Zenith Water Margin
Inside the restaurant feels at once secluded and luxurious
THE STORY SO FAR
The Zenith Water Margin launched in 1986, and became Lagos’s first Nigerian-owned authentic Chinese restaurant. Known then simply as Zenith, the restaurant remained one of the most popular eateries in Lagos for the best part of a decade. It soon earned a reputation as the ‘it’ restaurant for Lagos’s movers and shakers, who returned time and again for the excellent food, faultless service and beautiful surroundings. Zentith even gained recognition overseas, and was honoured with a place on the Times newspapers Top 100 Restaurants in the World.
Prior to the re-lanuch, Ufuoma Koloko, the daughter and neice of Zenith’s original patrons, returned to Nigeria from London, where she’d been studying, to be the new face of Zenith Water Margin. With extensive business experience, a first class degree and the skills and contacts to attract multi-million naira investment, it’s not surprise that Ufuoma has restored Zenith Water Margin to its past glory, and is steering the restaurant towards an exciting feature.
The restaurant’s makeover means it fits in nicely with the neighbouring buildings in the rejuvenated Adeniran Ogusanya Street in Surulere. Recent years have seen a number of big-name banks and corporate businesses, such as Shoprite and the Adeniran Ogunsanya Shopping Plaza, locate to the area. Surulere has also enjoyed road expansion, and new street lights and guttering, as part of its on-going facelift.
On arrival, parking attendants will see to your car, and cheerful staff will greet you and lead you upstairs to the restaurant.
Inside the restaurant feels at once secluded and luxurious. A large water fountain is lit up and large paper balloons with long tassels hang from the ceiling. The interior is calming with an earthy colour scheme, and decorated with Chinese artefacts. Diners sit at low tables, and once you’re seated your waiter will dim the overhead lights. The space is large (2500 square feet) and seats up to 100 diners with two bars, but feels intimate – ideal whether you’re in large group or on a date.
The restaurant’s first floor has an exclusive VIP area - the Zen Lounge - which is decked out with plush velvet chairs, perfect for enjoying a drink before dinner or relaxing infront of a film shown on the large presentation screen. The VIP lounge also boasts its own cocktail bar and roof terrace, making it ideal for private parties, corporate occasions or romantic evenings.
Like the rest of the restaurant, the menu at Zenith has also had a facelift so along with all the favourites from a Chinese menu – such as sizzling beef with green pepper and butterfly prawns in batter – you’ll find a few tasty surprises like wasabi nuts. And make sure you don’t miss out on Zenith’s signature cocktail, the Surlere Sling.
If you can’t stop to enjoy the cuisine in the main restaurant, the good news is now you can grab a take-away from Zen Xpress – the brand new take away outlet.
Whether you order from the main menu or the Zen Xpress menu, you’ve got some mouthwatering treats in store.
The main menu offers everything from vegetables, soups and rice dishes, to lobster, barbeque meat dishes and set meals. A set meal for two people comes in under ₦15,000 and one for four people is just shy of ₦25,000.
The Zen Xpress menu offers a host of tasty takeaway treats. An appetizer like spicy chicken wings, soup of the day or spring rolls costs around ₦1,000, while shrimp dishes are around ₦3,000 and fried noodles and pork dishes costs half as much.
The Xpress menu also includes pack lunch deals which are excellent value. Option A – steamed/fried rice with your choice of chicken, beef or rice is only ₦1,900, and Option B – which is the same plus Chinese soup of the day and a spring roll, is ₦2,400.
As a rule, Zenith is a restaurant for guests on a premium budget, but when it comes to catering for business events of private parties, the team is happy to try to accommodate every budget. Just call them and let them know your budget, and they’ll get back to you with an offer.
As part of the team’s mission to bring authentic Chinese cuisine to Lagos, the proprietor Ufuoma has handpicked chefs from China to apply their traditional methods to the menu, but with a contemporary Nigerian twist.
The cheery team of waiting staff are specially trained to help both experienced and new diners find their way around the menu and on hand to ensure that your evening is as enjoyable as possible.
The Zenith’s stylish restaurant and luxurious VIP lounge are available for hire for business events or private parties. The team have also hosted and catered for an array of off-site events, including wedding dinners, birthday parties and political fundraisers.
Since its facelift, the restaurant has also received high praise as a wedding reception venue – the perfect mix of exclusivity and intimacy.
Al Fresco catering
The chef and his team are happy to lay on outdoor catering services to make your celebration extra special.
With its presentation screen, roof terrace and its own team of dedicated waiters, the VIP Zen Lounge on the restaurant’s first floor is a great multi-functional venue for business events.
THE LAST WORD
Following the impressive renovation a couple of years ago, the management team at the Zenith Water Margin clearly have a taste for success. Thanks to their hard work and dedication, guests are guaranteed to enjoy fine dining in intimate, beautiful surroundings.