Posts tagged lekki
"Suya Wey Get Masters Degree"
 

NOSA: I feel like everyone has made a suya sandwich at some point. It's probably one of the first struggle meals you make as a Lagos bachelor because it's just so "obvious". Personally, I've done: suya panini, suya quesadilla, suya melt, and suya breakfast tacos.

FOLLY: It’s not even restricted to just bachelors. I’ve done suya burger and suya Indomie. The latter is particularly lit because you don’t have to add the Indomie seasoning and the suya just flavors the entire dish. Asun Indomie is also elite.

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NOSA: Sooyah Bistro is like all your kitchen experiments with suya, but "packaged". It's not absurdly expensive so I'm not knocking it one bit. In fact, I'm a big fan of the idea.

FOLLY: Sooyah Bistro self describes as modern and elite suya, in their words “suya wey get masters degree”. Price-wise, it’s comparable to most suya places on the Island that offer a stick of suya for N500. I like that Sooyah Bistro offers chicken suya by the stick, unlike many other places that offer chicken suya as a whole bird and not by the stick.

Their menu is simple - different varieties of suya and four sandwiches - suya shawarma, suya melt, suya burger, and the suya crepe.

NOSA: We ordered the Suya Melt and the Suya Crepe.

FOLLY: The suya melt is basically suya and cheese in a flatbread with a spicy suya mayonnaise. The suya crepe is similar but it’s wrapped in a sweet pancake instead.

NOSA: The Suya Melt could and should have been a lot cheesier. You'd be forgiven if you thought there was no cheese in there.

FOLLY: I agree, there should have been a legendary cheese pull when you separate the pieces. It should also have been stuffed with more than one stick of suya. You can tell from the images above and below that it was pretty skinny. At N2000 for a mixed (chicken and beef) melt, I would have appreciated a bit more meat.

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NOSA: But that's not the major story here, however. If you've ever made any form of a sandwich with suya, the first thing you learn is how powerful suya spice is. It literally drowns out every other flavor in whatever you make. This was very evident in melt and in the crepe as well. It sorely needed something else to balance out the suya. Or better yet, the suya didn't need to be spicy like regular suya. It could've been a bit tamer.

FOLLY: You would think that the pancake will tame the yaji spice but the yaji was very very loud.

NOSA: It's particularly unfortunate because the suya crepe could've been so so great. It could've been the perfect blend of sweet and spicy, but the yaji is just so dominant.

FOLLY: It overpowered the entire wrap. It didn’t help that the chipotle sauce was basically suya mayonnaise so it introduced even more yaji. At times you were fortunate to get a bite that was just the pancake and you'd catch a lucky break from the fieriness of the pepper.

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NOSA: The crepe, itself, could've done with some work on the crepe side of things. It wasn't a particularly good crepe, but it worked as a wrap. Maybe it was intentional.

FOLLY: The crepe itself needs significant work because it wasn’t a crepe. I’ve called it a pancake throughout this review because that’s what it was - a very thick chewy pancake. I watched home girl make the batter and I could sense she was struggling, she kept adding water and judging the batter because she knew that her consistency was off. At the end of the day, it worked but it could be a lot better. I also am trying not to fault them for it cause it’s casual street food, quality control may not be on deck like that and homegirl has probably not been making pancakes for longer than she’s had this job.


POSTSCRIPT

NOSA: Yeah, I'd come back. It could be better, but I liked it regardless.

FOLLY: I’d definitely try the suya shawarma but I’ll remember to tell them to take it easy on the pepper.

VERDICT

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DAMAGE

Mixed Suya Melt - N2000

Suya Crepe - N1500

 

 

PARKING

It’s primarily a takeout thing. 

The "Other" Circa Offers Second Rate Luxury Dining in Lekki
 

NOSA: From the moment the security guard said only "certain cars" could be parked inside, I knew Circa Privé was going to be terrible time. I didn't even have to get to the "no shorts allowed" argument with the doorman to be certain.

FOLLY: My cousin told me about her experience at the Circa Prive gate a few days before we visited. She was initially barred from parking inside because the status of her car was not befitting of their establishment. Words were exchanged and she eventually parked inside. I was really blown away that the security uttered the statement about the status of her car so I was curious what would happen when I visited. Here’s what happened.

I approached the gate and asked if they were open because they we no cars. The security confirmed they were and asked me to kindly reverse and park outside. I chucked and asked why. He said “the time is not ready for parking inside”. I deflected and said “but the restaurant is open, I checked on Instagram”. He responded that yes they were, but his reason for not inviting me to park had now changed. He stated that

“ they won’t be happy with us if you park inside”

Hmm “who is they”? I really wanted him to get to the point where he made a remark of the status of my car but this man didn’t want to go down that path. At least with me, when Nosa drove up a couple meetings later, he wasn’t so shy and told him that the status of his car didn’t qualify. I asked him that if he could kindly tell me why I couldn’t park inside that I would agree but I just needed to know why. He then paused and said:

“How I go fit talk this one now, but if you can just park outside please”

I responded:

Oga you can say it with your chest

He then stepped back, gestured to his colleague that I didn’t agree. She then proceeded to open the gate. 

NOSA: If you're going to be this pretentious as a Lagos restaurant, the least you could do is not be located in Lekki. Also, go all out and make it a "members only" thing like Miliki or Capital Club. Let everyone know you're truly for the cream of the crop and not for poors like us.

FOLLY: I feel so awkward for the security men who have been instructed by the owners to tell patrons that their cars are not worthy of parking inside. It’s extremely inappropriate and quite frankly just as crass at the Tearoom’s owners antics, the only difference is that Circa’s owners are using the security men as a buffer to deliver their ugly classist behaviour and you know what God doesn’t like..Ugly.

NOSA: Circa's biggest crime is just how tacky it is. It wants to ooze aspirational so bad but everything just falls a bit short like the doorman's ill fitting suit.

FOLLY: I was the only one in the restaurant when I arrived so honestly I don’t know what the fuss was all about and when we left about 5 hours later - there was still available parking spaces inside for the range rovers and the likes

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FOLLY: Contrary to everything this blog suggests, we (all writers on EDL) have a fixed budget per month for consumption. This is a business after all. As such, when faced with Circa’s menu, every page we turned was a “how we go take do am” moment.

NOSA: There's a N90,000 steak on a menu, which is a blatant bite from one of the most viral chefs of the last five years.

If you list an unoriginal 90k steak in a restaurant where the waiters forget there should napkins on the table, you really aren't serious. I'm being completely honest here

FOLLY: We decided we were going to go with two starters and keep them at or under N10,00 which is a Herculean task as the average price of the starters on their menu is N7,460. You can double check my math here.

The spring rolls came in at N3,500 while the magic mushrooms were N6,500. Exactly at our target. Honestly, It’s a lot more than we’d usually spend at most restaurants for only two starters.

FOLLY: The spring rolls were okay but no where near worth N3500 for plain vegetable spring rolls (given that Chinese restaurants charge N250 a pop for the same and infinitely better and crunchier). However, given the finesse of the restaurant, I imagine the prices have to be at a certain minimum. In this case, it’s more “packaging” than finesse if you ask me objectively.

NOSA: At roughly N700/spring roll, it's not disingenuous to expect more but I guess somebody has to pay for diesel so maybe we can let it slide. You'll probably eat better from your neighborhood small chops plug

Spring Roll

Spring Roll

Magic Mushroom

Magic Mushroom

NOSA: The Mushroom Magic was a shade better. If your Beninoise cook made this at home, you’d definitely give him a pat on the back. The peas and carrots were definitely from a bag or can. 

FOLLY: The carrots were too perfectly uniform to suggest otherwise and the peas had that frozen and reheated wrinkling. You know the one.

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NOSA: For our mains, we ordered the ribs and the Chef's Special pasta. The ribs taste like those frozen ribs you can buy in the freezer section at Park n' Shop.

FOLLY: The imported type that are in a box and you can pop in the oven for 30 minutes. An absolute rip off for N21,000. Here are the crimes:

  1. Tenderness of the meat

  2. Boney-ness of the ribs

  3. Quality of the BBQ sauce

NOSA: The BBQ sauce is artificially sweet so you know it came straight out of a bottle. The meat itself isn't tender enough to fall off the bone.

FOLLY: I can say with a certain degree of certainty that there was no rum flaming involved in the making of these ribs, contrary to what the menu suggests.

Marinated sweet pork ribs flamed with rum and served with French fries and a side salad, served on olive wood and edible flowers
— Flaming Pork Ribs, per the Circa Privé menu

NOSA: We don’t have any pictures of the fries or the side salad because the waiter forgot to bring it out. When we reminded him about it, we were already done with picture taking for the afternoon. Just know they looked like fries and a side salad respectively. No olive wood or edible flowers though.

For a third of the price, you'd probably forgive all these things but this is like the third most expensive thing (after the 90k steak and a 32k steak) on the menu. If you gave this same 21k to Heels in the Kitchen, you'll get yourself a full tray and not the seven bones Circa served us. Also, you’d probably be contributing to her adorable daughter’s school fees so you’re like a good person to boot.

FOLLY: It didn’t get any better with the pasta which arrived at the table cold - btw. On the menu the chef’s special pasta is listed as PISELLI. MENTA. CIPOLLA. 

Fresh homemade tagliatelle cooked and tossed in Chef’s signature sauce, topped with parmesan cheese and seafood, garnished with rosemary and onion
— Piselli. Menta. Cipolla, per the Circa Privé menu
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NOSA: I know I’m blind but that definitely looks like penne and not tagliatelle. Just look at Circa Privé lying again.

FOLLY: In case you also don’t speak Italian like us, that translates to peas, mint and onion. I strongly wish I had Googled that before ordering and we may have ordered differently.

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 As the name implied all these three things played a heavy role in this dish.

The sauce was a combination of pea puree, herbs and cream. The rosemary was so dominant. I’ve never had a pasta dish that had such strong rosemary notes. I actually prefer rosemary in drinks particularly cocktails or in cooking meats, I really wasn’t a fan of the chef’s application here. 

NOSA: The pasta wasn't any better than the ribs. The presentation was great and the pictures look amazing, but it was deathly bland. This is probably the most upsetting thing about Circa. For all the "packaging", the food isn't any good. If it was, I'd gladly park a mile away and come dressed in my Sunday best.

This is really Rhapsody-level food at double RSVP prices.

FOLLY: To top it all off, they had no dessert available.

NOSA: Not. A. Single. One.

If you’re in Lekki and you’re really in the mood to spend a lot of money on a date, just go to HSE Gourmet and save yourself the stress.


POSTSCRIPT

NOSA: Second rate luxury dining for a second rate luxury residential area.

FOLLY: Do not recommend for the food 3/10. For drinks and escapism, it’s an okay option but then you come out and you’re still in Lekki.

VERDICT

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DAMAGE

 Spring Rolls - N3500

Magic Mushroom - N6500

PISELLI. MENTA. CIPOLLA - N8500

Flaming Pork Ribs (1kg) - N21500

 

PARKING

You will not be allowed to park inside if your car is not of a befitting status 

The Lighthouse Bar & Grill: Visible But Not Memorable
 

It’s quite interesting the impact location and visibility has on the footfall of a restaurant. The Lighthouse Bar and Grill, for instance, you probably drive past it every day if you’re a Lekki resident. If you run on the Lekki-Ikoyi bridge, you probably park right beside The Lighthouse. Oh, then there’s instagram. You hear about their Paella Thursdays all the time.

Despite all of this, you never seem to consider them an option when eating out.

Crazy. 

Anyway, we (Folarin and Christina) decided to visit Lighthouse for lunch on a faithful Tuesday afternoon, before rush hour. Can’t begin to explain how therapeutic it was, watching other Lagos drivers trundle behind one another on the bridge then speed off like freed captives right after they paid their toll. Love it!

Seafood Mix Fry-up at Lighthouse Lekki

Seafood Mix Fry-up at Lighthouse Lekki

Not knowing what to expect since all we ever hear about is their paella, I ordered the Mixed Seafood Skewer, Mixed Grilled Skewer and Seafood Mix Fry-up while Christina ordered a cheeky Fish & Chips.

The Seafood Mix Fry-up was a platter of shrimp, calamari and little pieces of fish all in batter. The batter was light and not too oily while the fish and shrimp weren’t dry or over-fried so they were easy to eat. The calamari wasn’t too chewy or rubbery, which is always a good thing.

I really wish the items in the platter weren’t so bland, however. The Lighthouse got the texture right, which is usually the hard part. Maybe it’s time to lower my expectations for seafood platters in Lagos because most of the restaurants we’ve visited have failed on either the texture or taste?

The platter also seemed to be different to what Folly and Nosa had when they were there, with ours in batter, I wonder why.

Like the Fry-up, the Mixed Seafood Skewer was of good texture and it tasted lovely! Grilled and basted with lemon, basil and olive oil, this was definitely the Lighthouse’s best hand.

Normally, I’m reluctant to order land animals at seafood restaurants but the waiter really convinced us that Lighthouse serves a good mixed grill skewer so I proceeded to order it. The mixed grill had pieces of chicken and beef on a stick, basted with what I believe was spicy stew. Overall, the meats were of good texture and not dry but lacked taste in the inner layers. Merely basting the mixed grill skewer with spicy stew before (or while) grilling is a lazy way to prepare a skewer.

Mixed Seafood Skewer at Lighthouse Lekki

Mixed Seafood Skewer at Lighthouse Lekki

Mixed Grill Skewer at Lighthouse Lekki

Mixed Grill Skewer at Lighthouse Lekki

While we can easily question our expectations of/for a skewer and let this slide, I think the skewer lacked sophistication and any deeper flavours. I mean, marinating the meat first then basting with a spicy sauce while grilling should do the trick.
— Christina
Fish and chips at Lighthouse Lekki

Fish and chips at Lighthouse Lekki

Lighthouse is by the water so they should handle seafood well

I still can’t understand this but I do agree that a seafood restaurant should offer, if anything, good seafood.

The fish, in the Fish & Chips, was cooked just right with the batter being crispy and the fish not being too dry, but I was put off by its blandness. Also, how do you serve fish and chips without a generous serving of salt, lemon or vinegar? To top it off, they served the fish and chips with their homemade chili-mayo, which was fresh ata rodo mixed with mayonnaise. 

The ghetto.

At this point, I requested for vinegar to sprinkle on my chips like you’d do in a chip shop but when the waiter returned with apple cider vinegar, I had to concede. Doesn’t raw undiluted ACV irritate the stomach lining and erode your throat and enamels? Crazy.


POSTSCRIPT

FOLARIN: Few highs and many lows at Lighthouse but I’m happy I’ve cleared my curiosity. I really doubt I’ll be back.

CHRISTINA: I might visit again to try out their almighty paella but besides that, I’m good love. Thanks.

VERDICT

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DAMAGE

 Mixed Seafood Fry Up - N4000

Grilled Seafood Skewer - N2500

Mixed Grilled Skewer - N2000

Fish and Chips - N4000

 

PARKING

8 to 10-car parking space but there’s lots of road outside really. 

BBQ & Cravings is Still THAT Joint
 

FOLARIN: Random way to start but I can’t get over how Nigerians don’t classify burgers (and hot-dogs, pizza, french fries, sandwiches, etc.) as food, regardless of how filling they are. However, a bread and ewa agoyin sandwich is considered a meal but a thick beef patty and bun isn’t one? Okay, Akpan.

Anyway, one of the many downers to Lagos is how burger spots are few and far between. Most restaurants in Lagos swear they’re Patty & Bun or Meat Liquor level but either don’t deliver on that quality or are really difficult to access.

Why do the things we love have to be so far away? One on the mainland, another on a terrible road in Ikoyi and this one in Greater Lekki around the 19th roundabout.

After planning and being dissuaded by the traffic so many times, Christina and I finally visited BBQ & Cravings to re-re-reconfirm what their burgers are saying after Nosa & Folly’s past three reviews;

2015: BBQ & Cravings

2016: BBQ & Cravings Revamped Their Menu

2017: The Dirty Politician is a Monument to Greed

At this joint-like setting with eat-your-burger-and-be-going ambiance, we ordered the Yolo Burger, Superfly Burger and Soon To Be Famous (STBF) Pork Ribs for ‘diversity’ and the ‘BBQ’ part of their name, BBQ & Cravings.

 
BBQ & Cravings Yolo Burger

BBQ & Cravings Yolo Burger

BBQ & Cravings Yolo Burger

BBQ & Cravings Yolo Burger

 

The Yolo Burger came with a beef patty, crab meat, smoked ham and salami topped with one cute-ish baby prawn in a buttered bun. Similarly to Folly, I also didn’t taste all the individual elements because they went really well together. The patty was nice and not overcooked, and even though the bun looks like it was excessive in the photo, it was soft so it absorbed the juices and took the shape of my hands as I devoured the burger. While Christina was complaining about how hers was falling apart, with my pinky fingers pointing outward, I showcased the life hack I learned last year by eating my burger upside down. Overall, the burger was a little on the small side but it was worth the drive.

 
SuperFly Burger

SuperFly Burger

 

CHRISTINA: So! I went on to order the Superfly burger hoping it would be better than whatever Folarin was having since he thinks he has some supernatural gift of never being wrong with food/cocktail orders. Well, I think mine was better! The burger had a generous amount of proteins, from the beef patty and bacon to the one prawn and indistinguishable omelette, all in a soft mushy bun. Burgers are not my go-to meals because I’m not a fan of bread and I have been conditioned to only appreciate hot meals that come in plates.

FOLARIN: Said like a Typical Nigerian

CHRISTINA: However, I think this was a really  decent burger, although the bun underneath became a bit soggy due to my numerous breaks because like I said, eating burgers is a real chore.

FOLARIN: Learner

CHRISTINA: Overall, for someone that isn’t too keen on burgers, I enjoyed it and may visit again to try some of their other burgers.

FOLARIN: The last thing we ordered were the Soon To Be Famous (STBF) Pork Ribs for the complete ‘BBQ & Cravings’ experience, and based on the assumption that they’d be good since their patties are generally good and well-spiced - quite the reach now that I think of it.

The first serving of the STBF ribs came nicely chopped up in paper, kind of like Glover Court Suya with really fiery spicing, which most would have liked but… not me.

 
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Take 2 - after complaining, we got a milder serving of the ribs and we could actually assess how they tasted. The ribs weren’t too sweet and sour. If anything, they were semi-sweet and spicy and seemed like they’d bang with -I’m sorry to say- garri or Indomie.

Syrian Club, BBQ and Cravings and the likes are good examples of joints that still keep you coming despite their blatant disregard for the customers experiences, but we’ll be visiting again because… mugs.


POSTSCRIPT

FOLARIN: Crazy the lengths we’re willing to go for good burgers. Will be visiting again.

CHRISTINA: What he said.

VERDICT

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DAMAGE

 Yolo Burger - N4000

Superfly - N4000

Soon To Be Famous Pork Ribs (no sides) - N3200

 

PARKING

Can take about 10-15 cars, but getting out might be a struggle 

Endless Seafood at Shark Express
 

NOSA: Finding Shark Express might be a bit of a challenge (it was for us) because we didn’t see any signage and their instagram isn’t very clear on the location. That said, Eat.Drink.Lagos is for the people and we went around looking stupid before finding out it’s in the same space as Tilt Terrace. 

You’re welcome.

FOLLY: Funny cause Nosa said we should go in the direction of Tilt Terrace at first and I refused because “that’s another restaurant”.

NOSA: If you love seafood, the menu at Shark Express is as close to seafood heaven you’ll get. I can’t speak on how it all tastes, but on paper, it’s teeming with all sorts of sea pork.

FOLLY: A few Instagram posts had excited me.

NOSA: Between Folly and I, we split the Seafood Platter and the Jamaican Rice with Jerk Shrimp. 

FOLLY: I mean we tried to get a couple other things but we were promptly informed by our waiter that a lot of items were not available. I wasn’t satisfied with the service we received because we weren’t handed menus for about 5 minutes after our arrival because the waiter was on the phone. There were other wait staff around, but I think because we sat in the SharkHouse section, only that one guy could attend to us.

Seafood Platter

Seafood Platter

The food itself, also took a concerning amount of time to arrive. I could crack jokes about them going to catch the fish but I don’t think that’s it. I believe that the chef (who is only one person with no additional kitchen staff) was making each item on the platter one at a time and hence it took him over 40 minutes to finish up the 6 items.

NOSA: I wasn’t a big fan of Seafood Platter, or the overall wait time, either. This is definitely the last straw between crab and I also. Of all the animals of the sea, crabs are the biggest scam. Ridiculously expensive despite offering little. A bit like the platter in that regard, actually. There isn’t much to like about the platter. Maybe the fries get a pass, but I wasn’t a fan of anything else. 

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FOLLY: On the platter, I liked the corn the most and the prawns were a close second. The crab required too much effort and they didn’t give us the relevant equipment so I had a a couple crabs legs then gave up. The platter had a traditional flavour profile. It tasted like a Nigerian soup - think umami, salty, sour, smoky, spicy, Iru etc. Just imagine if you steeped sea food in the liquid from Efo Riro, Afang etc.

This is not a bad thing, just the first time I’d seen it done, as most restaurants in Lagos usually take the garlic, lemon, butter approach to seafood.

FOLLY: For the Jamaican rice and Jerk prawns. I don’t know what about the rice made it Jamaican inspired rice aside that it was brown (Jamaican rice and peas is often brown because of the use of brown rice or the addition of the spices)

Jamaican Rice with Jerk Shrimp

Jamaican Rice with Jerk Shrimp

NOSA: Nothing really stands out in the Jamaican rice. It’s just a lot of seasoning fighting for space in your mouth. 

FOLLY: It was most definitely well seasoned but without rhyme or reason.

 

POSTSCRIPT

FOLLY: Overall, it’s passable but not for me. Actually, I’m being honest I’d never go back here or recommend it to others.

NOSA: Yeah, I’ll probably never go back but I can see how some people might like it.

VERDICT

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DAMAGE

Seafood Platter - N10000

Jamaican Rice and Jerk Prawns - N5000

 

PARKING

Yes, mall parking available. Except it’s a Friday night then you might struggle .