The restaurant is easy to find, two right turns from the main gate of Lekki Phase 1. I went with a date on a Saturday evening. The security guards seemed surprised that they had visitors; that’s the only excuse I can make up for how long it took one of them to rise to direct us to the few parking slots available outside. This was maybe confirmed when we walked in and discovered we were the only other visitors in the restaurant.
Peppercorn Avenue recently opened and is a welcome addition given the cuisine focus offering a selection of Thai and Indian dishes. If nothing else, finally there is a restaurant in Lekki serving Thai. The menu offered at Peppercorn Avenue is actually very creative to indulge your senses in the aromatic flavours of East and there are plans to add new dishes every few months which is not typical for Lagos restaurants.
Peppercorn Avenue is neat – with all that white leather seating, it would have to be kept immaculately impeccable. But that was it, re: décor. From the generic large frames of what looked like stock photos to the aforementioned white leather furniture, the ambience wasn’t doing much for me. Yes, it was quiet – I like quiet, but I suspect that wasn’t what they had in mind on Saturday night. While we were there, another Asian family came in. We were the only Nigerians and wondered if that said something favourable about the authenticity of the meals.
The menu has both Indian and Thai cuisines, so I had Indian while my date went Thai. The complimentary crisps came to the table with chutney, tamarind & yoghurt dips. The dips were so good and so I had high hopes for the main meal. Although I’ve seen way lengthier menus, I was still exhausted by the many options available on this one. What do they say about the tyranny of choice? A waiter was on hand to help me; he suggested a curry and after doing an eenie-meenie-mani-mo, I went with the red curry with mango lassi.
About twenty minutes later, the Green Curry made of chicken, coconut milk and green chillies (₦3,200) was brought to our table. I didn’t make a fuss about the mix-up because I had picked my meal off of a silly elimination game after all. I ordered it with naan, I have never met naan that I didn’t like – buttered or plain and Peppercorn came through.
I asked that my curry be spicy but I did not feel the burn. The chicken in it was good, I didn’t love the curry itself, I suspect because of the coconut milk – but that’s purely personal and not an indictment on Peppercorn’s version of the meal.
My date ordered the Adhraki Chop (₦3,500) which is flavoured lamb marinated in yoghurt, ginger & spices. The meal came with pepper sauce and apart from her “It’s so weird eating only meat, I’m Nigerian!” quip, the lamb was met with our glowing approval.
Peppercorn Avenue has a bar and a sofa-seating waiting area. Our waiter was attentive and nice. The manager stopped by our table at some point to see if we were fine – that kind of personal touch is always welcome.
The prices are deceptively good. I say deceptive because by the time the final bill came, inclusive of tax, etc, our bill had increased by another 20% (not peppercorn specific, but hey I’m ranting). The total of ₦10,000 for two main meals is still great though, for a restaurant in Lekki.
The space is not bad, the waiter is sharp, one feels well-attended to and my eyes are definitely on the Pineapple Fried Rice for when I go again.