The Best of Nigeria and the British Empire, Together Again

Lagosia is a complete and utter treasure. It’s pretty much the only spot for an upscale presentation of genuinely great Nigerian food. If you like Nigerian, you will love Lagosia. If you think you do not like Nigerian, you will love Lagosia, says rworange. If you’re British and you long for British food experiences, you will love Lagosia.

The restaurant interior is gorgeous; the food presentation very pretty. And the manager and chef are both absurdly friendly. There’s a lot of chef-coming-out-of-the-kitchen-to-chat-up-the-diners action going on.

Black bean soup is one of the best marlon has ever tried. It’s sweet and smoky, and has been stewed for six hours. Pepper soup is very tasty, and not too spicy. Groundnut stew is a thick tomato and peanut stew with delicious chunks of perfectly poached chicken breast. It’s milder than the versions that Food_Dude is used to, but quite tasty nevertheless.

There is the bizarre and beautiful Scotch egg—a hard-cooked egg that’s been breaded and deep-fried. There is suya—West African kebabs seasoned with an excellently tasty spicy peanut rub, and served with raw red onions. And mustard.

An order of plain puff-puff yields four tennis-ball-size beignets rolled in powdered sugar and topped with raspberry and chocolate sauces. rworange recommends chocolate puff-puff, which are plain puff-puffs stuffed with hunks of chocolate. The interior chocolate gets all melty, like a warm chocolate cookie. ksully415 says she’s related to the executive chef, and has been eating her cooking at family parties for years. She says you absolutely must get these puff-puffs, preferably with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Slice the puff-puff, put the ice cream inside, and eat the whole thing together.

There are a good number of Nigerians at the restaurant, but also a bunch of non-Nigerians who have, according to the chef, been complaining about the spice level. The chef has been thinking about toning down the flavors. Be sure to try to persuade your server to give you the full, un-Californianized Nigerian spice experience. In fact, says rworange, just try to persuade the chef to keep the food un–dumbed down. It’s your obligation as a Chowhound to preserve a gem like this in its full, unblanded glory.

There’s also a good mixture of British and Euro items. There’s spaghetti. They’re planning on offering real British meat pies soon, and other British baked goods.

Lagosia West African Cuisine [East Bay]
1725 University Avenue, Berkeley
510-540-8833
Map

Board Links: Lagosia–Nigerian in Berkeley
Berkeley: Lagosia – Stylish, modern, upscale British and Nigerian cuisine … go, please, go

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