Ask Eat.Drink.Lagos 94

Subject: Recommended restaurant for birthdays

Message: Hello guys,

So it’s my girls birthday on Saturday and I have my head in a whirl trying to figure out which restaurant has a good ambiance and deliciously dangerous food. I would really appreciate if you suggest one or two restaurants here in Lagos that you advise I consider. I just simply want her to have an awesome celebration because she deserves it and I’m eager to make sure everything lock off.

Will look forward to hearing from you.

— S

NOSA: I'm going to pretend you didn't just say "dangerously delicious" because I think you're a real human person.

Currently, HSE Gourmet is one of our favourite restaurant in Lagos, but 1415 is my ultimate favorite for any intimate celebration.

FOLLY: I was also going to recommend HSE Gourmet. Orchid Bistro (Ikoyi & Ikeja locations) also has nice ambiance. 

Subject: Where to take an IJGB

Message: Hi Guys, I’ve got a couple of IJGB friends coming into town and they have the mistaken impression that living in Lagos, I know where it’s at (I Don’t). Where can I take them to prove Lagos is really doing big culinary things and Instagram isn’t lying? (Even if Instagram is lying, I don’t want IJGB’s pointing it out.) One of them is a real foodie. And I don’t mean foodie in the sense that everyone with a mouth is a “foodie” these days. I mean attended the CIA and runs an underground restaurant. Cuisine and budget are not really an issue as these are people I can split the bill with. Could you vouch for something street food-y, something casual dining and something fine dining?

Also as a cheeky request, can I ask that you guys or your new writers consider doing restaurant re-visits? Some of the reviews are years (okay 2 years) old and we know how Lagos can be sometimes with maintaining nice things. I do read your reviews but then when I see that the review is like from 2015, my confidence in the restaurant fails me.

Love your site!!!
— Lala

NOSA: Instagram is definitely lying. The food scene in Lagos might be on the come-up, but it definitely has some way to go. That said, if you want to keep lying to your friends, take them to Tarragon or maybe NOK (Garden). Fancy culinary school types will appreciate the tiny portions.

FOLLY: For casual dining - HSE Gourmet or BL Restaurant.

NOSA: On old reviews and writers, we aren't really looking for Lagos reviews at the time. Maybe in future, but we'll need to properly "interview" whoever it is. Like, take the person out to lunch and judge their comments. Can't have anyone justifying processed cheese on this website.

Subject: Restaurants with an arty feel

Message: Hello,
Please can you suggest restaurants in Lagos with a nice arty ambiance that’s decently affordable.
Thanks you.
— Marvy

NOSA: Art Cafe has a very arty vibe. NOK too.

Subject: A birthday outing for 8 people

Message: Hi! So it’s my birthday soon and I’m looking to hang out with my friends somewhere breezy With a beautiful scenery for pictures. I don’t mind it having other features like a karaoke bar or a place for games. I don’t want to go a beach but I want a place that I can rest and relax with my friends with affordable food and affordable gate fee.

FOLLY: That's a lot in one request.

NOSA: Sounds like a house party

FOLLY: The places I know in Lagos that offer karaoke, you definitely do not want to eat there. Crust & Cream has affordable food but no games. Shaunz Bar has karaoke but do you really want to have dinner at Shaunz Bar? You can also do Shisha Room in Lekki as it has a chilled vibe but I have no idea if they serve food. 

Message: Dear EDL,
I like to take my wife out for a non-Naija 3 course meal in a proper restaurant for her birthday. I am a proper naija guy but she is something of an international citizen Speaks multiple European languages and schooled in North America. the only catch is that she is financially prudent would not appreciate a pricey meal. Can you suggest anywhere around the Ikeja area that can provide a good experience but where the prices will not be a topic of discussion if we compare with other options.

I really love your blog and would appreciate your options.
Kind regards
— Akin

FOLLY: Tough. Maybe the buffet at Iyeru Okin Restaurant at Renaissance Hotel on Isaac John. If that's too pricey, the Protea Hotel next door is slightly cheaper. 

Subject: On Nigeria, Food, and Cuisine

Message: Hello,

I like Nosa and Folly already! They sound like fun-loving gourmands!! And that is why I feel confident sharing my thoughts with you both.

I am of the opinion that Nigerian cuisine is in dire need of more options other than rice, beans, yam, stew, soups, and swallow. If I have eaten anything different, it would be that I learnt to make them on food shows. So, how do we make the most of the food produce available to us locally?

We really need to start adapting dishes from diverse cultures into our meals, replacing hard-to-find ingredients with locally available substitutes. Cuisine is a living thing subject to growth, and no culture has a monopoly of tasty foods. Besides, it simply makes for a more seasoned, urbane, and interesting life.

Furthermore, food - simple, nutritious meals - ought not to be a class thing. I could be a struggling artist, and yet be able to rustle up a caramelised onions sauce of carrots and peas served with sweet potatoes, ready-to-make pancakes, or pasta.

You could bring that awareness to people’s consciousness, and have them knocking their heads saying “why did I never think of this before.” You really could start a revolution, and show people just what is possible.

I thought I would bring this to your attention.


FOLLY: TBH, I don't really understand....

NOSA: Actually, I understand and I agree with the sentiment. Nigerian food can be very very boring, but i'm not too sure there's anything we can do from where we sit. I can make fun of it though.

Subject: Thank you and I need another idea

Message: Ok so the last time was helpful. Am back again. I need a restaurant or hotel restaurant that serves chicken and chips and also chips and fish, that could contain 70 people. It’s a birthday party and I don’t want to do catering and location differently.
P.s it has to be affordable
— kene

FOLLY: I'm thoroughly amused by your question. That said, the poolside restaurant at Eko Hotel serves chicken and chips. I'm not sure about fish and chips but I'm sure you could convince them.

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