Posts tagged noodles
Kiss Noodle Injects Delight Into The Palms' Food Court
 

NOSA: Chinese food is one of the most fascinating things I’ve personally encountered. Especially the regional interpretations of it. Like, how Chinese food in America is slightly different from Chinese food in Nigeria. From General Tso’s Chicken in America to Ramen and Gyoza in Japan, there’s a lot to be written about the migration of Chinese people and how well they adapt (and influence local cuisine) when they migrate. When we visited Accra last year, one of the local food bloggers told us how Chinese fried rice was so popular that Ghanaians have co-opted it as their thing.

FOLLY: One of the ways you can see how big Chinese food is a thing here in Nigeria is at our celebrations. At events, you’re often offered the Nigerian menu as well as a Continental or Oriental menu. The oriental menu usually has adapted Nigerian favourites like glass noodles, sweet and sour chicken, curry shredded beef etc. More could be said about this in a broader discussion about that, which this is not.

NOSA: Noodles (read: Indomie) are really popular in Nigeria and it’s a bit strange that Ramen Shops or Noodle Bars haven’t really exploded here. Actually, maybe it’s not that strange, I can’t really see Nigerians getting into soup noodles to be honest. Indomie “Bars” are definitely a thing, however, but that’s an off topic discussion for another day. Kiss Noodle is very much in the Ramen Shop mould and it’ll be interesting to see how well they do in Lagos. 

FOLLY: Noodle shops that Nosa would go to have not exploded here, but street food stands that deal in Indomie and egg exclusively, are popular in areas that I frequent in Lagos. I’ve seen quite a few on street corners in Lekki, Victoria Island, and Yaba. It’s usually just a wooden table covered with a table cloth or tarp - then they have a crate of eggs and the Indomie variants stacked on the table.

FOLLY: Enough of the backstory though, we checked out Kiss Noodles in Palms a few weeks ago. We came to know about it through one of our chef friends.

NOSA: I’m not the biggest fan of the location. Like, I see how it could work in a mall’s food court but I absolutely hate it because I hate The Palms with a passion. Noodles are a very intimate thing so having random men come sit  on your table with your face in a bowl of noodles is not the vibe. Oh, and if the name didn’t give it away, the menu is full on noodles. There’s a sprinkling of Nigerian Chinese in there to keep it accessible. 

FOLLY: They also have a Nigerian team member at the front desk too, in order to keep things accessible in that regard as well because there is a SIGNIFICANT language barrier with the international staff.

NOSA: Because Folly and I like to pretend we’re not Philistines, we avoided the accessible stuff and went all in. We got the Braised Beef Noodles Soup and Shanxi Fried Sliced Noodles, with a side of dumplings.  

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NOSA: For a mall food court, it’s a bit on the pricey side. Sounds a bit rich saying that with Debonairs around the corner, but I’m sticking with it. Nothing in a food court should cost over N2000. If you have to make portions smaller, then so be it. Once you start pricing things at N4000, then I full expect a waiter and proper table service. 

FOLLY: I was surprised about the prices too but I was really excited about the food so I didn’t focus on the prices at all.

NOSA: I really like dumplings and they’re pretty hard to mess up so it’s easy to easy to see why I ordered it. As expected, they didn’t let me down one bit. I still haven’t figured out how eat soup dumplings with chopsticks. That’s the one skill I really want to acquire this year. 

FOLLY: The dumplings were confusing to me because we had three different kinds in one bowl - pork, meat, chicken. I’m not really big on steamed dumplings and I prefer pan fried too so this wasn’t really a winner for me - based on personal preference.

NOSA: I’m not really big on soup noodles so I ate more of the flat noodles, which looked more interesting when they were being made than when I actually ate the thing. Watching the guy make the noodles from scratch makes a great Boomerang, by the way.

FOLLY: The flat noodles tasted oddly like bok choy. Okay, that’s not odd because there was bok choy in the noodles, I just didn’t expect it to taste overwhelmingly like Bok Choy considering the small amount of bok choy that was in the dish.

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On the soup noodles, it wasn’t similar to Pho at all - the flavour profile was really different (most noticeably there was no cilantro) and it wasn’t as fragrant. I repeat, if you’re expecting something similar to pho, this is not the one. it was okay in it’s own regard - 7/10.


POSTSCRIPT

NOSA: It’s not, like, great GREAT but it’s good enough. And it’s also hard to find anything like this in Lagos so I’ll definitely come back.

FOLLY: When they have a proper space so I don’t have to deal with random men in my personal space who ask if I brought the table from my house and other questions.

VERDICT

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DAMAGE

Dumplings - N4000

Braised Beef Noodles Soup - N3500

Shanxi Fried Sliced Noodles - N3500

 

PARKING

It’s a mall so there is A LOT of parking, you just have to pay.

Long Weekend Adventure

Zen Garden

60 Isaac John Street. Ikeja, Lagos

01 773 1476.

NOSA: Is this place Zen Garden or Jade Garden?  Google Maps says it’s on Isaac John Street but sends you to Toyin Street.

GoogleMaps

If not for Foursquare, we’d have been finished, yanno?

Foursquare

FOLLY: We eventually had to call them to find out where exactly they were.

NOSA: Mainland rocks so stressful.

FOLLY: I hate Ikeja traffic. I also hate traffic in general. But then I thought the traffic wouldn’t be that bad because long weekend and stuffs but no, you people don’t like to sit in your house.

We also nearly died cause the door flew off a danfo on Ikorodu road and was coming straight for us. We really do this for the people. Put my life on the line for y’all and what do I get.

NOSA: Fashola has definitely “worked” on that Isaac John Street. Definitely has.

FOLLY: Rants aside, the food was pretty good, expensive, but good all the the same.

NOSA: The space is sooooo huge. (That’s what she said)

FOLLY: #NastyNosa

NOSA: I wonder if it’s the same guys that own Pearl Garden in VI because the interior is really really similar. This place had a couple of Asians in it too, so defs legit.

The menu was A LOT to take in. I think I got full as soon as I saw the thing and we hadn’t even decided what to order yet. Anyway we started with Steamed Pork Dumplings and the Prawn Mayo Spring Rolls.

FOLLY: Kinda like Lihao’s menu but less exhausting.

NOSA: Lihao’s menu needs a Math degree to understand it.

FOLLY: I really tried to convince Nosa to try the Sweet Corn and Chicken soup but he wasn’t having it. Tbh I bet this isn’t a real chinese dish. The first Chinese restaurant in Nigeria probably created it and it has just stuck with us

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NOSA: Because it looked disgusting. Couldn’t even get a decent picture of the thing.

FOLLY: It’s not a looker but it still gets love. It’s kind of like when you realize Honey Boo Boo’s mother got a man but you’re still single.

NOSA: I loved the dumplings, especially because the pork actually tasted like pork and not that thing Lihao had. Oh, I tried using chopsticks with it...lol na me fuck up.

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FOLLY: Before I tasted this I reminded Nosa how I don’t steamed dumplings but these were sooo different. The casing did not taste like floury or like rubber. Guess I could say I’m a convert.

NOSA: The spring rolls came highly recommended. By highly recommended, I mean one babe on Foursquare said it was really good. Speaking of Foursquare, I really wish they never created that Swarm app. Everything was fine until they ruined it by splitting the functionality. Yelp needs to come to Nigeria and save us abeg.

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FOLLY: Prawn mayo spring rolls were good but I’m not a connoisseur like that.

NOSA: For our main, we went with the BBQ Spare Ribs and the Special Fried Noodles (aka the one with chicken, beef, and shrimp).

FOLLY: Food court noodles of life, bruh. Looked like it and tasted like it. Nothing gourmet about this one.

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NOSA: I know this one girl whose ex boyfriend used to take her on dates to the food court in the mall. She just started college in America at the time. Poor babe.

Anyway, the ribs weren’t the greatest. The BBQ sauce tasted better than the actual rib meat.

FOLLY: I really liked the sauce on the ribs. I even scooped it unto my noodles like stew. Yum.

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NOSA: The meat on it was tough and chewy. 0 fall-off-the-bone rating. I think BBQ & Cravings might have the best ribs I’ve had in Lagos so far. Theirs was really well made and it blows my mind how other places can’t get it right. Bake it in an oven THEN grill it. Simple stuff.

FOLLY: Osheyyy Texan with the BBQ hands. Please teach them! On the real, can you be a food consultant on “barbecue cuisines” ? I can already imagine your business card.

POSTSCRIPT

FOLLY: Our starters were the real star of this experience. If I ever go back we’ll probably just get a bunch of starters and pretend we’re doing dim sum or something.

NOSA: If I’m being honest, this meal wasn’t worth the drive. If you’re in the area, it’s a decent option for sure. If you’re not, you don’t have to drive this far and pay this much for half decent Chinese. You can get that just about anywhere.

DAMAGE

Steamed Pork Dumplings - N2200

Sweet Corn and Chicken Soup - N1700 (bowl)

Prawn Mayo Spring Rolls - N800 (each)

Special Fried Noodles - N3600

BBQ Spare Ribs - N3900

Terrible Sushi At Last

Bonsai

Plot 1303, Akin Adesola Street. Victoria Island, Lagos

01 792 0157. 0802 761 4727

NOSA: Every time I've heard someone talk about Bonsai, they always talk up how great their cheesecake is. Yes, a Japanese place with great cheesecake. Doesn't make sense to me either. 

Anyway, we decided to stop by and check the spot out.

Gyoza

The Gyoza was pretty solid. Wasn't spectacular but it put in an alright shift. Some Gary Neville gyoza right here.

FOLLY: On its own the gyoza was meh but when I dipped it in the sticky soy sauce it came with, it was delish. 

NOSA: You know what really bothered me about this place? The service. The waiters were pretty nice, but the food took FOREVER to come out. It was just us and some other uncle in here, it shouldn't have taken so long.

Salmon_Skin_Maki

FOLLY: With the Salmon Skin Maki, I expected the roll to have the rice on the inside and the seaweed on the outside. 

NOSA: I have been on this run of amazing sushi in Lagos. Every place I tried was awesome. Couldn't miss. All net

Fusion.

Izanagi.

Sakura.

3-for-3. Couldn't miss. Well, until Bonsai.

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The Salmon Skin Maki wasn't wavy, but my God, the Tempura Maki was a goddamn tasteless disaster. Ay Dios mio! 

The. Absolute. Worst.

FOLLY: The tempura was oily and dense. Absolutely zero flake. The shrimp was also very tough. 

NOSA: I'll give them credit though. Tempura maki is a genius idea on paper, execution no just tap.

Seafood_Udon_Noodles

NOSA: The Udon noodles were bang average as well. 

FOLLY: There was an over powering taste of ground cray fish in this, just like the type they sprinkle in Nigerian soups. It tasted better when I doused it in soy sauce.

NOSA: Yeah, not a lot of positives from this trip. But on the bright side, they have this really huge screen that's excellent for watching soccer. Anyway, we gave Bonsai a chance to redeem themselves and we ordered their famous cheesecake.

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It's not really a looker, tbh.

FOLLY: Uh huh, the top of it looks rather eggy right ? Thankfully that isn't how it tastes. 

So how was it ?

It was really nice and sweet but it didn't have the crumbly crust that cheesecake normally has and that's kinda important to me. And the "strawberry coulis" is jam abeg. 

POSTSCRIPT

NOSA: This place is pretty inexpensive so I guess you get what you pay for. Some of you might come here and think this is excellent. Same way some of you rave about food at Cafe Royale. But you don't know better so I'll let you have it, Jon Snow

DAMAGE

Gyoza - N1000

Salmon Skin Maki - N500

Tempura Maki - N1000

Seafood Udon Noodles - N3500

Cheesecake - N1000


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New Kid On the Block

Sakura Fine Asian Cuisine

2a Sakajojo Street. Victoria Island, Lagos

0909 040 9363

NOSA: Because you guys laughed at my cook's lasagne, he has promised to show all of you. He's making pizza this week and he has promised me he has the hands. He better have the hands because I died in Lagos traffic looking for a rolling pin. 

Anyway, we hit up Sakura with two of our favorite people - AA and IO. Yes, I know how unimaginative that is but they wanted to be called "Shaniqua and Renee". See why that couldn't work?

FOLLY: This our one friend, "IO", it's super hard to convince her to hang out with us and this is how the conversations usually go (every single time!):

FOLLY & NOSA: Hey I, let’s go to Cafe Royale for drinks ?
IO: I don’t think I can make it.

FOLLY & NOSA: Dangote is sharing bricks of hundred dollar bills on 3rd mainland now! Let’s go!
IO: I have plans.

FOLLY: We love you, IO, really we do!

NOSA: I just wish she'd stop being so flaky and let me love her.

FOLLY: Imagine how blown we were when she agreed to come with us and our other friend AA for dinner at Sakura. 

NOSA: I got the Sensation Maki and the Jalapeño Shrimp Maki. I really liked the sushi, especially AAs Shrimp Lover Maki.

Sensation Maki and the Jalape  ñ  o Shrimp Maki.

Sensation Maki and the Jalapeño Shrimp Maki.

I havent really had a bad sushi experience in Lagos. Well, apart from Ocean Basket but that was just me making terrible life choices.

FOLLY: This is besides the point but the first time I went to Ocean Basket it was sooo perf, but the second time was a disaster and now I'm scared to go back. 

Shrimp Lover Maki

Shrimp Lover Maki

NOSA: The real fun part of this was definitely the hibachi grill. The chef didn’t have have all the hibachi tekkers sadly. No onion volcano or fancy egg tricks, but it was fun nonetheless.

FOLLY: I loved the Hibachi room at Sakura. It's like a private dining experience, separate from the main restaurant. So it was so fun that we came here as a group, AA. could get up and demonstrate the gist she was giving us without the judging eyes of other patrons.

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On that note, did you guys know that there are multiple shoki's like "shower shoki", "reading bible shoki", "driving shoki" etc. I had no idea.

NOSA: And no, that's not the ajebutter shoki Lynxxx did in that one song

I digress.

The food off the hibachi was really good. It took everything in me not to ditch my plate for Follys.

FOLLY: Wait, so why didn't we swap then because my chicken and mushrooms were great and all but I really liked your sushi; especially the jalapeño one, but without the jalapeñonatch.

NOSA: I believe this is the only place in Lagos with a hibachi grill. And Bungalows, I think.

FOLLY: Bungalows may have iPads for menus but the food is still a bit struggle.

NOSA: All facts.

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FOLLY: I had the hibachi chicken and it comes as main course of chicken and mushrooms with a host of other sides including miso soup, fried rice, a side salad, and vegetables. The miso soup tasted like crayfish to me but Nosa seemed to enjoyed it. Nosa will tell you that's the yoruba in me. Shrug. 

NOSA: The miso soup was muy bueno to me. Maybe it's an acquired taste. These Japanese people might not know it, but miso soup is their pepper soup. Get some fresh fish and it's a wrap. Chipotle!

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FOLLY: I loved my mushrooms and vegetables (zucchini, sprouts, onions, and spinach). The side salad and chicken (AA. found it a bit dry) were nice too. I also really liked the sauce on the chicken and mushrooms. 

My drink, the Cinderella, was forgettable. (Ed Note: An Instagram follower recommends the "Hennessy Berry" though)

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FOLLY: IO got the chicken yaki soba. We judged her for ordering "indomie" before it arrived, but the joke was on us.

NOSA: Breh, IO's chicken yaki soba was delicious.

 

DAMAGE

Chicken Yaki Soba - N2,900

Hibachi Chicken - N5,800

Shrimp Lover Maki - N3,900

Sensation Maki - N2,300

Jalapeno Shrimp Maki - N2000