Tex Mex in Lekki
La Taverna Lekki
FOLLY: To start, I'm going to tell the story of how our delightful waitress, her bartender, and chef tried to take me for a mug. It's Nigeria and naturally, the POS wasn't working, so we had to go to an ATM to get cash. We asked them to bring change and again naturally, they all said they don't have change. I mean, sure, I could have parted with the N400 and dashed them but they were all insistent that even from their own personal money they have no change to lend the restaurant.
I said okay, and we went to the ATM and I gave the waitress N16000 because I told her I wasn't dashing her N400, and we drove her back to the restaurant to drop her. The babe legit looked like she was about to cry because I said I wasn't giving her the money and it came down to whether she'd have to top up the money with her own N600 or find the N400 change. So, in she went back into the restaurant to look for my damn change and emerged with exactly N400 in N100 naira notes. Sure, it was N400 but the principle. And before anyone asks why I didn't just tip her with the N400, no.
That said, La Taverna opened a sister restaurant in Lekki that serves a simple tex-mex tapas menu and we went to check it out so we could tell y'all about it.
NOSA: Thanks to our Lunch Clubs and that CNN feature, a couple of restaurant owners know who we are. As a result, they’re always so super willing to share restaurant gossip or their plans with us, which is kinda cool.
Related because a couple months ago, Chef Cristian, the head chef/owner of La Taverna, told us he was opening a Tex-Mex restaurant in Lekki. I didn’t (and still don’t) think the market is big enough, but he already owned the property so why not, eh?
The decor is absolutely amazing. It has this very rustic feel to it, from the tables to the walls. It’s how I imagine a bar in some place like Laredo would look like.
FOLLY: We started with drinks. A mojito for me and a margarita for Nosa.
NOSA: My margarita wasn't that good so I'd rather not dwell on it.
FOLLY: Not my first time having this mojito and so I knew it was very good before I ordered it. The margarita is not very good. I also know this from previous experience and so I didn't order it. Nosa, on the other hand, doesn't learn.
FOLLY: The mojito would be better if the mint leaves weren't shredded as fine as the leaves in ewedu are, cause then I wouldn't have to be slyly removing leaves from my mouth.
NOSA: The menu is more tapas than actual food. Heavy on the shared plates and all that, just like Ginger Tapas.
FOLLY: We got quite a nice spread - Chicken Quesadillas. Wings. Chips Bowl. Guacamole & Nachos. Empanadas
NOSA: We ordered the bowl of chips, which we assumed would be tortilla chips and not cheesy fries.
FOLLY: This was disappointing and I didn't even like the type of cheese they used.
FOLLY: My favourite thing was by far the chicken wings. I ate more than half of them I think Nosa only got three. Oops.
NOSA: The wings were pretty delicious. They had this sweet kick to it but I can’t quite place my finger on what exactly it was.
FOLLY: Next for me was the quesadilla which was really good. It had all the right fillings (no sweetcorn, side eye to some Instagram vendors).
NOSA: A lot of places try and fail with the quesadillas in Lagos, so I definitely have to give La Taverna props for theirs.
FOLLY: Props for their guac too.
FOLLY: The chips were not really nachos but I like how fresh and homemade there were and if anything, I can appreciate them for that.
NOSA: Yeah, the nachos and guacamole had no nachos so the menu told some lies. It was basically chips and guac. I’m not the biggest fan of the chips at Taverna. It’s not bad per se, but it’s just not what I want out of a tortilla chip. If you’ve ever had a Taco salad in a tortilla bowl, the chips are very much like the actual tortilla bowl.
FOLLY: Exactly, and I like them for being that kind of chips, though not a nacho.
NOSA: Speaking of chips, the tortilla chips at Cafe Royale are surprisingly my favorite chips in Lagos. Shocking, I know.
FOLLY: The empanadas were pretty authentic and weren't meat pie. The key difference is that empanadas have a thin and crispy crust as opposed to meat pie which (should) have a thick and flaky crust.
NOSA: They remind me of the time I tried to make meatpie when I was little and didn't get it right. Maybe I made an empanada, you know?
FOLLY: Along with HSE Gourmet Cuisine, definitely a very welcome addition to the Lekki restaurant scene.
NOSA: I like it, but I think the drinks could be a lot better. Especially that margarita. But as far as the food goes, it's pretty solid.
Mojito - N1800
Wings - N2800
Margarita - N1800
Chips Bowl - N2500
Empanadas - N2200
Quesadillas - N3000
Guacamole & Nachos - N2500
Yes, in front of the restaurant.