Posts tagged Surulere
Lessons in Ofada at Ofada Boy
 

NOSA: I learnt about Ofada Boy from Twitter, if I remember correctly. Akin Oyebode mentioned the restaurant as one of the recipients of the LSETF grant. I didn’t add it to our restaurant schedule then because ofada is really not for me. Nosa should be open minded and whatever, but ofada is where I draw the line. Shoot me. A man must have principles. 

FOLLY: I don’t have anything against ofada. In fact, I like the stew but I don’t like the smell of the rice. I like ofada stew with plantain, beans or even yam pottage.

OfadaBoy0011.jpg

NOSA: The rustic vibe that Ofada Boy is going for felt forced at certain points.

FOLLY: I get you but I think it worked well and I appreciated that they did have an aesthetic that they were committed to, rather than the “anywhere bele face” approach.

NOSA: They also don’t serve any beers or any alcohol, but you can get palmwine. According to our waiter, “we don’t sell any strong alcohol”. I see where they’re going with it, but it feels a tad pretentious. If you’re going to go “no alcohol”, then do it the whole way through. If you’re going to go local, where’s the brukutu or ogogoro then? 

NOSA: The menu is pretty straight to the point. There’s a couple types of ofada, some “swallows” and pepper soup. The fun stuff like asun is only available in the evenings.

FOLLY: I ordered the Ofada Premium, and my friend did the Ofada Yo.

NOSA: I wonder why they don’t have a “Build Your Own Ofada” option.

FOLLY: Yeah that sounds like a good idea

NOSA: They don’t really expand on ofada, which is a bit disappointing. Ofada Boy isn’t really bringing anything new to the table or pushing ofada to new horizons. They play it very safe, all you that’s on offer is your regular ofada with different add-ons. “Safe” is not particularly a bad thing but I wish they took some more risks. 

FOLLY: It’s so safe that the ofada isn’t even peppery. Since it’s like a proper restaurant and all and not a buka, I was also hoping to get freshly boiled rice and fresh plantain too. I was very hopeful too because we visited on a Sunday afternoon as the place was buzzing with the after church crowd so I thought surely they’d just have cooked a fresh batch.

OfadaBoy0006.jpg

NOSA: As a non-ofada eater, I ordered the Catfish Pepper Soup. At first, it felt like a steal for the price. I mean, look at the portion size.

Ofada Boy0002.jpg

NOSA: After a couple spoons in and I was ready to throw the entire thing in the bin. The pepper soup tasted like flavored water and the massive fish is just there to distract you from how meh the whole thing is. The fish isn’t that great either, but it’s my fault at the end of the day. I went to a place called “Ofada Boy” and decided to order catfish pepper soup. Terrible decision-making all round. 

FOLLY: Nosa would have been willing to try the ofada stew, if they had plain white rice. He had absolutely no interest in the ofada rice - a principled man.


POSTSCRIPT

NOSA: Not for me.

FOLLY: I prefer Terra Kulture’s Ofada.

VERDICT

Meh.jpeg

DAMAGE

Ofada Yo - N1700

 Ofada Premium - N1500

Catfish Peppersoup - N3200

 

PARKING

Eh. I don’t think they expect people to drive. 

Buka Week: Bank Olemoh

Bank Olemoh Designer Rice

Bank Olemoh Community, Surulere, Lagos

NOSA: Today is Day 2 of our quest to get food poisoning, i.e. Buka Week.

FOLLY: We covered Olaiya on the blog yesterday. Today, it's Bank Olemoh's (a 4-minute drive away from Olaiya) turn.

bank olemoh designer rice-1.jpg

I had heard about "Designer Rice" in Surulere and Bank Olemoh rice but I didn't know they were one and the same. 

NOSA: I worked in Surulere at some point in my life so I was pretty familiar with the name, but never actually tried the food.

FOLLY: First of all, I liked Bank Olemoh because it was relatively clean and quiet.

bank olemoh designer rice-2.jpg

FOLLY: Secondly, I like that they are "focused". Restaurants/QSR/Bukas etc. that have a streamlined menu with just a few key offerings that they specialize in are always better than the generalists. This is why I believe Toasties is soo good, I hope she never changes and adds jollof rice, except it's in a sandwich).

NOSA: Yeah, I found this fascinating. I know it's called "Designer Rice", but I actually thought they'd have other stuff. Shouts to them for focusing on their strengths.

bank olemoh designer rice-4.jpg

FOLLY: The food at Bank Olemoh didn't necessarily taste cheap. The stew wasn't watery and the plantain wasn't almost rotten.

NOSA: The stew was tasteless and the meat was a joke. You're missing that part.

bank olemoh designer rice-6.jpg

FOLLY: Nosa prefers Olaiya's stew but I found it to be just fried pepper and oil. I liked Bank Olemoh's because the flavor was more dimensional.

NOSA: More dimensional? The thing had ZERO dimension.

FOLLY: It was thick and smoky. The stew at Olaiya was even dull in color, Bank Olemoh's glistened. 

bank olemoh designer rice-7.jpg

FOLLY: I cleaned my plate, Nosa was kinda shocked.

NOSA: I'm convinced wash put is a thing because there's no way Folly and I were eating the same thing. I absolutely hated this place.

 

POSTSCRIPT

FOLLY: If I worked in Surulere, I'd probably add my name to the list when everyone is asking to office cleaner to help them buy food. 

NOSA: The stew is trash and the meat is pitiful

VERDICT

DAMAGE

Meat (per piece) - N50

Rice (per spoon) - N100

Beans (per spoon) - N50

Plantain (per piece) - N20

 

PARKING

Very limited street parking

Buka Week: Olaiya Food Canteen

Olaiya Food Canteen

109 Akerele Street, Surulere, Lagos

FOLLY: I love how all the bukas we visited are on Google maps are were extremely easy to navigate to. Some might say that says a lot about the types of bukas we visited on our mini tour but tbh I don't care about the opinions of some. 

NOSA: Actually, when Google opened up shop in Nigeria, their main business was getting local businesses online. So whenever you open Google Maps, you'll always find bukas listed.

I think the one thing that shocked me the most was how "spacey" Olaiya is. Maybe it empties out on weekends, but I expected something a lot grimier.

Olaiya buka-5.jpg

FOLLY: Buka women are so stingy with ewedu my God. I already don't like buka ewedu because it's of how "cheaply" it's made and by cheaply I mean they mise the ewedu leaves, and make it so thin and add fillers e.g. okro and egusi to make a little go further.

Even if you offer to pay, they still won't give you more. It's so annoying. 

Olaiya buka-2.jpg

FOLLY: I don't like Gbegiri even though I've never tasted it, the colour has always put me off so it was a very hard pass. The stew was a bit peppery for me, but nonetheless, it was my second best amala I've had from a buka.  It didn't taste chalky aka when there's too much elubo than water and the entire thing is dense af and sticky like eba.

Olaiya buka-1-2 copy.jpg

NOSA: As you've probably guessed, I got rice. I went with rice & stew for the blog, so you can never say Nosa has not done anything for you

I hate rice and stew on most days, but I actually liked this one. It wasn't clumpy like the one I got at Mama Ebo. This was also my first experience with "local rice" and I was pretty impressed. Why do people complain about local rice anyway?

Olaiya buka-3.jpg

NOSA: The moin-moin tasted like party moin-moin. The one where old women sit on stools and make it? Yeah, that one.

FOLLY: I was also pleasantly surprised that I could still chew the fried meat here, normally it's either I allow the meat or sacrifice my teeth for the cause. 

NOSA: Oh yeah, the meat was really tender. Can't forget that. Tiny, but tender.

 

POSTSCRIPT

FOLLY: The stew was basic compared to that at Bank Olemoh but more on that in the Bank Olemoh post. 

NOSA: I disagree. The rice was significantly superior, but more on that later.

VERDICT

DAMAGE

Moi Moi - N100

Meat (per piece) - N100

Rice (per portion) - N100

Amala (per portion) - N100

 

 

PARKING

Street parking. N100

Lunch And A Kitchen Tour

Burgers N Shakes

1 Oyekan Street, Surulere, Lagos

0905 050 5067

 

NOSA: These guys followed us on Instagram a couple of weeks ago and I was mighty surprised to find out they were in Surulere. Like, a walking distance from my office.

Meanwhile, more Lagos restaurants need to be more active on Instagram. Not to be presumptuous or anything, but that’s how we find most of the restaurants we check out and I’ll put good money on the fact other people do the same.

FOLLY: And also post (real) pictures of their food not their children. Anyway, these guys are really on Akerele and not Oyekan just thought you should know. 

Secondly, they have the most unconventional space as customers have to walk through the kitchen to get into the restaurant.  

 
 

NOSA: The space is very very tiny and the kitchen is out in front. As soon as you walk in, the very first thing you see is the kitchen. That’s a big no-no for me. You can actually watch them make the food, which would be great if there weren’t things to hide like them bringing out the frozen fries from the freezer. You should always hide that fam.

FOLLY: I think that customers walking through the kitchen could be a health code violation in a legitimate country. However, we're in Nigeria and compounded with the fact that we have a baby boy governor, I'm sure Burgers N Shakes will be alright. 

NOSA: Folly and I got their burgers - beef and chicken - and a pair of smoothies. 

The burger was a bit meh. Probably because they used a Chi Foods patty. See, they shouldn’t have let me see that. 

You can definitely make this burger at home. Good thing that we didn’t pay out the asshole for it so I guess that’s good.

FOLLY: Nosa's Chi Burger Patty was way better than my chicken one

FOLLY: As you can see from the black speckles, the chips were fried in dirty oil.  

NOSA: The fries were bit struggle. Freezer Fries + Old Oil = Recipe for Disaster.

You know what's hilarious? The pictures on the instagram. Filters be lyingggggg, dawg.

FOLLY: Even the pictures on the menu. Only thing that was real was probably the club sandwich.

thumb_IMG_4093_1024.jpg

FOLLY: In burger lingo, the bun had 'zero integrity' but interestingly it was the only thing I liked cause I hated the chicken in between. 

NOSA: The chicken burger tastes like the Mr. Biggs one. I know this because I used to be a chicken burger connoisseur in primary school. And the hot dog too. Fat man like me used to chow both of them in one sitting. I’ve really come a long way.

FOLLY: I don't know why Nosa is trying to chase his admirers away by saying his fat. I guess he's still shy from this morning's declaration. It's funny how he gets these sort of messages ever so often and his picture isn't out there.

NOSA: As for the smoothies, they were pretty good despite the cook’s best effort to fuck it up. Man brought a completely different smoothie from the one I ordered. Said, “I made this one already so I figured I’d give you”.

confused nick young

POSTSCRIPT

NOSA: You more or less get what you pay for and if you must eat here, don't eat in. Oh, it's the cheapest smoothie you'll find in Lagos.

FOLLY: Way way cheaper than those Lekki prices, Daily Bread I'm looking at you.

VERDICT

DAMAGE

Chicken Burger - N1000

Beef Burger - N1000

Wild Berry Smoothie - N650

Lessons in Nigerian Chinese

Zenith Water Margin

28 Adeniran Ogunsanya Street, Surulere, Lagos.

0705 543 7004 

NOSA: Before we start anything, I just want to point out how shit the parking is in Surulere. Someone needs to give me a boatload of money and I'll build a whole bunch of parking garages in the place just like downtown DC. That said, we've been planning on hitting this spot up for the longest time. 

FOLLY: I remember it being on the list for MasterCard Restaurant Week last year

NOSA: Funniest thing happened at lunch, we were sat beside a group of RCCG Pastors/Ministers and their wives. I think it was a wedding anniversary or something, but marriage was at the center of their gist.  I nearly pissed myself when they started talking about sex.

"If you can't give her more, engage her in talking"

FOLLY:

"Sometimes the woman is more experienced than the man"

"There can be misunderstanding, let's say the man comes back from work and he's physically tired, the woman will think it's because he has someone else"

NOSA: Anyway, enough cringe. For our starter, we got the Chicken Spring Rolls, Beef Spring Rolls, and Fried Prawns in Batter. Now that I think about it, I don't think I've ever had Beef Spring Rolls before. The beef was so...beefy. Not a bad thing, just different. Better than the nondescript Chicken one, for me.

Zenith Water Margin Spring Roll

FOLLY: These spring rolls looked and tasted like they came out of Small Chops pack and not the kitchen of a Chinese Restaurant. Wave your hands if you understand me. For those that don't, let me explain:

Spring Rolls in Chinese restaurants are always almost perfectly round, never squished, and golden brown to a fault. Argue in your house, or in the comment section if you must. 

NOSA: The Prawn in Batter was a bit of a disaster. The shrimp was as tasteless as the batter was overwhelming. An all round exercise in failure. 

FOLLY: A "goddam tasteless disaster"

Zenith Water Margin Prawn in batter

NOSA: For our mains, we went with their Special Fried Rice and the Grilled Spare Ribs. I really wanted the barbecue spare rib, but it wasn't available so our waiter suggested an alternative.

We shouldn't have listened.

Zenith Water Margin

After trying ribs at multiple places in Lagos, I've concluded that I was a bit harsh on BBQ & Cravings. Sure, it wasn't as good as I expected, but they're head and shoulders above anyone making ribs in Lagos. It's like the one-eyed man in the land of the blind. 

Zenith Water Margin Ribs
thumb_IMG_2938_1024.jpg

The ribs were way too tough. I was fighting with the thing like it was sallah meat. 

FOLLY: I put down my fork and attacked this head-on with my hands. Then asked for a hot towel when I was done to clean underneath my nails. The rice was "nice", I won't crave it on a rainy day but it was pretty good. 

POSTSCRIPT

NOSA: You know why they have that high TripAdvisor rating? Well, if you follow Zenith Water Margin on Twitter & Instagram, as well as write a review on TripAdvisor, you get a discount.

ZenithWaterMargin TripAdvisor

It's pretty much a bribe for a good review. You're obvs not going to show your waiter a terrible review and ask for a discount. He might punch you in the face. 

FOLLY: I wish we had gone with the traditional Chinese with a Nigerian flair dishes like Beef in Black Bean Sauce, Sweet & Sour Chicken etc. because something tells me they'll have nailed that. This is because Zenith is a very Nigerianized-Chinese restaurant (this is not a bad thing) because this is what the people want.

In fact, the waiter told us twice that the ribs we ordered had no "stew" and asked if we were okay with that. Most of his customers usually get a chicken/beef in sauce dish with side of rice, and so to him, we were definitely doing it wrong. That said, I strongly believe, we'd have had a different experience at Zenith Water Margin if we'd ordered differently.  Oh well, shoulda coulda shouda.

DAMAGE

Chicken Spring Rolls - N300

Beef Spring Rolls - N300

Special Fried Rice (Cantonese Style) - N1800

Fried Prawns in Batter - N1200

Grilled Spare Ribs (Capital Style) - N2900