Hi there, how's your week been? Mine's been very hectic but interesting too, guess your's been fantastic as well. Well, I don't know if you guys have been reading 'The Diner' in the Sunday Life Guardian magazine. This is one of the columns i run in the Sunday Guardian, the diner shares her dining experiences - the good, the bad and the very ugly. okay, so like i mentioned in my 'The Return' note that i'll be sharing few of those articles right here...therefore i will like you to read and drop your comments. You can also share your experiences too and perhaps drop names of good restaurants you've been too. I believe that will give me more ideas on where to be..yikes!
Here it is as published:
For a while now, I’ve always heard that Saipan restaurant is not just another Chinese restaurant in Nigeria, but ‘The Chinese Restaurant’ in Nigeria. Well, I cannot really testify to that yet as I am about to confirm that, right now and now as I sit expectantly for this experience. But from first stare and observation I would say truthfully that the tranquil and stylish environment here is second to none. And while my friend here believes the food and service are first class and prices are reasonable I still feel more could be added to the glamour therein.
Saipan appears as one those places that you could say is just there but has a magnetic feel that will tempt the most seasoned diner back again and again. A friend of mine once said, “If you have not been to Saipan, you have not arrived yet.” I was actually amazed by the modern and traditional Chinese décor blended nicely together, which gives the restaurant and wine bar a unique concept in fine dining.
Quite unusual of me though, I had the opportunity of going to the kitchen; the kitchen is ultra-modern and purpose-built. The chefs looked A team, experienced, talented and like they were carefully selected from top Chinese restaurants, which if so will be applaudable as the kitchen is the heart of the restaurant. The restaurant has a grand reception hall which is overwhelming even before you step into the main bar and restaurant. And while dining, I enjoyed a breathtaking view over The Lagos skyline.
The menu at Saipan is an extensive fusion between Asian dishes and authentic Chinese cuisine. And there’s also the main bar which is known to be the longest bar counter in Nigeria and can seat 20. Well, that’s another interesting one...the check continues though. Somehow, the cool background music with the combination of lighting and decor in the bar kept giving me this intoxicating and relaxing sensation. That also I like. While I diligently sipped my chilled Coke, I surveyed the bar and noticed a wide variety of wines, spirits, beers, minerals coffee (coffee, yay!) and tea. Yes, I also tried the house cocktail ‘Saipan fusion’. Comment? Simply charging.
I recognised many of the menu items, along with some unusual offerings. We (my colleague and I) played it safe, ordering pot stickers for appetizers, followed by snow peas with water chestnuts and BBQ pork chow mein. The food was brought out quickly, wasn't greasy, and tasted great.
Derived from a beautiful, unspoiled tropical paradise island situated in the pacific ocean where tourists go to relax and enjoy themselves, thus Saipan is the restaurant for people who have a taste for class and good food, says the waiter that served us. Quite impressive, Saipan prides itself on serving light-tasting and non-spicy food, and will definitely suit those with lighter palates. The Chief Chef here lets in on their secret formula: to whip up dishes with a touch of mum's cooking, to recreate the vibe of home-cooked dishes. Sincerely, I’ve not been to a restaurant of this kind, perhaps not in the real world, maybe in one of my numerous 5-star dream fantasies.
Saipan offers large menu with traditional Chinese restaurant items and a number of unusual offerings as well as authentic and attentive wait staff. The menu has a wide range of items from; noodles to dumplings to the usual western dishes. However, the restaurant and wine bar include a selection of desserts, which could be savoured and enjoyed from a succulent chocolate mousse and strawberry cheesecake to a lovely tiramisu or lemon gateau
For the main course, the Prawn menu is the signature dish at Saipan. Fresh prawns, cooked with herbal wine and the chef's secret herbs in stock, and with a really wicked concoction. The prawns were fresh and succulent; the soup was light with a hint of herbal taste. The herbs did not overpower the soup, as the sweetness of the prawns was evident in the soup too.
Saipan has friendly waiters, waitresses and hard working owner. They are clearly trying hard to be successful, the food is decent, prices fair, making this a good bet for a quick Chinese bite before a movie.