Izanagi as a Model of Consistency
NOSA: We visited Izanagi over the weekend because our original review felt a bit dated.
FOLLY: We also tried to visit a new “superfood/juice bar” but the staff on duty didn’t have ingredients to make most things on their menu so we decided to walk out before we’d regret everything.
NOSA: The pictures from our old Izanagi post were taken on my old iPhone 6 so they aren’t popping like. EDL has “bought” me an X now so a revisit was definitely due. (PS: Please help me convince Folly to sanction an Xs Max so we can take more popping pictures)
FOLLY: I don’t recall EDL buying you an iPhone X, so if you did so that’s misappropriation also theft and you’re going to pay it back. Yeah, our camera lens has recently “given up the ghost” so we only have Nosa’s iPhone X for pictures now.
NOSA: To start, we got the Krispy Rock Shrimp. Just a couple steps away from our normal Bang Bang Mushrooms. Basically tempura shrimp tossed in soca sauce, rock shrimp is a fixture in most pan-Asian menus. Izanagi’s take on it was a little disappointing. You might call it “dull”, in fact. Soca sauce is supposed to pack a little heat, it’s Caribbean after all, but the one at Izanagi had no such heat. I mean, I ate it all, but it was still disappointing.
FOLLY: I didn’t read the menu description because Nosa spotted this and ordered it. If I had read it I may have found it disappoint like Nosa did if I knew it was supposed to be spicy - I didn’t. I found it crispy for sure, and the dressing was more tangy than spicy. There was definitely lemon in there. I didn’t find it dull but it wasn’t impressionable. If you’ve ever tried it, you’d know the Bang Bang Mushrooms at Izanagi are very impressionable and is one of those items you’d already mentally plan to order on your next visit.
NOSA: Folly went with the Spicy Beef Ramen. Ramen is really just fancy Indomie. You are not going to change my mind. It’s my phillistine hot take and I’ll go to the grave with that. This and “Fela is overrated” are two positions I’m never backing down from.
FOLLY: If I recall at Metisse, you were quite excited to order the Pho, so what exactly is the difference with Ramen? If you like ramen, you’d definitely enjoy this. I don’t know how many spots in Lagos serve ramen but this was excellent. I worry about ordering these broth noodle dishes because I sometimes find the broths tasteless, thankfully this wasn't. I also loved that the beef was not over cooked - you could still see the pink spots in between the slices.
NOSA: Because I don’t play that Indomie stuff, I got the Norwegian Roll (Unagi, Crabsticks, Salmon Skin and Salmon Teriyaki Sauce). This is my new favorite roll at Izanagi. Over the the Izanagi Dragon.
NOSA: Maki rolls always get a bad wrap from the purists because it’s not “authentic”. You know, like Kung Pao Chicken and Chinese food. That’s their business abeg, I like what I like. Maki rolls are a fantastic way to get into sushi. If you’ve ever been wary about getting into sushi, maki rolls are a great way to get into it. Start with something as basic as the California Roll and work your way up.
NOSA: Whenever we visit Izanagi, the order is usually the same. Maybe we spice it up with a new maki roll, but it’s always the standard “starter + roll”.
FOLLY: I mean, everyone already knows the sushi and maki at Izanagi are great so I felt that we should delve into other aspects of their menu. For what it’s worth, I think Izanagi is a fantastic date night spot and is also great for the above 40s crowd because they have the pockets to afford it.
NOSA: We decided to be a bit more adventurous this time so we ordered the Temaki. Temaki is hand rolled, often conelike, sushi. Rolled in seaweed, aka nori, and stuffed with rice, Temaki looks like a funky ice cream cone. We went with the Tempura Hand Roll (Ebi Tempura, Cucumber and Garlic Mayo) and the Crispy Spicy Salmon (Spicy Salmon, Tobiko, Tempura Crisp and Mayo).
NOSA: I really don’t think you’re meant to eat it with your hands, but that’s what I did.
FOLLY: We didn’t have any cutlery apart from chopsticks so we couldn’t even slice it.
NOSA: I held it like a little Japanese taco and stuffed it in the mouth. Pause. There’s no way chopsticks would work with this, but I’m a noob so maybe it’s me.
FOLLY: The Temaki was very delicious. You’d think that because of all the rice that this would be tedious. First of all the rice is sticky thus making it taste a bit nice but the seaweed balances out the volume of the rice and then the fish also helps to make everything taste less monotonous.
NOSA: For such a little thing, it’s plenty expensive. If I made a little more than I currently do, this would probably be my thing. As an upwardly mobile (read: money is no too dey like that) millennial, this can’t click as a regular thing unfortunately. “Broke with expensive taste “is really what I am, word to Azealia Banks.
The Crispy Spicy Salmon was super delicious. There’s a lot of rice, but you don’t really notice it because the salmon and the nori swallow it all up. For a split second, I wondered why I’d never ordered the temaki before. Oh right, it’s 3k for a single roll. Makes sense.
Izanagi is still my favorite sushi spot in Lagos. They’ve really been so consistent over the years. The Izanagi Dragon, for instance, has tasted the same way every single time I’ve ordered it since 2015. You really don’t get that level of consistency from Lagos restaurants.
FOLLY: It’s that Japanese accuracy from the sushi chefs.
NOSA: 10/10. Would recommend.
FOLLY: If it wasn’t so expensive, it'll be one of my favourite restaurants in Lagos but sadly it’s firmly out of my league price wise.
Norwegian Roll - N6200
Chilli Beef Ramen - N8500
Tempura Hand Roll - N3300
Crispy Rock Shrimps - N7000
Crispy Spicy Salmon - N3300
Tempura Cheese Cake - N3900
Not a lot. Maybe 3 or 4. Ripe for extortion.