I don’t know if it’s a number of joints or the same joint with a large outdoor seating area and a rooftop-like thingy. Whatever it is, it was a nice surprise..for me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a joint, not some lounge or upscale bar (before someone says I led them down the wrong path), but it’s a nice fish&drinks joint….’nuff said.
There’s a nice ‘point n kill’ cum welcome area, soon as u-turn into the joint (anyone knows its name?. Upon disembarking from your car, your traitorous, curious nostrils will flare however slightly at the aroma of nicely roasting fish. That’s the beauty of open-air cooking: the aromas automatically welcome or scare u away. In this case, it was a case of the former and like moths to a flame, we allowed our nostrils to lead us to the furnace (yeah, pun thrown in for good measure).
Choosing the poor fish to be stuffed and roasted for your pleasure is never a very pleasant part of the whole biz (poker-faced right now) but I did “man” up and we got that done. nasty business, that bit.
The ‘Place’ (still dunno what to call it) has in addition to the outdoor seating area, a rooftop kinda places from which you can see the lit-up basketball (or was it squash) court. Does that last sentence suggest it was a great place to seat abi? hmmm……
Good to Go
A guy in a t-shirt and number on the back takes your drinks order, you give him your receipt for the fish someone has dressed and put on the grill downstairs for you. And that my dears, is where the journey begins…the seemingly endless wait for your fish to be sufficiently done.
If you’re one for solitude and eating by yourself, pick an outdoor seat cos the seating arrangement upstairs means u can almost hear the thoughts of the guy beside you as he leers at the babe (abi na dude) walking to the exit, slightly tipsy. Then again, who goes to a ‘Point N Kill’ joint alone? Sounds all sorts of “Criminal Minds” kinda weird to me.
A looooong while later…I think 40 minutes or something like that, and one not-quite-cold-enough drink later, the fish arrives without the necessary pomp & pageantry *hic*.
We had a decent-sized croaker and a similar catfish….. the same sauce, a same-sized portion of chips accompanying each but it was like being in two different places. The croaker inspired the pictures I took. It was hot..temp-wise and nicely spicy in and out and for a while, the conversation the four of us had was in our heads cos well, we were hungry and the fish wasn’t bad. 15 minutes later, we moved on to the Catfish, and …… lemme just do the reviews.
Situated in the heart of Wuse 2, City Park has played host to The Designers’ Marketplace, Flex and other shopping events. It’s a popular park and easy to locate. Google maps exists for such a reason sef.
I’m not hating, but neither am I gushing over the place. It’s on a sprawling piece of land behind the part of City Park used for fairs and the like and the grill and indoor seating area are on the ground and top floor of some building whose color I can’t remember, for the awesome aroma of 9ja spiced-roasted fish. My bad. However, once seated, you can’t but notice the not too-clean walls, the tables that aren’t cleaned quickly enough and the occasional smell which rises from the drains when the fish guts are flushed away. It lasts a short while but while it does, it’s a stomach-churning thing biko.
This, as much as the taste, matters like crazy. We did the City Park Fish Place visit twice (confessional story). Our first visit was one of those where you close your eyes and wish you had Batman on speed dial so your waiter could be given a wedgie. The guy was rude and the drinks were lukewarm. Second time’s a charm I guess, cos we met the GM (we sha like titles) at the ‘Point n Kill’ zone and were assured that sloppy service was an anomaly. True, we got much better service. Drinks weren’t very cold though and it amazed me to hear that at 8pm, only one choice of malt drinks was available. tsk, tsk. Plus, they need to order more drinking glasses and stuff. And possibly increase the variety of non-alcoholic drinks on their menu.
Not bad in all. Two huge (don’t know weights o) fish and sides for N6,500 if I recall correctly. I think these fish roasting people meet at the crack of dawn and agree uniform prices with the threat of ‘sleeping with the fishes’ leveled at anyone who strays.
Mixed feelings…the croaker was great for the most part. The catfish on the first day tasted like stuff we could export to the Master Chef competitions. The one of the last visit was salty. I’m guessing beer drinkers may give a different report but since they’re not the only target of the sales pitch (?/??/??), I’d advise that the sodium drive be turned down a couple notches. I’d like to try the other things on the menu…nkwobi I believe and some other meaty things
This Vs. Others: Would I go back there? Yes I would. The croaker rocks and the parking space availability is for me a great pull. However, I’d take the catfish steeped in yam porridge @Calypso over the catfish at City Park. That needs some serious stability biko. And if I wanted a near comfy setting, I’d pass on the tasty croaker and do the in-house coziness of Nkoyo and their awesome char-grilled peppery wings. But what do I know? You try it for yourself, you just may have a different story to tell. lol..well, not out loud.
City Park Fish Place deets
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