Posts in Restaurants
A Maison Kayser for Lagos
 
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NOSA: One of my biggest personal pet peeves has to be when we (Folly and I) are out and someone goes to “out” us to management. Like, it’s great and is probably from a good place but God knows I’m not interested in the attention.

FOLLY: You’re kind because knowing her it’s not from a good place, she should stay in her lane and us, in ours.

NOSA: The whole thing puts us in a very weird situation, but I bet homegirl wasn’t thinking about all that when she told the Maison Kayser guys about it. Smh.

FOLLY: Truth be told, we still don’t know for certain if she outed us but everything that happened was just a bit unusual so there’s a very high chance that she did. We did get impeccable service and attention so in any case, I’m definitely very glad and impressed about that.

NOSA: In addition to that, there’s a lot to like about Maison Kayser. The French franchise has one better looking restaurant spaces in Lagos. It almost feels like it was designed for Instagram. I can’t think of another restaurant in Lagos with all that natural light. Maybe Craft Gourmet comes close, but most fall short.

FOLLY: Cactus also is a close third but the quality of light in your pictures will depend on where you’re seated and if it’s cloudy or sunny out.

NOSA: If you’re trying to build a Sunday brunch winner, natural light is your friend. It worked for Craft Gourmet and it appears to be working for Maison Kayser. There’s even a little play area for the young ones and you know the after-church crowd is always out with their kids. The parking lot hasn’t been empty since they opened in December.

FOLLY: Except one Thursday afternoon that I drove by, I’ve never, ever since that lot empty.

NOSA: We held out on visiting Maison Kayser because we saw lots of complaints about the service on the internet.

FOLLY: I also really wanted to like Maison Kayser so I wanted to give them as much time as they needed to sort out the complaints and the extraordinarily long waiting time I’d heard about.

NOSA: The service was great and the food came out in a timely manner. But we’ll never know if this is the true state because that loudmouth snitched and we got served by the manager.

FOLLY: And like 2 other waiters as supporting acts.

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NOSA: The menu was little overwhelming so we spread things out a bit. I got the Croque Monsieur, Folly went with the Kayser Burger and we split the Pesto Linguine.

FOLLY: We wanted to order a lot more so sticking to these was a challenge.

NOSA: For a franchise known for its bakery, the Croque Monsieur was a little disappointing. It tasted great, but I think the one at RSVP has spoilt me. Maison Kayser just stuck some slices of boring bread in there. When I ordered, I was expecting some fancy brioche or something. Not a slice that looked like I could’ve gotten across the street.

FOLLY: I expected a bit more exaggeration on the plating for sure. I didn’t taste it because it was gone in a flash - lol. However, I had the Kayser Burger and I found it to be really good. I’m coming off the heels of a very bad burger experience in Lekki so maybe I’m just scared but the burger was exactly what I hoped it would be.

NOSA: I’m actually surprised you liked it.

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I believe there is no place for raw onions in sandwiches and everything should always be caramelised. The perfectly caramelised onions singled handedly carried the entire burger on its back. The burger sauce was a bit tangy and fought against the stickiness and sweetness of the onions; I preferred the bites when the onions won.

NOSA: The patty was a bit bland, but burgers are probably not their strong point.

FOLLY: I don’t why Nosa refuses to like this burger because I really thought it was special.

NOSA: Nah, it was an “ok” burger. Nothing special about it. It tasted expensive in the sense that the individual elements are expensive, but as a whole it wasn’t anything I’d crave. Definitely not their strong point and the bun was weakest part of it all.

Speaking of strong points, the pasta was surprisingly my favorite thing on the day. It needed some salt, but otherwise it was really really good.

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FOLLY: The pasta was good, and made al dente too! Unlike some people. Their chef was very h'eavy handed on the parmesan and so, the pasta was a bit ‘creamy’ and sticky - no complaints. I don’t think they used nuts in their version (maybe to keep it accessible for nut-free folks). I do really like nuts and lots of olive oil in my pesto.

NOSA: It was definitely the highlight for me.

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NOSA: The Sugar Crepe we ordered wasn’t really that great so let’s pretend it didn’t happen.

FOLLY: Let me just pretend that never happened. Maybe they made the mistake with the Nutella one because they didn’t want us to have this in the first place.

NOSA: You know what’s really funny? The desserts we got “on the house” were so much better than the crepe. Maybe dude knew something was wrong with the crepe. Either way, sha avoid the crepe.


POSTSCRIPT

NOSA: I wasn’t very whelmed, but I’d be a liar if I said I wouldn’t visit again. It’s not really a full “like” but it’s not a “meh” either.

FOLLY: I liked it a whole lot - In addition to the food that we had on this visit. I’ve gotten desserts from their display and gelato that I’ve really enjoyed on all occasions.

VERDICT

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DAMAGE

 Gin Basil - N2500

Proseco (Glass) - N3000

Lingiune Pesto - N4500

Croque Monsieur - N3500

Burger Kayser XXL - N6500

Sugar Crepe - N2200

 

PARKING

 Parking is a complete shitshow.

Danfo Bistro Serves an Interesting Take on Nigerian Food
 
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FOLLY: Danfo Bistro was THE opening of Nov/Dec 2018. I would have thought it’ll be Maison Kayser but the quirkiness of Danfo Bistro and the glowing reviews probably drove people there in hordes.

NOSA: Doesn’t help that Maison serves “hot dog” in their English breakfast, but we’ll get to that in due time.

FOLLY: The Instagram friendliness of Danfo Bistro probably helped too.

NOSA: Oh yes, definitely. The space is very beautiful. Although I’m not a big fan of restaurants having two entrances, but I think I can let it slide this one time. Danfo Bistro had been under construction for quite a while now. Someone incorrectly told me it was Casper & Gambini, or some other Lebanese-owned restaurant, moving into the space. I forget which.

I definitely wasn’t expecting something new.

FOLLY: It’s always a good sign when we get to a restaurant and have to restrain ourselves from ordering everything on the menu.

NOSA: The menu is actually pretty interesting. From the name, you probably think Danfo Bistro is a “Nigerian” restaurant, but it isn’t. There are one or two local staples on there, but it’s largely Nigerian-inspired. Inspired in the sense that they make use of Nigerian elements in plates that are, by and large, not Nigerian per se.

FOLLY: We managed to restrain ourselves to three starters which were

  • Suya Onion Rings

  • Yam Con Carne

  • Danfo Wings

and with those we embarked on our Danfo (Bistro) ride

NOSA: Before we go further into this, I want to point out how lame it is that Ikoyi finally gets a good restaurant when I move out. Every single part of me wanted this place to be utter nonsense, but nope, no luck for me.

FOLLY: We were only going to get the first two appetizers, but after we placed our order, our waiter upsold by simply saying “no wings?”. It felt like he was disappointed in our order, that we came to their establishment and didn’t even order wings so I quickly told him “Yes please, which would you recommend?” and he suggested the Danfo Wings.

NOSA: Quality “salesman”. Lucky for him, the wings were actually good. There was a certain plantain-y thing to the dipping sauce. It’s hard to explain. If you order it, it’ll make sense.

Danfo WIngs

Danfo WIngs

Suya Onion Rings

Suya Onion Rings

FOLLY: The Suya Onion Rings were excellent. As you can probably tell from the picture the onions rings were extra crispy and we loved them. The heat of the oil was also perfect as there was absolutely no sogginess whatsoever.

NOSA: The onion rings were so well done. Remember the thing I said about taking Nigerian elements and putting them in non-Nigerian plates? Yeah, theres are the perfect example of that. They’re a bit spicy, but not overwhelmingly so. Spicy in the same way suya is. It’s a kick but it’s not a lingering kick.

FOLLY: The spiciness of the suya dust on the exterior was perfectly balanced by the sweet yellow onion.

NOSA: If I had to pick one item I’d recommend to anyone, I’d go with this. These were A1 top quality onion rings.

FOLLY: I’m not an onion ring aficionado like Nosa is, but honestly but these were the best onion rings I’ve ever had.

Suya Onion Rings

Suya Onion Rings

Yam Con Carne

Yam Con Carne

FOLLY: Next, the Yam Con Carne was really special too. But first, who else first discovered “Chilli Con Carne” as a meal from The Sims. I first heard of it as a thing via the game and even then didn’t know what it was actually comprised of until many years later. The Yam Con Carne is Danfo Bistro take on Chilli with meat poured over yam crisps.

As they say on Twitter, it’s basically Yam and Corned Beef that went to Harvard.

NOSA: Chef Cristian will probably fight me for this, but I think the chilli on this is better than the one at La Taverna. Danfo Bistro makes a spicier version and like a true Nigerian, I prefer it.

Yam Con Carne

Yam Con Carne

Sloppy Friday Burger

Sloppy Friday Burger

FOLLY: If I was the Yam Con Carne’s professor at Harvard, it definitely graduated summa cum laude.

NOSA: I haven’t mentioned anything on the yam, but just know it’s great because yam is great and yam > plantain. The portion should be larger and it should be a main. That’s my very unbiased take on it.

Speaking of plantain, the Danfo Bistro has a borderline unhealthy relationship with plantain. There’s a pasta dish with bloody plantain in it and a couple of the burgers had it too. Like the one Folly ordered.

FOLLY: For my main, I went with the Sloppy Friday Burger. It was supposed to be suya minced meat in burger with plantain.

NOSA: Basically a Sloppy Joe burger.

Sloppy Friday Burger

Sloppy Friday Burger

FOLLY: I was slightly disappointed because the minced meat tasted very regular and the addition of the soft plantain (even though it was stated in the menu) was a tad confusing to my taste buds.

NOSA: Yeah, this one felt like one experiment too far.

FOLLY: This was the only thing I didn’t particularly like about my Danfo experience but it doesn’t take away from everything else which was fantastic.

Cross section

Cross section

Ewa Agoyin Sandwich

Ewa Agoyin Sandwich

NOSA: For my main, I went with the Ewa Agoyin Sandwich because beans is my fave. When I was in JSS1, bullies ate all my food and left me with beans and that’s how we find ourselves here. Thank you, Table 9 seniors!

The Ewa Agayin is the only proper Nigerian thing on the menu. Oh, and the Akara too.

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NOSA: The Agege bread base felt a bit “stale”. Like, it wasn’t fresh off the head of a street hawker (this sentence reads very terribly in hindsight). But maybe I shouldn’t have expected it to. Either way, the beans was great. Take it from beans connoisseur like myself.


POSTSCRIPT

NOSA: Kitchen Butterfly sprung to mind when I saw the menu. We should invite her to dinner here because she’d absolutely love it. Yeah, I’d definitely revisit.

FOLLY: I didn’t see a desert menu which was odd. I would loved to have seen some interesting takes on Nigerian dessert by Danfo Bistro

NOSA: Yeah, lots of things to be done with puff puff.

VERDICT

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DAMAGE

Yam Con Carne - N3750

Danfo Wings - N3000

Suya Onion Rings - N2500

Sloppy Friday Burger - N4500

Ewa Agoyin Sandwich - N2500

 

 

PARKING

Yes, lots of parking is available off street in their lot. 

Black Olive and Criminally Soft Pasta
 

FOLLY: Welcome to 2019!

It’s our first review for the year and it’s coming on January 7 because we took a break after #EatDrinkFestival5. This was my favourite festival to date after the first one in 2014. The first one will always be my favourite because I was completely blown away that we pulled it off and then we were on CNN African Voices for it the month after. Horn tooting aside, we have a lot planned for content this year and we look forward to making some big announcement towards the end of the week but until then let’s explore the pasta-abilities of Black Olive.

NOSA: Do Nigerians like their spaghetti cooked past al dente?

Like, noodle soft?

FOLLY: They do. The spaghetti was so overcooked that some strings split and appeared flat - almost like linguini. I think most people also prefer their rice to err on the side of soft and fluffy as opposed to firm. I ordered the Spaghetti & Meatballs at Black Olive and the pasta was “baby food soft”.

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NOSA: After looking through the restaurant’s Instagram account, it looks a bit intentional. Something similar happened during our initial visit to BL Restaurant on Sinari Daranijo. When we sent the plate back to the kitchen, the chef insisted that most of the customers liked their spaghetti on the “soft” side. There was no returning of plates at Black Olive, just a perplexed waiter for us. The chef did come out to apologize so I guess that’s fair. 

FOLLY: The waiter was very perceptive because when I requested he remove my plate even though it was less than half eaten and still had a meat ball (I only ate one and Nosa had the second), he asked what I didn’t like because I’d barely touched it. He probably relayed my complaints to the chef who then came out to apologise. No do over of the over cooked pasta though.

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NOSA: The Creamy Penne was a bit better. Not soft enough to offend, but enough for the penne to split in multiple pieces. Again, maybe it’s a Nigerian thing and I’m the one with the problem here.

The pasta sauce was a positive, however. Very rich and creamy with a heavy helping of pepper. There’s definitely a clientele that this menu is built for. 

FOLLY: Nosa’s order was infinitely better than mine but I could only taste it because of the heavy cream and my allergies. Mushroom also makes everything infinitely better, but obviously on a lower scale when you use canned mushrooms. I forgive canned mushrooms on pasta because the sauce coats the mushroom and you can almost forgive the mushroom’s rubbery texture, but I don’t forgive canned mushrooms on pizza.

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NOSA: Our favorite thing on the day was the starter - Tempura Shrimp.

FOLLY: The tempura was great for the simplest of reasons, clean oil and fried at the perfect temperature so it didn’t become soggy or dirty. The batter wasn’t too heavy on the shrimp so we got just the right amount of crisp and crunch.

NOSA: I only wished the portion was larger because I loved it so much. Probably a foreshadowing of what was to come. I don’t mean to take us back, but why was the spaghetti so soft? Just look at it..

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NOSA: Lol, I just can’t get over it. I’m sorry. Anyway, on to positive things - the service was excellent. The restaurant wasn’t packed. Actually, it was just us, but the attention received was commendable. The waiter was patient and attentive. That’s all you can ask for.

Oh, and it’s reasonably priced.

FOLLY: It’s very budget friendly but the food didn’t blow me away.


POSTSCRIPT

NOSA: Good try, good effort. Not for me, however.

FOLLY: They space is very nice. The menu prices are very casual while the space is tastefully upscale.

VERDICT

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DAMAGE

Tempura Shrimp - N3500

Creamy Penne - N4000

Spaghetti & Meatballs - N4000

 

 

PARKING

Pretty good parking situation for a restaurant on Awolowo road

Your 2018 Lagos Restaurant of the Year is...

So after tallying all votes, we have result. Your 2018 Restaurant of the Year is…

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Yeah, we definitely didn’t expect the margin, but it appears the people want what they want.

Your 2018 Lagos Restaurant of the Year is RSVP

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From it’s nomination to its eventual placement, The Backyard surprised us a lot. Clearly there’s something going on there. Either way, congrats RSVP!

More American-style BBQ at Brooklyn Bistro
 

NOSA: From Smoqshaq in greater Lekki to Rhodes in Alausa, American-stye barbecue has slowly found its way into Lagos. Even BBQ & Cravings has added slow cooked ribs to menu. This week, we checked out another entrant - Brooklyn Bistro.

Located right in the middle of Fola Osibo, Brooklyn Bistro is a cute (read: small) restaurant

FOLLY: Brooklyn Bistro is a very humble space so it’s advisable not to go in expecting a fancy restaurant or the full works (at least I didn’t) or you’d be mighty disappointed. The entire restaurant has about 3 tables and the bar so it’s very small.

NOSA: Fitting ten people in there might stretch its limits. That’s how small, I mean “cute”, it is. I know that reads like shade, but I actually like the spirit of the place. It’s certain character to it. It has that “my first business” vibe and in this economy, it’s something I rate very highly. 

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The menu isn’t particularly extensive, your barbecue choices are confined to chicken wings, ribs (beef or pork) and brisket. After our visit, they revamped the menu a bit however. Added a couple new wing flavors and combos, but nothing particularly significant so we aren’t dated lol.

FOLLY: We got right into it and ordered an item each from the three sections of the menu: meats, wings and sandwiches

The sandwich was the most disappointing of the lot and I’d rather not dwell on it.

NOSA: It looked like Chickwhizz

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FOLLY: The pulled meat was way too tough to be called brisket and the bread, well, that was a soggy mess. The bottom slice had completely disintegrated by the heaviness of the sauce and couldn't; be picked up.

NOSA: I liked the brisket, but they went with the wrong bread type. I’d have gone with a burger bun and not regular toast. And if I went with toast, I’d lean towards something thicker like Texas toast. The coleslaw and brisket are way too moist for the bottom slice to survive.

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FOLLY: The wings were good. The meat was very tender and the flesh slid of the bone without jerking and tearing. I was not adequately whelmed by the sauce. It tasted like a bottled barbecue sauce that had been upgraded with Cameroon pepper.

NOSA: Same sentiment on the wings, but we’ll get into the sauce when we talk about the ribs.

FOLLY: The soggy fries were disappointing and the Mac N Cheese, I prefer not to speak because I’m not supposed to be eating dairy. However, if I must speak on it, it was macaroni combined with cheese.

NOSA: The Mac n Cheese was more of a Penne Alfredo to be honest. Very “moist” for lack of better word. 

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FOLLY: Moving on to the ribs. Again, grade A on tenderness as every bone pulled out clean.

NOSA: This is exactly how all ribs in Lagos should work.

FOLLY: However, the cut wasn’t great because it was a lot more fat than meats in parts but nothing I’d really complain about for more than a sentence.

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NOSA: The ribs are bit interesting. The technique on it was great, but it tasted a like it was marinated with something from a bottle. A bit too sweet at points.  

FOLLY: Again the artificial taste in the sauce reared it’s head. It tasted really artificially sweet and at the same time quite acidic. So I concluded that it was either one of two things, they simply used a bottle barbecue with Cameroon pepper for the heat or they attempted to make theirs and they was just way too much ketchup and vinegar in their recipe.


POSTSCRIPT

NOSA: The food at Brooklyn Bistro was good, but not great. Like, imagine a friend’s mother that’s a really good cook. You love her food, but you’d never think of eating her dinners at a restaurant. That’s what Brooklyn Bistro feels like.

FOLLY: Honestly wasn’t one of the better barbecue experiences that I’ve had in Lagos.

NOSA: There’s definitely room for growth and I’m a bit optimistic because there’s just something about the place that I like.

VERDICT

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DAMAGE

 Brooklyn Wings - N2000

Half Rack Pork Ribs - N5000

Brisket Sandwich - N2800

 

PARKING

Yeah… allow it, mate.