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THE AUTHENTIC FOODIE GUIDE: HOW TO EAT AT THE BEST RESTAURANTS IN LAGOS

“Ask not what you can do for your country, ask what is for lunch.” – Orson Welles

One thing we can all agree and say is true about Lagos is that the number of restaurants is growing. Being home for over two months for the Summer holidays, I decided to get myself busy not only with internships, but also food! I am now currently touring the city for the best restaurant finds.

Going around to various restaurants in Lagos has been quite fascinating and fun to say the least. I leave a restaurant and ask myself: What will I say this restaurant owner would be most proud of? For example, is it the ambiance of the restaurant, the quality of the service, or is it the food itself? Asking all these questions has helped inform my opinion on Nigerian restaurants:

  • Most restaurants staff don’t have the slightest clue about the restaurant. ‘What would you recommend?’ is a question that only the manager can answer. The staff aren’t educated about anything regarding the restaurant but just how to place the food in front of the customer. How are they meant to be the ones serving the food if they don’t know about the food?
  • Nigerian restaurants believe that if they look ‘nice’, they can charge crazy prices for their meals. Having good ambiance is great, but let the ambiance tally with the food you are serving. If you have a beautiful high-class restaurant then a high-class menu.
  • Nigeria restaurants are inconsistent. This is something that hurts me because it makes me very hesitant to recommend a restaurant to anyone. Nigerian restaurants have times when they decide they want to be good. If you go in the evening, it’s better vibes! What about if I can only go in the afternoon?

This made me wonder what tips I would give when recommending a restaurant to fellow foodies – especially picky eaters like me – and this is it:

  • DO: Check out their Instagram page before going. This will give you visual insight into what the restaurant has to offer.
  • DO: If you can, find out their menu. At least, you’ll have an idea of one or two things you can enjoy.
  • DON’T: A friend of mine once told me never to order food without finding out what specialties they are best known for. For example, if a seafood restaurant says their steak is the most popular dish, then we know they should remove ‘seafood’ from their description!

I visited a good number of restaurants in Lagos, including Black Olive, RSVP, Talindo Steakhouse, Arabesque and so on. Some have proven themselves to be hidden gems, whilst others have disappointed me to the extent that I swore I would not be going back. As mentioned, I am picky eater, meaning they’re some specific things I won’t try and that’s what makes me wonder: Is it my preference of food that makes me like a meal or is it that that meal is GOOD? From my mini tour, I’ve concluded that whatever your preference is, when food is good, everyone can attest to it being just that!

Follow @nunueatss on Instagram for more restaurant reviews and delicious photos!