R.S.V.P – THE REVIEW

Sunday,  7.35 p.m

Happy New year!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

MY SCORE CARD

Layout / Ambiance / Aesthetics- 9

Quality of food- 7

Value for money- 6

Customer Service- 8

 

R.S.V.P RESTAURANT

9, Eletu Ogabi  street,

Victoria Island

Lagos

Thank you for always reading.

 

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

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LA TAVERNA – THE REVIEW

Hello Ladies & Gentlemen,

It’s been a longggg time.  I have missed you guys oh. I don’t have many excuses for not blogging in almost two months. It’s just been one thing or the other! To the dear faithfuls that checked up on me one way or the other. Thank you!!! And even those of you who didn’t. ..I nor fexx.

I recently watched the movie The Chef and it opened my eyes to how I might be perceived by some establishments/chefs. If you have watched the movie, you would understand.  I would like to reiterate that I am not out to witch hunt or malign any food catering establishment. My posts are about my dining experiences. I once described it to someone as giving people informed choices about where to eat in Nigeria and I am sticking to that. I have never been paid a dime to review these places. I do it on my  free volition so why should I be biased? The movie has further hardened my resolve to believe that my wishes and aspirations will come to fruition  if I work hard towards them . Hard work & persistence does pay. Phew!! rant over (I need the sweaty emoticon here ).

I was out on a dinner date with Mr U to La Taverna– a Chilean/Spanish/Italian fusion restaurant.  It’s deeply tucked into one end of Balarabe Musa Crescent in Victoria Island. As always, we didn’t have a reservation but it didn’t seem to be a problem. The decor was basic. A bit rustic like a typical spanish trattoria. Nothing fancy with traditional chairs and tables with a wine “cellar” to one end . The other end had  arranged wine barrel tags from different wine manufacturers around the world. There is an area for alfresco dinning but it had some sort of private party going on there on the night we visited.

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The menu was quite extensive with fusion Chilean/Spanish/ Italian staples. This was my first experience with Chilean menu. I wasn’t sure what to order, so we agreed on ordering from the 3 countries.

Whilst we waited for the food, I ordered a glass of moscato which was delicious. I don’t remember the name though.The appetiser was Camarones a la parmesana. The mains were Prawns ravioli and Grilled salmon with mashed potatoes. And dessert was Tiramisu. (They had  desserts du jour written out on a board in the corner).

Next came a basket of bread with some tomato dip. I am not sure I can describe this properly but I was dazed by how lovely the combination was. I had to ask the chef what he put in. The bread was soooo darn good. It was a Chilean staple called Marquetta. It’s dense and sweet kinda like agege bread but far better- perhaps it’s agege bread’s posh cousin. They bake it fresh every morning. With the tomato dip? Heavenly. No it didn’t taste like bread and stew 🙂 . I did oliver twist , I asked for seconds and I still got take away. This appetizer  deserves an ace!!!

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Then came the starter- Camarones a la parmesana. This was prawns baked in cream and cheese. It was baked with a slight crust so it was slightly crispy on the outside and stringy like hot cheese on Pizza. It was served in a seashell. I thought that was quite original. In the looks department, it wasn’t grand but it tasted amazing.

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The mains came and they did not look too happy either…hahaha. To me, it seemed like they made them and just slapped them on the plate. Starting with the prawns ravioli, looking at it did not impress me one bit. It was basically ravioli pasta ,stuffed with prawns and cooked in tomato sauce. Here plating was non existent. It was just poured in  bowl, no garnish whatsoever.When I tasted it, I was quite surprised because the tomato sauce was good . The pasta on the other hand, had a bite to it, somewhat chewy.Like it had been frozen and not properly thawed. I am trying to convince myself that a restaurant that sells seafood pasta would make their own ravioli fresh. My conclusion was that it had been previously made and had just been hurriedly thawed before it was tossed in the tomato sauce…I could be wrong.

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The salmon.. Hmnn, I need to remember when next I go out to review that it don’t have to have  seafood.  The Salmon did not look interesting either. As always, I added black pepper to the mashed potatoes. The never judge “a book by its cover” rule applied here. The mashed potatoes was creamy, fluffy and no lumps! Yes, no lumps, that’s a breathe of fresh air in Lagos.   The menu stated that the salmon would be served with lemon sauce but when it came, there was no lemon sauce.. It came with some sort of creamy sauce but definitely not lemon sauce. I think it was a little overcooked but it still tasted alright. Yet again, it was slapped on the plate. So if per chance they happen to see this review, PLEASE your meals are too nicely made to be slapped on the plate! You can do better with your food presentation.

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For dessert, I had requested for Tiramisu, unfortunately, it had finished before we placed our order. I didn’t feel like I wanted anything else so we skipped it altogether. Sob….

I got a chance to speak with the chef- Cristian who was  friendly. I discovered that they offered cooking classes. That’s a date idea for those that send mails asking what they can do for date night, you can both learn to cook and then eat your creations afterwards. Win-win situation if you ask me.

We paid about N14,000 for 1 appetizer, 2 main entrees , a glass of wine and a bottle of water

P.S : I apologise about the quality of these pictures. I could not adjust my camera settings with the lighting.

MY SCORE CARD

Layout / Ambiance / Aesthetics- 7

Quality of food- 8

Value for money- 8

Customer Service- 9

 

LA TAVERNA

48, Balarabe Musa Crescent

Victoria Island.

08051788782

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SKY RESTAURANT

Hello good people,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The restrooms were well apportioned and kept sparkling.

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

Would I go back there? Oh Yes

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

 MY SCORE CARD

Layout / Ambiance / Aesthetics- 8

Quality of food- 9

Value for money- 7

Customer Service- 9

SKY RESTAURANT

Eko Hotels & Suites

Victoria Island

Thank you for always reading.

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

 

 

BASILICO ITALIAN RESTAURANT- THE REVIEW

Tuesday, 5.15P.M

Hello Gorgeous,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MY SCORE CARD

Layout / Ambiance / Aesthetics- 7

Quality of food-  9

Value for money- 9

Customer Service- 8.

 

BASILICO ITALIAN RESTAURANT

15, Musa  Yaradua street,

Victoria Island

08068447246

Thank you for always reading.

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

 

 

 

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

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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 .

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

SPICE ROUTE- THE REVIEW

Wednesday, 10. 04p.m

Hey everyone,

Writing food reviews has brought me in contact with many fabulous people I never imagined I’d be friends with. I really can’t believe how far I have come, from the girl that rambles on and on about food, to the food writer that I have become today. I couldn’t have done this without you all.  Thank you for all your kind words, encouragement, criticism and even threats sef. It has all made Peju strive to be better.

Recently, I met up with my friends for dinner. These are fab chefs that churn out the good stuff- Chef Fregz, Chef Renee and Chef  Bemigho.  Ollll’ boy, I knew it was going to be a blast. You can imagine how this review went.  Savvy foodies meeting up to review food.  Dinner was at  Spice Route, It is located on Adeola Odeku, the same building with a popular pizza place. The  menu here consists of Eastern and Southern Asian cuisines.

I was shown to the elevator by a polite waiter. Oh wow…..It was totally different from the typical  naija restaurant decor. It had a theme that they followed to a tee! I felt like I was in a totally different place.The decor here was amazing, right from the fabulous stairway (I felt like a  princess walking  down a magnificent flight of stairs  to meet  my prince  charming) to the terracotta guards protecting the imposing image of Buddha to the spice tables and the bangle art wall.The lighting here depicts the atmosphere of a laid back lounge where you could have a nice tete-a-tete, kinda romantic. This could have been because I went at night. We dined alfresco overlooking the main road. The main dinning room was “Moscow” (too cold).

spice bar 04spice bar 08spice bar 10When we called for the menu, the waiter came with 1 copy of the menu, hmmmn, there were four of us, why one menu? We asked for extras, he brought just 1 extra. Until we actually spelt it out to him that there were 4 of us. He  grudgingly brought the extras. Was it  that they didn’t have enough menu cards? Taking about the menu, it was quite well put together in terms of aesthetics.

Renee and I had had our fair share of alcohol for the week and we decided to be good girls. We ordered iced tea, after about 10 minutes,  broda waiter came with our drinks.  Errrr iced tea kwa?  The bros brought us Long Island iced tea. Surely you would expect a waiter to know the difference, of course we sent it back. He came back minutes later with iced tea only this time it was room temperature and it  came without ice!  Hmmn room temperature iced tea? Only in gidi town, iced tea without ice not to talk of sugar rim? Issokay. Before the guy would clear the back of his throat in my drink, I jejely collected it and requested for ice. Chef Renee flatly refused and sent it back yet again, this chic had liver fa. Well, this time the bartender came  himself and asked what the issue was. We explained to him that we didn’t want warm iced tea and explained how we would like  the tea served. He explained to us that it was room temperature because it was freshly brewed tea.  Akiko.  He finally took it and brought back a perfect glass of iced tea. Persistence does pay off.  The final product was nice.  Phewww...all this energy for  just tea.

spice bar 01Whilst we waited , we were served stuffed  poppadum(sp) , jalapeno peppers. with some sort of mint dip with onions. Hmnn, lets just say it didn’t werk at all because none of us could eat  it. We asked the waiter for the name of the dip ; he didn’t know but we knew the base was yoghurt and it had mint  and coriander. The rest was lost on us, possibly a mint chutney i’d say.

spice bar 02We finally placed our orders. For our appetizer we ordered the Dawat-E- Shahjahan( N 5,500-$33)  and Tandoori Jhenga ( N 5,500-$33).  Make una go learn Hindi oh. Well, in simple english, the Dawat-E- Shahjahan was mixed meat platter of chicken, lamb and seafood kebabs. The Tandoori Jhenga was spicy prawns made with select indian herbs and spices. I don’t remember the waiter asking how spicy we wanted it.  When it came, I wasn’t impressed. The dishes were just slapped on the plate with a heap of onions.  Infact, the Dawat-E-Shahjahan looked like overcooked vegetable soup…quite unappealing looking. The Jhenga  was a line of prawns  that had a heap of onions on the side.  Whoever came up with the adage” never judge a book by its cover” didn’t veer far from the truth . I had a piece of the lamb and  I was surprised it tasted that good considering the way it looked. The calamari was even better , crunchy and nicely spiced. I didn’t particularly  like the chicken cos it was somewhat dry. The prawns didn’t  impress me either; in my opinion, the chef  overdid it with the herbs and spices.  Perhaps the Tandoori  Jhenga is supposed to be an acquired taste. The spices were too over powering to enjoy the prawns. It had a bit of a bitter aftertaste because it got charred on the grill I guess.

spice bar 03spice bar 12For the mains, we ordered the Goan Fish Curry (N 2,500-$15)  with the cheese naan bread, the second entree was the  Bhuna Ghosht (N2,400-$14) with steamed white rice (N800-$4). When it came, Chef Fregz said it looked like ata dindin, Chef Renee said it was ofada sauce. I couldn’t stop laughing. Yet again, presentation came into play. The food was just slapped down on the plate, i am not sure they remembered to clean the plates after serving because the sides were messy. That’s a huge turn off. I didn’t  complain because we had  bugged the waiter enough. The cheese naan (Kulcha) was delicious, there was something different about it and it was served hot. The Goan fish curry was very good. The menu described it as  fish  cooked in roasted coconut, fresh mango,  poppy seeds and Indian herbs. Whether it was cooked in all of that, I don’t know but it tasted so dang good. We unanimously awarded it the best meal of the night. It really is a must try with that cheese naan bread.The ata din din Bhuna Ghosht  was like eating white rice and fried stew. That’s definitely not something I would want to eat in a restaurant…at Iya Mayowa’s bukka for a fraction of the price?  Yes I ‘d indulge, the lamb was tender and well seasoned.

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Worthy of mention here is the customer service, despite the fact that  we were not the nicest of customers with our complaints and all, they were still polite and they paid attention to us. When we paid, the waiter came back with the change… shall we  safely assume that things are getting better or did they get served with the Dear Restauranteur letter? They need to pay attention to the plating of their dishes. It is unappealing being served food like that.

spice bar 07spice bar 09spice bar 11We paid (N 28,290-$171) for 2 appetizers, 2 main entrees, 2 sides, 9 drinks. (I  am wondering why we had to pay for rice or naan bread as  side orders , shouldn’t a side dish be served with a sauce?)

Would i go back there? Most likely.

MY SCORE CARD

Layout / Ambience / Aesthetics- 10

Quality of food- 7

Value for money- 8

Customer Service- 8

SPICE ROUTE

36, Adeola  Odeku street

Victoria Island

08080208080, 01-7615555

EKAABO RESTAURANT- INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL

Hey lovelies.

How have you all been?  I hope you  have been treating yourselves well, remember you only live once.  Recently, I came across an article on huffingtonpost.com for the lover of cocktails. It was titled “What your cocktails say about you”. Please click here to read about it. I found it funny but it was kinda true….

The hub and I met up with our dear friends for lunch at Ekaabo restaurant at the Intercontinental  hotel, Lagos. I had heard so much about Ekaabo  sunday brunch  but I didn’t take it all too seriously because it was still new so I figured it was  still “initial gra gra” that they  were doing. I bet you know all about the Lagos fad mentality. Also I wasn’t too keen because one of their restaurants didn’t live up to its billing. If u missed my review of Milano Restaurant , please click here.

The dining room at Ekaabo Restaurant  is well apportioned  with optimum use of the space. The layout was tastefully done with gorgeous white skylights suspended from the high ceilings. They also had the imposing champagne wall at the bar like they had at Milano Restaurant.  The most outstanding piece of the décor here is the fountain out on the terrace. With the right lighting, this should be a romantic spot  in the evening for the lovers of alfresco dining. So, to those that have sent emails asking for nice spots for dinner and  romantic spots to propose, this wouldn’t be a bad idea. Did I mention that  for Sunday brunch, there was a live band with one sisi eko  singing sonorously?

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Ekaabo 2ekaabo 8We were greeted by a warm and well clad waitress who showed us to our table. As if on cue, a waiter walked up to us to ask what we would like to drink. He reeled out the list of drinks and I was quite impressed. Well, just so that plate- washing mode won’t be activated after eating, I asked just to be sure that drinks were covered as part of the buffet charge… and yes it was. I believe this  is taking buffet  dining to a whole new level. Your girl ordered  a mimosa whilst we waited for the rest of the clan.

Well, the clan was taking forever so we decided to start without them ( yeah! shoot me Kimps, FBI, Seun  and Funmi)  When we got to the food displays, for a second I was disoriented! There was such a wide variety to choose from. How did these guys pull this off? Talk about being spoiled for choice.  The name needs to be changed from Ekaabo Restaurant to foodie’s paradise  or maybe even chop till you almost quench place. I loved it already. I went to the soup section first. I possibly can’t state everything they had  but I will mention just the ones that caught my attention. Not all the foods were labeled though so I might mix them up.

I   was a bit confused on how to do this post; do I write everything they had or should I just write about what I ate there?  I decided to do a little bit of both. They had quite a number of soups… goat meat peppersoup, fish peppersoup, and seafood chowder to mention a few.  I started with the goat meat pepper soup , For me it was perfect. It was boneless goat meat with just the right amount of spice in the broth…very well made.

ekaabo 4ekaabo 5a.  My saImon and salsa salad  b. Pasta salad  c. Potato salad  d. Greek salad

I drool even as I write this.   I moved on to the salads, they had about 8 different types, and there was a create your own salad bar as well. I had some of the Greek salad, potatoes salad, the mixed vegetable salad with thousand island sauce. I created one with pasta salad with salmon and salsa sauce…you see why I  suggested that they should rename it the chop till you almost quench place. The salads were amazing, my favourite here was the one I created with the pasta salad, salmon and salsa….that salsa was divine.  I had my salad with sourdough bread. They had about 10 varieties of bread .

To one corner sat a cooking dock with chefs willing to answer questions  or whip up  something different from what was available at the display stands. At this dock sat quite a variety. They had shish kebab, barbecue chicken, shish tawouk ,  waffles, pancakes, sausages,  naan bread, spring rolls, etc. They had  all sorts of dips and dressing accompanying  them.  I had some waffles with maple syrup with grilled chicken and some sort of kebab. I had no complaints whatsoever.  It was all nicely done. At this point my glass had been refilled about thrice. It was time to sit and let my bits and pieces digest a little bit.

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ekaabo 7I moved to the mains, I had some fried rice, herbed potatoes with steamed vegetables,  grilled chicken, grilled beef fillet and some sautéed lamb.  I didn’t fancy the fried rice, It was bland.  The sautéed herbed potato and beef fillet were quite nice and well seasoned too. The chicken was a bit dry. And that lamb, was the highpoint for me. It was nicely seasoned and moist…yum! The guys decided to do some local delights , when I saw the assortments of meats, and the variety of local staples available, I knew these people  had “bad” plans for us. Where was all this food supposed to go? Hian! If you know you suffer from gluttony, be well guided that you should steer clear of Ekaabo restaurant otherwise, you’d blame yourself later.

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a. fried rice b. lamb c, beef fillet d, grilled chicken e. herbed potates f. steamed vegetables.

ekaabo 13ekaabo 14I moved on to the desserts, there were quite a number of them. The problem here was that they weren’t tagged so I wasn’t sure of some of them. There were fruit platters, mousses, puddings  and gateaux, See my selection below. I had some black forest gateau, chocolate mousse, strawberry swirl cheesecake and some combination gateau that I couldn’t put a name to. It wasn’t all wow but from my selection, the strawberry swirl cheesecake , the  white chocolate mousse were really nice. ..you know that melt in your mouth goodness.

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ekaabo 11I could go on and on with the number of  fabulous things I ate here but I would be doing them great injustice if i fail to mention the  customer service here. One word describes the  service here- outstanding! The waiters were polite and attentive to a fault. They are definitely in contention for best customer service restaurant. A friend of mine felt it was because they were relatively new  , she was of the opinion that the Naija factor would soon set in … well if that is the case, I would enjoy it while I still can but I doubt it though.

Sunday buffet costs N9500 per person, drinks were included. On a good day i ‘d scream blue murder but I believe this was  good value for money.

Would I go back there? … Absolutely!

MY SCORE CARD

Layout / Ambience / Aesthetics- 9.5

Quality of food- 8

Value for money- 8

Customer Service- 10

EKAABO RESTAURANT (INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL)

52, Kofo Abayomi street

Victoria Island,

01- 2366666.

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.

milano 07

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

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.

uptown 2

uptown8uptown9

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

BISTRO 7-THE REVIEW (REVIEW WITH THE SWEEPSTAKES WINNER)

Sunday 9.11 p.m

Salut  des Gourmandes!

Recently, I put up a post of   sweepstakes and some thought I was faffing about. In the name of awuf, some people begged, some threatened, some even bribed me to choose them as the winner  but I had  promised to be fair , and fair I was in my choice! My randomly selected winner was Mr Yemi Okanlawon who was accompanied by his wife , Damilola. Better luck next time folks. We were to review restaurant X but it was being renovated. Quickly, I whipped out my ever growing  list of places to review ( May I never declare bankruptcy because of these reviews oh…Amen). We finally decided on Bistro 7. bistro 7 13 Everyone that has told me about Bistro 7, has said one similar thing- it is easy to miss the location and yes we missed it too! Thankfully, I had saved their telephone number , so I called them and I was given apt directions. Voila! we were there. The first thing that struck me here was  the layout. There was a coffee shop ( The Beanery),  The flower shop ( The Rose Garden),  then the restaurant. The restaurant was nicely laid out with uber chic furniture and the lighting created a romantic ambience to it. There was a little  set up for alfresco dinning.  I was instantly attracted to the corner with the cutlery chandelier ( really nice piece of art). There was just something about the ambience that drew you in. bistro 7 10 bistro 7 12The drinks menu  was  not particularly extensive but it had a little bit of  everything. Cocktails are off my list for a while, so I settled for wine, I looked at the prices of the wine and I did a double take…. these  dudes that drink wine are real cashogies. The wines were priced between N 8,000- N 30,000 ($53- $200). Its not small something at all. We ordered from the house wine list . Dami & I ordered the  Arra Blanc et Noir 2011 (Rose) and Deyemi ordered the Torres san valentine(white). Each glass cost N1,100($7).  Were we served what we ordered? We would never be able to tell. The wines were not poured in our presence. Wine enthusiasts in the house, help a novice out please. Is this the norm? I learnt quite a few things about wine here. bistro 7 7                                                                    a.Torres san valentine. b. Arra Blanc et Noir Rose.

Deyemi: As we stepped in, we were greeted by a waiter who didn’t seem to match the upscale environment and I was to find out soon enough that he knew next to nothing about the food being served. Luckily , a supervisor was on hand to answer our questions and give recommendations about the menu. Another thing I noticed was the cluster of other waiters who paid us absolutely no attention. I found it interesting when the waiter confessed the white wine listed was not available and there was a substitute. On Peju’s insistence he showed us the bottle AFTER pouring our wine from the bar – I’ve always suspected most restaurants list fancy named wines and serve something else.

On to the food menu, for our appetizer we requested the Ravioli, whilst we waited, we were served  delicious warm bread…..it tasted more like cake. I would love to steal that recipe. Then the Ravioli came,  for how quick it came,  I reckoned it was not freshly made. If it was freshly made,the cheese filling in it would have been somewhat stringy and the spinach would have greener and not that wilted. It was served with some sort of gravy ( efforts made to know the name of the sauce were futile). It was delicious nonetheless. We unanimously scored it an 8. bistro 7 1 The food menu had quite a number of Italian staples. For our entrees, we ordered The Prawns Thermidor, Fish in Saffron Sauce and Chicken Cordon Bleu. We did not have to wait too long. The three came at the same .  For a couple of secs , when the meals came, I was just transfixed, the three plates looked “scrumpdelicifantasticalllllyyy”  good!

First up was my Prawns Thermidor ( N4800-$33), this was cut up sauteed  jumbo prawns served in baked  cheese sauce, with 2 sides- sauteed vegetables and  mashed potatoes. As always, I asked for black pepper for my mashed potatoes, and I dug in..first question I asked was why it had to be one jumbo prawn because it  was so dang tasty! Talk of foodgasm. The prawn was perfectly seasoned and that cheese it was baked in took it to a different place of perfection. The mashed  potatoes was smooth, rich and creamy. The vegetables can best be described as perfectly sauteed and seasoned  mushrooms, peppers and the juiciest cherry tomatoes. The three dishes had the same sauteed vegetables.I grudgingly let Dami and Deyemi taste it. I had a problem with the plate my entree was served in, it was a bit too small and my food was almost spilling out. bistro 7 2

Deyemi: For my entree, I had The Chicken Cordon Bleu (N 2,900-  about $20). This was served with mashed potatoes sauteed vegetables and a creamy mushroom sauce. Having tasted everyone else’s meal, My meal was in my opinion the tastiest. However it was slightly more salty than I thought was necessary. The chicken was tender and nicely seasoned. The vegetables were really nice too.

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Damilola: I had the Fish in Saffron Sauce (3900-$24). I had it with herbed potatoes and a  bright yellow sauce ( apparently the saffron sauce) My meal was colourful and tasty  with the most delicious vegetables ever. The fish and sauce  portion was quite generous.  I did not like the fact that my meal  was served in such a small plate. I did not want it to finish.

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After our entrees, we were handed the desserts menu. It had seven desserts on it out of which only 4 were available.  Did u say hmnn? Well,  that was not the problem, the problem here was the prices of the desserts. The cheapest dessert here was N1,500($9). For desserts kwa? So I respected myself and said no but for the sake of our review we had to order at least one . Finally, we settled for the Triple flavoured frozen panacotta (N1,500-$9) and the Butterscotch Crepes with banana (1,800-$12). This desserts had better take me to cloud infinity or else…. The desserts arrived and three of us gasped! gasped because of the portions. What? The more you look the less you see!! This is extortion simple.

The triple flavoured frozen panacotta was almost none existent on the plate. This was 2  mini cylindrical Panacotta on a bed of strawberry coulis  garnished  with halved grapes. I liked the presentation. but it did not live up to the billing. The menu described  this  as layers of  vanilla , chocolate and coffee in a cream based dessert, it was not this, the coffee and chocolate were lost on me. It was rubbery…too much gelatin? The strawberry coulis was delicious though.  We scored it a 4. (based on taste and portion). It was not worth that price!

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Damilola :  When it was time for desserts, I chose a Panacotta, expecting a nice dish of creamy goodness, I was more than  disappointed to see two tiny cylindrical globs in the middle of a big plate in the name of desserts.Waste of money. This picture must have been magnified like a gazillion times.

The Butterscotch crepes was nicely presented. Yet again, I did not think it was good value for the money. It was 1 slice of  crepe and a scoop of ice cream filled with overripe banana and drizzled with butterscotch syrup. Did it hit the mark? No. it was regular …a little dry. The ice cream was  grainy and the over ripe banana it was filled with was not exactly appealing.  We all felt we should have stopped at the entrees. We scored it a 4.( based on taste and portion).

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 Deyemi: Ordering dessert was a waste of money and a downer for me. The crepe did not taste fresh and there was something about the butterscotch … that didn’t work for me – It was TINY for the price.

After the meals,  the supervisor  came round to ask how we enjoyed the meal, we commended the nice meals  and  also mentioned the portions and the quality of the desserts we were unhappy with, he apologized. there was no offer of a replacement .

Dami:  Bistro 7 needs to increase the size of their plates, reduce the prices of their desserts (or increase the portions) and also put a sign outside that makes the place stand out on the road.

We paid  about N 24,000 for one appetizer, three entrees, two desserts, and three glasses of wine. What saith thou? Expensive or OK?

As promised , I reviewed the restroom. It was well maintained and things were kept tidy in there.

Would we go back there? Yes

MY SCORE CARD

Layout / Ambience/ Aesthetics – 8

Quality of food- 7

Customer Service-6

Value for money- 6

Thank you for always  reading.

Bistro 7

273B, Kofo Abayomi street,

Victoria Island, Lagos.

0807-668-7777