Ona is a new restaurant in Victoria Island dedicated to celebrating African cuisine that began operations in February 2022.
Unlike other restaurants I’ve reviewed, Ona wasn’t on my radar. Instead, it was ‘A’ that told me about it. So, I went to Instagram to look it up, and I didn’t see much. Nonetheless, I was still excited to visit as I usually am when experiencing a new place. So, ‘A’ and I stopped by on the 12th of March, and here’s how it went.
Our first view of the restaurant’s surroundings looked like an abandoned house beside the big ONA sign in the center as we walked in. However, it was different on the inside. We were welcomed to a mix of brown and white tones with a lot of greenery. The restaurant has both indoor and outdoor seating, and they managed to utilize the space to accommodate a lot of seats. I fear that guests will be able to hear each other’s conversations though, when it’s busy.
We were welcomed and ushered to a table. Not long after, we were served complimentary drinks, their “Sunday special”, a yummy mango sangria, and the menu.
Ona’s food menu is categorized into three: the bar menu (starters), A la carte (small plates, large plates and sweets), and the 7-course experience. Thankfully, our waiter was very patient in explaining the menu and helpful in making our decisions.
WHAT WE ORDERED
We chose bao selection (crunchy gizzard) from the bar menu, winkle Crudo, palm crisp, sweet potatoes, oyster vinaigrette, pickled pear, smoked shombo dust from the small plates, and wild duck and prosciutto (substituted for goat meat), sambal stir fry, cabbage from the large plates. For drinks, A chose Monkeytail Agbalumo Sour, and I chose Tigernut Margarita at our waiter’s suggestion. We also asked for soda water to share.
Our drinks arrived first and complimentary sweet potato crisps, which we devoured quickly because we were starving. My Margarita was too sweet, which I didn’t like much. Otherwise, it was refreshingly different. ‘A’ liked his drink too. Then came the Bao, which had two pieces of gizzard in it. I cut it in two, and we shared it. It was tasty. We started getting worried about the portion size, but we waited to see what was next.
The Winkle Crudo came next. It was in a tiny bowl, and A and I looked at each other and laughed. We removed its cape to have a look inside. The bowl wasn’t even full 😂. I hadn’t eaten periwinkles in a long time, and it was nice. It had a sweet and tangy taste, and the potato crisp was good too.
Our waiter brought us water in calabash bowls to rinse our hands right before our main meal arrived. Then, it was time to dig in. The wild duck and goat meat stir-fried rice was tasty, but we both agreed that it definitely wasn’t worth 28,000. ‘A’ contemplated ordering another meal from the large plates and I said no. We finished our drinks and asked for the bill.
SERVICE DELIVERY & CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
We couldn’t identify the restaurant when we arrived because there was no indication/sign outside. Thankfully, we spotted a security guard that directed us to the entrance. The staff were warm and welcoming. Our waiter seemed well informed about the menu and even suggested most of our selections. The service was decent, and the wait time wasn’t long though the restaurant wasn’t busy. The head chef/owner came by twice to check if everything was okay. Parking is limited.
Soda water ~ 1500
Monkeytail Agbalumo Sour ~ 9000
Tigernut Margarita ~ 7000
Bao Selection ~ 8000
Winkle Crudo ~ 9500
Wild Duck & Prosciutto ~ 28000
Service charge (5%) and Tax (VAT 7.5% + CON 5%) were added to the bill, so our total damage was N74,025.00.
We were still hungry at the end of the day, so we stopped by Domino’s for a large pizza.
Ona is a nice place to visit when you feel like exploring or aren’t really hungry. The outdoor seems nice to hang with friends over a couple of cocktails. I love the African infusion and the menu’s creativity. However, you have to visit with a fat pocket or loaded card.
Food – 7
Drinks – 8.5
Service – 8
Ambience – 6
Overall Experience – 6
P.S. This is not a sponsored post. All opinions expressed are mine.
Tell me in the comments if there’s a place you’ll like me to review.