September is upon us already! Where did time go? The month of August was a hectic one for me at work, I am hoping September will be better…the one thing that got me going was my birthday, the day came in a flash and I could not even enjoy it. I had so much too and I had the mother of all headaches, so all celebrations were moved to the weekend after. The weekend came and I was not sure where I wanted to go ( I lost “the list”- my phone crashed yet again). We ended up at Orela Grill House in Ikoyi. I’d tried to review this restaurant before but it was closed, apparently they do not open on Sundays. ( I consider that rather strange).
Orela Grill House is on Awolowo road, Ikoyi. It was not particularly easy to find because the signboard was not exactly legible. When we got in, the dinning room was empty … on a saturday afternoon? Should I be worried? I did a brief survey of the dinning room and I came to the conclusion that it’s a small space that has been well utilized. The decor was quite “english”….the uninteresting kind - wooden parquet floors with papered walls. A long lounger (sofa) with throw pillows and dark leather clad tables covered one section. To a corner sat a high back modern Chesterfield sofa with the same leather clad tables. On the opposite side was a piano.
A waiter came with the menus and as always I was left to place the orders. I went through the food menu first, there was a nice selection of dishes, not very varied though. I asked the waiter about several of the dishes and he seemed quite savvy. For our starter, I ordered the The French Sample. The main meal was Grilled rack of ribs with barbecue sauce, Lamb chops and whole grilled croaker fish. A couple of minutes after he took the order, he came back to say the whole croaker fish was not available. I replaced it with the Grilled Jumbo Prawns.
The drinks menu was very extensive but in my candid opinion, the prices were an overkill. Most of the wines were not available by the glass, I do not remember seeing any house wines…this could be an oversight on my part. We decided on water….good ol’ water, even that was overpriced!
We were served peanuts…seasoned peanuts, lets just say it did not werk for any of us. So we waited for the starter to come. When The French Sample (2200-$13) came, we were stunnneddd! Stunned because we could not believe that we were expected to pay N2200 for it. The French sample was described as ” prime beef, cubed, flash grilled, simmered in honey mustard and served with bearnaise sauce. In lay man’s term, I would describe this as grilled meat (“suya “- with different spice/ seasoning ) . There were 10 MINUTE pieces of beef… yes! The picture below was zoomed. I counted it. Even if they doubled this portion, it would still not be value for money at this price. One word for this starter, I am screaming from the top of my lungs… RIPOFF. Little did I know. The French sample was served with bread rolls, which was not fresh…thank goodness for microwave. it was warmed up but it still gave off a somewhat rancid after taste. The portion aside, the meat was nicely seasoned and grilled. I quite liked it but I can’t wrap my head round the portion and price.
The main entrees came and air was sucked out of me. Talk about “wozing” us from both sides of our faces at once. First up, was The Grilled rack beef ribs with barbecue sauce (N6, 000- $37) served with jasmine rice as a side. The problems with this entree were quite numerous. Portion came to play here again . To the best of my knowledge, a rack of ribs is averagely about 12 ribs. I even googled it just to be sure .
Well, at Orela Grill House, a 500g rack of beef ribs is 3 and half ribs, yes you read right, 3! How do I begin to explain that it was served with three tablespoon of rice, we had a spoon each and the rice was finished. The worst part of this was that the rack of ribs came with plain barbecue sauce….probably poured straight from the bottle .Someone please help me out here. Rice with barbecue sauce and “rack of ribs” at a premium restaurant? Baba goddey dey watch this chef for 4D TV. This was an absolute No No! Well each of us took a piece each and it was all over. Was it nice? Very and that made it even more painful. What chef worth his salt will serve just jasmine rice with barbecue sauce? It sounds like something I would have enjoyed as a youngie when my money ran out and I had to manage whatever I had left.
The second entree came- The Lamb Chops (N6, 500-$40). The menu described this as Grilled Karoo lamb loins, tossed in a sauce of lemon juice, garlic and rosemary with a splash of white wine with peppercorn sauce……hmnnnnn, ina su beekee….in English language you are blowing grammar, when the lamb chops came, it was three pieces of emaciated chops( If I can call it that, It was more bone than lamb chops) served with 3 shriveled looking pieces of potatoes, 4 tiny pieces of shaved carrots, 3 tiny pieces of cucumber and a mini bowl of “peppercorn” sauce. It was nothing like what the menu described it to be. If only there was something “to chop off the chops”. The meat was under seasoned and tough to cut even with the steak knife. The baked potatoes was probably not freshly baked because how do you explain cutting through freshly baked potatoes and it doesn’t let off steam? it was bland too. Our money must not burn o. We added salt and black pepper and just “lemmed the thing. The peppercorn sauce was watered down too.
Third entree was Grilled Jumbo Prawns (N4, 380-$28). Even the menu described this wrongly , see a screen shot below. After going through the menu , I requested that the prawns should not be breaded, I wanted it grilled. straight up. It was served with Plantain fritters and tartare sauce and a “dash of vegetables” -as described above. What came was 2 pieces of skinny prawns …. aint nothing jumbo about these prawns. The plantain fritters did not “werk” , it was bland and dry. The jumbo prawns was charred giving off a bitter aftertaste. Epic fail, that is what I would say if i were to define this.
I requested for the menu again to see what desserts were available , there were 3 , out of which only 2 were available. Was I ordering? No, I was just going to look through, considering how the other meals had gone? No way!
We paid N 22,862- $141 for 1 starter, 3 entrees and 1 bottle of water yet we left Orela Grill House hungry…yes hungry! Has that happened to you before? What shame and waste of money . After we paid, we requested to see the manager, the manager was not available, someone stepped forward as the supervisor, we told him about our dining experience, he offered us the feedback card which we filled and returned…see the copy below.He also said they were working on new prices and menu….he didn’t sound convincing to me.
I felt sooo cheated after all these. I asked myself why we did not complain sooner, Mr U did not think it would have made any difference. We kept having to call the waiter for dinning basics…tissues , to remove plates and replace them with plates cutlery. I reckon he was quite absent-minded because he was watching soccer!
Dr D did a check of the restroom and she said it was nowhere near tidy. The seat was soiled and the floor was wet.
Would I go back there? No….Absolutely Not.
MY SCORE CARD
Layout/ Ambience / Aesthetics-5
Quality of food-2
Value for money- 2
Customer Service – 3
ORELA GRILL HOUSE
114, Awolowo Road,
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I love all things beautiful and luxurious. Pastry chef during the day, food writer at "other times". Dinning out? Ask me! Visit me at www.theservicecriticng.com for more.