In 2016, an alternative to fast food was introduced with Nuli, the first farm to table concept cafe in Lagos, using only locally sourced ingredients. However, their growth was rudely interrupted by the sudden and unexpected demolition of their first Nuli Lounge just a few weeks after its opening. But from the rubble rose an even stronger brand with a bigger and better space and an additional four new locations. Nuli has since become a brand synonymous with fresh meals and juices that spark ‘joy’ in people’s lives, derived from the Igbo word for joy, ‘anwuli’. This is also evident in their space, where regulars, locals and visitors can leave messages on their chalk walls that over time have become works of art admired by all, and have encouraged a sense of community.
Nuli gives people a healthier way of enjoying their delicious meals while supporting local communities and farmers, shifting the trend of using imported produce. From the fruits and vegetables, to fonio and coffee, everything on their menu not only inspires healthy eating, but it also makes one realise the abundance of Nigerian agriculture. Their Grab and Go corner is another support network of different local brands that also promote healthy snacking, as is, of course, their selection of 13 cold-pressed Nuli Juices on the go.
The menu at Nuli is simple, yet quite extensive with all the add-ons and substitutions available. From salads to ‘Naanini’s’ and stir-fry bowls, the options are not as simple as one might initially think. For salad lovers, their Fresh Bowls give you the option of selecting a base of salad mix or fonio, a locally-grown superfood that is wheat-free, fat-free and gluten-free, plus a filling and dressing. The filling options are enough to keep you coming back for more just to try all their options, from Feisty (Tandoori) Chicken, hearty Meatball Madness or Pumpkin Heaven for the veggie lovers, to name just a few. Their dressings are also all worth exploring. From Berry Vinaigrette to Yoghurt Basil, each bowl can be unique.
Even their wraps and sandwich options can challenge the most decisive person. Their homemade naan bread is the base of their Naanini and Naan Melts, a twist on the average wrap and panini. The Naanini wrap is filled with lettuce, grated carrots, sweet corn and peppered mayo spread with your choice of filling. The Naan Melts are their answer to Italian paninis, but with their own fresh naan bread filled with their sauteed red pepper and onion sauce with lightly peppered mayo and a choice of filling, grilled to perfection for a crunchy finish. The Softie, their third sandwich option, is made with fresh, toasted ciabatta bread filled with a creamy avocado spread, tomatoes, sweet corn and your choice of filling.
Last, but certainly not least, are their Stir-Fry Bowls. Deceivingly small, this seemingly endless bowl of couscous is spiced up with mixed peppers, sweet corn and raisins, with an option of going jollof style, with the Magic Bowl, or fried-rice style with the Dream Bowl, and topped with one of their delicious fillings, from their meat and seafood options to veggies. Their menu options don’t end there, with Cassa Waffles with Scrambled Eggs for breakfast to Plantain Patties that can even be enjoyed as a dessert, and sides of Sweet Potato Fries, Naan Strips and Dodo Fries.
Their Creamy Smoothies are where the options become seriously difficult. Made with greek-style yoghurt (or not) these smoothies can be a meal on their own. With an endless combination of bananas, ginger, apples, turmeric, coffee, granola, and so many more ingredients; and names like Spice Bomb, Apple Crumble, and Chai High, one is tempted to sit and go through each one until the favourite is identified. Their coffee menu is as impressive, made with Nigerian coffee beans grown in Mambilla Plateau, Taraba State. It’s hard to believe that coffee from Nigeria is not readily available in all cafes. The coffee alternative options such as their Turmeric Latte and Chai Latte will comfort you as you spend an afternoon working out of their lounge. Just don’t leave without having tried their fruity Zobo Slushy. Warning: it’s highly addictive.
Nuli has adopted a mantra of fresh, healthy and locally sourced foods and drinks, and has embedded this into their everyday offerings. They believe that life should not be complicated, and being healthy should not be a privilege. As they continue to grow and create these communities where people and brands can gather, they are also closing the gap between local producer and consumer, changing the way we as consumers live and eat in Lagos.
2 Olawale Daudu, off Alfred Rewane Street, Ikoyi, Lagos
NULI 2 GO
7 Rumens Road, Ikoyi, Lagos
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