We Finally Found a Good Nigerian Restaurant
NOSA: Utazi has been on the schedule for weeks, but I've been pushing it off.
FOLLY: First impressions of Utazi are a little annoying because of the non-existent parking.
NOSA: Oh man, it's the absolute worst. I was soooo close to just driving somewhere else.
FOLLY: The first time we tried to visit Utazi we actually ended up at Four Points because we couldn't hack it. However, if you can get past the lack of parking, Utazi is well worth the visit.
FOLLY: To start, we had the peppered snail. Although, hardly an appetizer because it arrived at the same time as our mains.
NOSA: Arrived after, you mean.
FOLLY: The snails were good but could be better. I like snails that have been boiled until tender and then cooked again in the stew-y sauce. These were definitely boiled, but a little longer would have made them better.
NOSA: I think it's a Nigerian thing. People (read: Nigerians) generally love tough "meat". The Craft Gourmet lady once told us a story about how some customer lost their top because the lamb served was tender. Probably explains why BBQ & Cravings' ribs are so popular.
FOLLY: Size wise, I was impressed.
NOSA: That's what she said
NOSA: For my main, I got the beans and plantain. Funny story, in secondary school, I got bullied a bit. In my first year, my seniors ate all my food. Didn't taste chicken or fish that entire year.
NOSA: I barely got to eat my bread for breakfast. Do you know what the evil seniors left for me though?
Lots of it.
FOLLY: While for my main course, I had the seafood okro and pounded yam. My main reason for ordering the seafood okro was so that I could compare it with that of Yellow Chilli and L'Afric.
I thoroughly enjoyed the seafood at Utazi, it was delicious! For the most part, I ate the okro alone without the pounded yam. The fact that the pounded yam arrived cold was one of the reasons but the main reason was that I found it really yummy.
I like my okro with a bit of crunch and this was perfect in that regard. I'm not in support of super slimy okro. I must also add that it wasn't as heavy on the palm oil like most seafood okro's so that was another plus.
NOSA: The beans had this very homemade feel to it. Can't quite put my finger on what exactly gave it that, but it tasted like something I'd eat at home.
Oh, and the best part, the plantain was fresh. Might seem like a gimme, but last time we were at L'Afric, the plantain tasted like it was made hours ago and warmed up in a microwave oven. So yeah, I'll take my joys where I find them.
FOLLY: The only downside to Utazi's seafood okro is that compared to L'Afric and Yellow Chilli who load their seafood okro with at least 3-4 varieties of seafood. Utazi just had one big piece of fish and one shrimp, pere. Granted it's cheaper than both Yellow Chilli and L'Afric's, but at N3000+ they should definitely do better than this with the contents.
FOLLY: In my opinion, Utazi is a a much better alternative to L'Afric and Yellow Chilli. The food tastes fresher and appears to be made with higher quality ingredients.
NOSA: Nigerian food is never my first choice to be honest, but Utazi does such a good job that I might let some things slide.
FOLLY: Our waitress was so so so pleasant. One of the best I've encountered in Lagos.
NOSA: If you own Utazi and you stumble on this review, give the waitress with the braids a raise.
Fried Fish - N2625
Seafood Okro - N3150
Peppered Snail - N2100
Beans & Plantain - N2415