Posts tagged fast food
Like Lekki, Blackbell Doesn’t Wow

Black Bell Restaurant

69A Admiralty Way, Lekki Phase One, Lagos.

0809 074 7848

FOLLY: When we first heard about this new restaurant we were told a fine dining restaurant was opening in Lekki. When I think of fine dining, I think of 1415, Talindo etc., so colour me very very surprised and sceptical about the likes of those restaurants opening in Lekki Phase one. 

NOSA: The press release we got also said it had Thai, Nigerian, Fast Casual, and one other thing on the menu. 

FOLLY: Yeah, no one is opening a fine dining in Lekki. Nosa likened this place to The Place downstairs and 411 upstairs I'll let him explain. 

NOSA: It's a hybrid of sorts. The first floor is fast casual, while the second is casual dining. There should be a name for places like this. A  "look, I'm just trying to make money" restaurant.

black bell restaurant lekki phase one-4.jpg

FOLLY: To start, Nosa had the Hummus Special, shouts to him for ordering hummus in a Nigerian restaurant. While, I had the prawn suya because I figured that wouldn't be too challenging.

NOSA: The hummus was surprisingly good. The pita it came with was a bit stale, but they deserve all the credit for hummus. Like Folly said, not many Nigerian owned places have hummus on the menu.

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FOLLY: The hummus was the most surprising thing in our entire meal, they actually gave us real hummus. While, I wasn't impressed by the beef because it was over fried and hard in classic Nigerian style, the actually hummus spread was great.

See I was all the way sceptical about Black Bell because readers have messaged us that it's not what they claim to be and I understand why, they probably walked inside and saw the fast food set up and walked out. 

NOSA: Yeah, I had an issue with that but we'll get to it in the postscript.

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FOLLY: Slight scam aside, (in terms of the three tiny skewers I received) these were also a pretty solid effort from the Black Bell chef. The spices weren't just dusted on the outside, the entired thing was yaji-fied and it didn't taste or smell like under Falomo bridge (aka fish market).

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NOSA: I wasn't really up for experimenting so I got the Africana Breakfast as my main. Basically, yam & egg. You can't really mess that up and thankfully, they didn't. The eggs did need a little salt, but it was well made on the whole and that's all you can really ask for. 

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FOLLY: You're not giving enough credit to the gizzard which was boiled to perfection and was extremely soft. 

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FOLLY: For my main I had the Coconut Prawn Curry which was served with basmati rice. This was a real curry and not just stew. They even managed to have those little seed like spices, I don't know what it's called but I think they are mustard seeds, that the authentic curries have. 

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The portion was also big enough that I couldn't eat everything all at once and packed it home as take-away. And they didn't charge for the take away pack, I'm looking at you Nok by Alara.

black bell restaurant lekki phase one-7.jpg
 

POSTSCRIPT

FOLLY: The food at Black Bell is very well made but you'd need to get there first to discover it and I don't think there's anything about the restaurant that will attract you there in the first place, unless you're us and are always looking for somewhere new to eat or you're reading our review right now.

NOSA: Although incredibly boring, the menu is familiar and accessible like 411.

FOLLY: It just feels like yet another restaurant that the owner opened for the sake of it but this time, he/she actually bothered to get a real cook. 

NOSA: Blackbell is very safe and I don't think it's something they are shy about, which is surprising and contrary to the messaging they put out. There's no real personality in the place either. Imagine Craft Gourmet tacos, in restaurant form. 

 

 VERDICT

DAMAGE

Prawn Suya - N3000

Hummus Special - N2500

Africana Breakfast - N3000

Coconut Prawn Curry - N5500

 

PARKING

Not a lot but it's enough and the security guys aren't blockheads, thankfully. 

Another New Restaurant

RoadChef

Ascon Filling Station, Admiralty Way, Lekki Phase I, Lagos

0700 7623 2433

NOSA: I fully expected this to be shit.

FOLLY: Dawg, calm down now. 

NOSA: I'll explain. 

A lady suggested we check it out on our Facebook wall (yes, we have one). We always get recommendations, a lot of the time from readers and on rare occasions from PR/Marketing agencies. With time, I feel like I've learnt how to discern  between what's a reader recommendation and what's from a PR/Marketing agency.

Reader recommendations tend to be a lot more personal and genuine. More of "hey, i like this place and i want you guys to try it". PR/Marketing agencies come off as contrived and devoid of any real emotion. You can almost tell someone got paid to send the email. I mean, look at this one for example: 

I just had this super meal at Roadchef in Lekki Phase 1. I'm a sucker for good food and this was just too awesome! Almost too indulgent ... lol. But I think Nosa and co need to check this place out and review it too on Eat Drink Lagos blog.

Indulgent? What exactly did you have? 

I totally understand the need to generate a buzz around a new product and there's nothing particularly wrong, but this approach will always be weird to me. More often than not, when we follow through on recommendations like these, the places are usually terrible. 

I digress. 

Road Chef has breakfast burritos and an actual breakfast menu like McDonald's. I HAVE to try it. Absolutely HAVE to. 

FOLLY: Well since it's near my house and Chicken Republic doesn't like making my meat pie at the crack of dawn I might have to try this too. However until that happens, I got the Crispy Chicken Roadster Meal aka a crispy chicken burger and a side of sweet potato fries. 

Crispy Chicken Roadster

NOSA: I got the RoadChef Classic Burger Meal and I went with sweet potato fries as my side. 

roadchef classic meal

NOSA: Yes, those are "American" sweet potatoes. Your eyes tell you no lies. Importing it has to be expensive as hell, but I really want to find the owner and give him/her a hug. 

FOLLY: Someone once said they sold them at Deli's in VI but in the volumes that Road Chef's probably need them in, I'd also imagine they import it themselves. 

roadchef sweet potato fries

NOSA: The sweet potato fries were obvs excellent. You can't put in all this hard work just to fuck it up at the end. They had to be excellent. 

FOLLY: Nosa's were excellent, mine were burnt which made me sad. If I wasn't so lazy and I'd have taken them to the counter and asked for a replacement.

roadchef classic burger

NOSA: The burger is not a bad fast food burger. Dare I say better than Johnny Rockets. It's a plain 'ol burger, not fancy like BBQ & Cravings or gourmet like RSVP. I mean, it's fast food. Think of it as a McDonalds or Burger King burger. That'll put it in perspective.

FOLLY: Hmmm, my burger was spot on meh.  It's also hard to eat a huge piece of chicken sandwiched between two bread pieces. I obviously didn't think about the logistics before ordering, cause if I had I'll probably have gone with the tenders. 

Crispy Chicken Roadster Meal 1

POSTSCRIPT

NOSA: I really hope it evolves it into something like a Sonic. My fear is that they will not be able to sustain the price point. For a fast food joint, it's pretty expensive but it's for good reason. Getting in those sweet potatoes must be hell.

VERDICT

DAMAGE

Crispy Chicken Roadster Meal - N1800

RoadChef Classic Meal - N2700


Work Lunches: Chicken Republic

Chicken Republic

0803 901 2601

FOLLY: Before we really get into this, I have two facts, (okay maybe they are opinions) to state. 

1. Chicken Republic > KFC 

2. Chicken Republic meat pie is the best in Lagos.

NOSA: Eh, I don't know about that meatpie. 

chicken republic chicken

FOLLY: Although most of our work lunches posts have focused on companies without physical locations like Healthy Options by Ted or Daily Bread, we've had a number of people ask (especially on Twitter too) if we know any companies they can order from for lunch and pay without cash. 

With Chicken Republic, you can. They have this fancy schamcy website that allows you to order online and it sends the order to the closest Chicken Republic to you for delivery. 

So how does it work ?

Visit their website here It's kinda pretty eh ?

website.PNG

Then you choose what you want.

NOSA: But before you check out, since you guys are our favorites we talked to the good guys at ACE (Chicken Republic's delivery partner) and they gave us a coupon for N300 off orders for all our friends.

The code is 'EDL-Lunch', so enter that into the little discount code box in the bottom right and voila you're good to go. (The code is valid until the 18th of July)

FOLLY: Right after I ordered, I got a call to confirm my order and thankfully it was all correct. They also let me know they didn't have Sprite and didn't surprise me on delivery - also great. 

NOSA: The really neat part about it is that you can pay with your card on delivery. So you don't have to fight the dispatch guy when he doesn't have change. I've fought with many a dispatch rider over N100 change. They always try to change-shame you too. Like, "big man like you is crying over small change". I want my toll gate money abeg. 

FOLLY: My food got to me in 19 minutes, yes I actually counted. That's the real kicker here. At first, the POS was acting funny cause high-rise so we stepped into the lobby and it went. Phew.

NOSA: Took a bit longer for me. Like an hour-ish, but that's my fault. Surulere isn't one of the places they "officially" deliver to with their online service. I always put my address under Yaba. When they call, I'm like "Oh, it's in Surulere". Cheating the system in a way.

FOLLY: This service is also available in Abuja and Port-Harcourt, so out-of-state readers, you guys can also use our code!

chicken republic jollof rice

FOLLY: I ordered the Jollof Rice with Fried Chicken cause I was being cheap, when I'm not I get the rice with 1/4 grilled chicken. I think the Jollof rice at Chicken Republic is pretty good. I usually don't like really peppery food, but somehow I like this. It's probably not spicy to most people but I definitely start sniffing when I'm eating this. 

NOSA: I got the Chickwizz aka the best sandwich in the game. 

chick wiz chicken republic

People like fronting on this, but the Chickwizz is a top 5 sandwich in Lagos.

FOLLY: I don't know any one that fronts on Chickwizz cause it really is the best. 

NOSA: Only RSVP's Steak Sandwich is superior. For N650,  it's probably the best thing out naira-for-naira. It's unbelievably impressive how good it is because it's Fast Food thing. The quality never drops off from branch to branch. Like they all go to the same Chickwizz school.

If you're proper greedy, like I usually am, get the Double Chickwizz.

chick wiz chicken republic sandwich

FOLLY: So on the meat pie, I actually sit at work in the mornings, and crave CR meat pie. The filling is actually quality, and I don't get those random fatty bits that you find in most meat pies. And then the crust is also very nice. It's warm and flaky, never cold and dense.

NOSA: Caffe Tranche has a arguably a better meatpie for N50 less.

FOLLY: Sure, it costs N300 which is "expensive" for a meat pie. But Mr. Biggs meat pie, which you people have made the standard, is N250 and is also scraps. So yeah, I'd gladly pay N50 as a premium 

POSTCRIPT 

NOSA: Chickwizz all day, every day, and twice on Sunday.

FOLLY: I wish you didn't have to create an account to order though.

DAMAGE

Double Chickwizz Meal - N1650

Meatpie - N300

Express Meal - N950