Ocean Basket Ikeja
As someone who is drawn to the sea and everything about it, Ocean Basket has always been one of my favourite restaurants. Ocean Basket, as the name implies, deals specifically with seafood, which again, is one of my favourites.
Due to the pandemic and mandatory lockdown of all public spaces, including restaurants, I’ve been unable to go out to restaurants to enjoy the ambience. Now, that we are allowed out under the condition of wearing masks, I decided to visit Ocean Basket. The Ocean Basket branch located on Isaac John in Ikeja GRA was empty, save for the staff, who were all wearing masks and/or face shields, due to the health and safety regulations set in place by the government, I could only buy takeout.
When I walked in, the familiar blue and white decor made me happier than it should have, but who’s the happiness police? A friendly member of the staff greeted me and handed me the menu. She was also patient while I decided on what to order.
I finally settled on a platter for one called ‘Bite of the Ocean.’ The platter contains calamari, fish and 3 prince prawns, and a side dish of either rice or chips. I chose rice, and instead of being fried, opted for the calamari and fish to be grilled. The platter cost ₦5,200.
I also ordered the ‘Prawn Salad for One’ which was made with slices of cucumber, lettuce, tomato, red bell peppers and prawns. This cost ₦2,800.
I didn’t have to wait for long, as the food arrived quickly, in about 15 minutes. Quick and efficient service is something I appreciate Ocean Basket for. The service is always top-notch. I headed home, set up a mini picnic and dug in.
The prawn salad, though made with simple ingredients, was far from simple. The first bite was flawless. The cucumbers were sliced thinly and evenly, the texture of the cherry tomatoes was well balanced with the crunch of the lettuce. There was a little bit of heat from red bell peppers and the prawns were properly grilled. The salad dressing, which had a slight tang to it was the proverbial icing on the cake. The dressing tied the salad and bites of it in a rather neat and satisfying way.
The prawns were seasoned and grilled to perfection and I really wish there had been more- the pieces were so few, that soon enough, I was eating forkfuls of just vegetables without the flavour of the prawn.
The ‘Bite of the Ocean’ platter did not quite meet my expectations. A few of its elements like the fish and prawns stood out, but altogether, it was pretty blasé.
I’m a big fan of calamari, but this time it was underwhelming, and the texture was rubbery which made it a little chewy. I think I might have enjoyed it more if it had been fried. (Not quite as healthy, I know.)
The fried rice that came with the platter was equally disappointing, with no flavour to it at all. The vegetables were sparse, with just a few stray carrots and the rice tasted just like white, unflavoured rice.
There was a spicy pepper sauce that I loved because it gave the rice much-needed flavour (I’m Yoruba, sue me) and an extra Nigerian-ness. The shrimp, however, was perfect.
The fish was the star of the platter. It was butter soft and seasoned to perfection. When I added the lime that came with the platter, it enhanced its flavour. It was absolutely delightful, easily my favourite part of the whole meal.
I finished off the meal with a slice of red velvet cake and some wine I had at home. All in all, not a bad meal. I rate it 6/10 because that fish was truly phenomenal. So was the salad.
|Ambience||I’m a big fan of nautical decor so of course, I found it pretty cool.|
|Food Quality||The food was good, but could have been better.|
|Location||Easy to find, parking space is abundant.|
Prawn Salad – ₦2,800
Bite of the Ocean – ₦5,200
Total Damage was ₦8,590 (takeout pack, VAT included.)
View Restaurant Menus here
|Service Delivery||Service was fantastic. Friendly staff, quick and efficient delivery.|