Over the weekend, I finally got to try out the food at Rhapsody’s in Lagos. As I expected, it’s almost exactly the same as the one in Accra because they are part of a franchise. A motley crew of 6 of us went to lunch and I’m glad because it meant that I could sample each dish. Between us we had the Seafood Esperata, Ribs, Lamb Shank, Lobster Thermidor, King Prawns, and Pasta Gamberita, all of which tasted great. Here’s a slideshow of pictures and some other details below.
Where: 19a Agoro Odiyan Street, off Adeola Odeku, Victoria Island, Lagos. It’s right beside the Alibert Furniture shop.
Good for: Lunch, Dinner or Drinks
Price range: The mains range from about N4,500 – N7,000 which is not exactly cheap, but considering their portions are generous, I think those prices are fair. Wine ranges from N1,500 – N4,000 per glass and bottles are from N6,000 – N66,000 depending on what wine/champagne you want. Cocktails are somewhere in between.
The food: The food was delicious. We all enjoyed our meals, and as I’ve mentioned before the portions were huge. Unless you have been kept in starvation for 3 days, there’s no reason why you should need to order 3 courses. For me it’s more of a 2 course place, unless of course you get on starter for your group to share. We skipped the starter and opted for a freshly baked bread basket from the DeliFrance shop downstairs, and even so, we had to ask for take away packs because we just couldn’t finish the food. There was a tad more oil on my roast vegetables than I would like, but no one ever said eating out would be healthy so I don’t mind so much. All in tall, the food was flavourful, beautifully presented, and fun to eat. Our main gripe with the food was that the Oreo Madness and Death by Chocolate were advertised as having chopped almonds sprinkled on top. When they came out, they had peanuts instead of almonds. Given that two people in our group have asthma-inducing peanut allergies, this was a huge problem and they had to be sent back. Because I bake, I know that almonds are one of the easiest nuts to get hold of in Lagos, so I was a bit peeved that they were being lazy and cheap by using groundnuts instead. Any food institution knows that peanuts are a major allergen and they should not be used as standard. If they need to be used as a substitute for something, then customers should be made aware before hand. The cappuccino tasted good, although it came out luke warm and had to be sent back.
The decor: Modern, with lots of sunlight, cool lighting features, and a mix of tables and booths
The service: The service was a little bit schizophrenic. I’ll try to explain what I mean. Considering we went in the middle of the afternoon, the service was rather slow. It took ages for the food to come out, even longer for the desserts, and by the time we wanted the bill, we decided to start walking out and pay at the front because everyone seemed to have disappeared. On the other hand, the manager buzzed about our table, fussing, cracking jokes etc and in his effort to be proactive/helpful, ended up not listening, talking over us, trying to force people to order certain dishes, and refusing to write down the order because he thought he could remember it all. Of course, he then made a mistake, and instead of apologising immediately, he tried to blame one of us for forgetting what we ordered. This didn’t go down very well, especially because the person he tried to blame was me. I wouldn’t have any of it. He had to go and correct the order.
The waitress at our table seemed to have forgotten her manners and was calling the senior people at the table ‘darling’. In Nigeria, that is frankly quite rude, even patronising, and being a young Naija woman, this did not earn her any favours. She has obviously just started watching Eastenders and is keen to try out her new lingo. It was just annoying and we were thinking, ‘who is your sweetie and your darling, oti oh.’ She was cheerful enough however so she gets some credit fro trying.
My verdict: Rhapsody’s VI is a nicely done up. They’ve done a good job with the decor and the food but have a long, long way to go with their service. Good service needs to be attentive enough so customers are never frustrated, but also discreet enough so people can enjoy their meals in peace. We felt rather harassed by the time we walked out, and though I’ll definitely keep going for drinks, I don’t know if I would voluntarily subject myself to eating there again. It isn’t a relaxing experience, and Lagos is stressful enough as it is.
Have you eaten at Rhapsody’s yet? What did you think?