HSE Cafe Gives Fola Osibo A Facelift
NOSA: A while ago, I noticed how Fola Osibo Street in Lekki had a startling number of restaurants on the strip. Not just that, it’s incredible how the bulk of the restaurants on the strip are pretty bad.
FOLLY: Before you say that's a major generalization, think about it and you'd realize that they are all scraps. The only exception is Wrap City but they aren't a restaurant.
NOSA: This is an unfounded theory but I’m sure 80% of the businesses on that street are money laundering fronts.
FOLLY: Including the boutiques' tbh, but let me focus on my work.
NOSA: In the last 2 weeks, however, there has been a little shake-up.
First, the strip got the delightful Subway clone, Sub Delight, and last weekend, it got HSE Gourmet Cafe. We got invited to its soft opening (launch? idk) on Saturday and we were thoroughly impressed.
FOLLY: "Press brunch", it was.
NOSA: The interior is pretty adorable and the menu might be the most interesting one there is in all of Lekki. That said, special openings never tell the whole story, so yesterday, we went to check out HSE Gourmet Cafe again.
FOLLY: That's because special events like that are when they pull out all the stops and treat you like a special guest.
NOSA: Picking a main was a bit of a challenge because I wanted to try the Pulled Pork Grilled Cheese and the Oxtail Chili Cheese Fries. Normally, I’d convince Folly to get my other option, but neither was really friendly to her lactose intolerant stomach and I’m a considerate person.
FOLLY: Yeah, it was hard for me too as almost everything had cheese.
NOSA: At the soft opening, I got the guacamole grilled cheese and I thought it was near perfect. The only flaw was the thickness of the bread. For that reason alone, I settled for the cheese fries.
FOLLY: Too much guacamole for my taste but I thought the bread was great, unlike Nosa.
NOSA: The cheese fries were decent, but they fell a bit short as a main. After a couple of bites, it gets tedious and you’re more or less over it. The blandness of the oxtail was probably to blame for that.
FOLLY: No one person wants to eat such a huge portion of fries. I think they should reduce the portion size and put it in a bowl and it'll be a perfect appetizer to share.
NOSA: Our third wheel got the Chicken Noodle Soup and it tasted shockingly different from the one Folly had at the soft opening. It went from a proper noodle soup to pepper soup with Indomie in it. Very disappointing.
FOLLY: Exaggeration on the Indomie, but it was so good when I first had it on Sunday and it looked different too. I suspect you Nigerians of going in there and saying the pepper wasn't enough so they turned it into pepper soup to please you. The bowl that I had on my first visit was very therapeutic (as soup should be) because I was in a pretty shitty mood and it cheered me right up.
NOSA: Folly’s salad took forever.
FOLLY: The salad was good but I also realized smoked cheese wasn't for me. The dressing was a good choice with this salad, the creaminess complemented the avocado and the apples very well. However, my benchmark for a good salad in Lagos that's also value for money is Deli's, and compared to that this fell short.
NOSA: On the whole, I like HSE Cafe. I didn’t mention this earlier but the wings are absolutely fantastic. Their alcoholic iced teas also.
FOLLY: The non-alcoholic ones too, especially the peach and passion fruit. I'm quite meh on the blackberry mojito.
NOSA: Unfortunately, I don’t think anything on the menu is priced sensibly. Delis has bigger salads, of similar quality, that’s significantly cheaper. The service could also do with some work. The waitresses are pleasant but the turnaround time on Folly’s salad was ridiculous.
FOLLY: Yeah, I got my salad (the only thing that didn't require cooking) after everyone else had eaten. We were seated outside and they completely forgot to bring me my food until I went in to ask for it and even then, the waitress had no idea that she had forgotten something.
NOSA: By Lekki standards, however, this place is amazing.
Oxtail Chili Fries - N3500
Blackberry Mojito Tea -N1500
Chicken Noodle Soup - N2000
Honey Whiskey Hard Iced Tea - N1800
Avo Bacon & Smoked Cheese Salad - N3000
It's in one of those Fola Osibo complexes so there's parking.