Lagos Island Cafe
6802 Hwy 6 S, Houston, Texas 77083
MY REVIEW: I went to the Dr in Sugar Land, ate lunch in Nigeria and was home in time for tea! We had beef Suya, chicken Suya, Moi Moi, Vegetable Soup with Amala, Beef Designer Rice, and (sp?) Ching Ching. All the staff were gracious and helpful. Our waiter recommended the Designer Rice (usually made with cow's foot, tripe and beef). Since we do not live in the area, we wanted to try a wider variety of dishes. The Suyas, $1.50 each are spicy, tantalizing kabobs, served with raw sliced tomato and onion. The vegetable soup with Amala came in three parts: A beef in a delightfully flavored red sauce, seasoned greens and the amala, described as a kind of pounded yam and looking like a rolled beef tongue or brain. Don't let the appearance fool you. The trick is to take a bit of amala, coat it with the greens and pop it in your mouth without chewing, according to the waiter. Tasty! I also experimented with a bit of the beef coated in amala and then greens. Also delicious. The designer rice was beef in a brownish red sauce and rice. Any lover of hot and spicy should feel gratified after tasting this dish! If you don't like hot and spicy, this is probably not the dish for you.
Moi moi is made of beans and served in a casserole. It's a blander dish, but also savory. The Ching Ching (sp?) are small bits of what taste like deep fried gingerbread cookie. This was served first with bottles of water, and used as a palate cleanser (by us) between bites of the other dishes. Whether that was the intended purpose I couldn't say. The bill was about $32, and we had plenty to bring home for another meal. Either the designer rice or the vegetable soup would have been enough for both of us for a single meal. The waiter insisted one should not eat amala and the rice together, but we told him we wanted to try a wide variety since we didn't live in the neighborhood. I gathered that there is some kind of cultural tradition about which foods are to be eaten with which others. (He also said okra soup shouldn't be eaten with rice, and I said "you've never had Cajun food have you?")
I would recommend this restaurant for anyone who eats as an adventure or loves spicy, peppery food. I only wish I had been able to sample some of the other dishes on the menu. Oh, well, there are other days coming up that I am sure I will be in the area. While I have never been to Nigeria, and don't technically know what the food tastes like, I suspect this is authentic, given the staff. It is precisely the kind of dining experience that reminds what a joy it is to live in an ethnically diverse, multicultural city.
SUBMITTED: 2/28/2012 LAST VISIT WAS: 02/28/12
FREQUENCY: Visited once
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