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After a wonderful worship experience on Sunday, Jay and I had to catch up with a colleague for a quick meeting. The meeting which ended up happening at the car-park of The Palms Lekki Mall, left us hot and drained. Before I forget, it was Jay’s fault, she was the one that suggested we have the meeting there. Anyway, in desperate need of some cool off, we decided to hang out at the mall before heading home, after all, it was the weekend. We made a beeline to the food court because of course, a hang out is not really a hang out without something to eat and drink. I suggested we ate a snack because Jay already cooked lunch at home and what kind of husband would I be if I filled myself with some not-as-delicious-as-my-wife’s-cooking restaurant food (wink). After an active debate (Jay wanted Cold Stone ice-cream), we decided Charcoal should have the honor of pleasuring us that hot Sunday afternoon. After scanning the menu for a minute, we made our order to some guy behind the counter who looked like he wanted to be anywhere but there. There was no indication that he heard me and I was about to repeat myself when he turned towards the chef and called out the order perfectly.
“Two mixed sharwama, one with ketchup only, the other with ketchup and mayonnaise, both extra spicy.”
10 to 15 minutes of sitting at those hard plastic chairs, amusing ourselves with the bustling Lagos weekenders swarming the food court, families trying to hold down straying toddlers, lovers staring into each other’s eyes forgetting the food getting cold between them, we finally got our orders. Hmm, Let me allow Jay tell you about the food: Thank you Kay. First, let me just start by saying that I wasn’t big on their paper wraps. I prefer my sharwarma comes with a top and bottom paper wrap, so that I can just pull off the top one and start devouring. With the Charcoal sharwarma, it was wrapped in one paper wrap so that I had to tear the top away. Things got messy and it was not funny. When I first bit in and met with a dry crunchy bread, I was about to make a comment but stopped myself. Knowing Kay, he would say ‘have a few more bites before you complain.’ So I took more bites and indeed it got better. The meat in the filling was different. It tasted like suya. Kay was it suya?  I quite liked it though. A few more bites and things started to go south. The bread got crunchier and tasted awful, that’s when I realized the bread was burnt.  This was a major let down, but I continued to eat anyway. I wasn’t going to let the money go to waste. However, the more I ate, the less and less the suya/meat was. All I had was cabbage and ketchup. Meanwhile at this point, I hadn’t shared my experience with Kay because he hadn’t started eating his and I didn’t want to ruin it for him. He was too busy eating a meat pie from Charcoal. Kay how was that pie? Ok, let me make a confession first. I had the meat pie because I was so hungry I wasn’t sure the sharwama would keep me till we got home. Anyway, the pie was good. The chicken was very moist and spicy, and unlike many pies I’ve had, actually contained more chicken than vegetables. Nevertheless what it gained in taste, it took in size since it was all as big as half my fist. As for the sharwarma, when I finally got to it, I found it delish. It wasn’t as spicy as I expected since I ordered for extra spice, but the filling made my palate sing an orchestra. The meat, grilled-dry and zesty was complemented by the wet combination of cream and vegetables. And yes Jay, it’s suya meat, I saw the chef cutting it from its sticks. Jay is right on one thing though, that wonderful creation was blighted by the burnt wrap. Whether it was the baker’s fault or the chef who left it on the warmer for too long, it was a downer for me. Cost (Naira) Sharwarma (mixed) = 1,500 Meat Pie = 300 Total = 1,800

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This article was first published on 30th May 2017 and updated on June 28th, 2017 at 1:03 am


We're a couple who find our shared love for food, movies, reading and writing an extremely rewarding way to experience life. We believe that there's so much to enjoy about life not to share it.

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