Posts tagged mixed grill
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


Rigatoni For The Soul

Basilico

15 Musa Yardua Street. Victoria Island, Lagos

0806 844 7246

NOSA: We named Basilico as one of the Lagos spots to visit in our 2014 IJGB Guide. That delightful exterior seating area I talked about, have a look.

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NOSA: Totes adorbs, no?

We got some antipasti to start. Nothing too fancy...lol.

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NOSA: Basilico is my favorite because they do cute little things like spell out their name with carrots. I got the Rigatoni in Amatriciana Sauce. A little knowledge dart here: amatriciana sauce originated in a little town called Amatrice, which is pretty close to Rome. Amatriciana sauce is the Lazio region's Prodotto Agroalimentare Tradizionale (PAT), i.e. in Italy you can't call your sauce Amatriciana sauce if it's not from Lazio (this doesn't apply outside Italy, however). Kinda how any "champagne" from any region other than the Champagne region in France isn't champagne.

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Don't say we never taught you anything. Come for the food reviews, stay for Nosa's little wikipedia-sourced history lessons.

FOLLY: Dude, talk about Ctrl + C, Ctrl + V.  Lowks would have preferred it if they spelt my name in carrots uno. 

NOSA: Rude!

The amatriciana sauce had thick cut bacon in it. The bacon was a little struggle but struggle bacon is par for the course in Lagos so I won't hold it against them. I really liked the rigatoni. It was all al dente and ting. 

Folly got the mixed grill with a side of mash.

FOLLY: Nosa felt it was "his turn" to get pasta after this experience.

NOSA: Folly's mash was absolute trash. I'm really sorry I told her to get it instead of fries. It tasted just like it looked. 

FOLLY: It looked like watery yellow eba, and also tasted like what I imagine watery eba would taste like. It had particles and was very inconsistent

NOSA: The pork sausage was pretty decent though. It had just the right amount of saltiness to it. Not as salty as you when your ex boyfriend finds happiness before you, however. Not that much salt.

FOLLY: Thankfully, that has never happened to me and I know my Jesus would never let it happen either. My God is bigger. 

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NOSA: The grilled beef fillet started off alright, but it got pretty tedious as the meal went on. 

FOLLY: It never clicked for the pork chop though, it was both tasteless and tedious from the jump.

POSTSCRIPT

NOSA: You already know I like this place if I included in that IJGB guide, but I should probably add that it's advisable to stick to pasta at Basilico. Especially with Folly's mixed grill experience in mind.

Oh, little LOL moment. We asked the waiter if they had dessert and he told us he could either go to Crust & Cream or we could have "digestive and cappuccino". 

FOLLY: At the end of the meal, I found myself wishing I had a dog that I could take the leftover meat home to. Bet he/she would have found that bone delightful. Yes, it was that underwhelming.

Oh, I'm  judging all of you Nigerians that feed your dogs eba. Jollof rice is excusable, but I just want to call USPCA for the rest of you.

DAMAGE

Assorted Starters - N1500

Rigatoni with Amatriciana Sauce - N3000

Mixed Grill (Meat) - N3500

Mashed Potatoes - N700