From their famous Gin Basils to their legendary Chicken Pops, R.S.V.P. has a unique appeal that has allowed them to maintain their position as a leader in the restaurant industry. Each dish and cocktail is carefully thought out. Their produce is meticulously sourced with only the freshest ingredients used. A great deal of passion is invested before anything is presented to their ever loyal customers. The philosophy at R.S.V.P. is simple: “Good food doesn’t come from one place. Good food comes from talented people who understand good produce.”
Over the past four years, R.S.V.P. has come a long way; they have experienced a great deal of hurdles, experiments of trial and error, laughter and new friends. They continue to grow on this adventure, evolving with their market, getting to know not only the industry but also what their customers love and how they can improve. They have built the foundation and raised the standards for restaurants that have come after them, while continuing to raise their own standards, as well. R.S.V.P. reflects an appreciation and respect for the culinary scene that is constantly changing in Lagos.
Their philosophy has evolved with the growth of the restaurant, flourishing with the different chefs they have worked with, their loyal customers and the market. In 2017, R.S.V.P. invited a consultant chef during African Heritage Week. During the month of February, everything—from their installations of Nigerian masks and baskets to the food—was inspired by African Heritage Week. The owners believed that R.S.V.P. was not only a reflection of their distinct views on food, but also the fresh ideas from culinary leaders and influencers from around the world. The consultant chef spent most of his time at R.S.V.P. last year as their consultant Executive Chef, redesigning the menu, training the staff and adding his personal touch. Since then, R.S.V.P. has established relationships with culinary leaders worldwide in order to find future visiting consultant chefs. Their philosophy is put into practice with these rotating chefs.
The menu echos this diversity with American, Mediterranean, Asian and African influences. As restaurateurs, they are challenged by these chefs, learning from their experiences and their different personalities, which is reflected in the food they create, while maintaining their own core beliefs as owners. But they also have an advantage. They know the market and their customers so they give visiting chefs a playground to play in and an opportunity to challenge themselves in a new market, while allowing their creativity to play freely in the kitchen. The restaurant manages this without losing its own identity, without giving up the personality that has been ingrained in the virtues of R.S.V.P.
The appeal of R.S.V.P. is not just in their menu, it’s also in the palpable energy that invites people in. The pull is immediate, from the large glass facade where light pours inside to the chalkboard art designs at the entrance, you can’t help but feel the magnetism of the restaurant. The different materials used, from the caramel leather of the chairs and the raw cement walls, to the wooden beams and black metal frames, appeal to different people in different ways. It’s not just about the form but also the function. The duality and versatility of the decor is inspired by the prohibition era in New York. At the front is an upscale, more formal space, while hidden in the back is the magnificent, breezy poolside area. The two roles, indoor and outdoor, can play side by side or independently of each other. A romantic dinner for two inside can transition to drinks by the pool with friends. With the same menu served inside and out, the choice is based on the mood of the diner.
During the run-up to African Heritage Week in the last week of February, R.S.V.P. will house yet another installation to celebrate their home in Africa, while welcoming their newest visiting chef to help them explore new directions, yet again, re-emphasising their philosophy that good food comes from talented people.
R.S.V.P. is a reflection of the appreciation and respect for good food, the evolving restaurant industry, their customers, and the role they play in the evolution of the culinary scene in Lagos. Their story is just beginning, just remember to Répondez S'il Vous Plaît!
9 Eletu Ogabi, Victoria Island, Lagos
t: 0818 616 6666
Nestled in a quiet corner of the Lagoon compound on Ozumba Mbadiwe is a quaint little gourmet...