After a whole lot of eating and deliberations, I have come to the conclusion that Indian restaurants in Lagos are accustomed to serving up feasts! Every time I visit one, the amount of food and presentation reminds me of Christmas dinner with my large family.
I recently discovered a new addition to the scene, “Asia Lagos” and they brought my memories even closer to an Indian household as their space is quite homestyle.
The other day, my friend Janie informed me about her Indian food cravings, so we visited our friend Google for restaurant options in her vicinity (Ilupeju). Asia Lagos made it to the top of the list.
Fast forward to lunchtime the next day, as I swung the door open, a TV screen with a Nigerian movie on was right at me and it got my heart completely warmed up. But then, I began to wonder why an Asian restaurant didn’t have Bollywood flicks on TV or some hard-core Chinese movie until I sighted another TV at the opposite direction with an Indian movie on display. Okay, that makes sense, they must cater to a lot of Nigerians as well then.
As I walked in, my observation was more like a simple, yet classy casual dining area well decorated with wooden felt interior décor, cosy surrounding, and of course, lots of Indian and far Eastern expatriates comfortably dining.
As we walked in, we were greeted by a host who then got us settled in nicely. Guess what was lying casually on the table…… one my favorite games, Ludo (childhood memories stared up). Janie and I went in on that, who won? Me of course! Shhhh, I promised not to tell anyone….. The ludo was used to pass time while we waited for our meal to get prepared which took a considerable amount of time, looks like everything is done fresh. The menu was very easy to select from and heavily Indian obviously, so we went with Mixed Non-Vegetarian Platter (yes, we love meat), Tandoori Fish, Mutton Sulka with Butter Naan.
I must add that the waiter was very helpful with our selections, this gentleman understood the menu to the last letter that at some point I began thinking he was Indian in his previous life. He pointed out meals that were heavily seasoned, dishes that were savoury or spicy. He further explains his best choice of Naan to go with the Mutton Sulka, honestly, I was impressed.
So there was a section with Chinese style cooking from which we ordered a bowl of Fried Rice. We were in the mood to feast so we got the waiter to bring out everything at once. By the time the spread was laid in front of us, my senses were triggered, the aroma alone did wonders. Yes, I know that the core Indian food can be quite heavily seasoned with variety of Indian spices, but mind you, my taste buds are typical Nigerian so if I tell you that every dish we had here was designed to fit the typical Nigerian taste palate, then you have to believe me, cos there’s a reason why Nigerians also come here.
Anyways, Janie who earlier declined having a drink felt the need for one at this point, in her words “she couldn’t plough through such a feast without something to step it down” so I signaled the bartender whose station is positioned in the perfect corner (easy access for all diners). Actually, if I were to come here for drinks another time, I would love to seat on their bar stools as they look less comfortable than the usual high stool situation. They do not have a lot of cocktail options though so we went for Chapman.
After feasting, my body couldn’t move. Thankfully, their tables are a mix of dining and sofa-like chairs so I simply switched to the sofa to rest my overfed body. I must have dozed off for a few minutes because all of a sudden, Janie had another dish in front of her. Apparently, she had ordered a dessert earlier and it just arrived.
It was typical Indian so of course I had a taste…..Gulab Jamun. Gulab Jamun is a milk-solid-based sweet/dessert popular in India. This quantity of sweetness must have injected some sugar rush into my system because I immediately got up and insisted, we leave or face the embarrassment of my undressing and lying down on the sofa. On our way out, Janie noticed a mirror in the verandah and spent another 10 minutes trying to get the perfect mirror selfie while I waited at the car park mentally tasking my brain on how many cars could fit in their parking lot, my guess is 3-4, anyways, street parking won’t be an issue.
Finally, Janie joined me and was sure to chip in that Asia Lagos had indeed quenched her Indian food cravings while we said our goodbyes.
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