Monday, 1.09 A.M
Recently, I read a column where the writer complained that all there was to do for fun in Lagos was going out to eat ridiculously expensive food, going to the movies and a third thing which I don’t readily remember but I know I agreed a 100% with the article especially with the going out to eat ridiculously expensive food bit. Some of these restaurants just amaze me with their outrageous charges and we Lagosians in the name of bigz boys and girls suck it up and continue to enrich “restauraneur” who regularly serve us substandard meals at outrageous prices.
I had reason to fly solo this week (for those that don’t know what flying solo is..I dined out alone) and I realized how much I had missed my own company, I find it quite therapeutic actually. As always, I wanted somewhere new. I decided on Paris Deli on Akin Adesola street, Victoria Island. I would describe Paris Deli as a casual bistro/cafe. They deviate slightly from the cafe norm in that they serve not only the “brunchy” meals and coffee but they have the ” full works” and lots of desserts as well. One thing Paris Deli is known for is the free wifi…in Lagos, that is a big plus if you ask me.
Miss P sat down to late lunch; she waited, waited and waited for a waiter to make himself available but no one showed up until I almost had to go and get someone to attend to me. Ok oh…this is not very good for a first impression….I was particularly surprised because there were just a handful of people being served. Finally, someone noticed and brought the menu. The menu was quite extensive, they had from Mexican fajitas to chicken escalope to sandwiches to some Lebanese shish Tawouk and quite a number of seafood meals too. I was quite impressed. I decided to go for a sandwich.
I requested the Philly steak cheese sandwich, this came with 2 sides- french fries and coleslaw. I ordered a bottle of water with it. I didn’t order any cocktails today oh! I am taking a break from that for a bit….8 out of ten times, I have been left wishing I never ordered them. If I want it bad enough, I will order from my good old reliable Saffron & Cinnamon…..simples!
My sandwich came after about 20 minutes, I guess it took that long because they had to sautee the steak or something…. well little did I know. Anyhoo! My Philly steak cheese sandwich came and I was very far from thrilled. Anyone that fancies Philly steak cheese sandwich knows it to have LOTS of thinly sliced juicy steak and cheese stuffing. Oh well, Paris Deli’s Philly steak cheese apparently isn’t that.
The chef must have counted the strips of “steak” in question here, there were about 10 thin strips in the sandwich, even the cheese portion was quite miserly as well. This was by no means a Philly steak cheese. It was more like (” risque burger”) - my bread and suya combo which I loved dearly in my uni days. I would pay just about 10% of what I paid here and it would be better value for money. I can’t believe I paid N3,300 ( $22) for this. The baguette for the sandwich was fresh but the fillings in it was too small to make any tangible impact.
The sides were nothing to write about, the coleslaw was rubbery and it was not fresh. I didn’t fancy the fries either because it tasted like it was previously fried and heated up in the microwave. Hmnnn. So what was the hype all about?
They had a lot of nice looking desserts on display so I decided to try one, I went to the display stand and looked, I wanted to test the waiter’s knowledge on what he was serving but he apparently had no clue. I asked about several desserts but he could not tell me anything…isorrai. The Baba -au-rhum and Cappuccino layer cake got me drooling. I was tempted to buy both but greed never helped anyone. I settled for the Cappuccino layer cake N900 ($6). I absolutely loved it, it was all the fabulous shades of awesome genoise cake moistened with cappuccino, sandwiched with chocolate and topped with a delicious frosting. The different textures of the layers made it even nicer. It reminded me somewhat of Tiramisu.
I called for my bill and it was promptly brought. I brought out my card to pay and the waiter announced that they did not accept cards.” Why in the world not”? I asked. This cashless Lagos biz is not werking…please scrap it already. Ngwanu, I started rolling my sleeves oh.It is time to start washing plates abi? He then informed me that there was was a bank close by that he could follow me to get cash. In 2013?
Uhmmn, I hate to ruin all the good feelings that has come from reading about the food but I just have to mention this. I had reason to go into the restroom and I was shocked. The bathroom was nasty, it looked like it had not been cleaned for a bit. The floors were dirty, bins were overflowing with used tissues, floors were wet. I looked up and there were cobwebs. The worst part of all this for me was the musky smell. It seemed like the small window there was never used. I could not get over it….. I reached swiftly into my bag for my sanitizer before I go go house with wetin no consign me. To restaurateurs out there, the restrooms are a part of your establishment, pay as much attention to it, as you would your dinning rooms. To this end, I have decided to include restroom inspection in my weekly reviews.
I paid about N4,600 for my meal….this brings me to a question. I would LOVE answers please…. a.When is it OK not to tip? b.Why do you tip?
Would I go back there? Yes..especially for the desserts.
MY SCORE CARD
Layout / Ambience/ Aesthetics – 6
Quality of food-6
Value for money-5
Thank you for reading.
11B, Akin Adesola street,
Victoria Island, Lagos.
+234 803 855 5557.
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I love all things beautiful and luxurious. Pastry chef during the day, food writer at "other times". Dinning out? Ask me! Visit me at www.theservicecriticng.com for more.