my Restaurant review
An evening at Craft Gourmet
Life can be quite stressful, deciding to begin to live my best life intentionally ‘now’ was even harder…
Join Dolapo and I on our first experience at Craft Gourmet restaurant.
My friend Dolapo had scouted out Craft Gourmet by Lou Baker in Victoria Island in 2016 when planning a surprise 30th birthday surprise party for me but somehow for a few reasons not relevant to this post she chose an Asian restaurant instead.
In September 2019 we decided to have a girls night out and Dolapo recommended we go to Craft Gourmet. She still had never been and so we decided to have our first Craft Gourmet experience together.
It was a Thursday and we arrived the front of Mega plaza around 5:30 pm. There wasn’t parking available in front of the building so we used the paid parking opposite the plaza which charged hourly with the first 45 minutes free.
To seal our excitement that we were finally doing Craft gourmet, we stood outside to take a picture. As we literally were about to whip out our phones to start taking selfies, the owner of the restaurant came out of the restaurant through their beautiful looking white door (Dolapo knew her face from Instagram). She greeted us with a very warm smile and told us “welcome”. As she went her way, we started the attempt to take a selfie.
Not finding any luck with the selfie endeavor we decided to ask for help from a passerby and this turned out to be ‘Justus’ a Craft Gourmet staff dressed in a craft gourmet branded outfit. Ironically Justus ended up being our waiter for the evening.
I can honestly tell you that the patience and attention that Justus gave us while taking our pictures was a pointer to the type of excellent service we were about to experience.
Walking in, the space was a lot bigger than expected and the furnishing was very warm and classy and it was obvious a lot of thought went into how the ambience would be. It looked like an expensive place but it wasn’t intimidating at all. There was soft jazz like music playing in the background and this helped give the ambience a nice romantic feel all together *#iinmyopinion
Also amazing was the fact that the kitchen wasn’t hidden away in some back corner, but was a part of the restaurant covered only by see-through glass. You could see the kitchen staff working their magic in the kitchen and you could even see spices displayed as well. the open plan created a sense of openness and transparency which further reinforced their “honest” value. (According to their Instagram handle and some of their branded materials, ‘Honest’ and ‘Handcrafted’)
We were led by a waiter who gave us the option to choose where we wanted to sit as only 2 tables were occupied with customers and 1 table reversed at the time.
Once we sat down, Justus returned with two menus and we indecisively went through the menu. I eventually decided on a pull lamb burger for me (I had been craving a burger for a while) and Dolapo chose a chicken and noodles stir fry dish.
We also ordered a slice of cheesecake for dessert. (*cheesecake because I am still on a mission in Nigeria to find a cheesecake that tastes as good as the one I make lol)
Once our orders were taken, we were served complimentary sweet potato crisps as we waited for our mains to arrive. The sweet potato crisps were tossed with salt and black pepper spice and were quite crunchy. In hindsight, I think serving the crisps with a complimentary salsa dip would have made the starter perfect. We chatted away as we waited for your mains which arrived after about 15/20 minutes. I assume it would be a longer wait time if they had a fuller house.
Our beautifully plated food arrived in all its glory, and it looked beautiful.
The pull lamb burger was accompanied with fresh fries and coleslaw. The coleslaw tasted fresh and because it wasn’t slathered in excess salad cream I loved it. #closetfitfamintrainingithink lol. For the fries, I think the portion was a little small but considering the fact that I was full after eating the whole plate and kitchen sink lol maybe it was just the right portion. The fries were accompanied by a nice dip that tasted like ‘thousand island dressing’. The fries, however, weren’t crispy, not sure if that is how they do their fries. (How do I judge my fries? Each individual fry should stand tall and proud, crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside.)
The burger was a great choice, the burger bun was definitely freshly baked as it looked and tasted fresh. It was a lovely dark brown color. At first, it looked like the ratio of bread to filling was unfairly disproportionate but once I took the first bite, I realised it was a perfect ratio. The filling was a very tasty layer of pulled lamb (shredded/chunky lamb pieces) lettuce, slices of tomatoes and cascading sauce that dripped down the side of the lower bun. I definitely used my hands on that culinary adventure. I wiped the plate shamelessly clean as you can see and it was money definitely well spent.
Of course I had a taste of the pasta as well and it was absolutely lovely, the noodles were al dente, chewy and not overcooked. The vegetables were tender and not overcooked, so they had a nice bite to them, especially the broccoli. The sauce that brought it all together was very lovely and you could smell and taste all the fresh herbs. The dish wasn’t too spicy and had the right about of seasoning. A tiny bowl of chili was served on the side for Dolapos. Dolapo loved her choice too.
Drinks and Desserts
For drink, I had H2O infused with lime, cucumber slices, and fresh mint leaves. Dolapo ordered freshly squeezed orange juice.
Choosing the mint-infused H2O was great as it served as a great palate cleanser at the end of my meal ((Dolapo thought the cucumber and mint in water wasn’t her calling so she didn’t even want to take a sip lol).
In my undergrad, I worked on the tilt at McDonalds I used to secretly laugh at those people who would come to order a large big mac or big tasty, large fries and (*cough) a ‘diet coke’. I joined their club with my mint and cucumber-infused H20 and burger order lol.
I also had a sip of her orange juice and Craft Gourmet weren’t lying when they said their values were “Honest and handcrafted” the orange juice literally tasted like someone cut some oranges in half, squeezed the juice into a cup and served it.
#fulldisclaimer: more than the fact that the herb-infused water was healthier, it was the cheapest drink I saw on the menu … lol
The dessert was perfectly cut triangle piece on a white plate and was it was big enough for Dolapo and I to share. It looked a little lonely though and maybe drizzling melted chocolate lightly on top would have given it a little attitude and made it pop more on the plate. The cookie base was nice and crunchy and the actual cheesecake filling tasted smooth and creamy. It wasn’t too sweet, however, my tastebuds tasted a higher portion of condensed milk to cream cheese. I think a little bit a sour cream would have elevated the dessert. Simply put I am still searching for the cheesecake that will give me an …. (*fill in the blank)
Like I mentioned earlier, the waiters were very warm and courteous, they obviously have been trained well. They looked very professional and sharp; Justus cleared up when he was supposed to and brought our bill only when we requested for it. He asked us if we enjoyed our food and kept the chat light. The bill was placed inside a small gold bucket and brought to our table, I thought that was a very cool variation from the classic leather book type things most restaurants place their bill into.
Overall, it was a beautiful evening with a sister and I can’t wait for the next opportunity we get to go there… and I can’t wait to have the Australian Angus beef burger 🙂
I would recommend Craft Gourmet by Lou Baker to anyone who’s looking for great tasting food with a lovely ambiance. Its def is great for proposals (future Hubby take note :-), dates, hanging out with friends, family, business lunch meetings and all round foodies.
Our total bill was N19,250 and it was definitely money well spent. Parking was N300
Thanks for reading & remember to live your best life intentionally everyday.