After lazying about all Saturday, it was time to step out and have dinner with my friend. Casper and Gambini’s popped in my head and we immediately headed there. Good thing is, neither of us had previously dined at this Lagos restaurant.
Just to give you a bit of a background, Casper & Gambini’s is a Lebanese restaurant franchise that started off as a catering business in Italy. The business was started by two families; the Casper family and the Gambini family. I think it is worth mentioning that they also offer catering services in Lagos.
Maybe their Italian origin accounts for why the restaurant’s design aesthetics and ambiance is very European. They have a nice outdoor area for smokers or people who generally prefer outdoor seating. The interior is very exquisite. I mean these guys got their decor right, nicely done and consistent all the way to the rest room. The soft music in the background was soothing, i also liked that the air-freshener wasn’t overpowering, it was just perfect.
It’s not like me and starters don’t see eye-to-eye o, but mehn leave starters abeg, i am not that girl. I’ll usually order a main course and dessert except i am trying to form Fresh Lagos girl for a new toaster….clears throat! Well, back to the gist. So while my friend and I waited for our orders, we were served soft buns, toast and crackers with a side-dish of special sauce ….I mean for a change! Ahhhhhh…not every time bread and butter. Thank you C & G (Casper & Gambini’s) for doing something different.
I ordered Lasagna Bolognese Al Forno which was served in good time. Lasagna Bolognese Al Forno is essentially homemade oven baked pasta layered with C&G’s Bolognese sauce, béchamel, grana padano parmesan and mozzarella. Forget that i am forming efiko and telling what this meal is about o, nah wetin i see for menu, i copy put here o….Lol! Jokes apart, i am only familiar with the classic Lasagna.
My main course was a classic case of food that doesn’t look half as good as it tastes. For a minute, I was deceived by my taste buds that i was in some fantastic restaurant somewhere in the MiddleEast. Except you belong to the FitFam clan, I will totally recommend you try this meal when you visit Casper and Gambini’s in Lagos.
For a dessert, i ordered a crunchy profiterol, this desert is essentially crunchy and fluffy puffs filled with smooth vanilla creamed covered with chocolate drizzle. I don’t exactly think the puffs were fluffy enough but i like that my dessert was served with a cup of premium melted chocolate. I think this extra chocolate was for me to drizzle more chocolate on the puffs if i so desire. Drizzle, I did…
Let me rant a bit, please who waits 30minutes for a dessert to served! This is where C& G fell my hand oh. To cap it up, i guess my waiter was too busy so another waiter had to serve me the deserts. When i questioned why it took so long for my dessert to arrive, the waiter replied in not-so-great English that they are serving so many people simultaneously! Like seriously?
I really liked that this restaurant had free WiFi and power plug point almost everywhere. My main course cost N5,400 and my dessert , N2,100. In my opinion, i think it was fair and you won’t be breaking the bank for any meal. The best part for me is that the prices shown in the menu are inclusive of all taxes, so you won’t be surprised with a bill that is higher than you budgeted just because taxes were slapped on later on.
With all said, my verdict is, Casper and Gambini’s is easily one of the best restaurants in Lagos. I had just one bad service experience and that first impression stuck. Of course, I had a better service experience the second time i visited. So, you should totally check this restaurant out.
My guest and I were driving around Ikeja in search of a good restaurant for a lunch meeting, we happened to stumble on Zen Garden.
The interior design has a very traditional Chinese decoration theme! The dining space is huge and was almost empty the day I visited. Let me put this out now, this restaurant will make a great place to pop the big question. Let me put this out now, this restaurant will make a great place to pop the big question.
If you are observant, you’d notice that most Asian restaurants have very long menus, leaving you very confused and spoilt for choice. Zen garden was no different. The thing is, I seldom ever get to experiment at Chinese restaurants in Nigeria, to avoid stories that touch. I’d go for the traditional Chinese meals like stir fry noodles, dumplings, fried rice, etc.
The Pineapple fried rice was a great meal. You can tell from the name that the rice was infused with pineapple which wasn’t overpowering, just perfect. The pepper sauce came in handy.
I didn’t necessarily have a starter, I ordered pineapple Fried Rice and shredded beef with green pepper. I also had pan fried chicken dumplings. Both meals were very well made and I’d definitely recommend you try these at Zen Garden. I got a sense the cook is Asian, I might be wrong though.
The waiters here are clueless about what’s on the menu and cannot intuitively advice you on the meals. Now let me share my experience in this regard. I pretended I didn’t know what dumplings tasted like, so I asked the waiter and he said, “Madam, this one be as e get o, e be like something wey sour, you nor go fit chop am o”. I launched into a long session of laughter but went ahead with placing my order.
This might not be a deal breaker for some people but it kinda was for me. I observed there were too many waiters just lurking around and conversing comfortably in pidgin English! I guess they were idle given the time of the day I visited, but they should have been trained to be professional at all times.
The taxes here come up to 20% in total, just like Metisse Lounge restaurant. Here’s a breakdown; 10% Service Charge, 5% Vat and 5% Consumption Tax.
Yummy doesn’t even begin to describe the dumplings I had at Zen Garden. They were served in a nice little pot and the fillings tasted fresh and delectable with a flavorsome dipping sauce to go with it.
I really liked the ambience and the thought put into providing something as uncommon as a bag carrier for female guests.
If you plan to visit Zen Garden, budget between ₦10k-14k per person, it’s a borderline high-end restaurant. I bet it would have been more expensive if it was located on the island. The day I visited, my bill came up to ₦10K
Side Note: This is the only restaurant I’ve visited in Lagos, that has given me a hot towel to wipe my hands with, before my meal. Quite impressive!
I believe in breakfast, it’s the one meal that sets the tone for the day. If you have a good breakfast, you will be less prone to being oversensitive or grumpy for the rest of the day. That said, I hardly ever enjoy the luxury of a breakfast during weekdays. Maybe we can all blame it on living in a fast paced city such as Lagos. So during the weekends, I don’t joke o, I treat myself to a fantastic breakfast. So this weekend two of my girls and I went eating at a boutique hotel which also has a fine restaurant, it’s called Angle Villa.
You get welcomed by a wooden main gate and quickly notice the classy and consistent use of premium wood throughout the restaurant.
From the vintage mini double doors that lead to the outdoor seating area, to the tables, floors, etc. My friends and I immediately fell deeply in love with the sophisticated, cozy, yet homely feel of the interior.
So here’s my premature verdict, if the food doesn’t bring you back to this place, the ambience will!
The breakfast options are very limited but difficult to choose from especially because they had very interesting options to pick from.
Really, I can make any of these meals at home so I swerved and decided to pick one of the two intercontinental breakfast options which both costs ₦4,000. I did not pick the “Full English” option, I settled for a meal called “American Way”, which constituted a stack of butter pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausages, served with toast, and a glass of juice.
It’s been ages since I rushed breakfast o, this was one of those times when I didn’t raise my head until I had cleaned up the contents of my plate. Those buttered pancakes…Lord! While I was spreading the honey syrup over each pancake, memories of my childhood stayed at the fore of my mind. As I reminisced about all of those beautiful mornings my Dad woke me up to fluffy and delicious pancakes, I regretted growing up…Sigh! How I miss those days!
My friend ordered the Mediterranean chicken (a main course) which equally tasted really nice and veggies were cooked right. My friend also ordered spicy chicken wings which tasted really nice, but the jollof rice to go with it, was too dry, in my opinion.
My meal was served with a glass of fruit juice from a pack NOT fresh natural juice which would have been ideal. Although I was already warned of this by the waiter, I still went…ewwwwwww
The music, interior design aesthetics and fragrance of the restaurant really got me. You could tell that the interior decorator put a lot of thought into designing this space, because of the apparent attention to detail and creative use of certain items. e.g chains used as blinds to allow for natural light to sieve in. Like Nigerians say, I sure say this better soup, nah plenty money cook am….lol
The service was almost impeccable and although I’d like to give the management a pat on the back for this, I kind of feel the waiter did so well because there was no one else there when we arrived. I’d like to hear from you what the service was like, when you get to visit this restaurant. Overall, I will definitely recommend Angle Villa to anyone. The outdoor seating option is perfect for a cool evening hangout.
If you plan to visit Angle Villa, budget between ₦6-10k per person. The day I visited with my friends, our joint bill came up to about ₦12,0000 for just a main course meal and water.
This place is sort of difficult to locate so asides including the map below, allow me to flex my descriptive skills a bit. So if you know Maven homes at Admiralty way, then you are just a stone thrown away from Angle Villa. Take the turn into the road beside Maven homes, then take the first turn left into Wole Olateji street. Just a very short drive into Wole Olateji, you will get to a T-junction, take a turn to the right and look out for wooden gate. You have arrived your destination.
There is a peaceful feel and serenity a waterfront offers, that cannot be matched. Imagine you were like me, legs crossed, wearing a wide brim hat & dark shades, sipping slowly on a mocktail, sitting at this airy terrace overlooking the lagos lagoon, soaking in the beautiful scenery of Lagos and rays of sun. Talking about the sun, on the day I visited, the sun wasn’t exactly soothing, but it was mild enough not to further tan my sunscreen-protected skin. Wave all my talk-talk aside, you could get lost in your thoughts and imaginations when at the Surface Bar and Grill.
I am a bit confused about what time of the day this restaurant is most beautiful. A part of me thinks it’s in the day and the other part thinks it’s at night, but I’m not going to indulge you in the arguments prolonged by the committee sitting in my head. It can get very humid in Lagos sometimes, so please leverage the indoor seating area if the gods of the sun are angry on the day you visit. It’s equally very lovely.
The meals on the “from the Atlantic Ocean” section of their main course menu, are all to die for and I kid you not! I’ve had the prawn & pineapple curry twice, and on both occasions my taste buds had a nice time. Let me break it down so you understand why this meal was made in gourmet heaven. Prawn & pineapple curry is essentially, jumbo prawns simmered in yellow coconut and pineapple curry, served with papadams and lemongrass rice as a side. The combination of pineapple and curry gives this soup a burst of flavor that is both sophisticated and absolutely delicious.
The SeaFood platter with snails is also a must eat. It features nicely done salmon, sumptuous tiger prawns and snails with a fragrant tomato ragout, served with lemongrass rice. It was really yummy and filling but might be a bit too spicy for non-Africans.
The portions served were relatively small, but if you are one of those who gets overwhelmed by a good sized meal, then maybe this is a plus.
Main course meals can be a hit and miss situation sometimes, but I can assure you that Surface Bar and Grill’s sea food game is on point, they haven’t disappointed me yet.
Simply put, Surface Bar and Grill’s mocktails give me life! My favourite mocktail is the virgin colado which basically is fresh pineapple shaken with fresh cream and coconut extracts. For a sip-and-tatafo kind of outing with the girls or hangout with boys, you should definitely hit Radisson Blu. They have a bar offering a wide range of alcoholic drinks and beverages ….you know alcohol goes well with grills. **wink wink**
The view is awesome, both at night and in the day. I know I have over flogged this point, please pardon me; there are very few restaurants in Lagos with a waterfront as beautiful as Radisson Blu’s.
If you plan to visit Surface Bar and Grill, budget between ₦7-14k per person because even the burgers are pricey. The day I visited with my sister, my bill came up to ₦13,800 for a main course meal and mocktail each. Surface Bar and Grill is great for Special Events, Friends night out and Engagement Parties.
Metisse is a Pan-Asian style restaurant offering a mix of Thai, Malaysian, Singaporean and Indian cuisines. The restaurant is located on the top floor, in the same building as the popular pastry shop, Chocolat Royal. Metisse is really spacious and can sit up to 50 people at once. The interior decoration is simple, but I personally think it could be better.
For your information, my love for Thai food is totally untamed! So you can imagine how excited I was when I saw Thai grilled Beef Fillet on the menu. I’m sure you can guess that’s what I ordered *wink *. Asides mocktails, my other friends ordered the following meals, Mongolian beef, Green Curry Chicken, Singapore Chili Chicken for the main course.
Although it took up to 30 minutes for our meal to arrive, I must commend the way our waiter managed us. Their portions are relatively large; they look average in size but are very filling so you might not be able to finish your main course. We were not fans of their mocktails. In my opinion, they were overly average and presentation could have been better. If you have a sweet tooth and fire cracker taste buds, do not order their green curry chicken.
The Mongolian beef and Thai grilled beef fillet were absolutely excellent. Both meals were served with a side of garlic soy source that wasn’t overpowering, just perfect. The beef was tender and cooked just right. Big ups to the Chef. You should definitely visit Metisse if are craving Asian meals.
Metisse, Café Royal and Chocolat Royal are located in the same building and it was kind of confusing differentiating which space was for what. We were also given the menu for Café Royal and Chocolat Royal, which made it even more confusing.
If you plan to visit Metisse for dinner, budget between 6k-10k per person for a main course and drink, like we had. A three course meal will be more expensive.
Although it was stated on the menu (which I completely didn’t notice), I found it weird that I had to pay an extra 15% of the total bill as Value Added Tax (VAT) and service charge. I argued a bit about this before I paid but then again, maybe it’s because I’ve never previously paid attention to the breakdown of my bill or maybe other restaurants hide the service charge in the cost of the meal itself.
By now, I am sure you can tell my meal was very delicious and I enjoyed it. That aside I liked that all the staff we interacted with were very friendly and helpful. In fact when I was unhappy about the seemingly outrageous charges, I asked to speak with the floor manager. Although he didn’t give me a good enough explanation, his awesome sense of humour made me forget about my grievances. All this vesk for charges nah because neither pocket nor heavy oh…Lol!