Nok by Alara with its special Amala menu and now, Danfo Bistro with its Ewa Agoyin sandwich...
In July 2018, NOK by Alara, a contemporary African restaurant known for reinventing the classics of African cooking, released a new secret menu that featured the Nigerian specialty — amala, gbegiri and ewedu.
When Pulse visited the restaurant to have a go at the highly acclaimed menu, we quickly realised that, while a regular plate of Amala at a buka costs an average of N500, NOK serves a plate of Amala for N3500. Funny enough, the food was actually not bad! Read our review here.
Once again, we're seeing another restaurant become a viral sensation for its over-priced food.
Danfo Bistro and Dives, a Nigerian-inspired restaurant that fuses foreign dishes with Nigerian elements and vice versa, has opened in Ikoyi.
According to Eat Drink Lagos, "there are one or two local staples on [the menu], but it’s largely Nigerian-inspired. Inspired in the sense that they make use of Nigerian elements in plates that are, by and large, not Nigerian per se."
Danfo Bistro which launched in December has quickly become a spot for the seekers of aesthetically-pleasing spaces and good food to experiment with. A picture of their Ewa Agoyin sandwich which Eat Drink Lagos posted on Twitter on Thursday is making rounds on social media, for its meal pricing and presentation.
Most of the reactions claimed the meal was way overpriced. Basically, a plate of ewa agoyin and bread costs an average of N300, but a Danfo Bistro Ewa Agoyin sandwich is priced at N2500.
So, what exactly are these restaurants selling?
The key to understanding this is realising that these are not the restaurants that come to mind when thinking about street food.
High-end restaurants are choosing classic streetfood, adding, or actually removing some elements, and rebranding it under their restaurant name, space and ambiance.
Your regular amala buka doesn't give the intimate dining experience in a contemporary and artsy building in Ikoyi, with ample natural lighting and an attractive bar. Neither does your favourite ewa agoyin place have a danfo bar. Or does it?
Amidst the backlash, here's what one Twitter user, @Dupekilla has to say about Danfo Bistro: "This is a new favourite Lagos spot for me, actually. It’s the architecture, the menu, the fact that they dared do this Danfo concept and got it right. Almost everything worked. Staff tweak needed though."
So, for the customers that appreciate and can afford the extra oomph to their eating space, the extra padding to the price seems like pretty fair game.