Posts tagged mediterranean
Backyard Wants to be Your New Favorite Restaurant in Lagos

Backyard  

4B Musa Yaradua Street, Victoria Island, Lagos

0907 700 5000

 

NOSA: I think we were one of the first people to follow these guys on Instagram. I was creeping through the La Taverna Chef's page and noticed he liked one of their pictures...

...typing that sounds a lot weirder than it sounded in my head. Oh well, #CreepLife. I spotted the physical location while driving down Musa Yaradua about a week ago.

FOLLY: Musa Yaradua is really popping as a restaurant strip in VI and all this has happened over the past two to three years. This street has Crust & Cream, Pizza-Riah, La Brioche, Basilico, Mansilla till they closed down or moved away, and now Backyard has opened on the same road. 

NOSA: There's another one, but it looks dodgy so perhaps we shouldn't add that to this list.

FOLLY: If I had to describe Backyard in one word, it would be "thoughtful".

NOSA: A bit like the owners who kept checking in on us throughout our meal. What if our cover is blown and they knew we were Eat.Drink.Lagos?

Welpington. 

FOLLY: Yes! The service was impressive and everything about the space is so intentional.

NOSA: Our waiter, Charles, was really helpful.

FOLLY: There's both indoor and outdoor seating at the restaurant. Outdoor is your standard table/lounge style set up. Inside you have both bench style seating and regular height tables. 

NOSA: Oh, I really loved the furniture. I wish I got decent pictures of it.

The menu is really interesting and I mean that in a good way. If I ever attended a Mediterranean BBQ, I'm pretty sure the menu would look just like this.

FOLLY: Their drinks menu is pretty interesting because they have the standard cocktails you find in most Lagos restaurants like your margarita, Moscow mule, mojito and also some interesting twists. I wanted to try something new and not my usual mojito, I order a mojito everywhere, even at The Rock.

So my choice was the Sue's Elixir. The base spirit is gin, which isn't something I'd normally like. I'm definitely not a gin and tonic gal, but like I said, the spirit of trying something new entered me. The drink is layered so the pedestrian in me had already tried to drink it without mixing before the waiter quickly came to tell me that I needed to stir it before drinking.

NOSA: Like a razz babe.

FOLLY: Once I mixed it, it was a lot sweeter. I liked that the bartender wasn't overly generous with the strawberry syrup to the point that it was sickening. It was just enough to take the gin from stiff to subtle.

NOSA: The bartender, Franklin, was poached from Spice Route and I'm guessing he was the only good one because the last time I went to Spice Route, the drinks were a shambles. But that was a long time ago so maybe it doesn't hold.

For my drink, I got the Lynchburg Lemonade - Jack Daniels, Triple Sec, Sour Mix, and 7up. Incredibly delicious, if you couldn't tell from the contents.

Oh, and I really wanted to steal that Hennessy straw

(FUN FACT - The Jack Daniels HQ is in Lynchburg, TN)

FOLLY: Their menu is a mishmash of BBQ items, all with a middle eastern twist. I hadn't eaten all day so I arrived at Backyard with a mission to eat it all. Let me quickly run through everything we ordered: Fish Suya, Teriyaki Chicken, Hummus, Mediterranean Chicken Skewers, Ginger & Honey Beef Skewers, Pesto Halloumi Skewers, and the Steak Sandwich.

Yeah, it was a lot.  

NOSA: I'm still recovering from ODing on seafood in Zanzibar so we tried to keep the seafood to a minimum, but Folly wanted the fish suya.

FOLLY: And a great choice, it was. The fish suya was my absolute favorite of the appetizers. The skin was delicately crusted and very flavorful. The inside was still white, soft and flaky. 

NOSA: They went with barracuda and it was the perfect fit. Flawless execution.

FOLLY: Close second was the teriyaki chicken tenders. Backyard has better teriyaki sauce than some Japanese restaurants in Lagos.

NOSA: ...we only have like 3 of those so it's like being the short-sighted man in the land of the blind.

FOLLY: It was very thick and sticky and coated every single corner of the chicken.

NOSA: The teriyaki was a little too much for me. Not way too much, just a little. Like, after a couple of bites, it got too much for me.

I think my favorite of the lot was the beef skewer. The ginger on it worked so so well for me.

FOLLY: The white wine vinegar that it was marinated in also came through and I appreciated that. 

FOLLY: The only two things that were meh of the lot were the chicken skewer because it was boring and the spices were 'minimalistic', and the halloumi because it was missing its pesto.

NOSA: Now, the halloumi skewer wasn't the one for me, but halloumi, by itself, might be. This was my first experience with it and it tasted way better than I thought it would.

FOLLY: The steak sandwich was very reminiscent of a Philly Cheesesteak.

NOSA: If it looks and tastes like a cheesesteak, it must be a cheeesesteak.

FOLLY: It had everything: the cheese, green peppers, mushroom, and steak. The only difference is that this was served in a baguette as opposed to a sub. This is a worthy competitor to RSVP's steak sandwich for a fraction of the cost. 

NOSA: Competitor? They're playing in different leagues. This is so much better. The steak sandwich is up there with the PhillyGidiCheesesteak at BBQ & Cravings. Easily a top 10 sandwich in Lagos (Lagos has shit sandwiches so indulge me)

 

POSTCRIPT

FOLLY: I absolutely loved the Backyard. I can't wait to go back and literally eat our way through their entire menu. 

NOSA: This is my new favorite place in Lagos. I can't remember the last time I liked a place so much on my first visit. I am so sure their burger is delicious and I must confirm it.

VERDICT

DAMAGE

Fish Suya - N1200

Steak Sandwich - N4500

Ginger & Honey Skewer - N1000

Pesto Halloumi Skewer -  N1450

Mediterranean Chicken Skewer - N900

 

PARKING

They have a pretty decent parking lot.

 

 

 

Like a Persian Beer Parlor

Syrian Club

41 Ribadu Road, Ikoyi. Lagos

0702 888 7777. 0803 354 4340

NOSA: Until I moved back after college, there had never really been a stretch where I lived in Lagos properly. I was either in boarding school or off to college or my dad's job took us to some random place. In the first month or so after I moved back, I used Foursquare to find places to eat at. Such a JJC thing to do, I know.

Syrian Club always popped up in my searches, but I never went. The Foursquare map said it was super close to Obalende and I had absolutely zero interest in leaving my bubble. You can call me "princess" if you want, you can't hurt my feelings.

FOLLY: I always remind any girl that I hear say that she wants to date a boy that lives in Ikoyi that Obalande IS IN Ikoyi. There was one girl at my last job who told me I should hook her up with a boy that "lives in Parkview" but her daddy lives in Gbagada. idk man.

Anyway, I found out about Syrian Club through some foreigns from work. I'd never look at the menu when we'd come, becayse they knew all that was good. That made it a bit difficult for us to order when Nosa and I visited cause the menu is super authentic.

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NOSA: No "Lagos Babe" is letting you bring her here on a date. Not a chance in the world. A shame because I think the space is rather charming. There's nothing fancy about it, but it feels very welcoming. I bet the regulars bring their families here on the weekends. The kids play in the playground while the wives gossip in the corner as their husbands smoke shisha and drink coffee.

FOLLY: It is really a shame (and I'm a girl). Fancy dates are really nice but super chilled places with good food like Syrian Club can also be lots of fun. 

Hummus

Hummus

FOLLY: Definitely get the special hummus and tabbouleh salad if you come. 

I found it so hilarious that they give you a whole bag of flat bread with your hummus. And no that wasn't an exaggeration, they literally plonk the entire bag on the table. 

Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh

NOSA: I had falafel in Lagos once.

At Churrasco.  

It tasted like akara. 

Falafel

Falafel

That's my little Churrasco haiku. This one was alright. Not as good as the one I got on some street corner in New York a couple years ago. I probably won't ever find one as good and that makes me a sad panda.  

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FOLLY: This is the best Lebanese mixed grill you'll get in Lagos. 

NOSA: It's a toss-up for me. Can't decide between this one and the one we had at Velvett. The one at Velvett is really really good, but that's a blog for another day. 

Shish Kebab & Kafta

Shish Kebab & Kafta

FOLLY: The cheese sujok was like a white sauce pizza with sausage. I made a bit of a sandwich with it, the tabbouleh, and the kafta. I thought it was yum if I do say so myself. 

NOSA: When we ordered the cheese sujok, I expected some Lebanese sausage roll for some reason. It was super close to the appetizers on the menu so I was in no way expecting a full blown "pizza". 

A little food lesson here: the "sujok" is actually the sausage on the pizza. It's made from ground beef and not pork for religious reasons. Go forth and prosper with this new knowledge, friends. Don't ever say EatDrinkLagos never taught you anything.

Cheese Sujok

Cheese Sujok

FOLLY: I do wish we had tried their shawarma though 'cause something tells me it might be pretty good. Maybe you can try it and let us know?

POSTSCRIPT

NOSA: I really liked Syrian Club. It's very affordable and super low-key. The dinginess of it all made it feel so authentic, like a mediterranean beer parlor. I have this little theory about "hole-in-the-wall" places having the best food and this place didn't disappoint. The chef was really cool as well. Dude came to gist with us and spoke pidgin. Hilarious. 

FOLLY: The title of this post is not intended to mislead you that you can get beer here. You can't, there aren't any alcoholic drinks on the menu. 

DAMAGE

Special Hummus - N1,500

Tabbouleh - N1,000

Falafel Plate - N1,500

Cheese Sujok - N1,500

Shish Kebab & Kafta (half kilo) - N3,500