Sunday, March 13, 2016

Nok by Alara - An Ode





You know it must be something special if I come out restaurant review retirement (OMG alliteration!) for this one. 

It used to be a bit of a regular thing; BLD, Pat's Bar, Bar Campione, Bottles....I even got blacklisted by a certain restaurant once because they didn''t like my review. Owner told a few mutual friends that I was no longer welcome in his restaurant. 

Still went though, call police :)

I called this a review in my head but it turned into more like a gushfest, an ode if you will. 

Lagos has a lot of great restaurants, every day a new one is being opened and the wealth of choices are widening, but Nok By Alara is by far THE best dining experience I've ever had in Lagos.

Something usually happens with Lagos restaurants, where they may check one or a couple of boxes but something always trips them off. The food might be great but it'll take hours to arrive. The surroundings might be tasteful and appealing but the service is shit. Or the prices are outrageous. They never get everything right.

The experience I had on Saturday night at Nok ticked all the boxes for me. The aesthetic was visually appealing, the ambience was lovely. The food came on time, each course after the other and every single thing was delicious. The drinks were great. The staff were courteous and attentive. The price point was fair. The crowd was good. The music was not overpowering.

See yeah I don't know if they put on a special show that night but I tell you I was not displeased by one thing, not one.




The decor is lovely and minimalist and doesn't overwhelm the senses at all. We Nigerians like our flash, case in point...all those sofas with lions claws for legs...why Lawd! 

Nok is very tastefully and simply done, it doesn't lean towards any particular aesthetic, its just a modern, clean space. A bit dark but as long as I can see my food...that's all I care about.




My friends and I all ordered different dishes but we ended up eating out of each others plates and just having one big communal dinner, it was that good!

Chef Pierre Thiam is a treasure and the Nok management better keep him here by all means, I'd suggest seizing his passport but that would be illegal....or would it.... *slow wink*

For starters we got the Nok by Alara platter which has most of the appetizers on it; so the herb & tamarind glazed wings, garlic snails, calamari suya, crab cakes, plantain pancakes, guinea fowl spring rolls, salad and dipping sauces.

Phenomenal.



Guinea fowl spring rolls though, never would have I imagined I'd eat guinea fowl in my life



My drink had coconut shavings on the rim, loved it!



My friend had the peri chicken and jollof rice with sautéed ugwu (spinach). This could easily have fallen into typical Nigerian rice and chicken territory but nope. The peri chicken was an absolute delight, DELIGHT I tell you! Packed with flavor, amazing texture.

The jollof rice tasted a little different but since the chef is Senegalese, I figured this must be.....wait for it...

Wolof Jollof!

See yeah if I didn't know better I'd say I was jazzed honestly.



We got the lobster as well, which at N7,000 is by far the cheapest lobster I've ever eaten in any country. My friends and I pondered this mystery then I remembered the Folawiyos own a Fishery Company...bingo! Affordable seafood!

Of course it was delicious as well.




I got Kelewele because I'm the President of the Plantain Fan Club and I'd always been curious about this Ghanaian dish. I thought it tasted like regular ass plantain to me though, don't know why our friends in Accra like hyping every thing. The dipping sauce was top notch however



I'd heard so many conflicting reviews about Nok by Alara before I went there and I'm glad I got to experience it for myself. I absolutely loved it and will definitely go there again. For a fine dining restaurant the pricing is very fair, 

I'd also heard the portions were disappointing but I was proper full after my meal, in fact after the starter I was pretty much satisfied. 

If you want construction worker type servings please go to Jevinik.

Nok is at 12a Akin Olugbade street Victoria Island Lagos
09085614815

It is advisable to make a reservation at least 24 hours in advance, it can get pretty filled up,

Love and Light x



photocredits: ofadaa.com, sadeslist.com
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16 comments

  1. I've missed your restaurant reviews! I actually went to Bar Campione for the first time after reading your review.

    I know you get this all the time but the way you write is really something special. It feels like you're gisting it to me and it is so witty too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I've missed them too, lol.

      Oh wow, bless!

      Delete
  2. So Im a fan of yours, super fan...like HUGE. I've been reading your blog since 2009 or so. I went to RGU after you left Aberdeen but I heard about you all the time, like a year later you still had them in Aberdeen SHOOK! Anyway all these yarns is just to provide background that Im a supporter of TWP. Now I don't know if you've heard of the new mummy blogger Oby Ohakim and her playsuits whatever blog. If you havent just wanted you to know that that imposter has been using your Love and Light sign off. Like she writes that after all her posts. I am 100percent sure she knows who you are and reads your blog so she definitely knows that what you sign off as, so the audacity in using the same phrase as you do? I can't even begin to understand. I commented on her blog calling her out and she didnt post it, of course. I also commented on the Bella Naija post about her to shame her into making an attempt to be authentic. Anyway just thought you should know. Love you, now Im going to Nok.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahahaha! Lawd people are loyal!

      I noticed the "loving and lighting" too but I left the matter for God.

      The thing is, I would actually call it flattery. She copies (or gets inspired by) TWP and Makys Corner and that's actually a compliment in some way, is it not?

      Anyhuu, not to drift from the subject...I am currently salivating this dodo formation and that sauce. Reservation to be done shortly. I can't be told about this place again. Lemme too tell na, ahn ahn!

      Delete
    2. Feyi your comment is very childish. How are you 100 percent sure? And if Daks is offended by it im sure she would handle it in a more mature way than this. Did Adaku coin the phrase herself, you know she didn't, a thousand celebs sign off with that phrase. Try not to cause a rift that doesn't exist. Wat she blogs about is very different from TWP. Stop trying to score cheap fan points. Love and Light lol

      Delete
    3. @Feyi I cackled at "still had them in Aberdeen shook", living there was memorable I tell ya.

      On the sign off thing, a number of people have pointed it out to me but its not a big deal tbh, whether she's been influenced or not we blog about different things, our topics don't overlap.

      The internet is a big enough space to co-exist. Remaining authentic and having your own voice will always distinguish one from the other.

      @BlueBlooded you had me laid out at "loving and lighting" though, lmao! Yess, you need to experience it for yourself, its wonderful!

      @Xtiana Lol!

      Delete
    4. OMG! Anyone can use love and light though, lol.
      Adaku isn't the first to use it and wouldn't be the last.
      Some will use it after first seeing her use it, others will think it up on their own or see it elsewhere.
      I believe you're joking though. Can't be that serious, lol
      Like my name can be Ife Imole meaning Love and Light respectively, I will automatically think to use Love and Light as my mantra or slogan...

      Delete
  3. Adore your writing style and there were so many funny and witty parts to it, that made it seem like more than a review. Lovely!

    www.wurassecrethair.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much mama, I really appreciate it.

      Delete
  4. You hadn't had guinea fowl before?! Wasn't it yummy?!

    That platter is calling my name whenever I come back to Lagos.

    Berry Dakara Blog

    ReplyDelete
  5. If you want construction worker type servings please go to Jevinik.
    LMAOOOO.

    I always love your restaurant reviews though I never go anywhere.
    I might just take my husband to this NOK place to unwind.
    Can I have an idea of the price range? That would be really helpful.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yo Daks! I cannot believe you have never had ogazi before aka smoked guinea fowl.

    Please fix this asap!

    Hugs.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for this review, I haven't tried their food yet but I visited the Cafe a couple of Saturday's ago to show the cafe to a friend who was visiting from out of town.
    I really like the decor and colour choice of the whole Alara space.
    The cheap-ish seafood be calling my name.
    Could you please include the prices of the dishes (if you remember)
    Thaaanks

    www.tukesquest.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Looks really really nice! I really want to try it out now

    www.omogemura.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. "Guinea fowl spring rolls though, never would have I imagined I'd eat guinea fowl in my life".. Guinea fowl consumption sound fair, but in spring rolls form though? Hmm
    Is ugwu spinach though??
    Senegalese Jollof?? That has to be the business! This whola GH vs NG jollof fight. Didn't it all start in Senegal?
    Lol, but how did you fit all that in your tummy?
    So how much (estimate) did you spend on your food in total (per head).
    Love and Light! Haha :p

    ReplyDelete
  10. Seems like everyone actually likes nok by alara. There is a similar review on reviewnaija.com! Im super excited to try it out.



    www.reviewnaija.com

    ReplyDelete

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