Hua Fei: Real, Authentic Chinese Food Restaurant in Lagos
NOSA: Finding this spot was a throwback to the good old days of Eat.Drink.Lagos where we literally drove around looking for restaurants. For a split second, Folly thought this was some Chinese consulate or whatever because there’s literally no English anywhere.
FOLLY: It’s very easy to mistake it for a China <> Nigeria government building. Nothing on the exterior suggests it’s a restaurant and the flags will make you think it’s a foreign mission. We were on our way to another restaurant but decided to check definitely if this was a restaurant, and turned out it was.
FOLLY: First things first, communicating here is a challenge.
NOSA: In fact, ordering food took us like 30 mins because neither party understood what the other was trying to say.
FOLLY: They have two Nigerian staff that were available - one is good but is stationed outside, and the other is just generally aloof.
NOSA: They are literally stealing a living.
FOLLY: I think he got some joy watching us from the corner trying to struggle to communicate with the Chinese staff.
NOSA: To be honest, don’t expect much from the service. As pleasant as the Chinese staff are, they don’t speak any English and the Nigerian staff are so unhelpful.
FOLLY: We couldn’t get all the items we wanted in our initial order as some were not available. They have a roasted meats menu which the Nigerian staff described as the suya menu.
NOSA: I really wanted the pork belly but apparently the guy that works the grill wasn’t in. Definitely going back for that. There aren’t a lot of places to get pork belly in Lagos. You can check out the full menu HERE.
FOLLY: We’re not sure if they actually use yaji (suya spice) but I know for sure that entire section of the menu is grilled outside. I was pretty bummed it wasn’t available as we wanted to order the roasted pork belly, chicken, and shrimp.
Kung Pao Chicken
Hand-stretched noodles (with beef)
NOSA: No dumplings either so we settled for the wontons, which came in delicious little broth. Actually, it wasn’t “little” by any means. Just look at it.
FOLLY: I was initially skeptical of the wontons. The only reason I shy away from steamed dumplings is their pale exterior - I find it odd. After I initially get over the shock of their pale wrinkly skin and I pop them in my mouth, they usually taste good.
NOSA: Which is fair because the last time we ate authentic Chinese, we completely hated it.
FOLLY: It took Nosa eating two of the wontons before I decided to dive in. I will never know what’s really in the wontons (dog, cat, bushmeat, pork, etc) due to the language barrier, but I can definitely say they were delicious. The broth tasted a lot more seasoned than the one at KISS Noodles and it had cilantro, which I love cause it makes everything better.
I couldn’t enjoy the Kung Pao too much because the chicken was so soft and I was hereby convinced it was baby dog meat. Like a puppy who had barely grown before he was captured and so his muscles weren’t fully developed. I know, sad.
NOSA: Unlike Folly, I had no such problems. If it’s baby dog, then it was some delicious baby dog. Incredibly spicy too. I mean, it gave me the nose sweats.
FOLLY: I could see the beef slices in the noodles and it also tasted like meat so I was a little less doubtful. Overall, I did like the taste but I think it could have done with some herbs (cilantro!) so that it wasn’t all pepper and onion.
NOSA: The noodles weren’t for me. It was just a tad too soft and this is something that happens every time. Considering how much I hate Indomie, I don’t know why I do this to myself all the time.
FOLLY: The noodles were handmade in what I imagine is a similar process to how it’s made at KISS Noodles. The noodles definitely hadn’t been dried before as it had a very soft texture, you didn’t have to bite too much. It was also a huge portion so we had a lot of leftovers which I claimed.
FOLLY: Honestly, this place isn’t for everyone. Let’s say you’ve traveled through Asia (I haven’t) and you crave authentic Asian cuisine and you’re willing to overlook the indoor smoking and persevere through the language barrier, this one is for you. If you just want spring rolls, beef in black bean sauce, and special fried rice; keep driving past Hua Fei turn right at ExxonMobil onto Lekki-Epe Expressway, you’ll get to a traffic light turn left and then right, you’ll get to Oriental Hotel, that’s where you’re meant to be.
FOLLY: If you’re not Chinese, you’re probably not the target market. They do have a range of Chinese wines and beers which we sadly didn’t have the range to discover because of the language barrier.
NOSA: I’ll come back for the pork belly sha.
FOLLY: If we were more adventurous, we’d have tried pig ears, intestines and more. If you’re reading this. I think you should for it.
Wontons - N3000
Steamed Buns - N500
Kung Pao Noodles - N4800
Fried Hand Stretched Noodles - N3500
Yes, off street parking is available.