Lagos is home to all! A centre for business that attracts people from all over the World. Thankfully, this allows us Lagos-living food lovers taste and experience different cultures that have settled here.
Two cultural restaurants…..Two taste journeys…..more to come!
Lebanese (Salma’s Lagos)
Sfiha (Arabic) means open faced meat pie. Salma’s Sfiha is simply a bite of very delicious squared flat bread filled with goat meat. The wooden platter it came in, the intracacy in the folding of the pastry to achieve those crusty edges, the spiciness of the tender meat….sold! Just one meal in this sea-hued space and I felt like I was picnicking at Lake Bnacchi (a lake surrounded by restaurants in Beirut that I have been eyeing on trip advisor).
Two desserts next….76 & 70!I decided to switch things up with a glass of red wine. 76: We hear this is a Ramadan favorite for Middle Eastern Muslims. Qatayef is Arabian Pancakes (very dainty, very tasty) and Ashta is clotted cream made with milk, bread, rose water and orange blossom (yes, no cream). The Qatayef is dipped in simple sugar syrup before being filled with Ashta. This dynamite combo is then slightly sealed and dipped in ground pistachios to make the most decadent miniature pancakes ever!
70: A Salma’s signature, one worthy of their name. Simple and elegant. Need I say more? Okay, it’s creamy icecream and cotton candy that brings back childhood memories with dashes of pistachios…..super yummy!
Time for the bill and these come in, complementary sweet and fruit platters. I had not even finished the nuts that came before the meals. The Lebanese…..so hospitable! All the while, someone always walked up to the table to ask if everything was to my liking.You see the cakey thing on the left? It is called Basboosa (semolina cake) and it tastes like Heaven! (If you have a sweet tooth)…..Another thing that took me to streets of Beirut, I hear they are must-haves over there. Expect me Lebanon but till then, @salmaslagos!
Japanese (Shiro, Lagos)
Did you know that Japanese cuisine is recognized in the World just like French cuisine? It is called Washoku and is a mix of different food cultures in Japan. (Like sushi is a speciality in Tokyo and handmade soba noodles are famous in Matsumoto.)Dinner date with some amazing friends and an ankle sprained less than 30mins before. Thought about going back after my ankle heals for details and better pictures but then I realized, the experience would never be the same……
Some white wine infused with vodka, peach (and one other fruit I can’t remember right now) for the pain…..tasted like delicious comfort.
First up…..maki rolls…..California, duck, prawn and salmon. Thankfully, food blogging has made me learn that sushi is very different from sashimi (the one with raw fish/meat) so yes, the Nigerian in me was ready to eat these cooked proteins rolled in sushi rice, sushi mat and vegetables served alongside wasabi paste, soy sauce, pickled ginger and raddish…..Typical Japanese culture.
Second favorite….Prawn Maki. Not your regular prawn but Tempura prawn! (lovingly battered then deep-fried Japanese style). This went down in two very tasty bites. Apart from the food, the struggle to use chopsticks and the mighty Buddha statues looking down at us were very enough to transport me to Japan.
Claypot rice (the red looking one and my favorite), hibachi rice, sautéed beef and chicken chilli sauces. I was so delighted to have little of everything on this table maybe because there was a lot of wait before they arrived and my appetite had been charged to the highest level. The chicken chilli presentation blew me away…..a noodle-basket-like situation. For some nights now, I have been dreaming of a bullet train ride from Tokyo to the Noodles Museum in Osaka, Japan but till then, @shirolagos!