Eat.Drink.Travel: Santoku (Accra)
 

NOSA: On our last couple trips to Accra, we’ve found some way to miss out on Santoku. Crazy because if you’re visiting Accra and you’re not checking out Santoku, you’re clearly doing Accra wrong. Easily the best Japanese restaurant in the region.

Yes, a sweeping statement.

FOLLY: You will deal.

NOSA: On a serious note, Santoku should be right at the top of your Accra Hit List.

IMG_5257.jpg

FOLLY: I sometimes wonder how a Nigerian girl like me, came to loving mushrooms after a protracted period of saying “eww what are those”. It could also be said that I’m simply making up for lost time.

The Shimeji Mushrooms are described as “Japanese mushrooms in butter and soya sauce with spring onion, truffle oil & kinoko sauce”.

In spite of my love for mushrooms, I’d admit I was a bit overwhelmed when I first received a bowl full of mushrooms. I got over it after the first taste and I inhaled the mushrooms as fast I could, and even used the spoon to eat the last bits of the “mushroom butter” because it was incredibly tasty. The flavour is simple in that it’s very buttery immediately, but it becomes more complex and you get hints of the soya and the truffle oil as you eat it.

Ghana-30.jpg

NOSA: Izangi’s take on the Tuna Tataki is one of my favourite things on their menu so I decided to give Santoku’s a go. It came in a Japanese mustard sauce that was begging to be in a sandwich.

FOLLY: I don’t really like tuna but Nosa always orders it - I guess he likes it or something. I’ve actually never asked - I should.

NOSA: Folly is razz and she doesn't appreciate good things.

FOLLY: If I barely like cooked tuna, then rare tuna is totes not for me. That said, it didn’t smell fishy or taste horrible, but I’ll probably pass on it next time - like I do all tuna.

NOSA: Behind salmon, tuna is the most elite fish. Don’t let all that canned tuna they forced you to eat as a child mess with tuna’s elite-ness.

Anyway, our final starter was Pork Belly, which we literally begged them to make because it wasn’t on the night’s menu. The begging was absolutely worth it. The pork belly is stupendously good. So good that we considered stopping by again on our way to the airport for a to-go plate. Get this pork belly and the mustard from the tuna tataki in a bao bun, and you’ll probably have the most delicious sandwich you’ll ever put in your mouth.

IMG_5250.jpg

FOLLY: We shared a main which was recommended to us by our server Red Snapper & Black Fried Rice. I don’t think Nosa appreciated how well the fish was cooked.

NOSA: I’m not going to say I didn’t appreciate it, but it was fried FRIED.

FOLLY: The outside (the skin) was dry and crispy and then the moisture from chewing releases all the dried flavours - basically it was really good. And then the inside was still flaky and so moist and tasted oh so amazing with the accompanying chilli sauce… Nosa just doesn’t understand.

FOLLY: The rice was exciting to me mainly because of the colour. Gochujang sauce, which is the first ingredient listed, is a spicy sauce that can also be made with sugar.

Gochujang or red chili paste is a savory, sweet, and spicy fermented condiment made from chili powder, glutinous rice, meju powder, yeotgireum, and salt. The sweetness comes from the starch of cooked glutinous rice, cultured with saccharifying enzymes during the fermentation process
— Wikipedia

FOLLY: Santoku’s definitely had sugar as the Black Fried Rice leaned heavily on the sweet side. However, with the fish leaning to the spicy side it worked out perfectly.

NOSA: I was a bigger fan of the rice than I was of the fish, but not sure if I was more fascinated by it or I actually found it delicious.

Ghana-36.jpg

FOLLY: That white fish roll was a mistake I wouldn’t make again. It was very rare and very bland. The salmon hand roll on the other hand was great with a popping orange salmon that good salmon should have.

NOSA: The Lobster Maki was my favourite of the lot. The rest of it was passable. Not saying it was bad or anything, but everything just paled in comparison to the pork belly.

FOLLY: I really really liked the cheesecake. I don’t think I can type enough really’s to describe how much I did. It was so milky and creamy (the matcha came through). Honestly, creamy and milky are not words I should use to describe anything I’m eating because of my condition (lactose intolerant) but I didn’t eat it all by myself, we all shared dessert family style 😊


Recommended Dish: Pork Belly (GHC 75)

santoku-restaurant.com

Does Bottled Water Expire?

I stumbled on an article about a guy who ate expired food for a whole year to prove some weird point about waste to his family. That’s the type of thing you do when you’re waiting till 6pm to switch on your big generator. Anyway, it did get me thinking about bottled water and expiration dates because some brands tend to list it.

photo.jpg

Also, I’ve been scolded by Folly one time for drinking “old” water. According to the US Food & Drug Administration,

"Bottled water is considered to have an indefinite safety shelf life if it is produced in accordance with CGMP and quality standard regulations and is stored in an unopened, properly sealed container. Therefore, FDA does not require an expiration date for bottled water. However, long-term storage of bottled water may result in aesthetic defects, such as off-odor and taste."

So technically, it doesn’t expire, but the bottle gets a bit weird if I’m reading that correctly. When bottled water manufacturers list an expiration date, it’s often a “best by” date for quality control purposes. Chemicals from the bottle tend to mess with the taste of the water so you won’t die, but it’ll taste funky. Either way, in a zombie apocalypse, you won’t be worried by all that. 

When opened, it’s a different ballgame, however. The rim, which comes in contact with your mouth, can pass off some tiny germs to the cap. When that accumulates, it can be pretty gross so it’s advisable to keep bottles refrigerated between sips. 


Other interesting things on the internet…

  • The gross guy I talked about earlier?  Yeah, here’s the full story [Munchies]

  • If you're getting in the food delivery business, this is a good read. It’s about how a couple US-based restaurants are optimising for delivery by tweaking recipes lightly and streamlining menus. [NRN]

  • Did you know some decades ago there used be a thing called the “Ladies Menu” at fine dining restaurants in Europe  and America? The Ladies Menu was a menu identical to the men’s menu but the prices weren’t listed. [Eater]

  • Well this one isn’t on the internet, but I heard Delifrance was forced out of business by Maison Kayser and not in the friendly market forces way either. If you have any more details, shoot us an email - editor[at]eatdrinklagos[dot]com



Hard Rock Cafe: Snatching the "Meh" from the Jaws of "Good"
 

Feeling compassionate on election weekend (thanks to the free roads), I decided to visit Hard Rock Café, the American neighbours of our Oriental friends, Shiro, and it was quite the experience.

Read the original review HERE

Anyway, straight to the food…

Hickory-Smoked Ribs from  Hard Rock Cafe

Hickory-Smoked Ribs from Hard Rock Cafe

My first order was the half rack of Hickory-Smoked Ribs which came with a side of mashed potatoes, cowboy beans and coleslaw – HRC really took me for a ride with this one.

Before even touching the ribs, I started off upset about not being given a steak knife, then excited after realising that the ribs fell off the bone, AND THEN back to being upset when I was halfway through the rack and the midsection couldn’t be tackled with the blunt table knife. I mean, the ribs were well-seasoned and tender on the edges so if they had just been consistent then they would have been IT for me.

The mashed potatoes were nice and smooth but not as creamy as I’d have liked. The better restaurants in Lagos have spoilt me, to be honest, so I can’t settle anymore. Also, with the recent uproar about cowmilk, I know I shouldn’t be asking for creamy mash but bruhhh, I don’t think I’m ready to replace cowmilk with almond milk in mashed potatoes just yet.

Can’t click.

I didn’t try the coleslaw, but the cowboy beans were also decent, and the chef was kind enough to share the recipe – not sure if I’m allowed to disclose so maybe you should visit and try it for yourself?

Question: How do you eat your ribs/chicken/steak and mashed potatoes?

  1. Scoop mash then pierce into a piece of the ribs/chicken/steak

  2. Place mash in mouth then quickly add ribs/chicken/steak to mouth before swallowing

  3. Eat ALL the mash then focus on the ribs/chicken/steak at the end

(If ‘3’, you’re probably from SW Nigeria.)

Moving on, the second meal I ordered was the Blackened Chicken Sandwich which came with French fries… cold French fries.

Blackened Chicken Sandwich from  Hard Rock Cafe

Blackened Chicken Sandwich from Hard Rock Cafe

Besides the bread being a lot to deal with and the fries being cold, the chicken breast and the overall composition of the burger were lovely! The spicy chicken breast is topped with red remoulade and mango salsa, giving it a sweet-spicy taste. Overall, like pineapple on pizza, I imagine people will either love or hate this burger, thanks to the mango salsa.

Hot+Fudge+Brownie

Side Note: I guess tattered menus are like battle scars for the wars you’ve faced with your many customers, but please restaurants, do better. (Also, blame HRC for the poor brownie shot because their margarita glass seemed like it had be cleaned with sandpaper or something.)

Final order of the day was the Hot Fudge Brownie - a brownie crowned with a scoop of ice cream topped with chocolate syrup, walnuts and whipped cream. Quite a lot for someone that had just rammed through two meals, I know, but there was still space, so I had to fill it.

I was quite impressed by the richness of the brownie and quality of ice cream in this dessert. Restaurants with stellar mains often relax when it comes to desserts and serve you scoops of Fan ice in their sundaes, but HRC didn’t. Imagine a brownie piece cut out from the middle of the tray with no crusty edges – that was the HRC brownie. Overall, impressive.


POSTSCRIPT

…. quite the rollercoaster with the ribs and the cold fries but I’d definitely return for the chicken sandwich and the cowboy beans!

VERDICT

Meh.jpeg

DAMAGE

 Half Rack Hickory-Smoked Ribs - N6500

Blackened Chicken Sandwich - N5000

Hot Fudge Brownie - N4600

 

PARKING

Ample parking space - Over 100 cars 

EDL Weekender: Brunch, Zobo and Trivia

Another weekend is here. Here’s a bunch things you can get up to this weekend.

Weekender!

 

EAT

Sunday Brunch at Salma’s

If Lebanese food is up your alley, you should definitely check out Salma’s. This Sunday they kick off their Sunday brunch.

 

DRINK

Zobo Sangria at Danfo Bistro

I’ve had the zobo sangria both times I was at Danfo, it’s one of their signature cocktails and always the waiters’ first choice when you ask them to suggest a cocktail. It has dark rum, zobo, red wine and fruits. I was a fan from the first moment I tasted it and I am still a fan. Spicy, thanks to the ginger in the zobo, and fruity, the Zobo Sangria is a massive “yes” from me. This was the first cocktail at Danfo to put a smile on our faces.
— Lala
 

LAGOS

Trivia Night at La Taverna

It’s a new month so we’re back trivia-ing it up at La Taverna tomorrow. Get your team of four and come through to have some fun.

Trivia Night.png
 

That’s all from me this week. Have a good weekend!

Join Us This Weekend For Eat.Drink.Lagos Trivia Night
Trivia Night.png

It’s a “new” month so it’s time for another edition of Eat.Drink.Lagos Trivia Night. Election is still fresh in our minds so we expect a category on popular elections (not just Nigeria).

We’ll be at La Taverna (again) for Trivia Night and we’d like you guys to join us. You’ll need a team of four to participate and you can reserve by clicking the little button below: