn’t have an answer oh. As always, I added black pepper to my mash. First bite- cold mashed potatoes with lumps in it! o ga oh, ( its possible that the mashed potatoes got cold because we did the pasta first) but then how long  did it take to eat the Pasta? The mash was cold and lumpy but it tasted alright. The Salmon was BEAUTIFULLY done, moist on the inside and the outside  was slightly crisp. I could live on this for days, I decided to try it with the spicy sauce. It was even better. I must have downed a  50 cl bottle of water just to water down the sting of the sauce. It was way too spicy for me but it tasted darned good.

355 restaurant 5

After all that water and spice, my tummy could take no more , I didn’t touch the salad. I requested  for it to be packed as take away. I had over done it. I didn’t bother looking at the dessert menu.

All that food ,water and spice had driven me to lazy mode. ( covers face in shame). I did not check the restrooms out but if I could smell the disinfectant from outside, I wonder what it smelled like inside.

Are you wondering why I didn’t write about the salad?  Well, I was so high on water and spicy sauce that I forgot to take the packed salad. I remembered when I was miles away. I called the restaurant to ask why it wasn’t given to me. The gentleman I spoke to apologized and was nice enough to offer me another salad whenever I was in the neighborhood.

There is an outdoor lounge / smoking area. Right by the parking area. (I forgot to take a picture)

Would I go back there? For that Salmon, oh yes!

For 2 bottles of coke, 1 bottle of water, 1 starter, 2 mains and 1 appetizer, we paid N14,580. All taxes inclusive.

MY SCORE CARD

Layout / Ambiance / Aesthetics- 7

Quality of food-  7

Value for money- 6

Customer Service- 8.5

355 RESTAURANT & LOUNGE 

9A,Oko- Awo close

Victoria Island

Lagos

08079213638

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.

VILLA MEDICI- THE REVIEW

Monday 11.42 A.M

Hello Valentine and Valentinas ,

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

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

Villa Medici 02

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

Villa Medici 05Villa Medici 01

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

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

Villa Medici 06

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

Villa Medici 11

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

Villa Medici 09

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

Villa Medici 12

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

Villa Medici 13

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

Villa Medici 14

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

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

Would I go back there? Oh yes!

MY SCORE CARD

Layout / Ambiance / Aesthetics- 8

Quality of food-  9

Value for money- 8

Customer Service- 9

VILLA MEDICI

1, Babatunde Jose  street

Victoria Island

Lagos

08191495381

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

THE HARBOUR – THE REVIEW

Hey People,

Monday 11.30P.M

Recently, I came across an article about a deli owner closing his restaurant briefly for attitude adjustment of his staff. Read  here . Attitude adjustment?! Is that remotely possible in this clime? I am not sure about that. I came across an acquaintance’s rant on twitter some time  ago on  a highbrow restaurant  she went to in Lagos. Whilst dinning, a fat rat  ran across the dinning room. Her friend who went there at a different time had a similar experience.  she said the restaurant offered them 10% discount on their meals  which they declined and business continued . Question is, what stopped them from closing temporarily to fumigate their business premises? Things you see and hear in this town.

I recently discovered  what I would like to call the best kept secret in Lagos. A friend of mine told me about it actually. The Harbour at the Westforsters . It was a bit tricky getting to the location because the numbering is quite haphazard and  it is tucked away on Queen’s  Drive , Ikoyi. Initially, I thought it was a hotel, I later found out that it was short let  serviced apartment whose  restaurant and bar were open to the public.

The Harbour 1

The Harbour 2This building  reminds me of those charming mansions on Bishops Avenue that make you drool and think of how big you would like to be when you “ grew up”.  The dinning room was not particularly large, it would probably sit about 30 people, what it lacked in size , was made up for in the  simple Victorian décor which was  tastefully done. The lounge music playing and low lights here gave off that romantic vibe. You know the kain place wey na wantintin thoughts go full your head? It was that kind of place. The view was amazing! They also had an alfresco dinning section overlooking the Lagos  lagoon and the swimming pool.

The Harbour 6

The Harbour 8Hint hint : To all those lovers out here if you want to go  somewhere romantic for valentine’s day, here’s free advise, this is the place for you.

A smartly dressed waiter  introduced himself  and handed us the drinks menu. It was not extensive , just bit and pieces of different  kinds of drinks. Mr U & I ordered soda……double side eye.  After ordering drinks ,we were given the food menu.  They  had sandwiches, salads, pizzas and soups , pastas , stuffed chicken, and a few desserts. In as much as I was not particularly pleased with menu listing, I quite appreciated that they kept it simple enough i.e no fancy name that I couldn’t pronounce.

For the starters,  we ordered  the Prawn Salad with grape fruits. For the mains, we ordered   Seafood Pasta and  Baraccuda fish with sautéed potatoes and vegetables.

The Prawn Salad (N3,000-$17) came first. I liked the plating, simple yet interesting to look at. This salad was sautéed prawns served on greens, with a side of grape fruit and oranges.  I asked the waiter for the dressing  and he said there was none. Hmmnn .  He said we should try it first to see if we needed any more dressing. The chap was sure right. The salad had just the right amount of  dressing. I don’t know the exact dressing but  it  worked so well with the salad. He came back to ask if we still wanted it and we said No. He had this “yeah we got them”  look on his face as he walked away. The salad was served with toasted baguette.

The Harbour 3

The main courses came together. We decided to start with Seafood Pasta (N,4600-$26). You know when you look at food and your mouth waters? That’s what happened when  I saw the seafood pasta. The plate looked like it had too much going on but believe me when I say it all worked well for this dish.  The pasta was tossed in spicy cheddar cheese sauce and Asian sugar snap peas,carrots, shrimps, mussels and  broccoli. Right in the middle of this was a sauteed jumbo Prawn with a side serving of cheese. Tres delicieux !!  I would definitely give it an ace.

The Harbour 4

The Barracuda  with vegetables (N4000-$23). The fish was pan seared and served atop seasoned fresh vegetables. It was served with  herbed baked potatoes , garlic butter and some pepper sauce that I refused to touch out of fear of  it being spicy. The fish was  a bit under spiced on its own but the garlic butter and a bit of salt perfected it . The herbed baked potatoes was  nicely done. slightly crispy on the outside  and and soft inside.  And those vegetables, crisp and nicely seasoned!

The Harbour 5

Worthy of note here is the  portion sizes, it was  just right. By the time I was done sharing  the three dishes  with Mr U, I didn’t have room for water not to talk of dessert. Yes I skipped on dessert. Even I was taken a little aback about that decision. Besides the desserts menu, was quite uninteresting and expensive. Why should I buy 2 scoops of vanilla and chocolate ice cream for (N2,200$13)? The jazz no catch me reach. I am beginning to think I need emoticons for such situations as this. Ishhh.

For 1 salad, 2 main dishes, 2 bottles of  soft drinks , we paid N 14,735. ( Taxes were included) And NO! the waiter didn’t bring my change! After such nice service? Booooo.

Would I go back there?…. Absolutely.

MY SCORE CARD

Layout / Ambience / Aesthetics- 9

Quality of food-  9

Value for money- 8

Customer Service- 8

THE HARBOUR

70, Oyinkan Abayomi street ( Formerly Queens Drive)

Ikoyi.

Tel: 07046126577, 014484100-3

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

GINGER TAPAS N GRILLS

Sunday, 11.45 P.M

Hello My Lovelies,

SWEEPSTAKES

I promised to do another sweepstake and here it is. Another opportunity to review  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 OF 2013  to thecriticng@gmail.com

2.You must be 18 0r older.

3. Since this is for theservicecriticng.com  faithfuls, you must follow @pejuu on twitter, subscribe for the newsletter on this site  OR  follow thepejuu on Instagram.

This sweepstake ends by midnight on the 26th January,2014. The winner will be announced shortly after .

You are probably tired of all the “Happy New Year song” so I wont add to the headache of the broadcast. I wish you an “awesometastic” year ahead. The word  “awesometatsic”  was borrowed  from Toke Makinwa by the way.

GINGER TAPAS N GRILLS

I recently discovered  a tapas restaurant in Lagos – Ginger Tapas N Grill. For those that don’t know what a tapas is, tapas are Spanish appetizers or mini Spanish cuisines. The idea is to order  different  tapas to make a full meal. The decor and layout were quite nicely done in bright colours and  contemporary furnishing.  To one side sits a semi open kitchen ( you can see the chefs making the meals but not the meal itself .  next to this, is a cozy lounge with soft lighting and comfy sofas adding  a homely touch to it. On the opposite side of the lounge  is the main dinning room. The main dinning room will sit about 40 people. I would like to describe this restaurant as a laid back place you can have a decent meal and a nice conversation.Ginger's Tapas & Grill. 8 JPG*I apologise for this grainy picture*

I don’t particularly remember what drinks menu had but it was not exactly extensive . I ordered the White sangria – N1800 ($10) and Miss diva ordered Chapman N1000-($6).Whilst we waited for the drinks, the food menu was handed to us. The food menu was more of  Spanish staples with a Nigerian twist to it.  They had cold and hot tapas ,desserts and some continental dishes.The drinks came promptly and we ordered our meals. My white sangria was nice, my only complain was that it was not chilled. We ordered Guacamole and Chips, Empanadas,  Cinnatains,  Smoked salmon salad, Molten brownie with ice cream.. yeah I know it seems like a lot for two chics to eat but remember they are tapas!Ginger's Tapas & Grill 2

First up was the Guacamole and chips-N2200($13). Guacamole is basically an avocado dip/sauce usually served with chips or fries.  I didn’t read the smaller prints  properly to see that this  Guacamole was served with tortilla not like there was anything wrong with it. I was just more conversant with it being served with nachos. I didn’t knock it off though, when it came, It looked quite nice and it was not just slapped on the plate. We tried it and both loved it. We gobbled it all in no time and almost asked for seconds, but then I realized that there was no point . we had other dishes coming. We did order a second helping of the tortilla though because we had some Guacamole left. Well worth it.Ginger's Tapas & Grill 1

Next up was the Empanadas-2300 ($13). You can liken Empanadas to samosas or meatpie. i.e stuffed dough, baked or fried. We had the option of minced meat or chicken. We opted for minced meat served with a salsa dip. There were 2 large pieces cut down into 4. It was quite nicely made.The salsa was amazing. I know they are tapas, hence the portion, but the money paid, was not commensurate to what was served. I have decided to overlook this because it was very well executed. Still…

Ginger's Tapas & Grill 3

The smoked salmon salad- N6000- ($35)  was served next and I was impressed with the presentation. At this point, I had to send my compliments to the chef. The ” smoking salmon salad” as the menu called it was  grilled chunky salmon  served on a bed of beets, greens, aubergine , carrots and tomatoes. It was garnished with breadsticks.  I am no lover of beets but this was different, I absolutely loved it in this salad. I found the grilled salmon a  little oily but it didn’t take anything away from the deliciousness of the salad. I could eat this all day, everyday- well if it was free of course. At 6K a pop?  all day , everyday will probably be twice a year. Maybe Ginger TapaS n Grill is for Lagos bigz boyz and gehlz. Dont judge this girl please.

Ginger's Tapas & Grill.4JPGThe Cinnatains N600($3.5) as you may have guessed, is fried plantains dusted with cinnamon syrup or sauce. I wasn’t particularly keen on this . I guess its because I have gotten used to eating my plaintain seasoned with salt. It could also be because the plantain was not cooked through. It did not werk for me.

Ginger's Tapas & Grill. 5 JPG

I almost always have room for desserts….dessert time is my happy time. For dessserts we ordered the molten brownie with ice cream. N1,800-($11) .Hmmnn, when this came, My dear restauranteur letter came to mind. I was pained, for me to have complimented the chef on his presentation  earlier and then he serves me dry cake (mini cupcake) as brownie and then serves it with runny grainy vanilla ice cream is a slap on my face, I almost sent it back but Miss Diva said we should leave it. Plus we paid premium for it! Who pays N1,800 for brownies and ice cream? well in Lagos we do! Common guys, you have good stuff going on here! why mess it up with the dessert?  … and the price too. Get a pastry chef or send them off to be trained properly. This put such a damper on everything for us. My diva of a friend  decided to eat the cinnatains with the ice cream, what normal person does that anyway? Hmmnn… silence is golden. She said she imagined it to be her favourite dessert, banana fosters. ishhh.

Ginger's Tapas & Grill. 6 JPGWhilst we were waiting for the bill, the owner came round to ask how our meals went ,  she introduced herself to us. I found her amiable and savvy about being a restauranteur. We shared our opinions with her and  she wrote them down. Hopefully they’ll look into some of our complaints we laid. We inspected the restrooms and it was sparkling clean.

When we were leaving, we discovered there was a gazebo outside for the grills and alfresco dining. I loved it. I know that’s where I would definitely stay the next time I visit.Ginger's Tapas & Grill. 7 JPG

For four tapas ,1 dessert, 2 drinks and a bottle of water, we paid N 16,650- ($98). What saith thou?  Pricey I would say.

Would I  go back there?  Most definitely.

MY SCORE CARD

Layout / Ambience / Aesthetics- 8

Quality of food-  7

Value for money- 7

Customer Service- 8

GINGER TAPAS N GRILLS

The Cosmopolitan

6A, Ologun Agbaje  street

Victoria Island.

0706969097, 08187813511