Posts tagged beans
We Finally Found a Good Nigerian Restaurant

Utazi

217 Etim Inyang Crescent, Victoria Island, Lagos.

0909 000 2007. 0909 000 3007

FOLLY: Utazi is a Nigerian restaurant in VI, much like Yellow Chilli or L'Afric, both of which we've reviewed before. 

NOSA: Utazi has been on the schedule for weeks, but I've been pushing it off.

FOLLY: First impressions of Utazi are a little annoying because of the non-existent parking.

NOSA: Oh man, it's the absolute worst. I was soooo close to just driving somewhere else.

FOLLY: The first time we tried to visit Utazi we actually ended up at Four Points because we couldn't hack it. However, if you can get past the lack of parking, Utazi is well worth the visit. 

utazi peppered snails.JPG

FOLLY: To start, we had the peppered snail. Although, hardly an appetizer because it arrived at the same time as our mains. 

NOSA: Arrived after, you mean.

utazi peppered snails 2.JPG

FOLLY: The snails were good but could be better. I like snails that have been boiled until tender and then cooked again in the stew-y sauce. These were definitely boiled, but a little longer would have made them better.

NOSA: I think it's a Nigerian thing. People (read: Nigerians) generally love tough "meat". The Craft Gourmet lady once told us a story about how some customer lost their top because the lamb served was tender. Probably explains why BBQ & Cravings' ribs are so popular.

FOLLY: Size wise, I was impressed. 

NOSA: That's what she said

utazi beans fish 1.JPG

NOSA: For my main, I got the beans and plantain. Funny story, in secondary school, I got bullied a bit. In my first year, my seniors ate all my food. Didn't taste chicken or fish that entire year.

FOLLY: Aww.

NOSA: I barely got to eat my bread for breakfast. Do you know what the evil seniors left for me though?

Beans.

Lots of it.

seafood okro utazi.JPG

FOLLY: While for my main course, I had the seafood okro and pounded yam. My main reason for ordering the seafood okro was so that I could compare it with that of Yellow Chilli and L'Afric

I thoroughly enjoyed the seafood at Utazi, it was delicious! For the most part, I ate the okro alone without the pounded yam. The fact that the pounded yam arrived cold was one of the reasons but the main reason was that I found it really yummy.

seafood okro utazi lagos .JPG

I like my okro with a bit of crunch and this was perfect in that regard. I'm not in support of super slimy okro. I must also add that it wasn't as heavy on the palm oil like most seafood okro's so that was another plus.  

NOSA: The beans had this very homemade feel to it. Can't quite put my finger on what exactly gave it that, but it tasted like something I'd eat at home. 

utazi lagos beans fish 2.JPG

Oh, and the best part, the plantain was fresh. Might seem like a gimme, but last time we were at L'Afric, the plantain tasted like it was made hours ago and warmed up in a microwave oven.  So yeah, I'll take my joys where I find them.

FOLLY: The only downside to Utazi's seafood okro is that compared to L'Afric and Yellow Chilli who load their seafood okro with at least 3-4 varieties of seafood. Utazi just had one big piece of fish and one shrimp, pere. Granted it's cheaper than both Yellow Chilli and L'Afric's, but at N3000+ they should definitely do better than this with the contents.  

seafood okro at utazi restaurant.JPG
 

POSTSCRIPT

FOLLY: In my opinion, Utazi is a a much better alternative to L'Afric and Yellow Chilli. The food tastes fresher and appears to be made with higher quality ingredients. 

NOSA: Nigerian food is never my first choice to be honest, but Utazi does such a good job that I might let some things slide.

FOLLY: Our waitress was so so so pleasant. One of the best I've encountered in Lagos.

NOSA: If you own Utazi and you stumble on this review, give the waitress with the braids a raise.

VERDICT

DAMAGE

Fried Fish - N2625

Seafood Okro - N3150

Peppered Snail - N2100

Beans & Plantain - N2415

 

 

PARKING

Abyysmal.

NOK for Lunch

NOK by Alara

12 Akin Olugbade Street, Victoria Island, Lagos

reservations@nokbyalara.com , 0908 561 4815

NOSA: When NOK opened up last year, they were a strictly dinner spot. In the last month or so, however, they’ve extended the opening times and added a lunch menu. Obviously, we had to check it out.

NOSA: To start, we got the Guinea Fowl Spring Roll

FOLLY: The spring rolls were a ridiculously tiny portion. It was two spring rolls artisanally sliced to appear like four. On the taste, the guinea fowl was definitely novel, but it wasn't spectacular. 

NOSA: Unlike Folly, I really liked this. We had something similar at our Mansilla Lunch Club. What I really liked was that you could actually taste the Guinea Fowl in this. When you get chicken spring roll at Chinese restaurants or wherever, the chicken is a complete afterthought.  If you've ever been gastronomically defrauded you'll appreciate the fact that NOK isn't stingy with the Guinea Fowl at all. 

FOLLY: Mocktails cost the same as cocktails here but I was having brain touch so I ordered some overpriced juice. I can’t actually say if there was actually passion fruit juice in it, though, the orange was there for sure.

NOSA: I couldn't decide which sandwich I wanted so I split the Fried Chicken Sandwich and the Oxtail Melt with our third wheel.

FOLLY: For my main, I wasn’t feeling the sandwiches and I also wanted a substantial meal, so I opted for the Red Red. The menu described it as Red beans with steamed plantain. The veggies that came with it were a welcome surprise.

NOSA: The Oxtail Melt took me by surprise. I was expecting it to come in some artisanal toast, but as you can see, it didn't. That’s not a slight or anything. Just an interesting surprise. 

NOSA: The oxtail melt is basically oxtail quesadilla with feta. The feta might be overwhelming if you aren’t a fan, but I am so I liked it. 

FOLLY: For mine, I was expecting beans porridge but these were just plain and lightly salted. In fact, very lightly salted and if not for the presence of the NOK ketchup which lent itself as a nice stew base, it'll have been bland. 

NOSA: The Nok ketchup is absolutely delicious

FOLLY: Steamed plantain, however, is a major KEY. You avoid the mushiness of boiled plantain as well as the oiliness of fried plantain. You should try this one at home.

NOSA: The Fried Chicken Sandwich was my highlight. If you like Chick-Fil-A’s chicken sandwich, you’ll absolutely love this.

The chicken is slathered in shito mayo, which surprisingly has a nutty kick to it. The bun was so soft and the chicken was excellent. A proper fried chicken sandwich, which is a rarity in Lagos. I won't go out and say this is the best thing ever like I do with stuff I like, but If you're in NOK for lunch, give this a shot. 

 It also came with Yam Chips, by the way. 3 sticks, but that's not why we are here.

The Yam Chips are an interesting take on the Yamarita. No ODing on the crust like TFC. Would be perfect if they increased the serving size just a little bit. Like, 3 more sticks.

POSTSCRIPT

FOLLY: It was my second time at NOK and I still didn't try the Agege bread french toast as dessert, I just want to ask myself "wyd babes".

NOSA: NOK is one of my favorite restaurants in Lagos. Opinions on NOK tend to be split down the middle, but as a blog, we're huge fans.

VERDICT

DAMAGE

 Passion Sunflower - N3500

Braised Guinea Fowl Spring Rolls - N2000

Red Red - N3000

Oxtail Melt - N3500

Fried Chicken Sandwich - N3000

 

 

PARKING

Alara has a number of spots right in front.  In addition to that they've reserved a lot of the street parking for Alara customers only so you'll be fine.