I had been looking forward to eating at Otres restaurant for the longest time. I had gone on their instagram page and already mentally placed my order.
My uncle and friend had heard about Otres somehow and we went to check it out one Sunday evening on our way back from the first birthday party of the son of my sister’s friend’s friend’s cousin (We’re shameless and we know it).
From the outside one may be forgiven for mistaking the restaurant for an interior decor store. The inside looks good as well. We had no intention of eating there then, we just wanted to check it out. So we left and I made everyone promise not to go back there without me.
A few weeks later, I was driving home with my parents when out of the blue my mum asked “So where are we having lunch today?”
Me: I know just the place.
We pulled up and I was so excited.
I took this picture just as we were about to drive off.
We were greeted by a friendly waitress who ushered us to our seats and brought us the menus.
CAUTION: By all means go with Otres with your friends.Go there with your young sexy lover. Go there with your pastor. But do not go there with your hungry father, because he will develop ulcers and pass out before the food arrives, complaining every second. The menu states that there is a thirty minute wait for most dishes, a fact that I conveniently kept from my dad or he would have had us leave immediately. Some dishes need to be pre ordered 24 hours beforehand. To speed up the time, you can call ahead and place your order. If you would rather not call ahead, make sure you go there with people who 1)are not starving 2)you can have good conversation with.
I decided to have the plantain pottage. My mum went with coconut rice and fish. My father decided on beans. We all had pineapple-ginger juice.
Then we waited.
My food came first. It was served hot in a calabash on a wooden tray. I was so excited until I looked in the bowl.
Now I may be wrong but isn’t plantain pottage simply the plantain version of yam porridge? Isn’t it supposed to soft and somewhat mashed up? The menu described it as plantain something something cooked in palm oil broth with spices and something something. What I had on my plate was simply fried plantain in pepper sauce. I love plantain as much as every other sane human being, but let’s face it- plantain is a bit overrated. Yeah I said it. I cannot go to a restaurant and order fried plantain as a meal in itself. Where is the palm oil broth I was promised Sway? Where Sway? The smoked turkey that came with the food tasted like bushmeat, but perhaps that is what smoked turkey is supposed to taste like. I could have returned the food or made a fuss but we had waited so damn long already so I just accepted my fate.Plus I wasn’t the one paying for the meal so…
Next up was my mum’s coconut rice.
She ordered fried plantain as a side. The fried plantain was the same as my plantain pottage. She thought the coconut rice was too mushy/sticky and not really coconut rice. She voiced this opinion to the waitress who said that the restaurant served Delta coconut rice and not the European version. Well that explains it. I had never had coconut rice so I didn’t know if it was cooked properly or not. Another complaint my mum had was that the menu promised long grain rice, which was what made her choose the meal, but the rice in front of her was not long at all.
My poor papa’s food came last. I was waiting for it as much as he was. I figured I could use some of his beans to eat my plantain. When his food came, it was with an unwelcome element- corn.
I hate corn in my beans and my father does as well. My mother on the other hand was pleased as punch.
So that ends the tale of three people who went to lunch and ordered less than satisfactory meals.
The bill came to just over 17,000. I was a little surprised at this but I guess things add up.
The waiter offered to pack my fried plantains to go.
Will I go there again? Surprisingly yes. The atmosphere was nice, the staff was very courteous and they came over to check if we were okay and if the food was alright. If I do go there again, I will order something unfuckupable like sweet potato fries and chicken wings.
Otres restaurant: Block A9 Plot 7, Wole Olateju Street, Lekki Phase I, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria. If you are familar with the area, it’s at the Avalon turning. They are open every day from 12pm to 10:30pm. They specialise in Deltan* dishes so if you are interested in cuisine from Delta state, you can try out Otres.
*Is Deltan a word?