Dining Out at Otres Restaurant
A few weeks ago, I was driving around Lekki 1 running errands when I saw a sign on a building on Wole Olateju Street, off Admiralty Way that said Otres. I was curious as to what kind of business it was until my husband told me it was a restaurant that specialized in Nigerian cuisine.
After seeing a lot of pictures on Instagram from the restaurant’s official account and from people who had dined there, I decided to go in and take a look at the menu. I was greeted by a very friendly young lady who answered a few questions I had including this huge one: Do you have a high chair? A simple question but one that usually has no as the answer at a lot of the restaurants in Lagos. Sure date nights and ladies lunches are great but I love family days out as well and with a hyper active toddler, a high chair or a booster chair is essential. The answer to the question was yes so I knew the next family dining out location was in the bag.
We headed to Otres for lunch on a Sunday afternoon and we were met at the entrance by a friendly young man who seated us and returned in 5 minutes with a wooden booster chair.
After reviewing the menu, we ordered our drinks to start. My husband got a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice and based on the recommendation from our waiter, I ordered the Otres Special – a chocolate fruit concoction with a cherry on top. We also ordered a small glass of orange juice for the little man to be diluted in his straw cup. The drinks arrived within 10 minutes of order being placed. Orange juice for the hubby was nice and tart. The Otres Special was interesting. It tasted like a piece of chocolate with orange filling that one gets in those mixed chocolate boxes. I loved it. Unusual and not too sweet. It would be an excellent after meal drink if you want something sweet but don’t want traditional dessert. The waiter also convinced us to try a mocktail called Kiss Me – iced tea with strawberry and mint syrups. We shared a glass of that and it tasted like a mint julep and I think definitely a girl’s mocktail.
To start our meal, we ordered a bowl of the fish pepper-soup and an order of the spicy chicken wings. The pepper soup came in a pretty large bowl with a huge piece of croaker fish which I thought was very generous for a starter. The soup was very much home styled soup. Authentic spices, not too peppery and thinner than what you would get at a lot of the places that offer ‘point and kill’ pepper soup. The chicken wing pieces were very big and included the drumettes and the wing with the tip attached. I think wing tips are just for making stock so I didn’t want that on my plate but the wings were very tender and the spicy sauce was full of flavor but not too peppery.
We were almost full at this point as the portions were so generous but I insisted we get mains as well (I was thinking strategically – doggy bags to sort out dinner freeing me from kitchen duties J). Hubby had pounded yam and ogbonno soup with fish while I had banga rice and fish. I also ordered a portion of sweet potato fries for my son. Hubby’s ogbonno soup came served in a little cast iron skillet with the soup bubbling furiously when it got to the table. He had to wait a few minutes for it to cool down and not risk tongue scalding. The banga rice is a novel concept to me. I have never had it. Its rice cooked in banga soup broth with dried fish and crayfish. It tastes very similar to the traditional jollof rice made with palm oil that I have had in the North and at my late grandma’s house who was from Ijesha. I loved it and loved the pepper sauce that covered the huge piece of fish that this order came with. My son had a lot more fun squishing the sweet potato fries than eating them but we had peace. J We barely managed a few bites each and we had to call it a day and ask for the meals to be packed to be taken away.
The food was quite tasty I have to say. The restaurant’s ambience is very classy yet comfortable and it is quite a big space with the opportunity to have events there offered as well. A lot of attention is paid to the details of plating and serving which I like and it is very pocket friendly. Otres also has some of the best service staff I have met in Lagos that go over and beyond just serving. The waiter that served our table answered all my questions in a smart, eloquent manner and was also quick to make recommendations (excellent up-selling skills from a business perspective) when we were unsure of what to order. In addition, when my son started getting restless, the hostess offered to come and take him and walk around with him even sacrificing her phone for him to play with. Now that is the definition of going over and beyond. The menu is diverse enough to satisfy most people and from the feedback I have gotten from people that have also eaten here, their local meals – banga soup, owo and starch are worth trying as well. Otres does not serve alcohol in spite of the nice wine glasses you see on the tables so that’s a big point to note if you expect to have alcohol as you eat.
I like to share positive experiences so I encourage you to try Otres out and the first 5 people that swing by and tell them that Uzo sent you can enjoy a 5% discount off your tab J
Block A9 Plot 7 Wole Olateju Street
Off Admiralty Road
Lekki 1, Lagos