Welcome to a new edition of Culinary Delights where we tell the stories of restaurants in Lagos and beyond. Today we visit Slow Restaurant.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had negative effects on all industries, including the restaurant business, with the economic downturn and uncertainty that the pandemic has brought about, it has been refreshing to see how restauranteurs in Lagos have pivoted and innovated their way through tumultuous times.
Read also: Date Night in Accra at Bistro 22
One of the most popular and exclusive spots to rise out of the COVID-19 pandemic is Slow. Slow is a tropical brasserie with influences spanning from Latin America, Central America to West Africa, located in Victoria Island on 2 Musa Yar’Adua St.
Slow, as the name suggests, invites us to literally take a breather and go slow. As we all experience daily, Lagos is a bustling city, it can easily be described as a hectic city, and in fact, CNN described it as one of the most stressful cities in the world. Hate it or love it, Lagos is Lagos.
The Slow Restaurant is located inside a beautiful white building reminiscent of a beautiful Italian-style building somewhere in Star Island in Miami. The building is also home to Temple Muse, a well-known lifestyle concept store. As soon as you enter the premises, your car keys will be picked up and your car driven by a valet, so you don’t have to worry about parking. As you proceed on a pathway pond that leads to the restaurant, you will not miss the relaxing fountain that creates a peaceful atmosphere as you step into the restaurant lounge and are warmly greeted by a friendly host or hostess who will lead you to your reserved table.
In Lagos, I don’t know of many restaurants where a reservation is mandatory, so many of us are not in the mindset to reserve before we venture out. Going out to eat for me is usually a last-minute spontaneous decision.
Slow Lagos is the only restaurant I know where reservations are highly recommended. When they first opened, I called twice to book a table for Friday and Saturday evening, but they were fully booked. Many of my friends had told me how difficult it was to get a reservation, especially last minute. In my mind, this meant one of two things: either this place was out of this world or they had figured out a basic economics concept of supply and demand.
Either way, I was eager to find out.
During a global pandemic where many restaurants worldwide have either shut down or reduced their capacity, it is impressive that Slow Lagos does not seem to have been affected and is still going strong.
I eventually got lucky and was able to make a reservation for both lunch and dinner on two different dates without mentioning that I would write a review.
The ambience, food, and drinks
The menu offers a large variety of starters and main dishes cooked with a mix of ancient cooking methods redesigned to meet the modern diners’ needs. Slow is heavily influenced by Latin American flavours with an international touch set in a casual, yet luxurious and lush atmosphere.
They grow most of their herbs and vegetables on their indoor and outdoor hydroponic farms, which I think is pretty cool. They also have a pretty impressive cocktail bar designed to give a classic, lavish but approachable, and friendly experience where you will discover new flavours with the help of their creative bartenders. Slow offers indoor and outdoor seating and several different dining options such as booths, high tables, and dining on the bar. I absolutely loved the food both times I had the pleasure to visit.
As a starter, I opted for the seabass ceviche, a Peruvian style fresh seabass with avocado, jalapeno, cucumber, lime, green apple, prickled onion, finished with coriander oil, and also had the duck confit and roast potatoes as a main meal. My friend had the lamb chops. The food was exquisite. We were quite satisfied so there was no room for the desert.
I went to Slow a second time to celebrate an anniversary and I had the oysters, which were freshly shucked to order. Succulent! They were fresh and the perfect way to start the dinner. I then had the lamb chops as a main dish, accompanied with a side of mashed potatoes. My friends had the shrimp tacos and the salmon fillet on Peruvian rice. We both thoroughly enjoyed our dinner.
Is Slow Lagos the most exclusive restaurant in Lagos?
The reputation of Slow Lagos is not a simple ‘hype’, it is well deserved: it is great food cooked really well and tastefully presented. The ambience and infrastructure of the space are perfect. Their perfected botanical garden meets Miami quite spectacularly. It was an exquisite eating experience each time.
I give thumbs up to the quality and presentation of the food, the service, interior and exterior design, ambience, cleanliness, and even value for money.
One con is that if you decide to just walk in, you may want to have a plan B, especially on Weekends. Slow Lagos is currently the only restaurant in Lagos where it is highly recommended to make reservations before showing up. But is it a well thought out strategy? Could it be that Slow Lagos understood that a full restaurant and unavailability of reservations nurtures people’s curiosity about the restaurant and makes its fame?
|Poor.Nothing good.||Okay but no interest in visiting again.
|Good. May think about returning for that particular cuisine.
|Excellent.Delicious food, appealing atmosphere, helpful staff, and brilliant service.
|Extraordinary. Meets a high standard: The staff is always ready to help, the premises are extremely clean, the atmosphere is lovely, and the food is both delicious and beautifully presented.|
If you want an extraordinary dining experience, I highly recommend Slow restaurant. Find out more and reserve here: https://www.slowlagos.com/