Posts tagged oxtail
Can Orchid Bistro Bring their Ikeja Magic to Ikoyi?

FOLLY: Ikeja's neighborhood darling is now in Ikoyi. It's a small space as expected since the vibe they are likely going for is an intimate bistro/cafe look and feel. 

NOSA: When I found out it was going to be off Awolowo Road, I was super disappointed. I can't even front at all.

But on arrival, I was less so. I mean, it is still off Awolowo and Awolowo is still the worst place on earth. But...and a big BUT, Orchid Bistro Express is just so tastefully done up.

FOLLY: The decor is very intentional because the first thing you see when you walk in are orchid at the bar while on your approach there is some greenery in the outdoor area. It's not quite Green Village transplanted to Ikoyi from Ikeja, but it will, without a doubt, suffice. 

NOSA: It is a shame, however, that all the decor still have price tags on them. Is there any place in Lagos with a return policy?

All that aside, this is the perfect space for brunch. The natural light and the outdoor area? 

Just perfect.

If the owners of Orchid Bistro ever stumble on this blog, they need to hit us up because we totes have the best idea for the space.

FOLLY: Mozzarella sticks aren't the something I'd normally order but my interest in the stringy cheese bars was piqued on this day and thankfully Orchid bistro delivered.

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NOSA: I've never had mozzarella sticks in Lagos so I pleasantly surprised by the one at Orchid Bistro.

FOLLY: The cheese was, in fact mozzarella and not rolled processed cheese slices. This is not a slight at Orchid Bistro because I didn't expect any less of them.

NOSA: I mean, they have an actual BLT on the menu.

FOLLY: However, at the same time, it shouldn't be taken for granted because of the little importance many Lagos restaurants place on using quality cheese. 

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FOLLY: I took Nosa's approach to ordering and I went for one of the most expensive entrees: the Braised Oxtail. The menu stated that it came with Pilaf Rice but the waiter asked if I'd prefer mashed potatoes instead, I did. 

The oxtail was braised in a rich tomato sauce that I really enjoyed with the mashed potatoes.

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NOSA: I'm surprised Folly liked it because I thought the mash was clumpy and certainly not their best effort.

But as they say, "One man's meat..."

FOLLY: Sadly, the oxtail itself disappointed me. It was tender but not fork-tender i.e. not easily pulled apart with a fork. I had to be very intentional in cutting the meat from the bone with a fork and knife. In a different setting, I'd have picked up the piece with my hands and dropped the cutlery.

NOSA: I went with the Bangers & Mash as my main...

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....yeah.

Deconstructed Bangers & Mash, anyone?

The portion of mash was pretty miserly, but in hindsight,  that wasn't the worst thing since I didn't like the mash at all. The Bangers were bangin' though. 

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FOLLY: In one word, I found the mojito to be refreshing. I also liked the fact that it wasn't overly loaded with sugar.

At Orchid Bistro you have to order dessert because it's more or less, their core competency.

NOSA: The Cheesecake was rubbish.

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FOLLY: I prefer cheesecake much sweeter, this was tart and the crust was soggy. Another disappointing experience for me. 

NOSA: All this big English for "the cheesecake was rubbish".

POSTSCRIPT

FOLLY: I've always enjoyed visiting their Ikeja location so I look forward to making Orchid Bistro a neighborhood fave. 

NOSA: N500 for a takeaway pack is daylight robbery.

 

VERDICT

DAMAGE

Mozzarella Sticks - N3000

Bangers & Mash - N3000

Braised Oxtail - N7500

 

PARKING

Limited street parking

HSE Cafe Gives Fola Osibo A Facelift

HSE Cafe

Plot 2 Emma Abimbola Cole Street, Lekki 1, Lagos.

0703 031 8829. 0809 086 5298

NOSA: A while ago, I noticed how Fola Osibo Street in Lekki had a startling number of restaurants on the strip. Not just that, it’s incredible how the bulk of the restaurants on the strip are pretty bad.

FOLLY: Before you say that's a major generalization, think about it and you'd realize that they are all scraps. The only exception is Wrap City but they aren't a restaurant. 

NOSA: This is an unfounded theory but I’m sure 80% of the businesses on that street are money laundering fronts. 

FOLLY: Including the boutiques' tbh, but let me focus on my work. 

NOSA: In the last 2 weeks, however, there has been a little shake-up.

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First, the strip got the delightful Subway clone, Sub Delight, and last weekend, it got HSE Gourmet Cafe. We got invited to its soft opening (launch? idk) on Saturday and we were thoroughly impressed.

FOLLY: "Press brunch", it was.

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NOSA: The interior is pretty adorable and the menu might be the most interesting one there is in all of Lekki. That said, special openings never tell the whole story, so yesterday, we went to check out HSE Gourmet Cafe again.

FOLLY: That's because special events like that are when they pull out all the stops and treat you like a special guest.

NOSA: Picking a main was a bit of a challenge because I wanted to try the Pulled Pork Grilled Cheese and the Oxtail Chili Cheese Fries. Normally, I’d convince Folly to get my other option, but neither was really friendly to her lactose intolerant stomach and I’m a considerate person.

FOLLY: Yeah, it was hard for me too as almost everything had cheese. 

NOSA: At the soft opening, I got the guacamole grilled cheese and I thought it was near perfect. The only flaw was the thickness of the bread. For that reason alone, I settled for the cheese fries.

FOLLY: Too much guacamole for my taste but I thought the bread was great, unlike Nosa. 

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NOSA: The cheese fries were decent, but they fell a bit short as a main. After a couple of bites, it gets tedious and you’re more or less over it. The blandness of the oxtail was probably to blame for that. 

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FOLLY: No one person wants to eat such a huge portion of fries. I think they should reduce the portion size and put it in a bowl and it'll be a perfect appetizer to share. 

NOSA: Our third wheel got the Chicken Noodle Soup and it tasted shockingly different from the one Folly had at the soft opening. It went from a proper noodle soup to pepper soup with Indomie in it. Very disappointing. 

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FOLLY: Exaggeration on the Indomie, but it was so good when I first had it on Sunday and it looked different too. I suspect you Nigerians of going in there and saying the pepper wasn't enough so they turned it into pepper soup to please you. The bowl that I had on my first visit was very therapeutic (as soup should be) because I was in a pretty shitty mood and it cheered me right up. 

NOSA: Folly’s salad took forever. 

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FOLLY: The salad was good but I also realized smoked cheese wasn't for me.  The dressing was a good choice with this salad, the creaminess complemented the avocado and the apples very well. However, my benchmark for a good salad in Lagos that's also value for money is Deli's, and compared to that this fell short. 

 

POSTSCRIPT

NOSA: On the whole, I like HSE Cafe. I didn’t mention this earlier but the wings are absolutely fantastic. Their alcoholic iced teas also.

FOLLY: The non-alcoholic ones too, especially the peach and passion fruit. I'm quite meh on the blackberry mojito.

NOSA: Unfortunately, I don’t think anything on the menu is priced sensibly. Delis has bigger salads, of similar quality, that’s significantly cheaper. The service could also do with some work. The waitresses are pleasant but the turnaround time on Folly’s salad was ridiculous. 

FOLLY: Yeah, I got my salad (the only thing that didn't require cooking) after everyone else had eaten. We were seated outside and they completely forgot to bring me my food until I went in to ask for it and even then, the waitress had no idea that she had forgotten something. 

NOSA: By Lekki standards, however, this place is amazing.

VERDICT

DAMAGE

Oxtail Chili Fries - N3500

Blackberry Mojito Tea -N1500

Chicken Noodle Soup - N2000

Honey Whiskey Hard Iced Tea - N1800

Avo Bacon & Smoked Cheese Salad - N3000

 

PARKING

It's in one of those Fola Osibo complexes so there's parking.