HELLO WORLD! I feel like a dramatic intro is necessary for this blog post because it has been over a month since my last post and I know, I know, You all have dearly missed me and there hasn’t been any spice in your lives since I left but I promise I’m back now, and I mean, what kind of person would I be if I do not come back with gifts? So I came back with something BIG! That’s right! A brand new restaurant opening in Abuja. One you haven’t experienced before.
Let’s take a deep dive!
RÓDO is short for Ataródo which means pepper and let me just give y’all the heads up, they really came to pepper Abuja with a unique and creative dining experience. The restaurant is located at No 19 Kolda Link, Wuse 2, off Ademola Adetokunbo, Abuja, Nigeria. The restaurant is currently running a soft launch, but will be officially open on the 15th of October 2022.
The restaurant ambience is Amazing! The restaurant is extremely neat and peaceful. The restaurant is quite spacious as well. It features a lobby, main restaurant space downstairs and a longue/bar upstairs. Both spaces are so convenient that they can be perceived as individual restaurants. The one thing all the spaces share in common is the unique and artistic interior designs. The restaurant in general is very warm and cozy. The entirety of the space really embodies the theme ‘NEW AGE AFRICA’. The restaurant design has a lot of artistic African pieces from the wooden furniture, to the woven lights & and chairs, the murals on the wall, the paintings and even the plates in which the food is served. All the creative and traditional pieces are finely put together to achieve a really contemporary, yet relatable space. I like how there is so much attention to detail in each space. Each space you walk in to is so beautiful, including the restrooms. I especially love the restrooms upstairs, the mural on the wall is simply one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. The hallway before getting to the restroom upstairs is also really beautiful.
I love every bit of the space!
Let’s get down to business a little bit. THE MENU… Now I’m just gonna go ahead and tell you that this is not your usual menu. It is sophisticated! From the dishes, to the ingredients to the pricing, everything is different. If you’re the type to just go to a restaurant and just pick the usual go-to basic things then you may spend a little longer starring at this menu.
My favourite thing about the menu is that all the dishes and drinks are all familiar and Nigerian/African inspired. The menu pricing is actually very fair in my opinion considering the quality of service and standard of the restaurant to be honest. The restaurant budget is about N15,000 – N20,000 per person depending on what you’re having.
Now, this paragraph is for my fellow village people. If you’re not a villager please skip this. So, you might be tempted to ask, where is the price on the menu? Ladies and gents it’s right there! The figures you see that look like unit points are actually prices. I’m adding this because not a lot of people know this. I mean the usual pattern is for the prices to be written in the basic way i.e (N2,500) but on the Ródo menu, it is written as 2.5. Take note and do not embarrass your family members…lol.
The menu below is a soft opening menu, the full menu will be updated when the restaurant finally opens. Check out @rodoabuja on instagram.
The restaurant bar serves a variety of cocktails and mocktails, so there’s something for everyone. As you may have noticed, I don’t drink so I tried mocktails only. So if you visit Ródo Abuja and try out their cocktails be kind enough to share your thoughts.
I tried out the zobo iced tea and sweet dream from the mocktail menu and here are my thoughts;
Zobo Iced tea – NGN3,500
For those who may not be aware, zobo tea is Hibiscus tea. It is made from hibiscus plants and other special herbs and tea spices. I really love the concept of zobo iced tea to be honest. It’s giving iced coffee but make It African vibes. Now before any of your twisted Nigerian minds think, is it not ‘a cold zobo?’ No my dear, it is not ‘a cold zobo‘ it is actually authentic zobo iced tea.
It was a very, chilled and satisfying drink. Once again, I love how creative the restaurant is with everything on the menu. I mean everything is just unique in its own way.
If you’re not a fan of zobo, you can also alternatively have strawberry, peach or passion fruit iced tea.
Sweet dream – NGN4,200
The sweet dream mocktail is a combo of watermelon, bubblegum syrup, sweet and sour mix, and pineapple. It was served in a margarita glass which I looooooved! I have never been served a mocktail in a margarita glass before so pardon my excitement. I was really happy and it made me feel really fancy.
It is the best mocktail I have ever had in a restaurant. It was worth every sip! The downside to it was the portion. The drink portion wasn’t really much and I was slightly pained because I would not really mind having a 1 litre jug of it. The drink was honestly very soothing.
You know what they say, always save the best for last! After reading all the nice things about Ródo I’m sure you are dying to know, IS THE FOOD NICE???? The answer is YES! The food is really nice. After all I ate, I had to take about 5 minutes to myself and think, what just happened to me? I just ate the most regular Nigerian dishes served and cooked in the most creative way possible. A girl was shocked, and quite frankly impressed. For my starter dish I had the sinasir chicken tacos, followed by the Ródo claypot and Agege apple pie French toast.
Before you go on to read all about the details of the yummy food I had, just know that if you’re the type to eat fufu for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this restaurant is probably not for you. In simple terms, you no go belleful. It is a contemporary African restaurant not a Bukka, so the dishes served a made to fit a particular standard which is actually exceptional in my opinion. Generally, there’s a notion that for something to be fancy, it has to be foreign or something like that which is false. Ródo dishes simply refines your conceptualisation of Nigerian food. The dishes still maintain originality, yet presented contemporarily.
Ródo claypot – NGN8,000
Ródo claypot is a coconut jollof rice, sweet chili chicken, plantain and coleslaw dish. It is served in a unique ceramic claypot. It was a very colourful meal and the portion was quite much. The jollof rice was made with long grain rice and it was quite tasty. It had all the key authentic Nigerian jollof ingredients so it was a hit. Although the rice was nice, I still felt it could use a little more moisture because it was a bit dry. The sweet chili chicken was perfect! It was tender, juicy and tastefully spiced. What really got me surprisingly was the plantain. It was not grilled or boiled and I’m not quite sure if it was fried or not. It tasted perfectly done both in and out but it didn’t look fried, I kept thinking to myself how it was made?
Sinasir chicken tacos – NGN5,000
I was most excited about this dish, because as a Northern Nigerian, I am very familiar with Sinasir but never have I ever seen it quite like it was presented at Ródo. When I saw it on the menu, I was like Sinasir Tacos? nahhhh! I definitely have to try this. Sinasir are basically panckes but made from rice and not flour. On the menu, it is paired with pulled chicken, jalapeños, plantain, slaw and chili jam. It was Incredibly delicious! This was it! This was the dish that blew me off. I absolutely fell in love with it. The pulled chicken was tender and very very juicy, the plantain and slaw added to the tacos added a sweet taste that complimented it. I have never eaten something so perfect and satisfying. The sinasir tacos comes in 3 bite sizes and is very adequate for a starter.
Agege apple pie French toast – NGN4,000
For dessert, I had the agege apple pie French toast. I have had agege French toast before but not quite like this. This one was topped with caramelised apples, chin chin dust and vanilla ice cream. The dessert was not too sweet but it was delicious. The caramelised apples were really tasty and was the highlight of my dessert.
Total bill – NGN29,812 (including VAT & service charge)
Ródo Abuja is certainly here to break barriers in Abuja city. It is a nice contemporary African restaurant that showcases African cuisines in the finest way. It is one of the few of it’s kind in Abuja and it is truly exciting and impressive. Most recently, the restaurants opening up in Abuja are nothing but aesthetics with mediocre food and services. The restaurant owners mostly do not have any prior restaurant or food knowledge at all and the rate of this is really escalating, its honestly disappointing and starting to get annoying. It is really exciting to see that something otherwise is coming up and I’m so glad I got to be one of the first people to experience it and share all the exclusive details with you guys. I sincerely hope they are able to keep up with their starting standards and creativity.
If you visit the restaurant please do not hesitate to share, I look forward to reading all about your Ródo experiences.
See y’all on my next blog post! Rumour has it, it is another exclusive new spot.