Posts tagged lamb
The Case for Lamb Suya
Suya

Suya

So, I was at a fancy party on Friday and I had lamb suya for the first time - I didn’t know that lamb suya was a thing. Turns out it is and it’s pretty much-grilled lamb meat spiced with yaji.  I’d never had lamb before, and I’m still trying to decide if I like it or not. It’s definitely not as popular (for suya) as beef or goat meat though and I’ve always thought it’s for people with elite taste buds. Lol. 

Texture-wise, Lamb is very tender. It’s also a little gamey, but not as much as goat or ram. When I first bit into it, my mind went “Oh, no, oh no, there’s goat meat in my mouth!” 

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I HATE goat meat. Goat meat tastes the way goats smell, gross, and I cannot stand their smell. 

Gross, again. 

As I started chewing, I realized that it was something else: first, its texture was more tender with a taste that’s not quite as gamey as goat meat. It was also a lot more fatty (eww) but I discovered that I enjoyed it. It was really good - maybe it was the seasoning or the fact that it was grilled to very well done perfection and I wouldn’t mind having lamb suya again sometime soon. 

While I don’t think it’s even physically possible for me to get tired of beef, the taste of lamb made me curious to find out if it could become a staple over beef and I came across a few interesting facts about lamb. 

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Here are a few things to consider if you’re interested in trying lamb as a replacement for goat or beef - even for other dishes apart from suya. 

Price

Lamb is a bit more expensive than beef and goat, with beef being the cheapest. It’s most likely because of the fact that both goat and beef are more popular than lamb as a staple. Or cattle is just easier to raise. So your pocket is one thing to consider if you want to try lamb for a change. It’s definitely worth the extra bucks though because, like I said: it’s elite. 

Health benefits

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Lamb is a rich source of vitamins and minerals. It is also very high in protein - it contains all the nine amino acids you need -  which means it’d do very well for a keto diet. Due to this, it is an important agent in sustaining muscle mass.  That said, lamb usually contains more saturated fat than either goat or beef so it is advisable to use leaner cuts of lamb for meals. 

Taste and texture

For those of us who enjoy consuming meat in all its forms, it can get boring sticking with one particular type of meat and lamb can be a replacement for goat- its flavour is less gamey and its texture is more tender. It is another option of people like me who do not mind gamey flavours but cannot stand the taste of goat. 


Method of preparation

While lamb has been found to taste better when grilled, braised or roasted, it could also be prepared in so many diverse ways (based on different cuts) - from pot roasts to filets to tagines and even curry. Experimenting with food is always a good idea, you never know what delicious delights you could come up with.  

Basically, the point is that lamb can be considered as a replacement for beef or goat especially if (like me) you do not enjoy goat meat. I can tell you that it is great for suya due to its texture and unique flavour. It’s also very high in protein, so it’s a great option if you’re considering or already on the keto diet. Tired of beef suya? You might want to try lamb. 

The Lunch Club XIII: Craft Gourmet by Lou Baker

 

This month's Lunch Club was our first one in a restaurant this year, and we selected our current favorite restaurant in Lagos - Craft Gourmet by Lou Baker. Usually, it's split down the middle with new lunch club members overlap with old lunch club members. However, this time, there was only one person who had attended before so it was great to see so many new faces. 

The menu was a labor of love between ourselves and the owners of Craft Gourmet. A huge thank you Lou and Tarek for having us, everything was lovely. 

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A big thank you to everyone who came through on Saturday, you were an awesome group. We're very excited by how the Lunch Club has grown and evolved over the past year. We've had 13 lunches now and we're still excited about it with every new month.  

If you'd love to join our little club, sign up HERE. Also, we're trying to make our EDL Brunch Party a monthly affair, so we're having another one at the end of this month and as usual, Lunch Club members will get all the details first. 

An Arabian Barbie House

Arabesque Restaurant

225B Etim Inyang Crescent, Victoria Island, Lagos

0706 966 5555

FOLLY: I ran across this restaurant a couple weeks back while combing through Lost in Lagos listings for a new restaurant to visit. We eventually decided against it because we thought it was in the Chocolat Royal family and we don't like their food.

NOSA: One of the guests at the ICF Dessert Party told us it wasn't part of the Chocolat Royale family AND that the food is pretty legit so obviously we had to check it out.

FOLLY: My first impression on arriving at the restaurant was the beautiful outdoor area, however it felt like it was 40 degrees out so dining al fresco was NOT an option.

NOSA: I bet this is a great spot to drink at night. As soon as God stops punishing Lagos with this heat, I'm going to give it a shot.

FOLLY: The inside of the restaurant is like a Barbie House for the MENA market. I mean there's so much purple and pink but it still manages to have an Arabian flair. We couldn't get any pictures of just the space but you may be able to get an idea from the background of the food pictures.

We had lots to eat so stick with us here as this might be a long review. The table was always full but the service was so good here that literally as soon as Nosa or I took the last piece from a plate, a waiter was at the table to take the empty plate in seconds.

hummous at arabesque lagos

FOLLY: We got the regular Hommous to start but if we had known they'd send us this complimentary platter with a variety of dips to start we probably wouldn't have bothered.

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NOSA: I thought this contraption was sooooo cool. You see the black/grey ball? It has coals in it so you put your little piece of pita bread on it to warm it up. Sure, they can just bring you warm pita bread like they did with our hummous, but why do that when you can have this heater ball thing?

FOLLY: The hommous was really good, way better than that at Pat's Bar, but not as good as that at Syrian Club. The consistency of this hommous was incredibly smooth, not a single chunky bit in sight.

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NOSA: I was a bit disappointed they didn't have the hummous with the beef in it. That's slowly become the only way I can enjoy hummous fully these days.

FOLLY: Next, we got the Falafel.

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NOSA: I've probably told this story before, but I'll tell it again.

FOLLY: Yes, you have several times actually.

NOSA: One time in New York, I got really drunk and my girlfriend at the time thought food would be an amazing idea. So we, with a group of her friends, hit up this food truck and get a whole bunch of falafel. Now, that was the first time I ever had falafel and it tasted so DIVINE. I've been chasing for that taste ever since and nothing ever comes close. Perhaps, being drunk heightened things a bit. You know, like Marrocaine shawarma. 

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FOLLY: Now see I, unlike Nosa, have no idea what falafel is supposed to taste like and I've only had it twice - once at Syrian Club and the second time here at Arabesque.

Personally, I found it quite bland but I guess that's what the garlic dip is for. I do weird things so I occasionally dipped my falafel in hoummous for double the dose of chickpeas.

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The drink I originally wanted wasn't available. The waiter explained that earlier in the day a NEPA surge had blown the fuse in ALL their blenders. I settled for a Pink Punk Cosmo on our waiter's recommendation, while Nosa had the Ultimate Mojito.

My drink was really strong, so I can't imagine how strong the one that had 3 or so liquors in it would have been. I can't believe the waiter was suggesting your girl drink a Long Island at like 3 in the afternoon

NOSA:  My mojito was pretty much excellent (because it came in a huge mug and therefore contained lots of alcohol)

FOLLY: Oh, Nosa's mojito was awesome because it wasn't too sweet like most mojitos are, and the fresh lemons added just the right amount of tart.

NOSA: Our mains were the Arayes Arabesque and the Mixed Grill.

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FOLLY: Ordering the mixed grill at a Lebanese restaurant is definitely like getting chickwizz at Chicken Republic. You just have to get it to see if the people really know what they are doing.

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FOLLY: In order of preference for me was the minced lamb, the minced chicken, then the regular lamb and finally the regular chicken.

NOSA: I really liked the grilled chicken, but I wasn't a fan of the minced chicken. That one was a bit bland for me. 

FOLLY: The chicken wasn't bad but I didn't like it or maybe I was full at this point because I barely touched it.

NOSA: The lamb was tender like real lamb, but I really wished it had a kick to it. This is probably my inner Nigerian speaking, but I just wanted to dip it in pepper. 

FOLLY: Yup, I was disappointed that they had taken the garlic dip cause your body is just itching to dip it in something. The lamb lost points from me for being chewy and bland.

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NOSA: The Arayes Arabesque was like a Lebanese quesadilla, but with halloumi in it, i.e. very delicious.

FOLLY: This arayes at Arabesque > the arayes at Scarlett Lodge. I wish they hadn't taken our pita warming contraption when this arrived because the arayes pitas got cold as it sat out on the table and it was best eaten warm.

POSTSCRIPT

NOSA: It's a lot pricier than Syrian Club despite not having better food. It does have alcohol, however. That kinda changes things. So yeah, I'll be back here.

FOLLY: They also have an indoor seating area unlike Syrian Club so you don't have to fight with flies. Most importantly, Arabesque has waiters that ARE checking for you, which in Lagos is PRICELESS.

VERDICT

DAMAGE

Hommous - N1700

Falafel - N2600

Arayes Arabesque - N3100

Mixed Grill - N5000

Pink Punk Cosmo - N2000

Ultimate Mojito - N1800


We Went To 1415 AGAIN

 

1415 Eko Signature 

1415 Adetokunbo Ademola St. Victoria Island, Lagos. (Eko Hotel)

01 277 2700-25

NOSA: We were here for my birthday last year. They've revised their menu in the time since and as a result, it warranted another visit. 

FOLLY: The service at 1415 is a dream. You know how big companies send their new hires to off site training schools, I'm pretty sure 1415 does something similar because the waiters are well trained and it shows. 

NOSA: I think it's cute how they "announce" your order when they bring your food.  

"The Beef Fillet Surprise for you, sir!"

Cute. 

FOLLY: Last time we were here, we were being cheap so we got some weird starter called "double puff". This time we decided to embrace a you have one life to live ethos and got the Golden Fried Calamari and Prawns. It cost N6200 but YOLO. 

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FOLLY: The prawn was excellent. It was very white on the inside and also really soft. When prawn is over cooked it tends to become dense and chewy, thankfully this prawn bore no similarity to Robot

NOSA: I've had better calamari but the shrimp was absolutely fantastic. 

FOLLY: I thought the prawn > calamari but the calamari was good nonetheless. I find it difficult to chew calamari sometimes when it's really thick so I appreciated that these were thin rings. 

NOSA: Meanwhile, what on earth is the difference between prawn and shrimp? I always thought prawns were larger, but these are smaller so why does 1415 call them "prawn"

 

FOLLY: Continuing with our let's spend this money ethos, I got the Lamb Encrusted with Fresh Herbs as my main, while Nosa got the Beef Fillet Surprise

NOSA:  The Beef Fillet Surprise is a beef fillet stuffed with cheese, wrapped in parma ham, and drizzled in mushroom sauce. Yeah, all of that, mate.

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As far as the actual quality of beef goes, this is the best steak I've had in Lagos.  That said, I thought the mushroom sauce tasted a little burnt

Back to the fillet though, I got it medium rare like usual. Unlike usual, I wasn't disappointed. Just look at all this pink...

Meanwhile, that white thing in the middle is cheese. That's the "surprise" in the Beef Fillet Surprise. 

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FOLLY: When the waiter asked me how I wanted my lamb rack cooked, I won't lie I was surprised because I thought ribs were always cooked well done. Pardon my ignorance.

NOSA:  Before you continue, peep how they write "1415" on the plate with their funky sauce thing.

NOSA: Plating game on a 💯

FOLLY: Definitely cute, but back to the lamb I asked for it to be medium and Nosa's steak was to be medium rare. 

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The lamb on my plate was bleating and about to wake up, that's how pink the meat was. 

NOSA: A shame I forgot to save that snapchat picture, because that one lamb rack was literally still alive.

FOLLY: The herb crust was incredibly tasty, but the red wine reduction was really just red wine. 

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FOLLY: I really wanted to save room for dessert but we asked for extra bread like rookies so we were stuffed. I also can't remember what my cocktail tasted like but it was called the Planters Punch and Nosa's was a low sugar mojito. 

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NOSA: Pro-Tip - A low sugar mojito is an absolutely stupid idea.

POSTSCRIPT

FOLLY: I love 1415, it's the best restaurant in Lagos. It's very expensive so most people will never visit  so that's why no one knows it's the best restaurant in Lagos.

NOSA: It's not as expensive as RSVP and people (read: us) want to die there so I really don't know what gives. 

FOLLY: We would have had a lunch club here eons ago, if only they'd open for lunch. 

NOSA: Special late night Lunch Club?

VERDICT

DAMAGE

Golden Fried Calamari and Prawns - N6200

Lamb Encrusted with Fresh Herbs - N7500

Beef Fillet Surprise - N6800

Mojito - N2900

Planters Punch - N2900

Fake Chinese > Real Chinese

Zhou Jie Hot Pot Restaurant

42 Saka Tinubu, Victoria Island, Lagos

0813 966 66660813 070 5759

FOLLY: One of the bosses at my old job used to call this place "Chinese Chinese" because the restaurant has no signage in English, just some Chinese letters that no one really knows what they mean.

In fact if you find yourself needing to call those phone numbers above, don't waste your time the lady who manages/owns the place doesn't speak a word of english apart from "this one" and "that one" when she's pointing things out to her staff.

NOSA: I got here before Folly and I swear there was Triad meeting beside me.

At one point, the waitresses brought dumplings and the main Triad guy gets up and goes, "5 DUMPLINGS  FOR EVERYONE!" Proper mob boss stuff. 

Following his lead, I got dumplings too.  

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FOLLY: These dumplings were the only thing I enjoyed out of everything we ordered and I was so terrified when they arrived cause they looked like crap.

NOSA: Ugliest. Dumplings. Ever.

FOLLY: Personally, I'm not a fan of steamed/boiled dumplings because of how fresh they look, sometimes they are also a bit too smooth and slippery so the texture throws me off. 

Thankfully, these tasted way better than they looked.

NOSA: Yeah, they weren't bad at all. I think it was chicken...

...or dog.

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FOLLY: We ordered Lamb Chops and we got goat meat ribs. I kept asking the different waiters if these were the lamb chops till Nosa told me to stop wasting my time as they probably are just serving what the Chinese man in the back gives them to serve.

NOSA: LOL, we asked the waiter what type of meat it was and dude said it was goat meat. I told the guy we ordered the lamb chops and dude says, "ehn, the same thing na."

FOLLY: The ribs were seasoned with curry and had weird pockets of fat. They looked way better than they tasted. 

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NOSA: So we decided to be adventurous and not get rice like Nigerians. We ordered the Sweet and Sour Shrimp. 

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FOLLY: I'm going to call these popcorn sweet and sour shrimp. Hmm these were overly sweet so after a while became sickening, if we hadn't gotten some rice to eat this with, it might have helped to counteract the sweetness.

NOSA: This thing would've given us jedi-jedi if we finished it. Waaaaay more sweet than sour.

Anyway, our inner Nigerian came out and we got Spring Rolls to round up the ting. 

FOLLY: These spring rolls are the worst I've ever had. Period. In fact, small chops spring rolls are way better. 

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NOSA: Fried it all the oil in the world. Oh my God. 

POSTSCRIPT

FOLLY: I've actually been to chinese chinese before this time and I really enjoyed it. What was different then was that I didn't even look at the menu, I came with the foreigns from work and they picked everything. I came with Nosa and tried to decipher the menu and this happened, so it could be that we ordered poorly. 

NOSA: Maybe we should have just ordered the rice we know. 

VERDICT

DAMAGE

Steamed Dumplings - N1500

Lamb Chops - N4500

Sweet and Sour Shrimp - N3500

Spring Rolls - N1800