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HSE Café Review

Over the past few years, Lekki Phase 1 has become the sort of Hollywood Hills of Lagos. It’s not quite as upscale as Ikoyi or as international as VI but its chi-chi and buzzy and you can expect to see a lot of pampered housewives stepping down from their Range Rovers for some pre-school run shopping on Fola Osibo or dashing out of nail bars with glistening manicures and YSL bags.

There aren’t a lot of great eateries in Lekki. They have some chains and other fast to mid fast food options like Mango Room or Chicken and Waffles, but Lekki is still not a place you go for fine dining. Enter HSE it’s (almost) light, fine dining in a cafe, located in Arabella’s Place on Emma Abimbola Cole.Their adventurous, changing menu goes well beyond the default chicken and fries.  The food, impressively fresh and high quality is put together by well-known chef Nkesi with pulled lamb sandwiches, Mediterranean rice bowls, seafood linguine, and dessert options that include delightfully sounding ricotta doughnuts, listed in cinnamon sugar and served with coffee flavoured custard.

Obviously, they are a cafe so your coffee/tea selection is well catered for but they also have a memorable cocktail selection and although the interior is minimalist (it’s a small space and seating is certainly minimal it tends to attract quite a colourful clientele. You would not be surprised to catch fashionistas like Ozinna Anumudu or Denola Grey in there. The food is reassuringly expensive too, for Lekki, which does tend to mean you can always find a seat.

Since its inception, the sloppy joe fries have been a favourite of mine, a hearty and piquant lunch option of minced beef over fries with peppers and drizzled with cheese.  It’s not one for calories counters but it more than hits the spot every time. I guess the fries could be slightly crispier, my only critique. They tend to sag under the juices of the minced beef.  I can credibly state that the all-day breakfast of steak (cooked in pan jus) and eggs with sautéed potatoes is divine – the breakfast in bed you wish arrived on your birthday and possibly the best breakfast dish I’ve ever had in four continents, between New York, Paris and Kuala Lumpur. You just have to be hungry enough!

Sloppy Joe fries N5000

Steak and eggs breakfast N6000


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