NOSA: Folly wasn’t the biggest fan of Salma’s in our original review. The fish dish came out cold, by design, and it was all downhill from there. After talking to a couple of friends, she was a bit more open to trying Salma’s again.
FOLLY: A friend whose food opinion, I rate and respect managed to convince me that Salma’s is the best Lebanese food experience in Lagos so I was willing to give it another shot. I find the restaurant very beautifully decorated, so I was looking forward to going back to experience the space all over again.
NOSA: Salma’s was pretty busy when we checked it out. Late on a Sunday night too. That was definitely a good sign.
FOLLY: It was full of Lebanese people too. For any ethnic cuisine, it’s always a good sign when people from that region frequent the restaurant - then you can know it’s legit.
NOSA: To start, we went with the usual hummus but we switched things up a bit with the Balila. Balila is a lot like hummus in some ways, but very different in many other ways. For starters, they’re both made with chickpeas but the texture of both dishes aren’t very similar. But I’m sure the picture already gave that away.
FOLLY: The Balila is smashed chick peas with lots of lemon, a gentle amount of garlic, and a good swish of olive oil.
NOSA: The balila was a bit too much for me. I liked it but I tapped out pretty early and stuck to hummus for the rest the night.
FOLLY: I, unlike Nosa, preferred the Balila to the regular hummus because it had a lot more texture and flavour too. Random, the lemon juice did an excellent job of preserving this because we had some leftover which I took it home and then forgot to refrigerate for over 12 hours, and it was still in good condition.
NOSA: Our other starter were the Stuffed Kibbeh Balls. Kibbeh balls are football-shaped, the American one, croquettes stuffed with ground beef. For a country that is ready to die for small chops, I’m surprised more Nigerians aren’t big on Lebanese food. Sure, there isn’t enough pepper, but kibbeh balls would not be out of place in a small chops pack. When I set up my small chops restaurant, we’re going to have kibbeh on the menu because everyone has been sleeping. Nigerian-fusion food, you get?
FOLLY: The only thing that disappointed me about the Kibbeh was that it wasn’t served with Tahini by default. For something that is so dry it really does deserve a dipping sauce. I asked for pepper sauce because I’m Nigerian and the waiter brought easily the best ata din din I’ve had at a Nigerian restaurant. The pepper perfectly coexisted with ginger, garlic and a few other spices.
NOSA: For the mains, we got the Pistachio Spicy Kafta and the Chili Prawn Sikh. I think we ordered the kafta thinking we’d be getting pistachio flavored beef or something. You can definitely taste the pistachio in the crunch, but not in the way we imagined. In hindsight, pistachio flavored beef sounds gross.
FOLLY: See, normal Folly doesn’t like Kafta and I thought the pistachio would make all the difference. Funky Folly should have listed to normal Folly and ordered the salmon instead. However, budget conscious Folly was also trying to get a word in so funky Folly’s experimental order won the battle of the Follys.
NOSA: A lot of Follys involved in this decision tbh. I actually liked the kafta unlike normal Folly. Made a breakfast taco with it.
NOSA: Nigerian and Lebanese palettes may disagree on how to season chicken, but they’re definitely on the same page when it comes to seafood. The prawns were incredibly delicious. The lemon butter >
FOLLY: My absolute favourite thing we had at Salma’s. The exterior was chargrilled and smoky but the flesh of the prawn managed to be soft and buttery. Coupled with my ata din din, this dish was truly a winner.
We also got dessert which I mostly passed on because while I will sacrifice myself for many things that contain dairy, ice cream is not one them.
NOSA: But the proceeds from the dessert go to breast cancer charities so it was a good deed.
NOSA: My original position still stands. Probably the best Lebanese restaurant in Lagos.
FOLLY: I enjoyed Salma’s this time around and so I stand corrected.
Traditional Hommos - N3300
Chili Prawns Sikh - N10800
Stuffed Kibbeh Balls - N5000
Balila - N2750
Pistachio Spicy Kafta - N6500
Bouzet Salma - N2500
Limited parking in the Maroko Bayshore area, but you can park in the Cactus lot.