I remember the first time I went to Orchid Bistro Express. My friends and I had gotten wind that the popular restaurant in the Mainland had opened a branch in Ikoyi and we set off to try it out.
Tucked behind a home decor store, it took us a moment to locate the restaurant but once we did, we found that it commanded its space.
It’s a simple, stylish, cool and modern setting that is named for what it is: a bistro. They’ve got lots of fun fixtures and huge display windows that let in a lot of light.
They’ve decorated with muted, earthy tones, plants, and light-coloured furniture to give it a fresh, urban but homey feel.
Now when my friends and I pull up and walk straight towards the entrance of this hidden gem, we feel like members of a secret club.
On the day of my review, I arrived to my friend already chomping away at her customised club sandwich and fries. I was thirsty and asked for a sip of her drink the moment I sat down. It was so refreshing that I automatically wanted one for myself. She told me it was a ginger ale and we placed an order with the friendly waiter.
My ginger ale arrived and it reminded me of science class because the liquid in the glass was separated. The waiter gave instructions to, “Sip before you stir,” as a warning to test the beverage before you commit. They say it was an ale but it tasted more like ginger beer. Although I suspect I could recreate the flavours with a simple mix of Sprite and blended ginger, it was still incredibly satisfying.
The menu was not extensive. For a starter, we shared the mozzarella cheese sticks with a dipping sauce. The sticks were rustic and of a sizeable portion. They came out crisp on the outside and soft, stringy and chewy on the inside. The dipping sauce, however, was a sweet vinaigrette and fresh chilli sauce blend. It didn’t pair well with the sticks so I refrained from using the condiment.
I felt like having a hearty meaty dish so I chose the rack of barbeque ribs with fries and vegetables. Orchid Bistro took ‘fall off the bone’ to a new level. The ribs were so soft and overcooked, they had a mushy consistency. Although the zucchini and carrots were oily, they had a nice crunch. The fries were perfect.
At this point, we were stuffed so we decided to share a dessert. I peeped the desserts in the display fridge and the apple crumble looked good so we ordered that with custard.
It came out quickly and the custard was very hot, thick and sweet. The individual-portioned crumble was burrowed in the middle of the custard. It was a triple layered crumble with a gooey apple filling. Because it was a bit soggy, it was difficult to tell what the different layers of crumble were meant to be.
Although some dishes disappointed on the day of my review, from past visits I know that the terrific food, decor and exclusive feel of this restaurant make Orchid Bistro Express worth a visit.
40b Raymond Njoku Street, Ikoyi, Lagos
Banke is a civil engineer by day and rockstar by night! She is a lover of culture and the arts. She just wants to travel around the world eating good food and drinking good wine!
Banke is a food lover, not a food critic, so take her opinions with a grain of salt.
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