#TheServiceCritic: Review of MILANO RESTAURANT(Intercontinental Hotel), Victoria Island

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Tuesday 8.30 P.M

Hello people,

Thank you all for your kind words and encouragement. I hope my letter got to the Messrs Restauranteur, I patiently await their response(s). For those that missed my letter to Mr Restauranteur please  click on this link. I have gotten  a number of mails asking why most of the restaurants I review are on the Island, I have done quite a few on the mainland. I am open to suggestions on places to review  on the mainland. Proper restaurants only please i.e no fast  food places.

I had heard a lot about the restaurants at Intercontinental Hotel in Victoria Island. This day seemed like a good opportunity to explore so we ended up at Milano Restaurant. This is the Italian restaurant on the second floor of the hotel.  Milano Restaurant is a well laid out dining room that seats about 60 guests. The furnishing is quite contemporary and elegant with well laid out tables. Most outstanding piece here is the champagne wall or shall we call it a divider? It had almost unending rows of premium bottles of champagne. The view is quite lovely- overlooking the lobby area.

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Once seated the waiter brought the menu. E be like say  I go need a language instructor to order food here. The food was written in Italiano so you would have to try to pronounce the names to order. I shan’t gree.  With the help of the waiter, I ordered the meals.  I asked the waiter if they had any house wines, he said yes , he offered to show me the bottle. Unfortunately they did not have the rose I wanted. I opted for white wine. He brought the bottle to show me before pouring but he did not pour it in my presence. There was no price for the house wine , I begin wonder oh. Should I be worried?

After about twenty minutes,  the waiter came with the appetizer- an assortment of Italian breads and dips. The breads were a breath of fresh air. They were  fresh!  We had bread sticks, sourdough bread and a “baguetty” like one I didn’t know. The breads were served  with the “traditional ” olive oil and balsamic vinegar dip, the crushed olives dip and a salsa dip. I have been told several times by an Italian chef and a few culinary school classmates that  dipping bread in Olive oil with balsamic vinegar is not a traditional Italian practice , they also said that serving bread before pasta is not typical of Italians. The reason they gave was that  balsamic vinegar ruins the rich taste of  their highly priced olive oil and also that eating bread before a meal ruins the appetite. The Italians said so , no be me oh! And errmm, some of you might be wondering why they didn’t just give us butter, The Italians don’t do bread and butter…they say.  Let’s just leave that story for another day, I learnt that in quite an embarrassing way…..

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The entrees came after about forty – five minutes, in my books that is forever. First up was the Petto Di Pollo Ripieni (N 7,900-$48 ), this was described as  chicken stuffed with liver pate served with truffle whipped potatoes. I subbed the truffle whipped potatoes with baked potatoes. …..as my Ghanian friends say.  bluffo(sp)…. big grammar. In my opinion, this was a basic meal with a fancy name. When it came I was not wowed. Yet again, the term -value for money comes into play. I have had better Italian food. The chicken came with some sort of gravy I could not place. It was basically stuffed grilled chicken with baked potatoes served with vegetables. It was quite nice but was it commensurate to the price paid for it? No.

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The second entree was the Carre’d agnello con crosta d’erbe (N8900- $55) . Hmmmn, I will buy you one plate of Ofe nsala and pounded yam if you can pronounce this right…. that’s if you had no prior knowledge of Italiano.

The menu described this as baked rack of lamb with whole grain mustard and herb crust and truffle whipped potatoes. This entree had three chunks of  lamb chops with mashed potatoes , vegetables and the same sauce that came with the first entree. I was not impressed  that it was the same sauce that was served with the chicken and the lamb….. the sauce seemed a bit watered down too. If you read my post regularly, you would have noticed that I don’t quite fancy breaded foods, this was no different. I painstakingly  scraped off the breaded crust before eating the lamb. It was nicely done, well seasoned and tender. The truffle whipped potato was mashed potatoes with a smoother and creamier texture, very nice. It tasted too smooth and rich to have been from freshly mashed  potatoes, I suspected that it was boxed mashed potatoes. It was well executed so it didn’t really matter.

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The dessert menu had three desserts on offer. One of which is my favorite  dessert ever- Tiramisu. I absolutely love this dessert. but I had to borrow myself a brain when I saw the price. It was a whopping N 3,800 ($23)Make una no worry, the juju no catch me. It had better be a whole tray of Tiramisu for that price. I  jejely nursed my glass of wine after my meal.

I observed that the menu was not that extensive. I was hoping to see a variety of pasta  meals especially  ravioli, seafood and cured meats but the menu was in trickles of these, in my opinion, it  lacked the originality and staples of a typical  Italian restaurant.

P.S :  The glass of house wine caused N 2,300… The wine was called San Valentin…. Lagos na wa. Way overpriced if I may say so.

For a glass of “house white wine” and 2 entrees , we paid (N19,850- $121). did anyone just scream blue murder. Well I did.  It brings me to one  conclusion. Would I be right to say that in Lagos, we actually pay for ambience and not the meal per se? Help a sister out here please.

MY SCORE CARD

Layout/ Ambience  / aesthetics -9

Quality of food-7

Value for money  6

Customer Service – 7

MILANO RESTAURANT (Intercontinental Hotel) 52, Kofo Abayomi street, Victoria Island, Lagos | 01-2366666

For comments and more fabulous reviews , please visit www.theservicecriticng.com

The Critic

The Critic

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.

9 comments

  1. Glad to see a review of one of the many restaurants in the intercontinental. i had the opportunity to attend the opening and i must confess its a beautiful hotel; however with some of the staff, it wont be long before it goes the way of others before it.
    Madam critic, you are definitely right about the average Nigerian’s need to pay for ambiance than for its service that’s because priorities are usually misplaced.

    p.s whipped potatoes,- i don’t think is from a packet just a different technique on mashed potatoes, youtube would help you out with that. i happen to be a self acclaimed chef 🙂
    Great reviews though, cant wait to read up on your other write ups.

  2. I had one of their Pasta, it was fairly OK.
    but i am in love with their Nigeriana Pizza.. (though expensive for the size).
    above all I am in love with that soft bread..(i always asked for more of it).
    You did a 99.99% good review of this restaurant that I have visited twice.

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