Like Lekki, Blackbell Doesn’t Wow
Black Bell Restaurant
FOLLY: When we first heard about this new restaurant we were told a fine dining restaurant was opening in Lekki. When I think of fine dining, I think of 1415, Talindo etc., so colour me very very surprised and sceptical about the likes of those restaurants opening in Lekki Phase one.
NOSA: The press release we got also said it had Thai, Nigerian, Fast Casual, and one other thing on the menu.
FOLLY: Yeah, no one is opening a fine dining in Lekki. Nosa likened this place to The Place downstairs and 411 upstairs I'll let him explain.
NOSA: It's a hybrid of sorts. The first floor is fast casual, while the second is casual dining. There should be a name for places like this. A "look, I'm just trying to make money" restaurant.
FOLLY: To start, Nosa had the Hummus Special, shouts to him for ordering hummus in a Nigerian restaurant. While, I had the prawn suya because I figured that wouldn't be too challenging.
NOSA: The hummus was surprisingly good. The pita it came with was a bit stale, but they deserve all the credit for hummus. Like Folly said, not many Nigerian owned places have hummus on the menu.
FOLLY: The hummus was the most surprising thing in our entire meal, they actually gave us real hummus. While, I wasn't impressed by the beef because it was over fried and hard in classic Nigerian style, the actually hummus spread was great.
See I was all the way sceptical about Black Bell because readers have messaged us that it's not what they claim to be and I understand why, they probably walked inside and saw the fast food set up and walked out.
NOSA: Yeah, I had an issue with that but we'll get to it in the postscript.
FOLLY: Slight scam aside, (in terms of the three tiny skewers I received) these were also a pretty solid effort from the Black Bell chef. The spices weren't just dusted on the outside, the entired thing was yaji-fied and it didn't taste or smell like under Falomo bridge (aka fish market).
NOSA: I wasn't really up for experimenting so I got the Africana Breakfast as my main. Basically, yam & egg. You can't really mess that up and thankfully, they didn't. The eggs did need a little salt, but it was well made on the whole and that's all you can really ask for.
FOLLY: You're not giving enough credit to the gizzard which was boiled to perfection and was extremely soft.
FOLLY: For my main I had the Coconut Prawn Curry which was served with basmati rice. This was a real curry and not just stew. They even managed to have those little seed like spices, I don't know what it's called but I think they are mustard seeds, that the authentic curries have.
The portion was also big enough that I couldn't eat everything all at once and packed it home as take-away. And they didn't charge for the take away pack, I'm looking at you Nok by Alara.
FOLLY: The food at Black Bell is very well made but you'd need to get there first to discover it and I don't think there's anything about the restaurant that will attract you there in the first place, unless you're us and are always looking for somewhere new to eat or you're reading our review right now.
NOSA: Although incredibly boring, the menu is familiar and accessible like 411.
FOLLY: It just feels like yet another restaurant that the owner opened for the sake of it but this time, he/she actually bothered to get a real cook.
NOSA: Blackbell is very safe and I don't think it's something they are shy about, which is surprising and contrary to the messaging they put out. There's no real personality in the place either. Imagine Craft Gourmet tacos, in restaurant form.
Prawn Suya - N3000
Hummus Special - N2500
Africana Breakfast - N3000
Coconut Prawn Curry - N5500
Not a lot but it's enough and the security guys aren't blockheads, thankfully.