02 Mar LET’S CHECK OUT JENNIES BISTRO, KADO
Last week, myself, Vallerie Eats and Abuja Food Plug were invited for a pre-opening food tasting in order to get a first-hand taste and opinions about their new menu. Jennies had been in operations for a while strictly as a shawarma delivery-only food service until they decided to open a physical outlet and diversify into other delicacies. First off, the space is small but super cool and located in a brand-new strip mall in Kado. Only about 7 – 10 people can be seated here at a time and this already qualifies it as a Bistro. Although maximizing the potentials of such a small space, they have quite an impressive menu. The owner wanted us to try out a variety from the menu to hear our thoughts and to know what and what should be worked on. Before I delve into describing the dishes, I must first let you know that this place hands down offers good taste in everything! I must truly commend their chefs, but in all honesty, I have a lot of reservations to give about their food and menu. I’ve shared my concerns with the owner so it’s left for them to make the little adjustments if they like 🤷🏾♂️
Now, having said, here are the items we had.
- Beef Burger
- Chicken Sandwich
- Spicy Wings
- Coconut Rice, Fried Rice, Jollof Rice
- Spaghetti Carbonara
- Spaghetti Bolognese
- Chicken Shawarma
Beef Burger: ₦2,500
As I earlier said, if I am to rate just based on taste, then their burger was really tasty! I give it to the beef patty and the dressing used. But if I’m to judge on other things, then here are my reservations – I couldn’t understand what carrots and cabbages were doing inside a burger to begin with, it just made it look weird because I have never come across that combination or such recipe in any globally recognized burger establishment. I mean, I can understand the need to make your burger a little more interesting, but some things are really not necessary 🤷🏾♂️
Another thing that didn’t help glorify the taste of the burger was the bun. The bun was too dry that it was breaking with every bite. I mentioned this to the owner and she gladly took note of it and has plans to change their bun; either they make their bun inhouse or they buy from a different supplier, whichever is fine. Also, the chopped cabbages and carrots even contributed to why the burger was scattering with every bite. I argued there with my fellow food bloggers that no food is meant to scatter while eating, not even burger; it defeats the whole purpose of truly enjoying the comfort of a decent meal. One final turn-off was the lettuce; even if I want to be bias and hide this part from my review, the picture has definitely given it up – have a look at the edges of the lettuce, it already shows that it’s more than 2 days old and it no longer makes one feel like they’re eating something really fresh. So I don’t know, I guess they also have to work on that 🤷🏾♂️
Chicken Sandwich: ₦2,500
This one was wonderful! What made it so great was that it is very rich! I mean, it had both grilled chicken and fried eggs inside it; cheese, tomatoes, lettuce and the toast bread was just in the right level of dry and solid. On the menu, egg wasn’t included so I don’t know how eggs got inside this one. Maybe you might need to ask them before you place your own order. Overall, I loved this one!
They offered their 4 different types of wings – Spicy, Buffalo, Barbecue and Battered wings and they were all the same prices. The spicy wings was the best for me; they were quite spicy, but not spicy enough to burn my tongue.
Coconut Rice, Fried Rice, Jollof Rice: ₦1,500
It’s like these guys are grand masters of rice dishes. All of their rice were drop dead nice! Super on point 👌🏾 and now I can confidently tell people that I know where they can get the best coconut rice in Abuja.
Forget over hyping, if they stick with this recipe, their rice definitely won’t disappoint you. The coconut rice was everyone’s favourite, it even had little bits of chicken chunks in it while the fried rice had liver chunks in it just as it should be, and it even goes for just ₦1,500. Also, one thing to add is that they were all quite spicy, maybe just in between “enough to make you sweat” and “just enough to add to its taste”. But overall, their rice is definitely worth it!
Spaghetti Carbonara: ₦3,000
I was first shocked when I saw Spaghetti Carbonara on their menu. Like who will take the risk of serving such a dish in a restaurant as this? Carbonara is somewhat a tricky sauce to make, also, not many Nigerians eat pig parts, so I was wondering why they had this dish on their menu and I insisted I must have this and see if it’s the same Carbonara I know. The dish later arrived, and tasted nothing like Carbonara, so I insisted on asking the chef about the ingredients used. I asked him if there was egg in it, he said No. I asked if there was pork in it, he said No. That was it, I told him this is simply not Carbonara, they either need to remove from their menu or call this pasta something else. No shades at this dish because it actually tasted so good. As a matter of fact, the cream and chicken in it made it more of a pasta Alfredo than a Pasta Carbonara. So I think that’s just what they should call it on their menu, Alfredo. If they don’t change it before the next time I visit, I will have problem with them oh 🧐
Spaghetti Bolognese: ₦2,000
At this point I was truly filled up and stuffed to the brim, so I only had like a spoon of this. I had just one spoon of the Bolognese and I absolutely loved it! They nailed this one 👌🏾
Chicken Shawarma: ₦1,500
My stomach was too full that I couldn’t have this at the restaurant so I had it at home hours later. Honestly, I see why people love their shawarma, I get it, it’s really nice and tasty especially because it’s also dressed with sweet chilli sauce. In fact, I don’t think there’s anything I will say that will stop people from buying, because I’ve heard their shawarma has been good from day one even before they diversified. Although I’ve said this before, if you’re going to feel discomfort eating any food at all, then the food isn’t that worth it. Many Shawarma places are guilty of this and Jennies appears to be among. I like shawarma that is well wrapped and properly covering both ends, you can see it from the picture that it isn’t. This lose ends causes sauce to be dripping and scattering anyhow. So maybe it’s just a “me” thing, but I don’t like my shawarma scattering.
Because I know not many people get Mojito right, I tried my best to shy away from ordering the Mojito in order not to give a bad review about it, but unfortunately the other drinks I ordered weren’t available at the time 🤦🏾♂️ Well, it turned out that the Mojito was nice after all. Mixed in the it’s right proportions and it tasted wonderful, however, if you truly know your drinks, you will see in this picture that there’s something off here; the mint leaves weren’t crushed. I couldn’t tell how the taste of the mint leaves managed to reflect in the taste of the drink without being crushed, so I took my concern to the restaurant owner and the bartender, and they agreed that this isn’t how they ordinarily would prepare their drink, they explained that the muddler used in grinding the mint leaves hasn’t yet been purchased. So hopefully by the time you visit when they actually launch, you will get really great Mojito here.
My overall verdict is that Jennies is actually a place worth visiting especially since they’re just new and striving for perfection. Anything here that may seem to be a turn-off for you is probably temporary since they’re still working on their menu, so I really want to give them benefit of doubt. Maybe in a few months I will visit again and see their progress, in the meantime, if you’re looking for a place around Kado that you just want to sit and chill, maybe do some work on your laptop, then this is definitely the place!