New Chef,  New Flavour for Love Birds



Since Chef Emmanuel Ezeonye joined the Xovar Lounge family, he’s been up to his neck with work in the kitchen, thinking of new flavours that will suit the palates of the lounge’s diverse customers. Culinary business is not entirely a new field to him. He’s been in it for 12 years, serving in different capacities in most prominent hotels in Lagos such as the Wheatbaker Hotel in Ikoyi. But it was in Bellissimo Hotel, Lekki that he honed his skills. Over there, he discovered his ability to create unique meals that satisfy the peculiar demand of his guests. This was one of the reasons Dayo Sanni, the General Manager of Xovar picked him for the job. Both had a working past at Wheatbaker Hotel. Sanni recalled how guests demand that Chef Ezeonye prepare specific meals.

“He is one of the chefs that stood out. He is not rigid, very flexible.”
At Xovar, both men are dedicated to transforming the cuisine.
“The whole idea is to make our menu as flexible as possible at the same time give our customers authentic meals. We don’t want to have a standard menu because the customer’s satisfaction is paramount to us. If a customer doesn’t want a particular ingredient in his or her meal, we will do as he or she pleases. We want to give them exactly what they want.  At Xovar, once you are not happy with the food, you don’t pay for it,” said Sanni.
Opened in 2012, Xovar Lounge is known for its spacious ground which makes it a prime venue for weddings and other social events. Located at Sabitex Road, Lekki, opposite House on the Rock Church, the lounge has a decked seating area and an outdoor bar.  The indoor bar has a well-stocked bar which parades different brands of drinks. From Vodka to cocktail, there is always something to sip at the bar.

It is also home to most celebrity events. For instance in 2014, the lounge was the preferred choice of a wedding reception for celebrity jazz musician Yomi Sax. Its colours black and red give the place a very classy and intimate atmosphere. Adding to its colourful mood are waitresses who are called bunnies. Dressed in plaid shirts and leggings/trousers that expose their midriff, they dutifully and cheerfully attend to customers. Weekends are usually busy periods at Xovar. With live band and comedy performances mostly on Fridays, the lounge is the ideal place for weekend hangouts in Lekki environs.

Beyond the ambiance, Xovar is famous for its cuisine. It is known for its fusion of meals which consists of African and continental meals. However, Chef Ezeonye had something better in mind.
“Xovar is a place where people will want to visit after work to unwind and share a drink. With the array of alcoholic drinks we have on display, most of our customers want spicy meals, which is why I came up with this new menu.”

The menu boasts of more than five different meals, each prepared with clinical precision. For example, the spicy gizzard served with  spicy tomato sauce builds up a good amount of heat. The fusion of white, red, black and green pepper mixed in oyster sauce gives this meal a depth of savoury flavours. To quench the fiery flavours, a good white beer like Heineken will be the ideal drink.  Chef Ezeonye added a touch of creativity to this course with  green pea puree beautifully drawn on the side.
For those with less tolerance for spicy food, the chicken wings sauce is the best option. It is piquant. The chicken is well grilled and not too greasy. However, you may want to ask the chef to add more flavour to your chicken as the insides is a little bit bland.

Besides creating spicy meals, Chef Ezeonye also brought back the classic dishes. You may want to try the Greek salad, which is almost 100 per cent traditional. Sparkling with slices of onions, cucumber, olives, the little diference between the chef’s creation and the original recipe is the addition of lettuce and the feta cheese is cut into cubes. Greeks do not add lettuce to this salad and the feta cheese is sliced. However, different cuisines gave room for variations. America and some parts of Europe add lettuce and cut the feta cheese in small cubes.
You may also want to try the club sandwich which comes with fries and slices of cucumber. Sanni is particularly proud of this sandwich.
“It is the best you can find anywhere. If you eat our sandwich, you can be assured that it is international standard.”

The club sandwich comes in a skewer and is stuffed with ham, egg, cheese, bacon and vegetables.  Other new and interesting meals include peppered fish with yam fries and chicken drummies with yam fries.
My best however is the crumbed chicken served with Thousand Island dressing. Made with bread crumbs, the chicken wing is very crusty outside but inside is an explosion of different flavours. The taste is more heavenly when dipped into the sweet Thousand Island dressing.

Legend Extra Stout Takes The Real Deal To Big Brother Naija House
Saturday night parties at the ongoing Big Brother Naija will never be the same as Legend Extra Stout will bring the real deal to the 20 housemates. The brand is the sole sponsor of the Saturday night parties, a segment which remains wildly popular with both viewers and housemates, and features some of the best DJs in Africa. With the brand’s continued involvement with BBNaija, Legend further strengthens its connection with loyal customers, while winning the hearts of the urban youth population in Nigeria and beyond.

Speaking on the sponsorship deal, Brand Manager, Stout, Nigeria Breweries Plc., Oluseun Lawal said:
“For the Legend Extra Stout brand, last year’s Big Brother Naija “See Gobbe” was quite rewarding. It was a delightful experience for both viewers at home and all the housemates. This year 2018, we are eagerly looking forward to an even more exciting season for our customers with our sponsorship of the ‘Double Wahala’ edition.
“Our goal is to always outdo past performances, and this is guaranteed in the new season of BBNaija. We will be giving out surprise gift packages to viewers who follow the show. There is also the Saturday night entertainment that doesn’t just serve contestants, but also millions of fans watching from their homes. We also plan to host evicted housemates at our Lagos headquarters upon their arrival, and treat them to a proper Legend reception.”

Location:  Ikate-Elegushi Estate, 19B Sabitex Hotel Road, Lekki Penninsula II, Lekki.
Ambiance: Lively and classy
Menu:  African and continental dishes
Owner:  Olumide Mabawonku