My mum had come into town that morning. The itinerary for the day was a meeting in Sango Ota, so it was shaping up to be a long day. I don't typically eat till midday (intermittent fasting), but spending extended periods of time on Lagos roads has a way of bumping up your appetite x 3. It was the kind of hunger that only African food could quell, so we decided to go to Yellow Chilli. They have a branch in Victoria Island but we were visiting the one in Ikeja.
The parking does not compare with the inside space, so that had me wondering what happens when they are really busy.
The inner dining space is nice and spacious, but the star of the show is the lovely outside area that I imagine would looks even better at night. The pots that the palms are planted in are a nice touch, they really gave that Nigerian party aesthetic. There is also a private dining area with a tasteful classic café style setup which I imagine can host a nice event.
The menu has a nice variety of local and pan-African dishes and everything looked good on their Instagram @yellowchilling. I really like to see restaurants that focus on a particular type of food because places that serve all sorts don't inspire confidence for me. I enjoy a fresh Efo Riro, so I got that with Eba (₦4,600) while my mum got the Nkwobi - Spicy Cow foot (₦3,000).
After about a 20 minute wait our food arrived. The Efo Riro was divine; it had a good amount of crunchiness which lets me know it's fresh and it was packed with flavor. The Eba was probably the smoothest I'd ever had, it didn't feel grainy at all and the pieces of beef were so tender that they shredded under my fork with minimal effort.
The Nkwobi was a bit of a let down however. For a dish that translates literally to spicy cow foot, there was none, just cow skin which was far from ideal. It also wasn't dripping in the fabulous sauce that Nkwobi is known for and it had to be sent back so some could be added. The dish also needed a sprinkle of salt to bring it to life but the presentation was cute. Thankfully my Efo Riro portion was large so she ended up picking at my food.
The service was pretty good though; our waiter was attentive and professional and the entire experience was good enough (save for the Nkwobi) for me to come back to try other dishes. I'll make sure to try their Victoria Island location next and I'd recommend the spot to people who are looking to try quality African food in a space with a nice ambience. If you have friends who don't live in the country, this is a good place to bring them to and acquaint them with the culture. The total damage was ₦8,500, not bad for a productive day out with mum!
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