The Harvest is Here, But is it Bountiful?
FOLLY: Over the weekend, Nosa and I checked out The Harvest, one of the newer restaurants in the Lekki area. Harvest reminded me a lot of SAFI because it's co-located within an apart-hotel, The Bridge, similar to SAFI that's within a boutique hotel, also in Lekki.
NOSA: The Harvest is run by Claudio Indovino, who also manages day-to-day business at Talindo. From his Instagram account and conversations with him when we had our Lunch Club at Talindo, he comes off really passionate about the restaurant business so I had big expectations when we checked out Harvest.
FOLLY: The restaurant itself is very nicely done up. It's a bit industrial and there's a liberal use of metal, brown, blacks and dark wood. The Harvest also has those metal chairs that are in most Lagos restaurants in these days.
NOSA: The Bridge, which houses Harvest, is very clear about its Brooklyn inspirations and you can see them in full form when walk into Harvest.
FOLLY: The Harvest doesn't have an appetizer or starter menu per say so we decided to share a pizza as our starter.
NOSA: The menu is, for lack of a better word, curt. It gets straight to it. Mains, sandwiches, pizza, and cocktails. Boom. You can check out the full thing on 234Menu.
FOLLY: I was seeking the strength of the Black Panther in an unlikely place, so I ordered the Wakanda pizza.
[Ed. Note: Folly came up with this joke all by herself]
The toppings (chicken suya, red onion and a generous helping of oregano) hardly had anything to do with Wakanda or the Black Panther, so I'm calling it now that the naming of this was random. I'm sure it was done to excite basic people like me into ordering it - I'm disgusted that it worked.
NOSA: Speaking of oregano, why isn't it a bigger "thing" with pizzas in Lagos? If my memory doesn't fail me, you get oregano in those little packets when you order take out pizza. The by-the-slice spots usually had them in those salt shaker things. Don't think I've found a place in Lagos that serves pizza with some oregano on the side. Might be an American thing, to be fair. I haven't really looked up its origins.
FOLLY: The Wakanda Pizza wasn't your typical thin crust, rounded, hand spun, and triangle sliced pizza that you'd expect to get at La Taverna or Pizza-Riah. Instead, the base was a fluffy flat bread that was shaped more like an uneven rectangle and the pizza pieces were a random mix of right angle and isosceles triangles.
NOSA: I really loved how "imperfect" the pizza was. It gave it this weird authenticity that I can't quite explain. Maybe I got conned like Folly was with the Wakanda name. In my defense, the cheese was absolutely fantastic. When I was little, might have been six or seven at the time, we lived in Italy for about year-ish. That year, I tasted pizza for the first time ever and I can still remember how much I loved the stringiness of the cheese. The pizza at Harvest was a throwback to that time, from the fresh dough to the the stringy cheese. You only get that type stringiness when you use proper mozzarella. Like, the whole milk stuff and not one of those shredded cheese blends that most places use.
FOLLY: The chicken suya wasalso legit with yaji and all and I, too, appreciated the liberal sprinkling of oregano.
FOLLY: I ordered the chicken shawarma at first because a while ago, I spotted it on their Instagram a few weeks ago but Nosa's judge eyes made me swap it for the Lamb Chops. The lamb chops were very confusing because the meat while dangerously tough, managed to pack in a lot of flavour.
NOSA: Look, if you're going to serve a tough piece of meat, just do everyone a favor and provide a steak knife. I'm not trying dislocate the joints in my finger because I want meat. It's essentially a human rights violation.
FOLLY: Usually, when the meat is just hard - it tastes like nothing for example, Grill by Deli's. At the Harvest, I loved how the herbs were infused into the meat. I imagine that level of flavour was achieved by both a dry rub and also cooked using a herb infused oil.
Now, the toughness of the meat I'll attribute to two factors: poor quality meat and the cooking method (short period of time at high heat).
NOSA: Low and slow is the motto. If it's a tough cut, cook it on low heat for a long ass time. That way you soften the meat without drying it out. Learnt it from Guy Fieri so I know it works.
FOLLY: If you aren't braising your lamb chops, I don't think there's really a point. The poor quality meat upsets me because it's priced at a premium (N8500). I shouldn't be getting what I believe are local lamb chops at that price point.
NOSA: For all the disappointment of the lamb chops, they more than made up for it in the The Eatalian burger. When they drop the burger right in front you, you'll probably think "...this thing looks like struggle" or "...what is Italian about this?".
Well, that's what I thought anyway. It wasn't much of a looker, but it blew my mind. Again, the cheese was top quality, but that's not even what gets you hooked. It's the roasted red peppers that give it a unique edge. If you've ever had a multiple course Italian dinner, you should be familiar with antipasto. Roasted bell peppers, more often than not, make a starring appearance in those spreads. Now, imagine those roasted peppers in a burger.
That's exactly what The Eatalian tastes like. If Italy was a big on burgers like America, a burger like the Eatalian would probably be their signature. It perfectly captures the essence of Italian flavors between two buns. Just excellent.
FOLLY: The Pine-Ginger could have done with a little more ginger. I love ginger in drinks and I felt that the gingerale in this was weak and was easily over powered by the pineapple juice.
FOLLY: The service at Harvest was good even though they had a large group while we were there. The food service was also very speedy and that really impressed me - again they were having a large party and everything was still running smoothly.
NOSA: It's definitely worth a visit.
The Eatalian - N4500
Pine & Ginger - N3500
Lamb Chops - N8500
Wakanda Pizza - N3500
They have a large parking lot