Ever been accused of not being proud of Nigerian dishes? Well, I was in fact accused this exact words “you are such a white man in a black skin, you don’t eat or review on Nigerian dishes. Haba baby boy”.
With those words piercing through my skin, I felt guilty and shy with no reasonable explanation to defend myself. If memory serves me right, I reckon that I have written two reviews on Nigerian dishes from different restaurants.
Tuesday afternoon at the item hour (lunch), I decided to have a proper Nigerian meal at Spice Platter restaurant seated on Libreville crescent off the ever busy and popular Aminu Kano Wuse2, with First Bank and Metro Cafe as her neighbours.
From the outside one is greeted with art sculptures and ample parking space with polite security men and door man as well. The uniqueness of this place makes it stand out from other restaurants. Aside from being a restaurant it also has an art gallery, a beautiful seat out with comfortable ambience and bar/lounge. I noticed trip advisor had placed a sticker of recommendation meaning it’s a good place to dine.
I got in and sat down by the window which had natural ray of sunlight reflecting and also had a good view to admire the sculptures. A lady walks over with the usual welcome sir as she hands over the menu with no smile or friendly face . I took my time to go through the menu word for word, line by line, sentence by sentence and page by page. Spotted down the list was oha soup , goat meat with wheat. Hmmm it seemed like a good choice hence my reason for settling for and my regular question followed “how long will it take “ she shirked the question. Well… in her thinking she played a smart one.
As usual I took time to look around me and noticed the many natural room plants. At a point it felt as though I was at a funeral parlour wiith a few obstructive flying bugs. I also observed that the staff were lousy from the kitchen to the dining area . Almost 40 mints into the time I was served with complementary puff puff within a mint warm water and hand wash followed along with a mould of wheat and a bowl of steaming oha soup.
At this point I didn’t understand what the puff puff was about. Could it be that it was part of the meal which didn’t make sense at all, so I ignored puff puff to eat my meal. They were quite generous with a spicy and well garnished bowl of soup which surprisingly, was contaminated with bits of polythene material (nylon). The soup wasn’t it for me as the goat meat came off as stale and the wheat was just fine. Half way into the meal I had to remind the waitress for my water. It was obvious she had forgotten and it took another 5 minutes to bring me water.
It’s quite appalling to think that a restaurant of this class will not meet up to basic expectations and to think that they are not very affordable makes it quite an unpleasant combination. A customer has the right to know when his/her meal will be ready even though it was stated on the menu that 20 to 45 mints which is a long wait. It is important to know that every detail counts no matter how tiny they are and lastly the services are slow. While eating I over heard a man from the table next to mine complain of the slow services.
On a scale of 0 to 10 Spice platter is gallantly wasting away at a 4. I hope things will improve.
Words by Aliyu Gidado