Posts tagged breakfast
The All-New Brunch Menu at RSVP
 

NOSA: RSVP recently went through a thorough menu revamp. A very "Buy Nigerian" revamp. We reviewed the main menu on the blog not too long ago. A bit of a sidenote, is 'Buy Nigerian to Grow the Naira" our version of "TOTAL BREXIT!"? A well-meaning, but ultimately flawed, nationalist campaign.

FOLLY: You're going to have to explain that cause I don't get it. Is the Buy Nigerian that is flawed or Brexit? Please clarify sir

NOSA: Both. For more hot takes, you'll have to meet me in real life.

Anyway,  I digress.

We checked out the new brunch menu at RSVP over the weekend. Unlike our normal reviews, there'll be no "Damage" section because we lost the receipt. You guys will just have to manage.

FOLLY: Welp

NOSA: The brunch menu has gone through a thorough rejig.

FOLLY: Its lost like half of the items. 

NOSA: Out go a couple old staples like the Shakshuka and in come a couple new entrants like the Croque Monsieur. The pancakes are still there, but on the whole, it's a trimmer menu.

I got the Croque Monsieur as my main.

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FOLLY: Technically, I got the Croque Monsieur for Nosa. 

NOSA: I expected it to be quality, but I was still surprised by how well it looked when my plate came. I've had the same thing at La Brioche and it wasn't as impressive as this. Or maybe it was the Croque Madam I had at La Brioche. Either way, RSVP's Croque Monsieur is a feast for the eyes.

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NOSA: Oh, and it tastes just as good. The sourdough, I think, was excellent and the cheese was generous. My lactose intolerant friend, Folly, kept trying to pinch out of mine.

FOLLY: It was so good, and again for the record, I ordered it for you since I couldn't have it because of all the cheese. I need to find out who baked that bread and keep them in my kitchen as a "bread slave". 

NOSA: Next time, don't be a terrible order-er

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FOLLY: I had some very meaty omelet - the exact name escapes me right now. It had bacon, ham, and sausage.

NOSA: Folly's omelette has Chi sausage in it. I understand "Buy Nigerian to Grow the Naira", but this is taking it too far. We need to draw the line somewhere. If you're going to price like it's not Nigerian, it better not be Nigerian.

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FOLLY: The sausage was very disappointing, the menu indicated it was going to be a pork sausage. The eggs, on the other hand, were pretty fluffy and not dense and overcooked. I wasn't paying attention so I didn't know it was to be served with a salad - an odd pairing if you ask me.   

 

POSTSCRIPT

NOSA: I can see why RSVP rejigged the menu. Things started to get a bit stale and the consistency of service was on the decline. More importantly, the "it's not worth the money" claims started to ring true.

FOLLY: The Next thing should be the drinks menu, hopefully. RSVP's bar is one of the best in Lagos and we're about ready for some new flavours.

NOSA: The new menu is a step in the right direction basically.

Sunday Brunch at Orchid Bistro Express

Orchid Bistro Express

40B Raymond Njoku Street, Ikoyi, Lagos

0808 456 8824

FOLLY: ICYMI, Orchid Bistro opened in Ikoyi and it’s a really cozy well-lit space. We had lunch there soon after the opening and we thought it was okay.

We went back last week for breakfast but it didn’t quite work out because they were packed to the brim and the only available seating space was outside, and it was about to rain so we hit up Mr. Chang instead.

Over the long weekend, we tried again and were a bit more fortunate.

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NOSA: Because Orchid Bistro Express is as good as it gets in Ikoyi, it's predictably packed for Sunday brunch. Like, it's not sustainable at all. The kitchen can not handle the Sunday numbers because beyond the ridiculous wait time for a table, the wait time for food is near unbearable.

FOLLY: I’m not sure if it's available in Ikeja, but Express has a breakfast menu of about 5 items: English, Cumberland, American, Healthy, and I think the last one is Kosher.

NOSA: Kosher wasn't listed, I think. Must be an off-menu thing.

FOLLY: On a normal day, I absolutely love Orchid Bistro in its two iterations so I was devastated by the quality of the food I received on this visit. The place was packed and their kitchen obviously struggles to deliver food that is consistent when they are as busy as they were.

For example, my scrambled eggs were both cold and over cooked, while Nosa’s weren't.

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NOSA: The eggs needed a huge helping of salt too

FOLLY: I saw other tables getting scrambled eggs and fried eggs that looked well made but I was presented with this.

NOSA: And that bacon...

FOLLY: With my bacon, the chef must have forgotten this on the fire because as you can see it’s pretty burnt and black. Overcooked was a running theme through the entire meal because the bottom two pancakes were burnt and disguised by the topmost one.

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NOSA: If you can get past the burnt pancakes, they were serviceable. So, a positive, perhaps

FOLLY: In the spirit of "positivity" I'm trying to identify what I did enjoy about the meal/Orchid Bistro...

NOSA: The waiters?

FOLLY: The waiters did try to please everyone in spite of the fact that it was a full house. I also did like that all the breakfast meals are served with freshly squeezed orange juice and coffee/tea. Thirdly, the salt and pepper mushrooms were great.

NOSA: There's potential if Orchid Bistro Express can get over the service issues. Maybe they can try a reservation-only model so the kitchen and the space aren't so overwhelmed. Or maybe not, I'm no expert here. But it's clear they have a problem with Sunday numbers and if the food quality is consistently affected, something must be done.

 

POSTSCRIPT

FOLLY: I was disappointed. 

NOSA: I concur. Could be A LOT better. For the amount of money shelled out, there isn't a lot of value. Ingredient costs are high, perhaps.

VERDICT

DAMAGE

English Breakfast - N4000

Cumberland Breakfast - N5000

Extra Pancakes - N2000

 

PARKING

Just about 3 dedicated spots to Orchid Bistro.  

La Brioche Serves an Underrated Brunch

La Brioche

22 Musa Yaradua St,. Victoria Island, Lagos

0818 842 1861

FOLLY: We've been to La Brioche before. May last year soon after they opened. Here's that review. Nosa snuck there recently without telling me and discovered they had a new brunch special menu. He then had to confess to me about his sneaky nature because he wanted us to review the brunch special. Anything hidden under the sun shall surely come to light, amirite? 

NOSA: Smh false. 

FOLLY: Their mimosas are pretty affordable. You can order two and get a main and just be a little bit over N6000 pp. I think that's awesome for brunch in Lagos. You may disagree that's your problem.

NOSA: No, it's a surprisingly "affordable" brunch. I don't want to use the word "cheap" because you Nigerians think that means it's rubbish and it isn't. As far as value goes, you're getting the same quality of product you'd get at a Craft Gourmet at a fraction of the price.

FOLLY: I ordered the Buttermilk Fried Chicken & Waffles, while Nosa had the Open Faced Omelette.

I didn't try Nosa's omelette but they sure do know how to make and bake bread at La Brioche. I only had a tiny piece of Nosa's slice could have eaten the whole loaf if given the opportunity. 

NOSA: The brioche toast is to die for

NOSA: It's not the most photogenic meal I've ever had, but it certainly did a job. Ok, maybe I'm understating it, it was actually pretty delicious.

FOLLY: In one word, my chicken & waffles were overwhelming. If you read this blog a lot you'd know describing my meal in one word is something I often do. 

On one hand, it was overwhelming because the food was like a mountain, it was a lot of food for me to consume on my own.

NOSA: The chicken was YUUUUUGE, word to Trumpito.

FOLLY: Secondly, it was overwhelming because the waffles were thick and dense and I had to be so intentional in cutting it that the whole exercise of it wore me out and I ate just one of the two pieces. 

NOSA: I have a little theory on it.

Without syrup, the waffle is a bit bland and it might be on purpose because the Chicken has a strong savory flavor. It misses a trick because the true appeal of chicken & waffles is the strange mish mash of sweet and savory. The conflicting flavor profile is where its strength lies.

FOLLY: What I did like about my meal was that the chicken was well flavored, the skin was crispy and it was a boneless piece. I'm not a chef but fixing the doughy nature waffles can be improved is actually quite simple

  1. using lighter flour - I hope for the love of God, the chef didn't accidentally use bread flour in this
  2. separating the egg whites from the yolk.

Also a dash of sugar in these waffles would have gone a long way. Nosa seems to think that ommission was intentional though. 

NOSA: I understand their vision, but I completely disagree. It's great if you're a tyro to chicken & waffles because you don't get the conflict and it sorta eases you into the concept gently. You almost feel like it's a bread and chicken sandwich, but that's not the point of chicken & waffles.

There needs to be a fine balance between the two flavor profiles. At Craft Gourmet, they forfeit flavor in the chicken while La Brioche does away with the sweetness of the waffle. It's a bit of a shame because both can coexist.

 

POSTSCRIPT

FOLLY: The brunch special menu is streamlined with just four items on it. I hear the smoked salmon eggs benedict is the Bizness. They just need to improve their waffle and that'll also be a hit. 

NOSA: Despite everything, I think this is better than our review suggests. There are some hiccups, but it's a quality brunch.

VERDICT

DAMAGE

Americano - N700

Mimosa - N1500

Puff Pastry - N550

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Waffle - N3400

Open Faced Omelette - N3300

 

PARKING

Yes, Off Street

Art Cafe Got a Breakfast Menu

Art Cafe

282 Akin Olugbade Street, Victoria Island, Lagos

0803 305 5901

FOLLY: Art Cafe is not new to us but we've never reviewed it. We've been here a number of times and I've tried a few of their sandwiches - my favorite is the Hot Caprese. It has mozzarella, tomatoes, and pesto. 

We actually weren't aware that Art Cafe had some new menu additions before we decided to visit Art Cafe for this review so it was a pleasant surprise. 

NOSA: Art Cafe has really special place in my heart. I worked out of here a lot when I tried out the startup life for a month early last year.

With the addition of more "food" options, Art Cafe has evolved into a proper cafe. Almost like they found the missing piece.

FOLLY: I had the Monty Breakfast while Nosa had the BLT sandwich. There was a bit of confusion when his sandwich arrived, but I'll let him explain. 

NOSA: In other climes, a BLT is a Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato sandwich. At Art Cafe, it's a bit different. It's a Beef, Lettuce, and Tomato sandwich. Minor, but significant difference. Imagine my confusion when there was no bacon in my sandwich

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NOSA: The sandwich was actually pretty tasty. They went with yaji spiced beef, i.e. suya, in it so I thoroughly enjoyed it. What I didn't enjoy, however, was the service. The service at Art Cafe is still as shambolic as it has ever been. It took over 30 mins to get a simple margarita. Folly was done with her drink before I got mine.

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FOLLY: The Full English at Art Cafe is not the best I've had and not the worst. I, however, feel it disappoints at the price point - N5500. Even if we take out N1000 for the included orange juice/coffee, it's N4500. 

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Breaking it down to its components, the eggs weren't fluffy at all and a little bit more done than I'd like. The mushrooms weren't grilled and tasted like they were from a can.

NOSA: And desperately needed salt.

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FOLLY: The chicken (I think) sausages were okay, as was the bacon. I'd have liked some butter with my toast but I didn't ask for it. 

But most importantly, as Nosa says "it was like the chef has a problem with salt" because both the eggs and the guacamole desperately needed salt. I really couldn't eat the guacamole until our constantly disappearing waitress appeared with a salt shaker. Salt issues aside, I liked the chunkiness of the guacamole and the onions - I love onions. 

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NOSA: The guac was way too heavy on the lemon also.  More importantly though, pita bread and guacamole don't work. Hummus? Yes. Guacamole? No.

 

POSTSCRIPT

FOLLY: I think as far as the breakfast is concerned, Art Cafe delivers very little bang for buck.  Churchill is a fraction of the cost and it's a lot better. I'd stick to Art Cafe for the sandwiches.

NOSA: The real selling point is the vibe. The outdoor area is breezy and the furniture is rustic enough to transport you to another world.

FOLLY: I'm torn between giving Art Cafe a like or a meh cause I really like Art Cafe but I didn't enjoy this breakfast, though it was filling.  

NOSA: I'll give it a "like" because I'll definitely revisit and going by our definitions, that's a "like".

VERDICT

DAMAGE

Margarita - N3000

Full Monty - N5500

Guacamole - N2500

Grilled BLT - N4800

Wine (Glass) - N2500

 

 

 

 

PARKING

Ah, it's a struggle. A disaster. 

HSE Gourmet For Breakfast

HSE Cafe

Plot 2 Emma Abimbola Cole Street, Lekki 1, Lagos.

0703 031 88290809 086 5298

FOLLY: When HSE opened we were told that they'd also be serving a breakfast menu. Many months later we finally decided to check it out. 

NOSA: Isn't it nice that on International Women's Day, we're reviewing a restaurant owned by a woman?

FOLLY: Yes, it is nice!

NOSA: I digress.

FOLLY: We were expecting more than two options on the breakfast menu so I'm just going to assume that they recently reduced their offerings or something because I was quite disappointed. 

NOSA: Yeah, I was a bit bummed out by how limited it was. I think I made it up in my head, but I really thought they had an expansive breakfast menu.

FOLLY: Choice is nice but in the absence of options, we simply ordered the two dishes and shared them between ourselves. 

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NOSA: The breakfast menu:

  1. Steak & Eggs

  2. Pumpkin Spice French Toast

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NOSA: The French Toast would probably look better if Folly wasn't lactose intolerant. She made them put all the good stuff on the side.

FOLLY: Rude.

I had no idea you could make french toast out of croissants, but look at science. A little googling suggests its not just possible, but it is actually a thing. These were very interesting. I was a bit apprehensive, but it was pretty delicious.  

I'll try it again without Folly to get the full experience uno.

FOLLY: Rude, again.

I also was extremely apprehensive. In fact, I actually don't like French Toast because it's always a disgusting soggy mess overtime I've had it. These tasted like slightly moistened cinnamon croissants and not at all eggy. 

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NOSA: The Steak & Eggs were my favorite of the two. The steak didn't blow me away, but that's never really the point of steak & eggs. It's like a mimosa, nobody is making a mimosa with Dom or LP. I don't know why most Nigerian restaurants don't have Steak & Eggs on the menu because the steak they serve is the cheap shit anyway, which is perfect for steak & eggs.

FOLLY: The eggs were great: They were beaten with enough air to ensure that they'd be fluffy and also weren't over cooked. The steak was decent, not the best quality bit and a tad over cooked. However, as Nosa mentioned, with steak and eggs (at the price point) I wasn't expecting HSE to use a premium cut. 

NOSA: Long story short, it's delicious.

 

POSTSCRIPT

FOLLY: One of the better (if not best) breakfast/brunch spots in Lekki. 

NOSA: Is there any other Lekki spot that's close? This is easily the best restaurant in Lekki by miles.

I hope she expands the breakfast menu a bit, however. Maybe two more options and it's perfect.

VERDICT

DAMAGE

Berryrita - N2500

Steak & Eggs - N6000

Lemonade Iced Tea - N1500

Pumpkin Spice French Toast - N3200

 

PARKING

Yes.