Eat. Rice. Repeat: All Kinds of Rice at... Rice

 

NOSA: I’m not trying to say I have the best ideas, but I really do. Here’s something I tweeted three years ago:

NOSA: I’m not done. Just one more.

NOSA: Actually, I’m not done

FOLLY: Nosa really had the foresight.

NOSA: The idea behind Rice is absolute genius. I mean, I had it too so it definitely is. The place smells like ofada unfortunately, which wasn’t part of my original aesthetic. 

FOLLY: As you’d expect, Rice serves an abundance of Nigerian rice dishes with a variety of toppings.

I consider myself someone that likes rice. Well, most types of rice at least. I don’t like white rice that wasn’t boiled less than two hours ago and I still can't see the steam escaping when you’re serving it.

I also approve of rice in International cuisine, Mexican, Chinese, Indian Biryani, Thai etc. As long as it’s well seasoned, I absolutely dig it. I absolutely disapprove of refrigerated white rice, however, refrigerated Jollof rice seems to taste better - science.

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NOSA: The rice bowls come in two sizes: regular and large. The typical Nigerian should get the large. I’ve seen what you guys eat in the office canteen so I know the regular will piss you off. 

FOLLY: The regular was my size but I know what Nosa is saying. They also have some signature bowls, namely, the Ofada bowl, the Ewa bowl, the Jambalaya bowl and the Classic (White rice) bowl. In addition to those you can build your bowl from scratch.

Here’s how it works:

  1. You pick a rice base - white, jollof, fried, coconut, ofada etc.

  2. You pick a sauce - they have quite a few including vegetable soups like efo

  3. Proteins are up next - beef, chicken, snail, the works

  4. They’ve also got sides and sauces.

NOSA: I got the BYOB - Build Your Own Bowl - with jollof, plantains, chicken, coleslaw and the mango rodo sauce drizzled. With the BYOB, you have a little room to run wild with it. You can also get a cute little sample thing if you want to try things out and figure out what you want to go with like they do at Sweet Kiwi.

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FOLLY: I like beans and I didn’t want the responsibility of crafting my own bowl so I went for one of the set bowl options - The Ewa bowl. It came with white rice but I decided to be mature and ignore it, and also told her to put “just a little”. I was mistakenly served ofada stew instead of aganyin stew.

After a few bites, I went back to politely ask for my Aganyin sauce to be put in a mini container as there wasn’t enough oil in the ofada stew to sufficiently saturate the beans and my meal was tasting all kinds of dry.

Another thing that was dry and sadly could not be saved was the fried meat. The meat was dead * 100. I mean, look at it, it’s hard to believe that thing was once alive.

The Ewa Bowl

The Ewa Bowl

NOSA: The presentation doesn’t appear too functional, but trust me it is. If you like sectioning out your rice as you eat it, like I do, it works. It also works if you want to mix the whole thing. It reminds me of a Chipotle bowl in the way it’s layered. 

The rice, itself, isn’t out of this world. But I guess that’s not the point.  A shame because with better execution, Rice would be the perfect quick service restaurant - QSR. A significantly better alternative when compared to The Place across the hall. The light in the space is fantastic. It’s fit for top quality instagrammable content, but it just falls short when you eat the actual food. 

FOLLY: The Aganyin sauce was crispy to a fault - like the meat - and not spicy at all. I’d expect the toned down spiciness from a QSR because they are going to serve that to a diverse audience, so it’s better to allow those who really like pepper amp up the heat in their plate with one of the hot Rodo sauces that they offer, so people like me that can’t handle all that heat can still enjoy their meal.

BYOB - Jollof, chicken, plantains and coleslaw

BYOB - Jollof, chicken, plantains and coleslaw

FOLLY: Overally, the quality of the food is a hovering 6.5 to 7 out of 10 which is good enough for a QSR. Honestly, doesn’t need to blow you away but needs to be good enough that if you’re in the area and looking for something quick to eat, you think of them.

NOSA: It’s serviceable, not great. Nothing about the jollof brings you back like, say, a party jollof. You could even argue that The Place across the hall makes better jollof. But again, that’s really not the point. It does the bare minimum, which is sufficient. Also, I appreciated the sporks.

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FOLLY: In terms of value for money, I think it delivers. It passes on quality and the portions here are super generous. However, I foresee the Internet people that would probably never go here getting big mad at the prices (like they did at the Danfo Bistro Ewa Aganyin sandwich).

Yes, you can get rice at a buka for less than <500. However, please lets compare like with like. Rice should be compared to Chicken Republic and The Place and not Iya Festus.

 

POSTSCRIPT

FOLLY: I’m extremely happy for the person who had the funds and decided to take the leap with this creative idea for Rice. I honestly wish them all the success possible. I hope it bangs and becomes a chain across the country.

NOSA: I wish the rice was better, but it’s a good start. There’s definitely a lot of directions they can take it to.

VERDICT

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DAMAGE

Build a Bowl - starts from N1,450

 

PARKING

It’s in one of those Lekki malls so off street parking is available in the mall’s car park