Monday, 7.25 P.M,
Every new year comes with new aspirations right? This year I have decided to change tactics. Remember how I would say I didn’t think it was appropriate to review new restaurants? I met someone recently who made me see reason why it is important to review them; it’s funny that even this blog’s demographics points towards that too. So hurray to those wanted that. So you see, I do listen.
This review was done at the relaunched Carlitos restaurant & lounge. It used to be in VGC but it has recently moved to Victoria Island. The main dinning room itself isn’t particularly big but the space was well utilized. It will probably sit about 40 people on the inside and about 10 guests dinning alfresco. The decor in the dinning room was not wow but it was neat and well put together.
Whilst we waited for Fregz (it was his birthday) to come, we ordered the virgin mojito(N1800-$8) and Prawn spring roll (N1,800-$8). We must have read the menu wrongly because we assumed that it was prawns and mayonnaise spring roll because when it came, it didn’t have mayonnaise. Instead, it was served with coleslaw, sliced lettuce, dinner rolls and sweet & sour sauce as a side dip. It was slightly different, in that the spring rolls were smaller sized. It tasted nice albeit a bit dry but then I can attribute that to the fact that we were accustomed to eating it with mayonnaise which moistens the inside. We tried it with the sweet and sour chilli sauce and it definitely tasted better. The cole slaw and dinner rolls on the other hand were not particularly fresh but it was not off either…you just know these things. We also had a problem with the plating of this dish- the plate was too small and there was too much going on with it.See picture below
We got tired of waiting for the birthday boy so we just went ahead and ordered our mains. We ordered the 7- hour braised beef oxtail with pesto rice and grilled vegetables and The Chicago Style BBQ Pork Ribs with French fries, cole slaw and corn salsa. Na hin we begin wait oh. The food took about 40 minutes to be served. Hiaan!
Finally, the food made an appearance by which time, the birthday boy had come too . Pheww! Did I hear someone say about time? He ordered the Spanish Jumbo Prawns with Gnocchi and Pesto oil. Thankfully, this didn’t take too long to come.
We decided to split all the meals. We started with Renee’s Chicago style barbeque pork ribs (N5,880- $28). The menu described it as “fall off the bone tender…” but it wasn’t. Don’t get me wrong, it was not hard but it definitely was not fall off the bone tender. It was neatly seasoned with the marinade and then grilled. We cleaned it out in no time with the fries, the coleslaw and the corn salsa on the hand were left untouched because they didn’t taste fresh. Am I alone in believing that ribs are best enjoyed with your fingers? i.e the bone crushing African way ?
We moved on to my 7 hours braised beef oxtail served with grilled vegetables and pesto rice. (N7800-$36 ). Hmnnn. I doubt the veracity of how long this was cooked for because if meat was cooked for that long and it doesn’t soak up all the seasoning and juices of the broth, then “na abami meat you cook oh” this was the case of the oxtail. It either was not properly seasoned or cooked long enough in the broth . In this case I reckon it was both. The oxtail could have tasted better if it was better seasoned and it was not soft for something that had been cooked as long as they said it was cooked for. Eating it with fork and knife was “getting long” so we used our hands *covers face* . The pesto rice wasn’t any better even with salt added.The seasoned and grilled peppers and carrots on the other hand were amazing. They were crisp and nicely seasoned.
Then came Fregz’s Jumbo Spanish Prawns (N7,800 – $36). The visual appearance of this was appealing. It was by far the best looking dish of the night. I stopped for a second when it came. Three jumbo prawns were opened up , seasoned and grilled. It sounds pretty simple right? If only I could cook it like that . The icing on this prawns was the charred lime! Yup you heard it, the lime was charred. I knew lemon and seafood was a great combination but the grilled lime took it on a whole new level of deliciousness. I don’t think the sweet and sour sauce on this was appropriate.
This was my first time eating Gnocchi as an accompaniment , i have always had it as an entree. Gnocchi is dumpling cooked in thick rich creamy sauce . This was a very good interpretation but I am not sure it worked with the prawns it was served with. It looked like 2 separate dishes. If I were the chef, I would serve the gnocchi on its own tossed with mid sized prawns… But then I am not. Hehehehe.
Before the birthday boy came, we had requested that the chef made the dessert extra special for him. For desserts, we ordered their Apple pie (N2400-$11) nsogbu! N2400 for Apple pie in Lagos! When I saw this price I asked if it was the whole apple tree that would be put in it. The dessert was served by a singing waitress, boy!! She could singgggg. For that voice?, I will pay 2500 sef. We had to make her do it a second time and it was just as good! Well the apple pie itself didn’t do it for any of us. I am not a fan of serving it cold or lukewarm, I like apple pie hot. This was served almost cold. Hmnnn, i didn’t like the presentation either- a large chunk of apple pie on a plate and then there were 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream on another plate. I didn’t understand the logic behind serving the ice cream in a different plate. The apple pie didn’t werk for me at all. It’s not value for money and it didn’t taste great. Why are desserts so pricey at these restaurants?
I did a round of the restroom and it was sparkling .
Would I go back there? Yes
We paid (N30,960- $144) for 2 entrees, 3 mains , 1 dessert, 2 bottles of water and 2 non alcoholic cocktails. Whilst writing this post , I realized we over paid by N1,200. The menu advertised the Prawns spring roll as N1,800 but our bill had N2,400 per portion. Oya make una do refund shaparly!
MY SCORE CARD
Layout / Ambiance / Aesthetics- 7.5
Quality of food- 7
Value for money- 7.5
Customer Service- 8.5
Oju olobun street,
Thank you for always reading.
DISCLAIMER: These reviews are my opinion of my dining experiences at these restaurants. They are not sponsored by any establishment unless otherwise stated.