Chai Tang Restaurant Opens at TwinWaters
NOSA: Chinese food and older Nigerians go together like beans and rice. From special occasions to post-church lunches, Chinese restaurants are the OGs when it comes to dining out in Lagos. Oh, and buffets too.
FOLLY: There's a lot to unpack in the reasons why both of those are true...
NOSA: But we’re talking about Chinese restaurants today so lets focus on that.
Chai Tang is nestled in an absolutely lovely space in the Twin Waters Entertainment Center, aka the Rufus & Bee building. It’s crazy how beautiful the space is, especially considering the shambles around the building.
NOSA: Chai Tang's menu isn’t particularly exciting. It’s boring as hell, actually, but it’s standard Nigerian Chinese fare and your mother will absolutely love it. Just come prepared to spend a bucket load because it is far from cheap.
FOLLY: Fam, the prices hit me like a ton of bricks when I opened the menu. They also don't have two different portion size options like most Chinese restaurants in Lagos.
NOSA: To start, we got a pair of spring rolls and some wontons. The wontons are a complete waste of money and you need to avoid them at all costs.
FOLLY: Roger that. Over fried with mystery meat inside.
NOSA:The spring rolls are much better because they actually tasted like spring rolls. You know how they say "90% of the work is showing up"? Yeah, that's why the spring rolls get a passing grade.
FOLLY: The prawns in my main dish were much smaller than our server promised. I enjoyed it because of the ginger and when I mixed it with that spring roll pepper sauce and the rice (#Nigerian), I quite liked it.
NOSA: The seafood fried rice was great idea on paper, but I found it pretty meh.
FOLLY: The addition of the calamari was what distinguished it from what Oriental or any other Chinese restaurant in Lagos might serve.
NOSA: It's a super large portion so most people might forgive.
NOSA: On Kitchen Butterfly’s Instagram, she checked out some Korean place in New York with really good fried chicken because Korean fried chicken is apparently a “thing”. Following that logic, I got the Crispy Chicken at Chai Tang because I assumed Asians must have the hands with chicken and Korea isn’t too far from China. Worst case, it’ll be like Nigerian and Ghanaian jollof
FOLLY: I didn't even know this back story. I thought Nosa ordered it just because he wanted a dish that was "dry" and without the MSG laden sauces.
NOSA: A big goof on my part for expecting a Korean fried chicken spot in New York and a Chinese Restaurant in Lagos to serve up the same thing. The Crispy Chicken at Chai Tang wasn’t particularly crispy so I don’t get why it’s called that.
FOLLY: Unlike Nosa, I found the chicken skin sufficiently crispy but I was a bit hesitant to delve into this fully because I found the slight pink tint of the chicken meat slightly uncomfortable.
NOSA: The chicken didn't pack a lot of flavour and given how large the portion is, that's a bit a problem.
NOSA: Eh. It’s ok. I’m not the biggest fan of Chinese food so maybe I don’t get it. Judging by the guests present on the day, most people will like it.
FOLLY: It's a perfect spot to take your parents or extended family for a special occassion lunch. There will be something for everyone
NOSA: That said, it’s ridiculously expensive.
FOLLY: Yes, come with a briefcase of cash.
Spring Roll - N600 each
Crispy Chicken - N7500
Stir Fried Prawns - N9500
Seafood Fried Rice - N6200
The Twin Waters complex has sufficient parking.