La Mango is Ikeja's Diamond in the Dirt
FOLLY: A La Mango review has been on the shelf for a while now.
NOSA: This is my fault, I think.
FOLLY: Honestly, I'm not sure why we put it off for so long.
NOSA: I thought it had to be razz because of the name so I was never keen. In my defense, the decor at La Mango is falling apart. The place needs some major renovation and the pool needs some cleaning because, my god, it is filthy.
FOLLY: Based on what I'd heard, La Mango was really good for shawarma and so I thought that was all there was to it.
FOLLY: Oddly enough, of the three things we ordered at La Mango, the shawarma was my least favorite. Initially, I ordered the mixed shawarma but the waitress came to notify me that they were out of beef and asked if I'd like a chicken one instead, I said that was fine.
NOSA: I liked the shawarma unlike Folly.
FOLLY: First impressions of the shawarma was that it was quite flat so not a rolly polly kind of shawarma.
NOSA: The sauce has this maggi thing to it that I really loved.
FOLLY: I was not adequately whelmed on its flavor as there was just too much Maggi.
NOSA: We're polar opposites on this thing, you know?
FOLLY: It terms of uniqueness, the only thing that stood out as different was that this had finely chopped pieces of pepper (ata rodo) in it.
FOLLY: After the shawarma, we decided to split a starter and a main. Originally ordered the special hummus but it wasn't available so I settled for the Crispy Chicken Wings and Penne Pesto.
NOSA: The penne pesto absolutely blew my mind. It took forever to come out so I figured the chef was in the kitchen making an abortion of a plate.
FOLLY: Likewise, the Penne Pesto blew me away. It was extremely well made.
NOSA: The penne was perfectly al dente, the chicken was full of so much flavor, and the pesto was actually pesto.
FOLLY: You could also tell that this pesto was freshly made. This might seem like an exaggeration but I don't know where I've eaten better at a Lagos restaurant. I found Talindo's to be a little too dry, and Umutu's to be too watery. If this was the story of Goldilocks and the three bears, La Mango's pesto is the perfect bowl of porridge.
FOLLY: The chicken breast slices weren't too dry. They were flavorful and complemented the pasta well - didn't steal the show. I missed the pine nuts in La Mango's iteration, however, not enough to throw a fit about their absence.
FOLLY: A quick word on the chicken wings.
Things La Mango did right:
- Used soft chicken
- Split the drummette from the wingette
- Battered the wings
FOLLY: Things La Mango could have done better:
- Used less batter on the wings
- Been less heavy handed on the curry
- Serve it with actual chili mayo, as the menu said, instead of mayo and then chili separately.
NOSA: The chicken wings were alright. Great as something to occupy your mouth while you get a post work beer. Beyond that, not really.
FOLLY: Shame I live quite far away that I can't pop in for that pesto more often. However, if I find out they deliver to my office, in there like swimwear.
NOSA: I really want to visit again because we walked on the safe side with our orders because we feared for the worst.
FOLLY: There are a couple of things I would like to point out, however, that aren't best in class for a restaurant that La Mango did. The service wasn't great as the waitress was always out of sight (we were seated outside), the crockery was mismatched, and the food took longer than 30 minutes to arrive.
NOSA: That's what made the pesto penne so surprising. Despite the subpar effort on the aesthetics, the actual food was really damn good. It's so confusing.
Star - N500
Penne Pesto - N3200
Chicken Shawarma - N1100
Crispy Chicken Wings - N1700
You can't tell from outside but they have a small parking lot at the back.