Sugarcane: A Taste of the Sweet Life
by Awuli Okocha
At 6, Ologun Agbaje Street, Victoria Island sits the amazing Sugarcane Restaurant. This ten-month-old establishment is the love child of the creative union between Ms Yanate Banigo, the owner, and her reputable interior architect Ms Ada Umeofia. The elegant yet simple space blends rustic and geometric features, from the triangular tables to the black diamond grid on white walls, to the mustard pop of colour and the epoxy floor. Ms Banigo’s great taste in music permeates the space, creating a calculatedly cool and fun environment.
Sugarcane has a fantastic menu comprising a diverse range of pancakes and waffle options, burgers and potato chips, pasta and rice dishes, as well as a selection of divine desserts and signature cocktails peculiar to the restaurant.
First I had the American Pancake. These were fluffy and filling. Not too sweet or bland, they were just right. Coupled with the sweet syrup and banana slices accompanying the dish, the pancakes are every breakfast lover’s dream.
The Chicken Avocado Burger and Fries stole my heart. I found this very surprising, as I naturally detest the taste of avocado, despite everyone telling me how healthy it is. My experience with this burger, however, is initiating a change of heart.
Several countries contest the origin of the first burger. Fletcher Davis of Athens claims to have invented it in 1885. According to American Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, the first burger was created by Louis Lassen, a Danish immigrant and restaurant owner in 1900. White Castle, an American hamburger restaurant chain, traces the first burger to Hamburg, Germany in 1904. So let’s just say burgers are a Western snack. Well, this burger delivered a creamy, crunchy, savoury, sweet, and spicy taste in one bite! The creamy avocado, infused with a blend of flavours, harmonised well with the chicken and burger buns like a nice piece of music. If you’re looking to taste a dream, this one is for you.
The final and most satisfying dish was the Mongolian Beef, a common dish at Chinese-American restaurants. Traditionally in China, meat was a luxury that the Chinese associated with Mongolians, hence the tendency to name such dishes after them. Thus you have the Mongolian Hot Pot, Mongolian Chicken, and, in this case, Mongolian Beef.
The dish consists of sliced beef cooked in a savoury brown sauce, stir-fried with vegetables, vermicelli (long, thin noodles), and other condiments. The aroma was breathtaking, and the vibrant pop of colour stirred me to eagerly devour each bite. The sweet and sour flavour of the Mongolian Beef was such an exciting experience, and it made me wish for a minute that I was Asian.
Ms Banigo plans to expand the brand. The thirty-year-old expects to add a bakery (her first love) to the franchise. Sugarcane will also feature a backyard cocktail and grill to complement the current brunch and dinner offering at the restaurant. This is excellent—and we are ready for it!
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