We came and found Ice cream and Cupcake Heaven
Thursday night it was up up and away and all the way to Lagos. I landed on the last Aero flight from Accra to Lagos so eager and ready to take the vacation I so desperately needed.
Rewind. So after my utterly stressful christmas and New Year I decided I needed a vacation. So why Lagos? There were a few deciding factors; 1. It’s only an hour away so it definitely works as a weekend trip. 2. I have friends who live there, so no hotel bills and 3. Because why the hell not. I tried to get Dede to go with me, but priorities and stuff so it was me, my bags and Lagos.
My Thoughts on Lagos
Lagos was beautiful, well the Island was beautiful. I went 4 whole days without seeing dirt roads. The extent of development caught me a little off guard. There was no mistaking that I was anywhere but Lagos. All the roads looked the same, and were tarred. The bridges were beautiful, particularly the Lekki - Ikoyi bridge. I was quite impressed, but that Lagos driving. No no no. Driving in Lagos is an absolute madhouse. I literally cringed and held onto the door every single time I sat in the car. I was completely stupefied when I saw drivers do the most ridiculous things, some of which include but are not limited to, reversing off a bridge, reversing at an intersection and just, you think trotro drivers are bad, think again. Driving around Lagos felt like sitting in a gokart with drivers giggling as they threatened to bump your car for jokes. Absolute madness!
Partying in Lagos
Going into Lagos, this was what I looked forward to the most. Due to my rather “large” group of Lagos friends, turning up in Lagos has definitely been on my to do list for a very long time. It finally happened. We started our Friday night off at 355. It was my friend’s birthday and he was getting drinks there. I liked the feel of 355, it was like Shisha Lounge. People smoking hookah, sitting at tables, conversating, socializing, drinking. It was a lot bigger than the regular chill hangout spot in Accra but it was the same feel and concept. I really liked it, but I didn’t stay too long, I was ready for Club 57. I had heard from so many people that Lagos clubs were so much bigger than Accra clubs and that the vibe was so different. Nope. They lied. Same ol’ same ol’. Like Accra clubs we arrived about midnight, and walked in wearing slippers and sandals - I didn’t expect that. The music was old school stuff, by old school I mean 2013 jams. But the vibe was nice. I was ready to jam, so I danced the whole night. Some random man asked if he could take my friends and I home (Is that how they do in Lagos?), I made a new friend, danced even more and then left for the strip club. I was really trynna do it all.
But the strip club said NO!
My hangover had me in bed most of the next day, reminiscing on the jamment of the night before, wallowing in the fact that no Shatta Wale had been played, AI AI AI AI ... I’m really just a hardcore Ghana girl, sorry. We spent our day, or the latter part of the day at the riverfront on Queens Rd, Ikoyi. A bunch of really cool guys were having a picnic and we joined in. It was drinks, amazing scenery and even better company. I absolutely loved the idea of just chilling out, watching boats and jet skis go by, getting to know new people. Just chill and vibe kinda hangout. I liked this alternative jamment and I’m really gunning for someone to just set up a pier somewhere along Labadi beach so I can do this again in Accra.. so if your father has money, I can consult on the job. My number is 0243243243.
Eating in Lagos
As your resident foodie, and from all the food porn we get from all the Lagos based food vendors and food lovers, I was hyped about eating everything in Lagos. Hyped is an understatement, honestly. Casper and Gambinis was my first stop to indulge in all the Lagos yumminess. I was in awe at the set up, it reminded me a lot of our own Bistro 22 here in Accra. It was romantic but still very subtle, I absolutely loved the entire decor. I was so gingered for the food. So I dived right into ordering their classic margarita and the Suya mixed grill with french fries. My friends got the chicken burger and the new good melt burger. We decided against starters because you know, calories.
As we waited for our drinks, they brought out bread sticks and a hummus bowl . Again, exactly like Bistro 22. The hummus was so good, it wasn’t the pink crack I’m used to but it darn sure was close. I ate that thing like my life depended on it, it was honestly the high of my entire experience because everything just went downhill from there. My drink arrived and it was not a margarita, it was alcohol and ice and I had to send it back to the bartender. It came back tasting like lime and ice, so I decided nope they obviously don’t have the recipe so let’s try something else. I went for a simple mai tai, it was more like non drowsy cough mixture i.e. no alcohol in there. I was so disappointed. But still, I had faith.
My fries were not crunchy and they had no salt on them, I wasn’t happy. I went on to eat the suya and it was jokes up in there. I’ve always thought of suya to be kebab, just without the stick and it was exactly that. Just that they used the cheap kebab pepper that is filled with groundnut powder. The chicken was dry and the beef almost had a papery texture to it. I took one bite and I had had enough. Casper and Gambinis is a no no for me. My lunch hunnies didn’t like their burgers either, I wasn’t interested in trying them, so no real review there.
The customer service was quite interesting. While the waiters were almost clueless and very slow the hostess (I’m guessing) seemed a lot more pressed about her job. She followed us outside to ask about our experience and when we told her just how disappointed we were she started singing “Oh ma! Don’t go ma! Please let me make it up to you ma! Let me give you take away ma! Do you like dessert ma?” She tried. Nevertheless, we left empty handed but I did tell the manager to change the bartender, he's a little lost back there.
My next Lagos craving was the Urban Fuxion food truck. I love the concept of a food truck, food on the go! For my foodie mind, it makes so much sense. I ordered the classic burger because I was still hungover from Friday night jams and I needed the bread to soak up the excess alcohol in my body. They had a special burger, I forget the name, but truthfully I don’t get the concept of sausage, egg and all else in a burger, like how? Anyway, for me Urban Fuxion is a hype ting, apparently it was the burger I got but nah I don’t think so. They forgot my bacon, the burger was just so meh it was unbelievable, it had no jazz, no groove, it was bread and meat, no real kick of flavor. Oh! and my fries were cold. They do have this amazing side sauce though, it’s peppery and tasty and just so full of flavor. I was impressed, because that sauce is an art on its own. They really need to throw that sauce into the burger and stop leaving it as an option on the side, that sauce should be the main act, but it’s getting treated like the side show.
My friend got the wings, which I tried. The sauce was hot and had a bit of a zesty thing going for it, it was interesting but I personally wasn’t feeling it. But that could just be me, as I have elevated palates and what not. All in all, I didn’t really like the Urban Fuxion food, it just came across as basic cooking. Or maybe I just don’t be checking for burgers like that.
My last meal was arguably the worst full english breakfast I have ever had, I kid you not. On arriving, I was thinking Bistro 7, perhaps as good as my fave Bistro 22 (if you haven’t clocked by now, I absolutely love Bistro 22). But nah, it’s bistro 7, 15 standards below Bistro 22 for a reason. Now I elaborate, we arrived at Bistro 7 and I was skeptical about their setting. Confused and stuffs; a little too all over the place for my liking. The customer service was slow and dreadful and just filled with, “sorry we can’t.” Like I will never understand why I can’t switch out breakfast potatoes for baked beans. I can’t comprehend that logic. But yes, I ordered the full english with a 1600 naira (GHS22) side of bacon. Never mind my food was already 4200 naira (GHS56), but I was on holiday so big girl and ting. And then my babe, Funmi and I got the fluffy pancakes to share. I also got a mint tea because they didn’t have soy, almond or any other non-lactose containing milk. My mint tea came out after the food had arrived, I mean how? Were they now buying the kettle? It didn’t taste like mint tea, and looked like algae was growing in it. Please what’s this green color? So no.
My plate was an absolute joke; the waiter got my order wrong and was just so nonchalant about it. I was just so pained and frustrated, I mean just look at this piece of toast, yh! the sad looking oval piece in the back of the plate. Wow! The only good thing on that table was the pancakes, but I was too irritated to enjoy them. I took a few bites and was done. Bistro 7 needs help, service, kitchen, bar, help. This was the most expensive waste of money and taste bud’s time I have encountered in awhile. My whole meal came up to about 9000naira (Ghs120) for breakfast food. Jesus says no!
Hans and Rene
Of course they get their own sub section. Hans and Rene was the highlight of my time in Lagos. Hans and Rene is an ice cream parlor in the Radisson Hotel compound. Or let’s just say Hans and Rene can be defined as, ice cream heaven.
Hans and Rene ice cream is everything. From the customer service right down to their ice cream, I was completely in awe. My besty Johnny introduced me to an orange Ferrero Rocher combination. It was a mix of chocolate, nuts and yummy orange sorbet. I could almost liken the taste to the round orange Cadbury Roses sweet, it’s just chocolate goodness, with a wild twist of orange flavor. I recommend this for anyone who loves a crazy mix of flavor. I ended up going back again because Dede wanted cupcakes, Johnny recognized me immediately. I was so excited. I knew I had found a friend. The customer service at Hans and Rene was like unheard of by African standards. I ran into Ella waitress/attendant/sales woman extraordinaire. Hans and Rene you need to reward Ella for the great work she is doing in your store, she really won my heart. Hans and Rene left me happy, the ice cream, the coffee, the service, the ambiance. I could sit there all day and be happy.
Dede: I heard about the Hans and Rene cupcakes from Reeko, here’s your shout out Honney! He went to Lagos and wouldn't stop talking about these cupcakes that he had that were so so good, he ate 7. After I heard that hype, I was on a mission to get some. So first of all, my cupcakes suffered some difficulties on that flight so when I got them they had all shoki’d in the box and turned upside down, so aesthetically they weren't very pleasing but when did that ever stop me.
The taste, on the other hand was unmatchable. My favorite has to be the salted caramel, it's undeniably the best cupcake I've tasted in Africa. The chocolate cake was so moist and rich and chocolatey and infused with sweetened milk. The icing wasn't overwhelming but it was also a rich cocoa flavored frosting that tasted good by itself. If you remember from previous cupcakes post, I'm not a chocolate fan but for this cupcake I've been won over to the chocolate side. It is that goood.
The cookies and cream was a vanilla cake with a cookie base! Hans and Rene have definitely hit the nail on the head with the definition of gourmet cupcakes. My only issue with the rest of the cupcakes were that they tasted a day old. The cookies and cream, marble and red velvet even though they were yummy were definitely made the day before. I can't wait to taste them fresh! Hans & Rene, you've definitely won my heart with the salted caramel (I dream about it) and I'm definitely coming to visit when I finally make my way to Lagos.
Ash: I absolutely loved my time in Lagos, I loved the city, I loved the people not soo much the food, but Hans and Rene has my heart and my stomach too. I feel it is unfair to say Lagos don’t be serving good food at this point, so I won’t but I’m honestly quite shocked by the poor service and food that I got. That aside, I love Lagos, I’m definitely coming back soon, bringing baby D with me too.
Thank you to my lovely hunnies who made my short trip full of excitement and nothing short of amazing. Hugs and kisses.