In this first of a series of foodversations with the Blowfish Group based in Victoria Island in Lagos (Nigeria), we visit the menu of the group’s lounge, Vellvett. The tasting adventure was brought about at the invitation of Folake Ekundayo, the PR manager for the group. Participating in the foodversations apart from myself were Chef Daniel Olurin – a chef who has successfully segued from food to event service delivery, and Yemi of sisiyemmie, a well know blogger. The other four invitees couldn’t make this event.

Vellvett has a wide menu inclusive of food from the grill and we were given the latitude to select what we wanted to try. Folake wanted us to try food off the menu rather than having any special cuisine done. The menu is Lebanese influenced, with segues to a couple of other food climes. We decided to pick a dish each and share so we could taste as much as possible. The results of the evening are described below.

As aperitifs, we had whiskey sours which were quite decent.

Starters…

1.

Two types of humous – with chickpeas and minced meat accompanied with pita bread. Nice and easy. No surprises here. Just as can be expected of any good Lebanese food establishment.

2.

Tabouleh – don’t let the greens fool you, this is a great tasting veggie plate.

3.

Sizzling Calamari – this is where the dishes to fight over start. The calamari was quite fresh and was definitely cooked for a very short while as the freshness could be tasted. The server was cleared rather quickly! Must do this again.

4. Spicy Potatoes – This was the stealth bomb among the starters! From a mere taste to repeat incursions and we forgot to even take any photos. It is also a must repeat.

We had the house white wine which was a medium dry French wine that went well with the starters and much of the mains.

Mains…

1. Mixed Grill (Chicken, Lamb and Beef) – chosen because of the variety, the chicken wings were quite nice and got inhaled fast. The other meats were okay but not special.

2.

Prawn and Lobster Lasagna – Sigh… The creaminess of this dish, the way in which the cream wrapped the pieces of lobster and prawns, the marriage of the flavours in the mouth… Another one to fight over. Another one to go back for!

3.

Tandoori Whole Baby Chicken with Biryani Rice and Sautéed Vegetables. The star of this dish is of course the chicken. If you order this, don’t attempt to eat anything else as your taste buds will be sated from the spices and your belly will be full. Great comfort food.

We also had the house French red which though passable was not as interesting as the white.

General Critique…

Vellvett is the lounge among the Blowfish Group’s restaurants (there’s a supermarket too), and the menu is exactly right. Definitely expect to eat great food and enjoy an evening out. The menu is accessible to almost anybody as it is not in anyway pretentious. It must be said that the food is slightly pricey but that’s not much different from other restaurants in Victoria Island. The one point of issue is service which needs some work. While waiters were responsive due to their madam being around, speed was not that great, neither was finesse.

On a scale of 0 – 10, I give Vellvett a 7 in its own category.

Babatunde Olaoluwa Jeje