Noir Lagos Review

Not sure why it took me so long to write this.  I feel like it always takes a long time to do things I want to do, almost like I get one chance and I want to do it EXACTLY right; basically a fancy way to procrastinate...but anywaaaay...

In January, I went to Noir. Restaurants are popping up like moles on whack-a-mole in Lagos and I've given up trying to play the game, I like what I like okay?

It was the last chance to hang with my sister before she went back to school so along  we went.

Supermarkets are kind of my guilty pleasure, so I'm pretty surprised that I'd never been to La Pointe (the grocery store by the owners of Noir).  I still haven't been (the restaurant is upstairs) but I got a peek and thought- hmmm groceries *rub palms together* 

I was fully prepared for a three course meal, something I don't really do anymore and we got salads to start. I have to say, ordering a kale salad as a starter was a first for me, and it was BLOODY delicious. It DID NOT look like much- saying much is actually an understatement, it looked like NOTHING. It came and I was like whaaaat have I doooone? Honestly, the kale was massaged to death because it was sooo soft (and if you prep kale, you know it takes a lot to get there) the dressing was sweet and tangy and the apples were crisp- listen, it was a delicious salad- that's what you need to know.  

The prawns in the prawn salad were so delicious and mangoes are in season, so you couldn't have tasted a better mango. I was ready to end the meal right there. 

prawn and mango salad

I dont want to say too much about the cocktails except there was grenadine in places where there shouldn't have been grenadine- not impressed- the cocktails were actually the downer for me- the bartender needs to have grenadine taken away from him- less grenadine, more muddling mint. 

It was cook your own steak time, the USP of Noir. I went for South African Tenderloin. The meat was great, absolutely amazing, but I would not cook my own steak again. There was smoke, I had to work at the table, I ended up with a perfect steak, but at what cost?

My gorgeous, perfectly cooked steak

All the steak sauces were really good

My sister's meat was overcooked, but she had no-one to blame but herself - cooking steak is hard man. 

I won't lie to you, I was completely completely full at this point, but I had to have dessert! Had to! The desserts were good, but not memorable. So if at the end of your meal, you want dessert, I'd  say go for it, but I wouldn't go there because of dessert. 

I had a really good experience. Next time, I would skip the cocktails and I definitely wouldn't cook my own steak. Actually, I might skip everything and risk it all for that kale salad! 

I should have guessed from the name panache

...that this place wasn't going to bang. I mean what is Panache as a name for a restaurant? According to the first google search result, "Panache is a flamoyant confidence of style and manner" (also, I just checked and it was a yahoo search, awks) 

Anyhoo, yeah. I was in Abuja for a bit and wanted to go somewhere nice. After all my research, only two options kept resurfacing - Pow and Panache.  Pow is Japanese and someone said they cook with too much maggi so I chose panache because it's 'continental' (my word, not theirs)

Walked in and it was full of square tables with tablecloths. I kept trying to find a good angle to photograph the setting, but I couldn't find one (also, some man came up to ask why I was taking his picture- I wasn't but yeah)

At this point, I was still super excited. The menus were really gorgeous with pictures and they had the best dessert selection I've ever seen in Nigeria- AND.THEY.HAD.DUCK. Man I was ready to go in.

Ordered duck, my boyfriend (he asked me to put in this post that he's 6 5" and well built-he's not, but yah) ordered ribs, and we both ordered mojitos- which I always order because - easy to make right? wrong.

(thats my water served in a wine glass btw)

So we received this and I was like??? These mint leaves were obviously not muddled like they should have been. I'm paying way over the odds for this.  What? According to my boyfriend, it tasted like transparent cough syrup and you know what? It reeally did. 

The bread rolls had a very very very weird aftertaste-  Before that day, I'd never tasted a bread roll I didn't like- I usually inhale bread rolls like I need them for my lung function - I put this down after one bite  (also, I had the nagging feeling that the guy that accused me of taking his picture was trying to poison me.) I had to take a bite of my boyfriends roll just to be sure that they tasted the same- but then he would just poison us both, right?

My duck came. generous portion, in a wine jus AND honey roasted root vegetables (including beetroot, yuck). The duck was actually gorgeous, perfectly cooked and flavoured, so tender and lovingly made.

The dis-service was in the combination of the other things on the plate- my potatoes not dauphinoise enough and all the sauces being way too sweet and overwhelming. I asked for a new plate for my duck and ordered a garlic sauce. I can't even believe this happened, but my garlic sauce WAS BLAND. How is this even possible? I just gave up at this point and asked for the dessert menu. By this point, our waiter- Ekajo, who was the best part of the meal, was concerned about all the leftover food so,  he recommended that I get the fondant.  I wanted a more rounded dessert experience so I ordered a dessert duo instead.  The duo included his beloved fondant so it was cool.

*sigh*. The fondant was the best thing on the plate, it was good.  The white chocolate on the other hand,  tasted like- you know when you put something sweet in the freezer with fresh stew and leftover moi moi and it ends up with a weird freezer taste, thats how the white chocolate tasted.

In summary, I generally don't have the highest expectations for food in Nigeria, I eat out more for the ambience than anything, but I just couldn't believe this , man. 

And don't kill me, but I would still recommend it- stay with safe dishes, lower your expectations and just live. Order your water (which is served in a wine glass) , pretend you are drinking wine and just enjoy yourself. I mean, it's Abuja, where else are you going to go (this is a joke, don't give me a list).

 

 

New Restaurant Alert: Due by Chef Dish

Hey there! It's been sooooo long since I did a food review but I went to a new restaurant on Friday and thought "why not?"

Due (pronounced dooh-eh) is a little cute restaurant on Adetokunbo Ademola in the Samantha Bistro family. It had a test run for a month before it opened officially on Thursday. It's divided into a cafe area and a restaurant area. 

Cute, no?

High chairs are cute, but they are certainly not made for you to hang around for hours

I don't know if it's because they just opened, but there was a limited menu, nothing else for it but to crack open a bottle of wine and try to decide.

I love handwritten menus, spelling and all

We asked if they had any starters and they had chicken wings, so we ordered those blind.

Since we ordered blind, I can't say what was in or on the chicken wings. I wasn't a big fan but I don't know that I can tell you why, maybe because it was fried and I don't like fried chicken? 

poached fish and mash

It also came with sweet potato fries

The poached fish was poached perfectly- it wasn't overcooked or over flavoured and the sauce it came with was very tasty. The mash was very homemade tasting (but like I make a good homemade mash, so that's not a bad thing). Sweet potato fries were an alternative to the mash, but I don't think sweet potatoes that aren't orange go with anything, my friend loved her fries though. 

We asked if they had dessert and surprise- they did! The menu was turning out to be full of random surprises. We had one each but I think its the perfect size for sharing- the cream had orange in it, which made it taste a lot more exciting. 

We were pretty brave ordering from a menu with no prices, but in the end it was pretty average. Everything was between N1500 and N4000 (except the wine).

Due is at 35a Adetokunbo Ademola, Victoria Island  (small black gate between Tantalisers and Chase Mall) and the entrance is up some stairs at the back of the building. 

Breakfast at Bistro 7

Listen. Bistro 7 is my favorite resturant in lagos and it's been for two years. I cannot articulate why. It's not particularly cheap and the food doesn't blow my mind away. But I like the consistency. Also, the fact that you can kind of see into the kitchen which allays my health and safety concerns. Their cocktails have never dissapointed me and they are the only people I know that have a green tea latte. I've tried to review it twice before now. One time, my memory card decided to fail me and that was a really good spread. the second time, I took pictures of chairs and tables and forgot to take any pictures of any food. So yah, that was a bit silly. The other weekend, I went there for breakfast on SATURDAY and SUNDAY so I kind of had to do a review. I'd say breakfast is the best time to go there because it fills up quite quickly at other meal times, especially on the weekend. 

Don't you love that they have actual breakfast cocktails? I have never tried a bloody mary and never say never, but I don't think I ever will. Tomato juice and vodka? Lord no. 

No doubt this is an overpriced meal, but hollandaise sauce, real ham and poached eggs in Lagos? Sometimes you just have to pay a premium on things that aren't available. Capitalism and all that.

These pancakes are quite sweet but very decent. 

Ah, a good mimosa. 

Before you judge this sunny side up, I asked for it well done, I'm not sure what was going through my mind at the time, I think I was very hungry.

Iced coffee? Yes please. (I love drinks)

Bistro 7 is at 273 Kofo Abayomi Street and is open on weekdays from 11am-11pm, opens at 9.30 ish on saturdays and is closed on Mondays

Throwback Thursday: Lunch Club at BBQ & Cravings

So like two lunch clubs ago, we went to to bbq and cravings. It was this thing that EDL was trying where we went to a low-key place instead of like a 'proper' restaurant. They also tried having more than 10 people for the first time. 

Arrived to cold coronas in these cute branded thingibobs. As I write this, I think I have to find it and throw it on my coffee cup. Tired of burning my hands because Nigerians don't believe in cup sleeves. I digress.

This menu didn't look like a lot of food, but it was a LOT OF FOOD.

The walls are covered with graffiti from people. And this fan was the MVP, because it was blowing away flies and flies and flies.

Actually, it didn't really feel like there were more people. The table was kind of divided a bit but I think that still happens when there are only 12 of us. The conversation was loud and noone was complaining. Welcome change from a regular inside setting.

Now, that's a portion of wings!

More meat. Meat Meat Meat. Tasty meat though.

'To share' apparently meant to share with one other person. Whaaaa?! By this point, I was almost full. 'Almost' being the operative word.

This sandwich was great and I love a cubed potato. By this time, I was actually full. By the time the burger came after, I had to get it packed. It wasn't happening.

Folly made these slutty brownies and I was greedy and had 2. But hey! Yolo right? 

Urban Fuxion Review

I love the movie

Chef

! So when I found out on

Eat. Drink. Lagos

 that a real life food truck was open in Lagos, I had to try it. But like most things I do, I procrastinated and procrastinated and then they followed me on twitter. I took it as a sign.

I sent a dm asking where the truck was. I think apart from when it moves around at night, it's usually parked in the same place in Lekki.

The truck is really nice. Great branding and so big. (for people that are looking at me like um, thats how food trucks are, I don't know anything about food trucks). There was a take out and take in window. I mean, you can't eat in or anything but there were two windows basically to make it more efficient.

The menu is burgerfrieswingssandwiches type menu. I tried the burger, some regular fries, chicken wings and a chicken sandwich. I remembered that the margaritas are supposed to be quite good, so I ordered a strawberry one.

I realise latently that I didn't take a picture of the menu. I was trying this new not taking pictures with my camera but trying to be under g with my phone and I'm not sure it quite clicked.

I argued with the guy that he gave me a virgin margarita because all I could taste was sweetness. The margarita was so so sweet, like bubble gum sweet, like artificially flavoured bubblegum sweet. I didn't like it at all BUT it DID have alcohol and if you like the bottles pitchers ,you'll probably like these. Different prices sha.

I think I should have tried the ribs. There's a consensus that they have amazing ribs but I don't think I'm really a rib eater and it didn't even occur to me at all, but everything was so average. Now, it's a food truck, so like the food is not going to be like amazing or anything, but it's not the cheapest food truck, like it's not fast food prices so I guess I had this expectation that wasn't really met.

I paid N2800 for the burger with fries and a drink (drink being regular stuff- water, fanta sprite). That's very reasonable, maybe even cheap by Lagos standards because Lagos standards are crazy but it's not cheap.

The food was forgettable and after I started writing this review, I had to taste the stuff again (my brother paid)

The wings tasted boiled. Maybe they were. I don't really have anything against boiled chicken but it was weird.

The sandwich was dry, like inside.

The food was okay. I think okay is my go to word for describing food that I wouldn't necessarily pay for again. The burger was fine, it could have been from anywhere. The fries were bland and the portion was tiny.

I have to say- the food looked good though.

I was disappointed to be honest but I really think I'm in the minority here and I'm going to have to taste those ribs. If I'm on the streets at 4am and I'm hungry, defs going to eat the food happily.

Sunday Brunch: Lunch Club VIII @ Velvett Grill Lounge and Bar

So, the 8th lunch club was yesterday at Velvett. 

Velvett is usually kind of pricey. So when I saw the lunch club menu, I knew I was getting a bargain!

At the beginning, we had lovely surprise cupcakes from 

honeys cupcakes

 from her new ...line?...collection? whats the right word for new food, which we got to try and review.

Obviously bread wasn't on the menu, but when the waiter put this basket on the table, I nearly wept in gratitude. The bread was really fresh. When he took it away, I almost grabbed the basket out of his hand.

I'm sure you could tell from the menu that it was going to be an appetiser platter. It was missing the plantain, but I can't say it would have added something different- just more food. Everything tasted good to me, tbh. I did wolf everything down at scary speed, so most of it probably missed my tastebuds.

I ordered my steak medium well because you just can't be sure how you're going to get your meat cooked in places. I ordered medium rare one time and they basically slapped the dead cow on my plate with sauce. Fola ordered medium rare and it was perfectly medium rare, so with Velvett, I guess you can trust that they understand how to cook steak. The meat was really tender and the black peppercorn sauce was great. This course came with a discussion of Nigerian cows and why steak cuts are imported.

Oh and the mash was great. Creamy, smooth and made from real potatoes. I pretty much scraped the bowl.

The chicken looked really good and was massive!

We had the brownie and tiramisu for dessert. I have to admit, this fell a little flat for me. The tiramisu was much too creamy with little or no sponge fingers. The custard was tasty, don't get me wrong, but the dessert isn't just custard and mine was basically that. The brownie was dry and most of mine was burnt. After the rest of the meal, I was a bit disappointed, but also full, so it was fine.

Velvett Grill Lounge and Bar is located at 19b Idejo Street (beneath Izanagi).

To join the lunch club mailing list, go on 

eat.drink.lagos

Sunday Brunch- Hans and Rene

You know those Sundays when there's rice at home, but you still want brunch (because brunch isn't just about the food), that's where Hans and Rene comes in! 

Hans and Rene is an gelato cafe (my words). They have gelato, sorbet, slush, sweets, coffee, tea, cakes, cookies and pastries (ps- I hate the word pastries). 

It's inside the Radisson Hotel at the side and has this cute outside seating strip. 

Their gelato has 40% less fat than ice-cream (has an extra scoop).

Ps- their salted caramel gelato has popcorn in it. It's an unpleasant surprise.

Their sorbets look creamy because they are churned really slowly, not because they have any cream. This zobo sorbet was delicious. 

You can taste as many flavours as you want (I think). The last time I was there, I did see this little girl taste like 10. She had a stack of used spoons. 

Cruffins are croissant  + muffin. They taste more like croissants, but not as flaky. Still delicious though!

These doughnuts are cakey and delicious but small enough for you to not to feel too guilty about it.

It's done up really well and the seating feels spacious and comfortable. I was tempted to plant myself here for a day, it's easily that kind of place.

This 3D wallpaper in the bathroom was interesting. We ended up posing on it. My 

cousin

's picture turned out better than mine. Mine was lame, but sitting on a pretend chair is a lot harder than it looks.

These painted ceilings are pretty! And so real. One of my favourite things!

I had the regular vanilla and nutella gelato. My cousin had the rice milk vanilla and chocolate vanilla which is a great option for the lactose intolerant and fitfam.

 This is hands down, the best mocha I've had in Lagos (then again, I haven't had many). It was creamy and perfect.

Hans and Rene is in Radisson Blu Hotel on Ozumba Mbadiwe and is open 12pm-7pm, Mondays to Fridays and 12pm to 8.30pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

Sunday Brunch: Lunch at Kitchen Butterfly

So in my

last brunch post

, I mentioned Kitchen butterfly, but that's only because I have firsthand knowledge that her food is amazing. Teehee.

Let's just all agree that the best brunch place in Lagos is

Wheatbaker

 so we can move on with our lives. Free champagne cannot redeem Southern Sun brunch. They don't care about the food AT ALL. They just toss food on the table and blind your taste buds with free champagne. No.

Anyway, this isn't about brunch wars. It's about that one time I happened to have lunch in KT's kitchen. And boy was it a good lunch.

We started with some roadside plantain chips with scent leaf dip

Rose and zobo mix with chunky ice-cubes- yum

Cream and condensed milk

Grapefruits sprinkled with sugar

Waffles!

Spicy crispy chicken

Mini blueberry pancakes

Dipping sauces...chocolate and caramelised white chocolate with mint (she should bottle this)

Spicy zobo jam

Peaches and cream (not just regular cream)

Creme brûlée about to be blureed

blow torch in action!

Perfect!

beignets- I was so full at this point, I don't think I even tasted these

 The food, the conversation, it was all really perfect. Who else is opening up their home for lunch?

Sunday Brunch: 202

I took these photos last year, last time I went anywhere :( But as much as I appreciate the growth of the Nigerian food industry in the last few years, it's still soooooo far behind. Some days I don't want want a buffet of non-breakfast food or packet pancakes and cold toast. Some days, I just want real proper brunch. If you're in London, please live for me and go and have real brunch. If you're not, like me, just go to the kitchen and fry some eggs or beg

kitchen butterfly

 for an invite to her kitchen. Anyway, without further ado...

202 restaurant london

Isn't this kettle gorgeous?

some kind of berry smoothie

french toast and bacon

eggs benedict

I think this is the crab salad but I really can't remember

eggs florentine

pancakes

mint leaves in hot water (aka mint tea)

sorbet and ice-cream

crumble

tiramisu

202 is at 202 Westbourne Grove and is open from 10am-5pm on Sundays

Sunday Brunch: Crust and Cream

I remember like 3 or 4 years ago or was it 5? I don't know man. Anyway x number of years ago, the only places to really get brunch in Lagos were hotels. Hotel buffets. Some people still swear by that type of brunch but now there are a lot more options. Crust and Cream is one of those brunch places that everyone swears by and it's also SUPER CHEAP! This might be the cheapest place I've ever had brunch...or wait...is it? Actually now, I'm starting to doubt myself...but for brunch, it's still cheap...don't get me wrong...you'll whip this up at home for less...but a restaurant is not your home. 

So... the brunch menu is typical...Who has had this Asian breakfast? I'm curious and no one seems to have ordered it...Does it even exist?? 

 I ordered the American breakfast because even if the restaurant is not my home, I'm not paying 2800 to eat yam or plantain.

crust and cream oancakes
Crust and cream American breakfast

 Something was missing from my plate...I think it should have a sauce? All these dry things and nothing to add them together. Also, I had to ask for butter...what's toast without butter?? The food was okay. I didn't feel like I had thrown my money away but at the same time, I was like hmm...I kind of know why it's cheap.

dessert at crust and cream

I had dessert, because I try to have dessert as much as possible (remind me about this when I complain about being fat)...It was a chocolate fondant. The presentation was cute, like a little wonky star-eyed face. The fondant was too much oozy centre. A (I'll assume) manager came up to me when he noticed I hadn't really eaten any of it to ask what the problem was. When I told him about the overly oozy nature, he tried to tell me that's what a fondant is...lol...I know what a fondant is...I didn't really appreciate that lecture but then he swapped it for a different less oozy fondant, so good outcome. He also said that if I ordered it again, I should ask for my fondant how I want it #protip.

And thus ended my rainy day adventure at crust and cream. I realised when I was uploading photos for this post that I barely took any. And they have such a pretty display of pastries and confectionary. Must have been the ridiculous rain!

Crust and Cream is at:

11 Musa Yardua Street, VI.

They are open from 8am - 12am on Friday - Sunday and 8am-11pm on Weekdays.

Throwback Thursday: Lunch Club V @ Mansilla

So...another lunch club is coming...seems like the perfect time to write about the last one! 

These have to be my favorite name tags yet- stuck in macarons!  People left their macarons on the table, but I ate mine. Typical. Sigh.

The menu was PAAACKED. Eek. But I've never been scared of a packed menu and I wasn't going to start being scared now.

They brought out this fancy water, but the cover destroyed the look. Why can't brands just follow through design to the end?! I excluded the cover because it made me sad.

The Quinoa salad was AMAZING. Delicious and fresh, slightly warm. The pomegranate seeds added a little extra flavour. This excited me for what was to come...

A palette cleanser, is well, just that.

These duck spring rolls were everything spring rolls should be. Crisp and ducky. They were also really small so the portion wasn't overwhelming.

The two drinks were...disgusting. There's no other word. The mango margarita with the chilli rim sounded exciting and looked beautiful and that was it. It tasted of only tequila. So, a chunky tequila drink. I couldn't drink it.

After the disastrous drink, my high kind of dropped. This ravioli was okay. The pasta was a bit chewy and the sauce wasn't enough, but it was very okay. It wasn't bad. It was just one of those 'this can be rice at home' moments.

So the owner? manager? came round and noticed my drink was virtually untouched so she offered a different cocktail and it was delicious! Yay! She basically got new cocktails for everyone so that was nice.

This curry dish was okay! The vegetables were seriously undercooked (so healthier, I guess). The curry was lumpy. Sigh. There was just no 'I'm eating out' feel from this. It was like it came straight from my kitchen on a regular day.

Steaky steak steak. 

The final palette cleanser which was nice.

Double dessert! I hate cheesecake (except chocolate cheesecake because the chocolate basically masks the flavour of the cheese) so I didn't even bother. sigh. The chocolate cake was okay. The dessert was misrepresented on the menu tbh. It was an okay end.

This was a really good lunch club. The crowd was great. The conversation really flowed and we ended up being there for absolute ages. I would go to mansilla again for the quinoa salad and the duck spring rolls- so starters. I've also heard they do a good breakfast. For mains or drinks? nah nah nah nah nah. 

Sunday Brunch: Wheatbaker Lagos

It's Sunday and you know what that means...FOOOD! You know what it can mean for you? FOOD AT WHEATBAKER! 

Wheatbaker Brunch
Brunch at Wheatbaker

Who wants to eat ogbono soup at brunch????

Absolutely the most delicious thing

It's quite a small space so you might end up having to wait for a table. The selection is not big but it all tastes good and that to me is more important than having 20 tables packed with food. 

Have you tried Wheatbaker?