The promise of Danfo begins outside. Stacked and funky shipping containers beckon customers in to experience the distinctive cultural medley of Lagos. Every surface invites the gaze. The street-art along the walls of the stairs leading to the restaurant features bright and colourful graffiti, including a mural of Afrobeat sensation Fela Kuti.
Inside, the attention to design continues to accentuate the uniqueness of Lagos. There are lampshades moulded from Lagos State license plates, chairs covered with Ankara fabric and a wall of windows flooding light onto glass-topped tables housing sides of commercial passenger vans. Exposed pipes give the space an industrial edge that has helped make Danfo one of the coolest spots in town.
Danfo now boasts a new menu with a generous selection of vegetarian options to accompany the carnivore-friendly dishes the restaurant is known for. Stews and swallows are also now available, as well as breakfast options for those early risers. There are a number of delicious coffee drinks to choose from including the decadent Danfo Iced Coffee, a sweet, creamy, icy coffee, topped with whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg.
Why not begin your meal with the Yam Con Carne, crunchy slivers of yam topped with spicy beef chili and pickled onions? The Mushroom Suya Taco Wrap makes another great starter. Suya-coated, fried, breaded mushrooms and coleslaw are drizzled with suya sauce and tucked into a soft taco shell. The earthy, vegetable flavour must be tasted to be believed.
If you are on Instagram, it’s likely you’ve seen the Ewa Agoyin Sandwich with its base of agege bread topped with ewa agoyin, chili sauce and fried plantains. Aside from being a visually appealing dish, this is the ultimate comfort food. The beans are creamy. The bread is soft and the sauce gives it a smoky heat.
The Harlem Burger manages to be both hip and hearty. The juicy beef is topped with melted cheddar cheese, strips of bacon and onion rings. Why not pair it with an order of Suya Onion Rings, a spicy, crunchy delicacy perfectly dusted with enough suya powder to make you smile? They can be dunked in the suya mayo dip, which comes on the side.
Whether you’re a Nigerian-food lover or are new to the cuisine, the Oyingbo Groundnut and Tomato Stew is a good choice. Made from chicken, peanut butter, peanuts, tomatoes and onions, it’s perfect for people who prefer less spicy food, however, it is served with red pepper on the side if you want to turn up the heat. This creamy stew is accompanied by folds of soft, pounded yam.
The Indomie Ramen is a delight, especially when it’s served with the addition of a perfectly cooked jumbo shrimp. Enjoy Indomie, chicken breast, bok choy, mushrooms, carrots, leeks, spring onions and a sprinkle of chili. It is served in a lovely, warm broth, perfect for a Rainy Season day. The vegetables and thin noodles are made for slurping.
The menu boasts decadent deserts, such as the Naija Fondue, a fudgy, warm chocolate sauce made of melted Toblerone with fruits, marshmallows and puff puff on the side for dipping. It’s delicious and fun to eat. Just as yummy is the Puff Puff Pass. Splashed with rum and topped with strawberry ice cream, coconut shavings, strawberry marshmallows and chocolate, these puff puffs are decadent, fruity and the perfect end to a satisfying meal.
What has everyone talking is the rooftop, open-air bar upstairs, a bar housed in an actual iconic, bright yellow danfo! Danfo is open late on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Friday nights boast the music playlists of different Lagosians interested in sharing their music and Saturday offers Afrobeat with live drummers. Soon Sunday will feature live bands and rappers.
Unique Nigeria-inspired cocktails are offered alongside the classics. If you’re truly bold, try the Frozen Jagerbomb, a margarita with an actual shot of Jägermeister nestled into it! Or try the 419, a lovely frozen drink, sweet like melon and strawberry but with a flavour explosion when you tip the shot of blue curacao inside. If you’re hankering for an upscale cocktail with local flavours, try the Oya Go. Made of martini, ogogoro, palm wine, lemon juice and pineapple syrup, it looks pretty but tastes bracing, lemony and sweet. Danfo also offers shisha.
Danfo was conceived as the meeting point for the many cultures of Lagos. Nigerians can try continental flavours, and ex-pats can explore Nigerian delicacies. It is a place where ex-pats, re-pats, Nigerians and long-term foreign Lagosians can connect. A project of passion conceived by a team of visionary partners, all roads lead to Danfo.
2 Alexander Rd, Ikoyi, Lagos
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