Restaurants & Bars

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

rworange | Jul 4, 200712:13 AM     12

There are some great reports about Lagosia in another thread, but the topic just says Nigerian … even for Chowhounds that’s a yawn for a lot of people.


If you don’t think you like Nigerian … you will like Lagosia

If you are British and longing for some of those tastes that doesn’t involve the usual pub grub … you will like Lagosia.

This is far from the hole-in-the wall that defines most Bay Area African food.

It reminds me a lot of Vanessa’s on Solano … only British – Nigerian.

Tables get tiny bowls of complementary house-made chin chin. This is a hard, tiny square cracker-like snack … think the size of goldfish only irregularly squarish.

I had

- Scotch eggs
- Chicken suya - West African shish kebabs seasoned with spicy peanut rub served with fresh cut red onions
-- Puff puffs - chocolate or plain West African beniets

I saw the Scotch eggs on another table … and they looked fabulous … it is unlikely I would have otherwise ordered them… stay with me here because this bit of deliciousness sounds awful … coated deep-fried eggs.

These were lovely snacks ... quartered warm hard-boiled eggs with a delicious coating presented beautifully on a square plate strewn with shredded carrots. A small dish of house-made salad cream was in the center.

NO … not the horrid bottled salad cream This was to the bottled cream as home-made mayo is to Miracle Whip … a totally different and tasty thing.

A long rectangular plate held two delicious small kebobs with a dish of hot mustard for dipping. The marinated thin sliced red onions garnished with a confetti of green herbs and orange carrots were as pretty as they were addictive The kebabs were so good I didn’t want to hide the flavor with the mustard which IMO was too assertive and overpowered the great kebab rub.

The puff puffs are a definitely sharable dessert … get the chocolate … get … the … chocolate.

Large warm made-to-order puff puff balls were covered with powdered sugar and garnished with fresh raspberries. They are almost like a cross between beignets and mochi. They have a mochi-like texture. I had a mix of the regular and the chocolate (4 to a plate). The chocolate are just the regular with pieces of bittersweet chocolate in them that turn liquid like warm- from-the-oven chocolate chip cookies ... like the chocolate in a hot pan au chocolate.

One would be a filling dessert. Share.

There’s currently a small wine list
- Simmonet-Febre cremant de Bourgogne blanc

- Golden Kaan Sauvignon Blanc, South Africa
- Cline Viogner
- Pierre Sparr Gewurztraminer Reserve, Alsace

- Cellar No 8 Cabernet Sauvignon
- Tamari Malbec

After dinner
- Osborn Pedro Ximenez 1827 sherry, Spain

The spacious restaurant with large, sunny windows looking out on a tree-lined section of University is decorated in shades of brown beige and muted gold. There is a long bar that reminded me of an expanded version of Vanessa’s.

The staff in white shirts, black pants and long place aprons were pleasant and are the upscale restaurant type of wait staff.

The manager, Abby, is a warm and welcoming woman. There is a little bakery case up front and she said the plans were to have a bakery section with English pastries and cakes and African meat pies. Maybe a real English scone will finally be available in the Bay Area.

She said that since Nigeria was a British colony, that food is common in Nigeria.

The menu is briefer than the on-line menu. Abby said after their soft opening they scaled back until business built up. Right now there are only chicken kebabs and no goat.

The equally friendly and charming chef/owner Kofo Domingo stopped by each of the tables to ask how the food was. Her smiling photo on the site just captures her warmth

Now this is the reason you MUST … MUST …go NOW !!!

This place needs Chowhounds who appreciate good food. The first thing chef Domingo asked was if the food was too spicy. I didn’t find it spicy only delicious and flavorful. She said some people were complaining about too much spice which is why they scaled back the menu to see what would appeal to people.

One problem is University Avenue has so many small mom and pops and African usually is … that people aren’t expecting this. Put this place on Solano or Shattuck up near Chez Panisse and people wouldn’t be raving … not adverse to flavor.

So go … enjoy … convince the owners that people do appreciate the different and delicious. Go just so we have a nice upscale restaurant that isn’t serving the same thing every other restaurant is serving.

BTW, even if people aren’t up to trying African, some not so exotic combos can be assembled .. a green salad with the fish or kabobs should appeal to timid eaters.

Previous report

Lagosia West African Cuisine

1725 University Avenue ... almost next ot AAA
Berkeley, CA 94703


*Closed on Mondays
Lunch: 11:00am to 2:30pm
Dinner: 5:00pm to 10:00pm

Saturday: 10:00am to 10:00pm
Sunday: 10:00am to 7:00pm

1725 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94703

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