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,