Ethnique Strives to be Everything Yellow Chili Should be

Ethnique Restaurant

 Nakenohs Blvd. 4, Bank Rd (Murtala Mohammed Drive), Ikoyi, Lagos

0906 917 8241. 0817 159 1035

FOLLY: Toasties got a couple of new neighbors. One's a bakery and her 'right beside" next door neighbor is Ethnique. 

NOSA: That strip in Nakenohs BLVD is a food court of sorts now. If the owner is really about it, there's a lot of money to be made.

FOLLY: Ethnique is what you'll expect it to be, a Nigerian restaurant that isn't strictly Nigerian. I was expecting more fusion dishes but instead there was a Nigerian section and then there was a "continental section". Does anyone else hate that word "continental" and its applications in the Nigerian hospitality sector?

NOSA: Man, what exactly is "Continental" fare? What continent?

FOLLY: It seriously irks me.

NOSA: This is a rant for another day.

FOLLY: Ethnique is a really small restaurant. There's a bar with about four stools inside and three regular tables. Most of the seating is actually available outside. 

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FOLLY: Ethnique should not put time suggestions on their menu if they aren't going to keep to them cause it creates a very angsty customer. For example, the Small Chops Platter that was said to take 20 minutes preparation time, actually ended up taking 32 minutes. 

On the whole, I will give the small chops platter a comfortable 6.5/10.

NOSA: I'd give it something like a 7 or 7.5, because I thought it was pretty decent.

FOLLY: It was good but not stellar. Here's what we thought of the individual pieces:

The snail was pretty tough.

NOSA: This is more on how Nigerians prepare snail than anything. I wouldn't hold it against them.

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FOLLY: The prawn batter was inconsistent but the inside was still soft and not overcooked.

NOSA: I'll agree with you on this one.

FOLLY: The chicken wings were slightly cross fit in appearance aka they didn't have a lot of meat.

NOSA: The wings were pretty flavorful and despite how skinny it looked, the meat was tender enough.

FOLLY: The chicken wings and the snails and the vegetables were sauteed in the same sauce which tasted great, it had a hint of soy sauce so I found the sweet chili dip that the platter was served with to be a good pairing.  

NOSA: The samosa was a bit of a let down.

FOLLY: The samosa didn't have enough beef in it and the spring roll was good. 

NOSA: The spring roll was pretty forgettable now that I think about it. Like, I actually forgot we had spring roll on that plate

For my main, I had the Ethnique Surf N' Turf, which is basically their take on the Jollof Fiesta at L'Afric.

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NOSA: For all it claims to come loaded with, this plate was incredibly boring. The jollof needed salt and on the whole, it was tedious to get through. Required 3 attempts.

I wish the central thing here wasn't the rice, but I guess it's a Nigerian thing. A more adventurous chef might turn all attention to the the prawn and the chicken. Relegate the rice to a side attraction.

FOLLY: For my main, I had the Sweet Potato Pottage. It had an advised preparation time of 25 minutes but it actually arrived in 1hr and 30 minutes.

Unacceptable.

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FOLLY: I've never had a sweet potato pottage but the Internet has always made me crave it. I prefer sweet potatoes to yam so this didn't disappoint. I find the sweetness of the potato to be a much better "partner" to the rich savory tomato sauce. I also usually always find the yam to be bland in yam pottage.

NOSA: I'm not a big pottage person, but I liked this. Not sure if it was because the pottage was that good or because I really like sweet potatoes. Either way, it's a "yes" from me.

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FOLLY: I'm a purist in that I don't believe in stock fish or vegetables in my pottage. I don't hate the additions or think that it ruins the dish, but if given a choice I'd opt out of including them.

 

POSTSCRIPT

FOLLY: I'm neither here nor there about this place. The food was okay but lacking in personality. From what we tried and the entire menu, I can't say they have a unique flair.

NOSA: Ethnique is basically like any Nigerian restaurant out there, minus the obscene portion sizes.

FOLLY: I also felt the restaurant had no ambiance. If you played the SIMS you know when you need to put paintings and decor to make your SIMS environment go up, think about it like that. This was pretty neutral, no positive or negative environment change.

NOSA: I wouldn't blame them for that directly. The bakery beside them really kills the vibe. They really need to take advantage of the lawn in front of the restaurant though. Not just them, the three "spots" on that strip.

VERDICT

DAMAGE

Small Chops Platter - N5000

Ethnique's Surf & Turf - N4000

Sweet Potato Pottage - N2500

 

PARKING

Yes. Reasonable amount in the Nakenohs compound.