Dining Out in the Lagos Context: How the Eat.Drink.Lagos Rating Works

NOSA: This post has been in my head for a minute, but I haven’t really had the opportunity to put it down until a couple of conversations I had over this past weekend.

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Liked it

Compared to the average Lagos restaurant, this is a very good restaurant in food and service

The “Nigerian Factor” is something that we try to consider when we write our reviews. Nigeria has its peculiarities and these must be taken into account when pronouncing a verdict on any restaurant we visit. 

For starters, it’s never going to be as good as the one place you visited in west London. It’ll never be as authentic as the hole in the wall in San Antonio. It’ll never taste just like the one at that cafe in Florence.

It is what it is, I’m afraid.

And it’s not for the want of trying. It’s just the way Nigeria is set up. You think the power situation hits your household hard? Imagine running a business in these conditions. Or the price of a raw material literally tripling overnight.   

It's meh

The food was palatable but not enjoyable enough to warrant a second visit. 

Nigeria is hard and whatnot.

We don’t produce our own cheese, for instance. So every slice you eat in Lagos is imported and as you might have guessed, it gets more expensive with increasing quality. That’s why you have burger like The French at South costing a mini fortune.

This weekend, a tiny block of parmesan set me back about N1300. Absolutely ludicrous!

I once had a conversation with the couple that owns RSVP about cocktails. The wife mentioned something about having to buy imported limes because the Nigerian ones don’t have enough juice.

With that in mind, the rational restaurant owner is going to skimp on a couple things here and there. Like put ugwu instead of mint in your mojito.

After all, all na leaf.

I don’t like it, but again, it is what it is.

Hated it

The food is here well below average and the service leaves a lot to be desired.

So when a restaurant actually tries, it’s so easy to stand out. And while it might not be what you’re used to, it’s much better than the standard fare. That’s how a place like Sky Lounge has gotten away with it for so long.  Because when you think about it within the context of Lagos and its restaurants, how many restaurants are better?