RESTAURANT REVIEW | NOIR LAGOS

I haven’t done a restaurant review in a while and from the number of messages I get on social media when I go out to eat, I think you guys really rate my opinions on dining 🙂 so I’m going to start doing more of these.

I went to the new French restaurant on Akin Olugbade, Noir, for lunch last week Friday and here’s what I thought…

Noir has been the talk of town lately as the new IT restaurant in Lagos so you guys know I had to see what’s really good. Their Instagram page says “Reservations Mandatory” so my expectations were through the roof… “must be real upscale, luxurious dining” I thought so I made up my mind to go in. 

I went for lunch with a colleague at work and the first thing that struck us was how beautiful and modern the space is. The owners definitely put in a lot of work into the decor and it was evident.  I forgot to take pictures of the space but I’m sure if you look up on Google you will find some pictures. It’s a stunning space with a real luxurious feel but in my experience, that’s where the luxury stopped. 

The waiter that attended to us was very clueless and quite unrefined. My colleague and I were talking about how the waiters at Noir reminded us of how Nigerian waiters used to be several years back before the dining scene in Lagos changed. These days, most of the waiters in nice restaurants know and understand the menu through and through and are very well put together.  

Anyway, our meal started off with a basket of only white rolls. I would have expected that we would get a variety of white, wheat, multi-grain etc or at least be asked for our preference but we weren’t. Also, the bread did not taste like it was freshly baked. Rhapsody’s in its hay day used to serve piping hot, fresh bread-rolls so I don’t think my expectation here of Noir was unrealistic…

For starter, I ordered the calamari (around N 4000) and my colleague had the Kale salad (completely forgot to take pictures of her meals btw). The calamari was basic, there was nothing to it. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t amazing.

My colleague said the Kale salad was nice but it was supposed to come with a cherry vinaigrette and it didn’t because they were “out of cherries” and the waiter wasn’t upfront about it. He brought regular vinaigrette and hoped that she wouldn’t notice, lol

For mains I ordered the “Grilled Prawns” (around N 8,500) off the menu. I don’t know what I was expecting but it definitely was not what I got. It came as something similar to a prawn bisque with a handful of potatoes and I almost wanted to cry because of how tiny it looked. I’m not new or opposed to the concept of fine dining but this was just so small and the menu did not say Jumbo prawns but i expected the prawns to be bigger. I also expected there to be more fanfare with the plating and/or the crockery given the pedigree of the restaurant but they just served it up in a basic white bowl! It tasted nice though but not nice enough to have me reminiscing about the meal after I left.

My colleague had the Salmon and she said it was really nice, first real plus of that afternoon!

For dessert, I ordered the tiramisu (around N 4,000) even though I was surprised to see it on the menu in a French restaurant…the options were very limited. Again, desert was served in the most lack lustre way ever and at this point I had made up my mind- Noir is NOT fine dining. 

The tiramisu was very nice but that ice-cream?  I think they just grabbed the cheapest tub they could get from the supermarket downstairs and served it up. 

This place is at best a nice restaurant but if you are looking for a fine dining experience, you might be as disappointed as we were. The needle that broke the camel’s back for me was my incident in the bathroom.  I had put soap in my hands ready to wash them to my utter horror, I opened the tap and- THERE WAS NO WATER! I know we are in Lagos and these things happen, so I am not faulting them for having a water problem.  My issue was with how they managed it. The  manager came in and saw me looking confused with my soapy hands and apologised in the most flippant way possible. She then proceeded to shove paper towels into my hands for me to clean up. The least I would have expected was for her to offer a sincere apology and then send someone in with a bottle of water so I could wash my hands properly. I was so shook that I couldn’t even protest, I just wiped my hands and walked out promising to never set foot in there again. 

I went home and told my husband about my sub-par experience and to my great annoyance he still wants to try it out for himself before we fully decide if Noir is cancelled. He was also kinda mad that I cheated on him by trying a new place without him LOL! So I will most likely be going back and if I do have  a different opinion, I will update this post. For now, it’s a miss! 

Peace & Love, 

Y

6 Comments

  1. January 24, 2018 / 4:46 pm

    SIGH i can confidently state that NOIR has been the most disappointing dining experience i have had in a very long time.

    I agree, the restaurant setting is modern and tastefully done so we have to commend them for the effort as we know some ressies in Lagos don't even try to clean their chair sef. However, as you have said, that's where the excitement ended. A few things:

    1) The roof was leaking on our initial table so we were moved to the next table and that was leaking as well.The owner came out and mentioned that they were aware of it and it would be fixed the following day. She was super apologetic about it so we can let that slide.

    2) The food was beyond average yet expensive. Basic might be the best word for the menu. I ordered the baby chicken and was pretty much tasteless and not worth the N6000 or so. My hubby ordered the duck and it seemed like it was off the kiddies menu as it was incredibly tiny. The lamb was pretty good from what i was told and a large portion so any lamb lovers should stick to that if they want to eat well.

    3) if you want to enjoy 'date night' or a proper night out, you can get more value for your money at NOK which is down the road, RSVP or even Shiro. NOIR is definitely not it.

    4) The worst of all was the dessert. We ordered a chocolate brownie which was N3500 in the hope that they might be able to redeem themselves. The waiter sharply informed us that this did not include ice cream. Which brownie doesn't com with ice cream my sister? We asked him how much ice cream cost and response was 'you'll see it in the receipt' LOL. I tire. Of course, we asked him to go find out and he came back out to say it was N2500 PER SCOOP. Now this is where my annoyance lies because what ice cream costs N2500 per scoop in Lagos? Even if i you are importing it! How much is a tub? The hostess came to explain the cost and said 'its homemade'. I don't understand? O_O Homemade and then what biko? Anyways seeing our disgust, she gave it to us for free and of course the brownie was basic as well.

    I'll definitely not be visiting NOIR again, that is for sure. 🙁

    • January 24, 2018 / 10:34 pm

      OMG! Magz! You sound like you had a worse time than me 😩 Oh and I forgot about the leaking roof! That happened the day I was there too, the roof leaked on me 😢 so I had to change seats. They definitely need to restrategize!

  2. January 25, 2018 / 4:43 am

    ha… NOIR… I was also moved my the hype and went for dinner there last week Friday with 2 other friends. Ordered the calamari as a starter and the lamb chops as a main. my friends has oysters and prawn cocktail as their starters and salmon and cod as mains. As you said the food was basic as best. over priced and no flavour, didn't complain since it was supposedly French menu and I'm not exactly a conneosier of French food. However the service was APPALLING. For some reason our waitress must have been having a horrible day cos she was downright RUDE.My friend asked that the bread be changed cos it wasn't warm, she said she's the one in charge of the bread and that's how it is. Another one asked for a cup for water and she simply pointed at the wine glass saying "you use that" in the mort sarcastic manner possible. She was scowling through the entire night. we even tried making jokes with her hmmm no such luck. the manager/owner luckily came around to ask how the meals were and we got a chance to complain avout the food and particularly about the waitress, after the 3 of said the same thing her response was "awwww joy is normally so nice". I was so itrirated. anyway she offered all 3 of us complimentary dessert. I had the brownie and ice cream, I have had better. At that point I knew I was never going back. Imagine my surprise when one of my friends told me later tbat night that my surprise party was to be held at NOiR the next night.Had to call my sister saying I'm sorry but hell no, felt bad tor making them cancel plans with the short notice. luckily we got a reservation at crossroads instead (better ambience, live band then DJ) instead of the stiff atmosphere at NOIR. PRAUSE JAH

    • January 25, 2018 / 12:39 pm

      Wow! “Joy is normally nice”?? Really??? I can’t deal man 🤦🏾‍♀️They need to overhaul the wait staff ASAP!!

  3. January 25, 2018 / 12:11 pm

    Try Tarragon (Culinary Academy) in Ikoyi if you're looking for fine dining. I was really impressed with the quality of food.

    • January 25, 2018 / 12:39 pm

      Yesssss! I love Tarragon! That’s real fine dining! ☺️

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