Location: 12 Akin Olugbade Street, Victoria Island, Lagos
Time: Sunday sunset 6:00pm
Event: Dinner at Nok Garden with fine gal
Nok by Alara is a restaurant that has a lot of buzz to it. I read every review I could find before my first visit and majority of them were glowingly positive. I got excited to visit the restaurant and grabbed along my partner in crime. We had a good time and we appreciated the effort being made to create “African fine dining,” but in all honesty the hype was a bit overstated by some of your favorite restaurant/food critic bloggers. Then again, maybe I don’t have a refined palate, who the heck knows? However, one thing we really enjoyed were the cocktails. We spent some time at the outdoor garden after dining indoors. We decided for our next visit, that cocktails at the garden and ordering off the garden menu would be the right plan.
The weather was perfect this Sunday and we decided it was time for that second visit to Nok. Nok garden simply put is beautiful; with the bamboo plants, the woven lamp shades and subtle African décor. There are many options for seating; we have lounge seating and dining tables for different group sizes. We found seats and ordered cocktails with high life music playing in the background as the clinking and clacking of bamboo canes became louder as the winds picked up.
I ordered the Red alert (Malibu, prosecco, hibiscus, pineapple juice) and she had the Lagosian (Cointreau, brandy, strawberry, lime.) Both cocktails were delightful. The balance of booze to sweet was just right.
The goat sliders on the menu looked interesting, it isn’t everyday people make meat patty from goats. We ordered that alongside the Nok BBQ beef ribs with spicy cornbread. Bae ordered a side of plantain mash to go with the goat sliders.
The meals came on a wooden serving tray and looked really appetizing. The goat sliders had the right amount of cheese, some avocado and caramelized onions.
We thoroughly enjoyed it. Who knew goat could taste so good in between a bun. The Nok BBQ beef ribs were alright even if only one piece of meat actually had the rib bone on it. It wasn’t chewy or tough to eat but not as flavorful as I would have preferred. I enjoyed the cornbread but the promise of a spicy cornbread wasn’t really met. It tasted like the cornbread I used to make back in my college days from a box I bought in a grocery store, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing to be honest. It gave me a bit of nostalgia. The mash plantains were good; I imagine it as a twist for like a side for your steak instead of the usually mashed potatoes.
The goat sliders best exemplify what Nok is trying to achieve, a reimagining of our favorite meals with a twist.
Nok garden comes alive as the sunsets and the lampshades light up the garden.
Bae decided to try the Pof pof (baobab and chocolate sauce) before we left and it was a miss for me.
Puff Puff with chocolate sauce is definitely not my thing but she didn’t mind it as much. I ordered a Guavarita (tequila, guava nectar, lime, tabasco, salt and spice rim) for the road and that was a fitting end to the night. The tabasco gave the twist which in turn gave the margarita a kick and all was right with the world again.
Some things to note:
- Portions are small so if you’re looking for Jevinik type portions it ain’t gonna work.
- Cocktails are kinda pricey (cheapest is N3500 but they’re really good)
- The indoor dining menu will not be served to you in the garden.
- Celebrity/socialite sighting (DJ Cuppy was in the house, leave comments for the tea lol)
Hole burnt in pocket
Red alert: N4000
Nok BBQ beef ribs with cornbread: N3500
Goat sliders: N2000
Plantain mash: N800
Pof pof: N2200
Tuesday-Thursday, Sunday 12:00pm – 3:00pm, 6:00pm – 10:00pm
Friday-Saturday 12:00pm – 3:00pm, 6:00 – 11:00pm
If you’ve visited Nok by Alara, was it worth the hype or over hyped? Speak your truth in the comment section, we won’t judge.
*prices written are based on the time the visit was made and is subject to change by the owners.
*Reviews are based on opinions and personal experiences, and may differ from person to person