Address: 330a Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8QH
Phone: 020 7326 0530
Monday-Thursday – 12 Noon -12 Midnight
Friday-Saturday – 12 Noon – 4am
Sunday – 12 Noon -12 Midnight
Enish is very new Nigerian restaurant in Coldharbour Lane, taking the place of The Majestic (see here), which was our introduction to this national cuisine. This incarnation is part of a group of restaurants peppered around the capital. The Majestic was a little down at heel, but it is now all dolled up – shiny tables, comfy chairs and wooden floors in place of the dubious red carpet. This bar and restaurant with knowledgeable clientele (I’ll come back to that later) eating and drinking from their complex menu. Cocktails are sweet and served in jars, beers are from Nigeria and the menu has a glossary to help the naive – like us. Despite having read about Nigeria recently, we needed the guiding hand of the waitress to make our choices.
This is a restaurant to visit and we can’t go through all of the extensive menu, look online or just turn up and take pot luck. There are starters – including garnished snail, and gizzard and plantain. We chose nothing off this part of the menu and were glad as the mains were mountainous.
The rice dishes include, as you might expect, Jollof rice with an assortment of meats and fish, as well as other sorts of rice. Then there are the soups, classic or special, with an assortment of meat or fish. Dishes from the grill include various fish and different meats treated in various ways. One of our choices was the grilled Tilapia which came with plantain, salad and fish sauce and we ordered a side of Jollof rice. We should have had a tape measure to really give the size of this plate – take it from us it was huge. We haven’t shown a picture at the end – the plate was not empty – taking account of the bones we would say there was at least another portion left. The plantain was great – just at the right level of caramel, easy to eat and a foil for the hot sauce.
The Jollof rice is a must for anyone to try. It was spicy and probably not as hot as most in the restaurant would have chosen. I have a friend from Nigeria who always carries some chili sauce in her bag to add to most meals, but, for us, the spiciness was just right and we thought it was the best we had ever tried.
The final choice was on the special soup list – Okra Obono (Obono is a traditional soup made from ground ogbono seeds (African wild mango seeds) cooked with palm oil and pumpkin leaf). If you don’t like okra then don’t choose this soup – I was warned by the waitress – it is very gelatinous and that can be off-putting. If you want to try traditional just go for the straight Ogbono. The soup dishes come with a meat and I chose chicken. It also comes with pounded yam, which is boiling to the touch so be warned that it is not a bread roll and should be treated with oven gloves. You use it by breaking bits off and dipping it into the soup. Again the plate was huge and I didn’t make it to even half way. It was an adventure, but not one I will be repeating. I didn’t really make a dent in the pounded yam.
- take notice of the waitress – she knows the menu and can steer you through
- you can eat with your hands, there is a washbasin to wash your hands when you go in, but they do give you cutlery
- look around and most couples seemed to be sharing – only the male groups were facing heaped plates
We washed it all down with cocktails – a monkey tail and an Enish Chapman explosion – and a beer, plus some water. The bill came to £70 before service. We will be back, better prepared than on our first visit.