La Pizza is an Italian Deli Transported to Lagos
 

NOSA: We've checked out the place before but our original review saw us sit outside by the pool. On this fine day, we decided to sit inside because of the unbearable heat and I'm glad we did.

It's so cozy

It's so cozy

FOLLY: Honestly, not really sure why we visited again but Nosa said that there were new items (I doubted) but I still went along with it. 

NOSA: A little #NosaFunFact: I lived in Italy (Fano, to be exact) for about a year when I was little. One of the things I vaguely remember about that year was Pandoro, an Italian Christmas staple. Another thing I can't seem to forget are the little cozy deli-style restaurants littered all over Fano and, oh, eating pizza with a fork & knife. Our trip to La Pizza was a memory trigger of sorts. Walking in and seeing the Pandoro on the shelf transported me to a simpler time.

FOLLY: From some angles, the little bungalow  really doesn't look like it's Nigeria

NOSA: See, La Pizza feels just as cozy as those restaurants in Fano. I can't understand why the restaurant isn't a brunch fixture in Lagos. I guess it's a good thing it isn't. It can be our little Lagos hidden gem. Just you and I, my dear reader.

FOLLY: Is it just me or is this is starting to read like Nosa's personal diary?

NOSA: We got some pizza to start, the Calabrese. Onions, Italian Sausage, and Mozzarella. They might have been a bit selfish with the mozzarella, however.

FOLLY: Yeah very stingy with the mozzarella. It didn't look like the picture but then they had a little disclaimer that it might not. The sausage was also the very salty kind - this won't work for the Nigerian palatte mine inclusive I started actively eating aroun the sausage. 

iPhone 7 camera is terrible in low light

iPhone 7 camera is terrible in low light

NOSA: By Lagos standards, this wasn't an elite pizza by any means, but it was better than most. It's right there in that Pizza Marella tier, i.e. significantly better than a Dominos but not quite a Pizze-Riah.

FOLLY: Precisely, pretty good but I still prefer Taverna and Pizze-Riah (never as takeaway though because their pizza cannot sit out more than 10 minutes before becoming gross)

NOSA: Also, they sell pizza by the slice. They might be the only place in Lagos to do so too. You can get a slice of pizza and a drink for N1500 as a weekday lunch special.

NOSA: Because the pizza didn't go a really long way, Folly and I ordered some pasta as well - the Salmon Ravioli. Wale, a good friend of the blog, had some nice things to say about the pasta (and the steak) so I figured we'd give it a go.

Salmon Ravioli

Salmon Ravioli

Stuffed pasta is my favorite thing in the world. In college, I used to run through bags frozen tortellini. It took like 5-10 mins to cook al dente. Add some vodka sauce and it was my go-to "Hey! Let me cook for you" move. Ah, good times.

FOLLY: Stuffed pasta is my least favorite usually because they are stuff with soft cheeses which I can't eat or olives or other things I don't like.  I wasn't paying attention when Nosa ordered.

NOSA: The sauce was a bit too salty and the ravioli was cooked a little too much.

 

POSTSCRIPT

NOSA: There were some glaring flaws with our meal, but I'll definitely be back. I mean, they sell their steak by the gram so it has to be good.

FOLLY: If I'm around the area, not one of the top dining experiences I've had recently.

VERDICT

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DAMAGE

Calabrese - N4500

Salmon Ravioli - N6500

 

PARKING

Parking is a bit weird. Can take maybe 6 cars max.

The Grill Steakhouse: The Ghost of Date Nights Past
 

NOSA; There are four "hotels" in the Eko Hotel property. A bit like Federal Palace Hotel in that regard. Unlike Federal Palace, however, all the "hotels" are functional. In one of these "hotels", the Grill Room is nestled.

FOLLY: Eko Suites to be precise.

NOSA: It's a bit funny that it's taken us three years before we got round to reviewing the Grill Steakhouse. I think we have to get through all the restaurants in Eko Hotel before the year runs out.

Appetizers

Appetizers

FOLLY: We still have Casa Chianti and Ocean Breeze left to review. 

NOSA: Real Lagos residents are probably familiar with the Grill Steakhouse. If I remember correctly, it was proper date location when Oceanview was still a thing. That old.

To start, we got the Salmon Roll and the Buffalo Chicken Wings. I decided to try their Restaurant Week (RW) menu, while Folly ordered off the regular menu.

The Salmon Roll took me by surprise because it was far from what expected. When I saw the "cream cheese" and "salmon" in the menu description, a fancy spring roll wasn't what I expected. Although the fact it was on the "Hot Appetizer" section of the menu

It's just like that time we ordered the Goat Roll at NOK and it was a spring roll with goat meat in it. We were fully expecting something sandwich-y like a lobster roll or something.

Salmon Roll

Salmon Roll

NOSA: From the RW menu, I got the Buffalo Wings. This, too, was another surprise. With the Salmon Roll, the L was on us. This surprise, however, wasn't our fault. Buffalo Wings are, like, a universal thing. You can't place battered chicken lollipops in front of me and call them Buffalo Wings. I'm no mug!

FOLLY: Like Buffalo wings are characterized by the sauce they are slathered in but these were dry and crispy fried. They didn't even put pepper sauce like the rest of the Lagos restaurants.

NOSA: The real sad thing about this incident is that the chicken lollipops were actually pretty good.

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FOLLY: They really should just have called them by the appropriate name. 

NOSA: I opted for the Grilled Beef Tenderloin for my main. Perhaps I shouldn't have expected too much, but the quality of the beef was shamefully poor. No way this was the SA Beef. It was cooked medium rare, albeit unevenly, as requested. For a steak on a 12k 3-course menu, perhaps I shouldn't have expected too much, but I expected anyway and the Grill Steakhouse let me down. The peppercorn (i think) sauce it came with helped significantly.

SA Beef Tenderloin

SA Beef Tenderloin

FOLLY: Funny story, we both think someone sprinkled some pepper soup spice into the black peppercorn sauce. We were both thinking it without the other person mentioning it. 

Half Rack of Beef Ribs with Coconut Prawns

Half Rack of Beef Ribs with Coconut Prawns

NOSA: I really liked the prawn in Folly's surf & turf. The coconut really came out to play.

FOLLY: Compared to Nosa's steak, my main was pretty good. The ribs were the benchmark in tenderness - like it wasn't hard but still a bit far from slide of the bone tender. At times it was a struggle to cut but that was more so as a result of the regular dinner knife I was given. Flavor wise, it wasn't memorable but it was BBQ

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NOSA: Maybe it's a thing with the RW menu, but the Oreo Cheesecake was no such thing. It was just a mish-mash of some jam, some cream, and some chocolate.

FOLLY: The middle section was not even cheesecake. It was a mousse.

 

POSTCRIPT

NOSA: Considering its the cheapest hotel on the property, I guess it's only fair that the restaurant delivers as its expected to.

FOLLY: I actually suspect Casa Chianti is cheaper and that the Grillroom is priced comparably to Ocean Breeze.

NOSA: Actually, looking at the receipt again, this place is kinda expensive

 

VERDICT

Meh.jpeg

DAMAGE

Salmon Roll - N4200

Buffalo Wings -??

SA Beef Tenderloin - N12000

Half Rack of Beef Ribs with Coconut Prawns - N10500

Spicy Potato Wedges - N1500

Oreo Cheesecake - N4200

 

PARKING

It's Eko Hotel. The parking is a bountiful

EDL Weekender: Grilled Fish @ BBQ & Cravings

NOSA: Long week etc etc. #EatDrinkFestival registrations are open. The Festival is back and it'll be on Boxing Day this year. I think, going forward, we're just going to go with the 26th as our day. I get Boxing Day is a family day, but you've been reading our blog for 3 years so we're basically your family too. Come spend time with us. 

Anyway, if you've ever wanted to be a vendor at our festival, please fill out the form HERE.

Also, the playlist is back this week. Folly handled Weekender last week so jams, but I'm back and everything is back to normal.


EAT: Grilled Fish @ BBQ & Cravings

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NOSA: BBQ & Cravings added fish to their menu and made an event out of it. In the Sidewalk post, I talked about how fish and beer joints will never not be profitable in Lagos. I'm testing that theory again tonight.

 

EAT: Croque Monsieur @ RSVP

I expected it to be quality, but I was still surprised by how well it looked when my plate came. I’ve had the same thing at La Brioche and it wasn’t as impressive as this. Or maybe it was the Croque Madam I had at La Brioche. Either way, RSVP’s Croque Monsieur is a feast for the eyes.
— Nosa
 

EAT: Meat Up Turkey & Chips

NOSA: We focused a lot on the shawarma for our review, but the shawarma isn't the best thing at Meat Up. It's the turkey and it's not even close.

 

LAGOS: ALKEBULAN Festival 2017

A L K E B U L A N -: meaning “Mother of Mankind” is the original indigenous name for the continent now known as Africa. The ALKEBULAN Festival is a celebration of our heritage and culture and is intended as a platform to express our quest for economic independence through the creative process and a reconnection with our original identity.
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EMEKA: Really looking forward to the palmwine, traditional wrestling, and the live music sessions in the evening. 

NOSA: It's N1000 for regular tickets, N500 for students, and completely free for kids. For more deets, check out the website.

OtherNosa OweekenderComment
The All-New Brunch Menu at RSVP
 

NOSA: RSVP recently went through a thorough menu revamp. A very "Buy Nigerian" revamp. We reviewed the main menu on the blog not too long ago. A bit of a sidenote, is 'Buy Nigerian to Grow the Naira" our version of "TOTAL BREXIT!"? A well-meaning, but ultimately flawed, nationalist campaign.

FOLLY: You're going to have to explain that cause I don't get it. Is the Buy Nigerian that is flawed or Brexit? Please clarify sir

NOSA: Both. For more hot takes, you'll have to meet me in real life.

Anyway,  I digress.

We checked out the new brunch menu at RSVP over the weekend. Unlike our normal reviews, there'll be no "Damage" section because we lost the receipt. You guys will just have to manage.

FOLLY: Welp

NOSA: The brunch menu has gone through a thorough rejig.

FOLLY: Its lost like half of the items. 

NOSA: Out go a couple old staples like the Shakshuka and in come a couple new entrants like the Croque Monsieur. The pancakes are still there, but on the whole, it's a trimmer menu.

I got the Croque Monsieur as my main.

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FOLLY: Technically, I got the Croque Monsieur for Nosa. 

NOSA: I expected it to be quality, but I was still surprised by how well it looked when my plate came. I've had the same thing at La Brioche and it wasn't as impressive as this. Or maybe it was the Croque Madam I had at La Brioche. Either way, RSVP's Croque Monsieur is a feast for the eyes.

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NOSA: Oh, and it tastes just as good. The sourdough, I think, was excellent and the cheese was generous. My lactose intolerant friend, Folly, kept trying to pinch out of mine.

FOLLY: It was so good, and again for the record, I ordered it for you since I couldn't have it because of all the cheese. I need to find out who baked that bread and keep them in my kitchen as a "bread slave". 

NOSA: Next time, don't be a terrible order-er

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FOLLY: I had some very meaty omelet - the exact name escapes me right now. It had bacon, ham, and sausage.

NOSA: Folly's omelette has Chi sausage in it. I understand "Buy Nigerian to Grow the Naira", but this is taking it too far. We need to draw the line somewhere. If you're going to price like it's not Nigerian, it better not be Nigerian.

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FOLLY: The sausage was very disappointing, the menu indicated it was going to be a pork sausage. The eggs, on the other hand, were pretty fluffy and not dense and overcooked. I wasn't paying attention so I didn't know it was to be served with a salad - an odd pairing if you ask me.   

 

POSTSCRIPT

NOSA: I can see why RSVP rejigged the menu. Things started to get a bit stale and the consistency of service was on the decline. More importantly, the "it's not worth the money" claims started to ring true.

FOLLY: The Next thing should be the drinks menu, hopefully. RSVP's bar is one of the best in Lagos and we're about ready for some new flavours.

NOSA: The new menu is a step in the right direction basically.

Lagos Restaurant Week 2017: Shiro
For three weeks in November, participating restaurants in Lagos will be offering prix fixe lunches and dinners for Visa customers as part of Visa Restaurant Week

NOSA: For the most part, Lagos Restaurant Week hasn’t really worked for anyone since its inception.

Restaurateurs don’t see the expected spike in traffic, while customers don’t get any value for the “deals” they’re shelling out for.

FOLLY: We can't say that with any degree of certainty because we don't have all the information.

NOSA: Things are bit different this year. The improvement hasn’t been significant, but it’s been big enough to notice.

The restaurants (not all) have put in effort into doing it right and the customers are responding. Or maybe I’m assuming based on how Shiro looked last night. But then again, Shiro put in the most effort into their menu.

FOLLY: They really did. As someone who has been to Shiro on a number of occasions, I can tell that the restaurant week selections are really an expose into their menu.

An important note so you don’t find yourself shocked when the bill arrives: VAT, Service and Drinks are not included in the prix fixe. Also, payment must be with a VISA card or mVISA, where available, only

NOSA: We mentioned it in our LRW Guide, but it bears repeating: Shiro's Restaurant Week menu is extensive. No other restaurant actually gives you a proper feel of its menu.

SOUP & SALAD

NOSA: I got the "Bang Bang" Salad. If chicken is your thing, this should be what you order. Your first bite might be a bit funky, but it's smooth sailing after that.

"Shiro Style" Bang Bang Salad

"Shiro Style" Bang Bang Salad

FOLLY: I had the Thai Kwai and this was the first time I've ever had this before so I didn't have any preconceived notion about it and I ended up loving it. From the description, it's a Thai soup that's heavy on lemongrass, ginger, and chilies which are all things that I like. The lemongrass and ginger were the most prominent spices and together they worked so well. 

Thai Kwai

Thai Kwai

DIM SUM & MAKI

Red Dragon Maki

Red Dragon Maki

Boursin Prawn & Avocado Maki

Boursin Prawn & Avocado Maki

NOSA: Shiro is excellent with the sushi so, for me, this was the highlight of the night.

FOLLY: They never disappoint in this area so this didn't come as a surprise. 

NOSA: Don't even need to talk too much about it. Right after Izanagi, and maybe Fusion, Shiro has the best sushi in Lagos

APPETISER

NOSA: The spring rolls were a massive scam.

FOLLY: Sweet corn in spring rolls is a perfect example of when someone is trying to be different but just ruins the whole vibe. 

Kan Pung Seawoo

Kan Pung Seawoo

Thai Fried Spring Rolls

Thai Fried Spring Rolls

NOSA: The shrimp was a lot better as an appetiser. It tasted largely like shrimp in stew, but it worked. Definitely worked.

MAIN

NOSA: The mains were the most boring thing in the world. Perfect for the Nigerian palate, but my God, it was uninspiring.

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FOLLY: I was so excited about my hot pot chicken but it fell flat and was also pretty salty. Disappointment all around.

NOSA:  I don't get why my Stir Fry Beef & Mushroom had to be so broth-y. I can see it with the hot pot, but not stir fry. 

DESSERT

NOSA: We both got the Chocolate Volcano and to be honest, it was a bit disappointing. It's great on paper, but the cake, itself, is pretty weak. For all the extra around it, it's just a step away from Cakes & Cream.

Chocolate Volcano

Chocolate Volcano

FOLLY: I liked the exploding chocolate in the middle. I would have preferred milk chocolate because it reminded me of Domino's Lava cakes which I love. 

 

POSTSCRIPT

NOSA: It's really a reflection of Shiro. The sushi is great. Dim sum too. But the rest, not so much.

FOLLY: The dim sum was the highlight of the menu and the soup was a close second. I wish we had ordered differently for our mains.