There's A Jamaican Spot In Lekki
FOLLY: Bubble Tii (a vendor at the EatDrinkFestival) moved to a shiny new store in Lekki and acquired a roommate along the way. That roommate is the Mango Room.
Now, this is the first Carribean restaurant I've come across in Lagos and I was quite excited. Even more excited when I realized they did NOT have jollof rice on the menu. I bet a dusty Nigerian has asked.
NOSA: Sure, they didn't have jollof on the menu, but they didn't have a bunch of the stuff listed on the menu either.
FOLLY: Initially, I was going to get a medium portion each of curry goat and oxtail but they said they didn't have medium portions of the oxtail, so I settled on a large portion of the oxtail with a side of rice and peas for Nosa and me, to share.
NOSA: ....which was a completely terrible idea.
FOLLY: The large oxtail portion wasn't that large, sadly.
NOSA: I wonder how small their "medium" must be.
FOLLY: The oxtail was delicious, it was so tender and juicy.
NOSA: I think this is why the portion size upset me so much.
FOLLY: They really did that meat justice, I suspect it was slow cooked.
NOSA: The thought of oxtail, in itself, scares me but this was really good. I wish the sauce it was cooked in was, for lack of a better word, overwhelming. This is more of a personal problem to be fair. I had just taken drugs and wished the taste would drown out the medicine aftertaste I already had in my mouth.
FOLLY: The rice and peas were also great. Now, these are aren't regular green peas like you and I know but are actually kidney beans, which makes me wonder why the Jamaicans call them peas but that's irrelevant.
NOSA: I fully expected Mango Room to be lazy and serve the regular Nigerian "rice & beans" like the one at Chicken Republic. Look, Nigerian restaurants have scammed me so I'm always so edgy about these things.
FOLLY: What I liked about this was the 'swaltiness' (sweet and salty). Something was added to the rice to also give it a sweet base, I think brown sugar or coconut milk.
NOSA: I kept waiting for the real taste to show up. The rice and peas were actually delicious, but as a Nigerian conditioned to think there's only one way for rice to taste, I thought I was imagining this "swalty" thing.
FOLLY: The patty was a little thin and quite expensive if you ask me. N500 for a small meat pie in this economy, I mean, my people damn near had a revolution when Mr. Biggs increased the price of their meat pie to N250.
Don't get me wrong though the beef patty wasn't just a meat pie, I'm just comparing it to one since that's what we're familiar with in Nigeria.
NOSA: The beef patty is no meat pie, at all. They might look like twins or "similiar", as one man told Folly yesterday, but they're very different.
FOLLY: Two things that make a Jamaican patty different from a meat pie is a flakier and spiced (curry) crust, and this one had both of those.
NOSA: Meat Pie > Beef Patty because Nigeria > Jamaica obvs.
Banter aside, I wonder what Jamaicans would think of our meat pie.
FOLLY: Finally, I had no idea what to expect with the fried dumplings but these can be likened to puff-puff or fried bread. We used these to mop up the left over sauce from the oxtails.
NOSA: This is really a puff-puff strip. Can't tell me nothing.
FOLLY: This is a nice place and I quite enjoyed the Oxtail. I'd like to try the curry goat or something else on their menu if I come back.
NOSA: I hated the fact that it costs more to eat in than to take out. And none of the staff could explain why. It would be nice if the owner explained these things to the staff. I also hate that they cover the plates with a microwave cover when serving. These little grievances aside, I'll absolutely come back here. Totally worth it.
Fried Dumpling - N1000
Beef Patty - N500
Rice & Peas with Oxtail - N4000