I recently went home on holidays after more than two years! It was a short trip but I managed to accomplish a number of things. One of them was visiting the popular NOK by Alara.
I’ll describe NOK as an African restaurant because it has different African cuisines. There are two restaurants at NOK; one outside and one inside. The popular belief is that the inside restaurant is more expensive, so the plan was to sit outside. The outside restaurant is also where the Abula, which was my main reason for going, is served, so it served my purpose. In the end, we got the menu for both restaurants and they both looked affordable (the inside restaurant menu is more expensive though).
After looking at the menu, I was also enticed by the red red beans stew and steamed plantain. However, plantain I had already had a lot of, and there is beans at home. I tried to order the Abula but was told that it wasn’t served on that particular day. That was heartbreaking. I then tried to order Blessings Banga and was told that it was finished for the day. What is a Nigerian restaurant if all menu items are available? In the end, I got the Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew, B got the Lamb Mafe with Peanut Sauce & NOK Naan, and S got the Cornbread with Barbecue Beef Suya (I may have the name wrong :)).
With drinks, I was limited to the virgin drinks or water and I wanted a drink. The virgin drinks looked interesting and I was going to go with the Hibiscus Lemonade but decided to be adventurous, getting the Baobab Malt instead. For ₦3000 a pop though, they are expensive.
As with Nigerian restaurants, the food took a while, even the sweet potato fries B had ordered to start with. Before our mains arrived, we were given these tin plates that were reminiscent of Lagos Bukas. Maybe that was the idea?
The lentil stew was nice. Taste-wise, it was reminiscent of foods I’ve had in Melbourne, probably because it was vegetarian (I believe). The dish tasted slightly like black eyed peas. The NOK naan wasn’t what I expected as it was thicker than regular naan. I liked it though. I mean, I like bread and this was good bread.
S’s Cornbread with Barbecue Beef Suya was good too. The meat was tender, sweet and very tasty. Interestingly, it didn’t take a long time to come.
Ginger and malt were the prominent tastes in the Baobab malt. I also don’t know what Baobab tastes like so I can’t say anything about that.
Would I visit NOK again? Yes. I really want to taste that famous Abula, and also have Blessing’s Banga.
NOK by Alara is located at 12a Akin Olugbade St, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria.