Going by its name, I assumed Wakkis was a Nigerian Restaurant serving traditional Nigerian cuisine, since “wakkis” is another word for “food” in Pidgin English. But was I wrong. Turns out it’s an elegant Indian restaurant on Aminu Kano Cresent, Wuse 2, Abuja.
I haven’t done enough food food reviews this year. Truth be told, I’ve been cutting back on my expenses and saving up for school, but that’s a conversation for another day. On this occasion, I went out for a family lunch and ended up in this restaurant.
I’ve got to tell you, I really liked the ambience; the cozy wooden interior, the local art on the walls, the high ceiling and the chandeliers. Walking in on a sunny day, it took a few seconds for my eyes to adjust to the dim rustic theme of the spacious interior, to be greeted by skewered meat. This restaurant can comfortably seat about 30 guests. Sadly, I didn’t get any shots because I was saving my camera’s battery to shoot the food.
The staff were prompt to attend to us, pulling together the tables to sit our party of five. Not to be cynical or anything, but this might have been because it was a Sunday afternoon, customers were few and the restaurant wasn’t crowded or really busy. Each one of us got a menu and this impressed me because too often, restaurants are short of menus and assume you will be happy to share one with your company. Again, it wasn’t a busy time.
I was a little disappointed in the food menu. The pamphlet was new but it felt flimsy and really didn’t match with the chic restaurant style. It’s a trivial thing but it stood out for me. Regardless, it was detailed and it’s listings informed me that the establishment primarily served Indian food. I like that it has a vegetarian section to accommodate my sister’s need. There was no menu for drinks though, or at least we weren’t given any. The waiter recommended fresh juices but we ordered off the top of our heads; water, watermelon juice, a Coke and Chapman.
Our drinks were promptly served and the Chapman was fair, nothing as fancy as 355 Steakhouse and Lounge’s Daquari. I appreciate that the waiter helpfully suggested some lime and ice cubes to go with the Coke. His assistance felt like he was genuinely interested in providing us with the best dining experience the restaurant could provide.
The appetizers; meat and vegetarian samosa took about 20 mins to be served, by which time we had all but finished our drinks. But gosh, were they delicious! Having this thin and crispy crust with the warm, soft and savory filling, even the vegetarian samosa which I was skeptical about was tasteful, crumbly and moist.
Our seemingly endless wait (16 minutes after the appetizers were served) was made worthwhile by the scrumptious meal. First, we were all wowed by how much food there was and decided that for a party of 5, 3-4 main courses would have sufficed. The main came with a side of Basmati rice or fries and everything was fresh and served warm. The Chicken Nuggets were particularly succulent and the grilled Sole fish was somewhat tart and quite delightful.
The Lamb Ribs were soft and smoky, but the Vegetable Biriyani; Mixed vegetables and Basmati rice cooked in traditional curry spices was my favorite. The rice was perfectly cooked and beautifully served. We couldn’t finish off much of the food and had to have it packed up to go. On the other hand, I wasn’t impressed by the dips. They were too thin, bland and runny. Thicker dips cling better to fries or meat and are so much more flavorsome. I live for Citi View dips, but that’s another review.
The entire experience was somewhat affordable depending on your perspective. For everything we had had, including take-away packs, we spent roughly N24,000 for 5 people, an average of N4,800 each, which isn’t cheap and not a place many can afford to eat every day. However, I think it’s fair for occasional outings or meetups depending on your budget.
I certainly recommend this place for family dining even if you have got small kids. I didn’t spot a creche or play area but eating on the wooden table gave me the feeling of enjoying a home-cooked meal in a traditional family home. I feel like Wakkis will be a perfect place for a casual evening dinner date because of its dim lighting and intimate style. However, I will recommend you have something small to eat before you get there. Our total waiting time was 36 minutes, so at busier times the food may take a little longer.
Will I eat here again? Certainly. All that curry filled me with nostalgia for Delhi, India. If you’d like a taste of India, you don’t need a visa. Wakkis Restaurant offers the true taste of Indian cuisine right here!
Have you been to Wakkis Restaurant, Abuja? Let me know what you think in the comments!
As always, thank you for reading!
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