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WATCH: The Maggi Mystery Box Challenge

The full video recap of the Maggi Mystery Box Challenge at #JollofAndOtherThings is finally ready and we’re super excited to share it.

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A bit of a backstory: as Eat.Drink.Lagos large audience events have grown, we’ve been constantly looking for ways to add new elements and keep things from going stale. One of such elements is the addition of a main stage. The entire premise of our large audience events was to create a market of sorts, but with growing crowds, we’ve come to understand there must be something to tie it all together. Most large audience events tend to opt for musicians performing, which is great but isn’t really on brand for us. Nosa shares his playlists every Friday, but we aren’t really connoisseurs of music. Well, the brand at least. We’re food blog that organizes food events, surely out “main event” must be something related to food, no?

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This thinking is what birthed the Maggi Main Stage in December. We got a couple of our chef and food blogger friends to battle it out in the Maggi Kitchen Battle. While that went well on the whole, we quickly realized we didn’t create much content from it. A bit of a massive blind spot on our part. At #JollofAndOtherThings, we got another shot at it.

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This time, we worked with Maggi, again, and the Red Dish Chronicles Culinary School. We got eight recent grads and current students to form teams of two and battle it out in a Jollof-themed challenge. But that wasn’t all, Maggi supplied each team with a box of mystery ingredients for use on the day. Also, this time, we made sure we recorded it all.

The sound is choppy in bits, but it’s a a fun watch. In December, we plan on taking it up a whole notch and we can’t wait to share what have planned with you guys. A big thank you to everyone involved in helping us with this. Congrats to our winners too, we’ll have them as special vendors in December.

Inside the Spicy and Bold Guts of Lagos Street Food

The tastiest food doesn’t always come out of a fancy kitchen. In fact, the dining culture of a city is often shaped by the eats littered across streets and markets. These street merchants undeniably add color and zest to many a metro. From London to Mumbai, the vibrancy of the local culture isn’t dictated by its Michelin stars. Likewise, Lagos, a city bursting with people on the move, also has its own remarkable street food scene.

Street food in Lagos is communal and energetic, often wrapped in old newspapers and eaten with bare hands. The unique combination of being light on the palate and easy on the pocket make them staples in the average Lagosian’s diet.

There are rising concerns about the food safety of these street eats because they are sold in unsanitary locations, situated over open gutters, exposed to flies, carbon fumes, dust, and other harmful elements within the environment. What’s street food without health code violations, eh?

Puff Puff

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Puff-Puff is a spongy treat made from sugar, flour and yeast is highly loved on the streets of Lagos and can be enjoyed in various shades from peppered to glazed with different flavourings such as chocolate or coconut. It is also a chief member of the small chops family and when it’s missing from the platter, the side effects may not be savoury.

 

Dun Dun

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Dun-Dun, a Yoruba word for ‘Fried yam’, is another favorite. Thick rectangular chunks of yam are sliced and deep fried with a sprinkling of salt in sizzling oil for few minutes, then served when its color changes from creamy white to golden brown with just the right amount of crispiness. Dun-Dun is often served with Ata DinDin (fried pepper sauce) which is prepared from chopped tomatoes, onions and a tinge of scotch bonnet or ‘ata rodo’ for extra heat. However, when there is no Ata DinDin, ‘Akara’ can play the perfect substitute. Yeah, the sauce literally gets subbed for Akara. Who knew grounded beans, mixed with pepper and onions and dash of salt and other spices could be so satisfying especially after deep frying it into hot brown balls.

 

Akara

 Photo by Kitchen Butterfly / www.kitchenbutterfly.com

Photo by Kitchen Butterfly / www.kitchenbutterfly.com

Akara on its own should be revered. This king of Nigerian breakfast sometimes serves as a patty in a local vegan-friendly burger when paired with bread. But not just any bread, ‘Agege bread’. The soft, stretchy bread with a chewy texture you buy from hawkers especially the early morning batch, fresh from the bakery and still rousingly hot. It is called a plethora of names including simply akara sandwich, but amongst the local champions on the street, this bean fritter in bread mix is known as the ‘Risky burger’. 

 

Ewa Aganyin

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If you do not fancy your burger risky, you can still enjoy your agege bread with another bean-based dish, Ewa Aganyin. Ewa Agayin is simply mashed boiled brown beans and the spicy Aganyin sauce. One interesting thing you find with Ewa Aganyin on the streets is that you often find the Agege bread sellers paired up with ewa agayin hawkers. There’s a term for this in economics, but it slips my mind right now.

 

Abacha

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Like the Ewa Aganyin, Abacha, fondly known as African Salad, is another “mobile” street food. The vendors are not stationary but rather transient, roving from one area to another. Traditionally from the Eastern Nigeria, Abacha starts off with a pile of shredded cassava. Then the sliced garden eggs, sliced pepper, onions, Ugba (Oil bean), and sometimes miscellaneous vegetables, come in. This combination is tossed into a palm oil emulsion with potash powder, which gives the salad its bright yellow colour, and it is stirred thoroughly. Abacha is often served with a variety fish, either smoked mackerel or deboned dry fish. There is, however, a growing trend of pairing it with peppered ponmo (cow hide).

 

Boli

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Another favorite of the streets is Boli, soft partly ripened plantains grilled or roasted over blackened pots with redden charcoals along the road. In its authentic Port Harcourt form, it’s served with a peppery palm oil sauce and shredded Utazi leaves. In its purest form, there is also some mackerel on the side. The mackerel is sliced into segments - head, middle and tail - then spiced and glazed palm oil before grilling. Lagos has a slightly different take on Boli, however, Lagosian ditch all that oil and fish for some freshly roasted groundnuts.


Torinmo Salau is a freelance writer/journalist. Her works have been published online and offline in local and international publications.

Stout Wars: Guinness v Legend

FOLLY: A few weeks ago Nosa put out a joke about Legend being the drink of choice for armed robbers and Twitter NG got upset. 

NOSA: I said what I said. 

FOLLY: The responses ranged from the handler of this account needs to be fired, a brand can't come for another brand, and that we'd just lost ourselves an endorsement from Legend. The last one made me howl. 

NOSA: Look, if you’re a discerning drinker, it’s even a thing to be discussed. If you like your stouts, there’s no way you can like Legend. It’s way too light and is not as creamy as the old Legend ads suggested it would be. 

FOLLY: I really enjoy making our Taste Test videos so all the engagement gave me the idea for this one. It also gave us a chance to reshoot a stout video because we'd previously shot one last year but the footage was unusable due to sound issues. You might have noticed our video equipment has improved significantly since then. I disgress, 

We rounded a few friends of the blog who don't normally drink stout to get their novice opinion on the drink. We first asked them if they could tell the difference from looking or smelling, then they placed their guesses. Next, they tasted blind and then they re-confirmed their guesses. 

FOLLY: Oddly enough, most people like the supposed drink of choice for armed robbers. Will Nosa have to redact his tweet....

NOSA: Well, they’re wrong and I’m right.  Only the non-stout drinkers liked Legend and that’s because Legend tries it’s hardest to not be a decent stout.

EDL Weekender: An Octopus Salad in Lagos

NOSA: Hello weekend!

FOLLY: This week was a short one with the public holiday but it still feel like it dragged on for a bit. Anyways, we have a new playlist and a few fun things to do this weekend.  

Spotify version of the playlist HERE

 

EAT

Octopus Salad at La Taverna

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NOSA: Not many places in Lagos offer, for lack of a better term, offer "exotic meats". There's the oysters at NOIR and the frog legs at Villa Medici, but that's about it.  La Taverna recently added an octopus salad to menu and I think it's worth a try if you're looking to be a bit more adventurous. 

 

Buy One Get One Free 

FOLLY: For National Donut Day, Krispy Kreme (worldwide, I think) is offering a pretty sweet buy one get one free deal. You get a free donut of your choice with ANY purchase. 

 

LAGOS

Happy Hour @ SkyBox

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NOSA: I completely forgot about the construction at RoadChef from the start of the year. Turns out something was brewing, i.e. SkyBox. I still think it's weird that all of this is going on in a gas station because you know people love to smoke when they drink.

FOLLY: And that sounds like a fire hazard to me and if you remember the Ascon fire of 2014, I imagine err-ing on the side of caution would be the preference....

NOSA: But if you're in Lekki and looking for Happy Hour tonight, check it out and let us know.

 

Garmspot Urban Mixer

FOLLY: Athleisure is still red hot so if you're needing a wardrobe update, check it out.

The Best Burgers in Lagos

FOLLY: National Burger Day was a couple of days ago and I created this thread to celebrate the greatest burgers we've had in Lagos so far in this journey of eating through the struggle. That thread is definitely going to be lost in a few days but this post is forever (or at least close to), so in this post we're going to attempt to delve into more detail on why each one of the burgers made the cut.

NOSA: There are tons of burgers in Lagos, but there's a serious paucity of elite burgers. Quantity has never been our problem because from the top tier restaurants to the bottom feeders, there's a burger on the menu. What's real unfortunate is that almost every restaurant out there is slapping a Chi Foods patty between a Shoprite bun and calling it a burger. Disgusting.

We've been around the block a bit and we've put together a definitive list, in no particular order, of the best burgers in Lagos. If you disagree, find me on the internet and fight me. 


The Eatalian @ Harvest Lagos

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Address: Block 26, Plot 10 Admiralty Way, Lekki, Lagos

NOSA: This is the "newest" of all the burgers on this list, but it has more than earned its right to be here by virtue of it's very unique flavor. The Eatalian is more than a play on words with "Italian", it literally tastes like Italy. If you've ever wondered what an antipasto burger would taste like, this is your guy.


The French @ South

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Address: 92B Younis Bashorun Street, Victoria Island, Lagos

FOLLY: For this one, it's the cheese that make it special. They use camembert which explains the hefty price tag; the beef as well (at least the times that we've had it) is quality.

NOSA: It's definitely the most expensive one on here and a lot of people go, "oh, it's too expensive and overhyped". Don't listen to those people because they do not know anything. Camembert on a burger? That's a commitment to excellence and you're not going to find that anywhere in Lagos. 


NinaHH @ BBQ & Cravings

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Address: 4 Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lekki, Lagos

FOLLY: There are a lot of burgers that appeal to me on the BBQ & Cravings menu but the NinaHH is the most adventurous.

NOSA: For me, this is the most adventurous of the burgers in Lagos. You can taste how much R&D went into creating this masterpiece. 

FOLLY: It combines strawberry jam, beef patty, slow-cooked oxtail, mozzarella, caramelized onions, and salsa. 

NOSA: It's not supposed to work, but it defies all the odds. 


Dagwood Burger @ Temple Cottage

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Address: 322 Akin Ogunlewe Rd, Victoria Island, Lagos

NOSA: A runny egg and a grilled pineapple? Yeah, this is another special one. The bun leaves a lot to be desired, but the Dagwood triumphs regardless. What so special about the Dagwood is how unheralded it is. You find it in a random dodgy hotel in Victoria Island. I mean, nothing good comes out of those places. Everything else on the menu is extra meh. This burger just comes out of nowhere with the excellence. 


Double Prime Beef Burger @ HSE Gourmet

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Address: Plot 2 Emma Abimbola Cole Street, Lekki 1, Lagos

FOLLY: The burgers at HSE are fully loaded but for some reason don't feel overwhelming - or maybe they do because once you're done eating you are full for at least 12 hours and immobile for two. 


Crispy Chicken Burger @ Wings N Sides

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Address: 29 Fola Osibo Rd, Lekki Phase I, Lagos

NOSA: The only chicken burger on this list and easily the simplest of the lot. Many have tried to make the chicken burger a thing in Lagos and many have failed. The Crispy Chicken Burger at Wings n Sides succeeds where the others fail by keeping it simple. Most places go over the top with the extras and ignore the chicken. Wings n Sides does no such thing. 


Smokehouse Double @ Johnny Rockets

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Address: 1411 Adetokunbo Ademola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos

FOLLY: All I have to say is just "bruh"

NOSA: We have video to prove why this is on here.