Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Food...

Did I mention the food?

Now don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with the food. It's very tasty. Our first night since we got in so late we just ate at the restaurant next door as it was open. The menus don't give you a whole lot of information. It reads something along the lines of:

Special Meat (for 2)
Squid Kebab with Prawns
Grilled Cod

You get the idea.

No explanation of what exactly they DO to the steak or pork or what exactly is the Special Meat (for 2). We are sitting close to the kitchen area and I can see in. Looks like Mama is doing all the cooking and there is only one other person in there, probably more for clean up than anything else.

Mom and Dad decide to be brave and order the Special Meat (for 2) and I tried to order the Halibut but apparently they're out (it is late) but they have salmon so I get that. It seems everything always comes on a large platter. So the first order comes through and its 2 massive steaks and a whole sausage link. Orange slices are scattered and I can see a pile of crushed garlic floating in the flavoured oil mixing with the juice from the meat. But that's all it is a platter full of meat, oh and 2 boiled potatoes.

Oh dear...

But wait, no, more is coming. It's my massive salmon steak and with it comes another platter with boiled potatoes, carrots and some kind of green vegetable. I can't remember what its called but it's kind of like a cross between asparagus and broccoli. Ah and also we get a platter of rice and a platter with a very simple salad (lettuce, a few sliced tomatoes, shredded onion and a few cucumber slices).

So picture this very tiny table for 2 with 3 people seated at it. We already had a bread basket and a plate with very yummy olives and 3 empty dinner plates. Then a platter of meat, a platter of fish, a platter of rice, a platter of salad and a platter of vegetables. Not much elbow room.

Everything was very flavourful if not a little on the heavy side. The salmon was cooked to perfection, moist so it almost melted in your mouth. But it seems everything was dripping in the same garlic oil, tasty but a little much after a while. And salt, they are strong believers in salt in cooking. But that could be just me as I don't use very much in my own cooking.

That was just our first dining experience. Perhaps the next place would be different.

Next door is another place worth a try. It's lacking in ambiance but it seems to be full of locals so to me that's a good sign. The meals are presented very similar, a large oval platter. I had the pork loin with mushrooms in a porto wine sauce and Dad had the pepper steak (I swear the sauces were the same but his didn't have mushrooms), Mom went with the chicken Peri Peri. All very good but a big hunk of flesh and potatoes - this time chips rather than boiled potatoes and rice but no vegetables other than the mixed salad we ordered.

Now you need to understand something. I like a good steak as much as the next guy but I'm not a huge meat eater to begin with. Most of what I cook revolves around vegetables and if anything maybe I'll throw in a little chicken. Even so, the portions I cook for my protein are on the small side. I swear in 2 meals I've had more meat than I would normally consume in a month. My stomach was protesting at 1 AM as it attempted to digest it.

But it's not been all steak and pork. No there's been fish as well. Lagos is on the coast after all and we can see the fishing boats docked at the waters edge. Apparently one of the local specialties is large grilled sardines with boiled potato and some kind of green kale soup. There is no way Dad would set foot in a restaurant if that was going to be on the table so Mom and I decide to abandon him in the town square and we go to a little tiny place for lunch where we order both the soup and the sardines.

The soup was fine, very similar to a sorrel or borscht soup my Mom makes (but missing the barley and dill). But what we are really waiting to see is the sardines. And there they are, all five of them, with their little fish eyes and fish lips frozen in a call for help when thrown on the hot grill.

We both agree again that it's a good thing Dad's not here. Sardines do smell fishy but grilled they aren't half bad. It takes a little bit of effort to get the main backbone out and of course remove the head and tail but everything else is eaten. The skin grilled up nice and crispy and it's just lightly seasoned with sea salt and probably a little pepper.

I ate 2 and I don't ever have to order them


clipp2nd said...

I'm surprised the title of this blog isn't "fish lips for 2". It was definitely an experience, wasn't it?

sexy said...