"So I was just over here minding my business and…"
The Orchard (top floor, Centro Mall, Admiralty Way, Lekki. ) is a bar/lounge and grill restaurant. I had heard about it from a male friend who always scheduled his weekend meetings there. I figured that if he could sit there for a whole day and not have a complaint then they must be doing something right. So, one fine Saturday afternoon, a few friends and I decided to stop by. We were all a bit hungry and wanted to also grab drinks. We initially opted for another bar/lounge in Lekki that we had been to before, but instead decided to try The Orchard out.
This is a brief review of our experience there.
General Ambience and Decor:
Orchard has a small indoor space which is great if you are not a fan of the Lagos afternoon sun. There is a slightly larger outdoor space with a variety of tables. We opted for a low sofa against the barrier, with our backs to the entrance of Centro Mall (very good position for people watching by the way). There really isn’t that much decor to speak of which I guess is the idea. There is a an outdoor bar and a grill which appeared to be a nice touch. The establishment is served by waitresses in short black wrap dresses.
The tables and chairs are cane, which works for an outdoor establishment.
Initially, it wasn’t very hot so the breeze was sufficient. However, the weather changed and there were no fans to cool the atmosphere down. There were also A LOT of flies hovering about due to the grill.
Rating: 6/10. Not impressed really. A lot more could have been done with the location.
Quality of Service – Menu and Ordering:
The food and drink menu were combined. First thing I noticed: There were too many errors. The menu also has no pictures at all and the descriptions weren’t clear. We noticed that the menu stated that we were entitled to complimentary nibbles (peanuts, cashew nuts or chin-chin). We had to ask repeatedly to be served this which was rather perplexing.
We asked our waitress, Bimbo, for recommendations for food and drink. She uhm-ed and ah-ed until we asked her to forget about it and ordered what we liked anyway. As the smell of chicken was wafting about, I ordered the barbecue chicken with fries. My friends both had the classic burger with fries. The drinks menu was just okay. One of my friends had had champagne already that day so she stuck with the theme and ordered a Berry Bellini. My other friend was trying to recover from a night of heavy drinking so she quietly asked for a glass of freshly squeezed pineapple juice. I ordered a Whiskey Iced Tea
Rating: 5/10. Standard Lagos food and cocktail prices. The menu needs quite a bit of work. The staff need to be trained on the menu.
Food and Drinks review (pictures below):
I ordered my chicken before the other two – H and T – could decide on what they wanted. It took over 30 minutes for the order to be ready. Presentation was interesting (positive and negative). The chicken looked good but was served in a wooden platter (looked like a mess dish) that had empty cavities. I think it would have looked better on a regular plate. The chicken tasted nice. The fries however needed salt, were cold and VERY OILY. They were what I call home fries or chips. Very bad ones though. .
The burgers came out with similar presentation, on a wooden board. The bun was a brioche so was slightly sweet. My friend H said she would have preferred a toasted bun. They both said the burgers were just ‘alright’ and had only eaten them as they were hungry. We all had the same comments about the fries/chips.
The Berry Bellini was pretty to look at but was warm! H then had to ask for some ice (yes, we had to put ice in a champagne cocktail. Oh the horror!). The freshly squeezed pineapple juice turned out to be closer to a smoothie than a glass of juice. As it was hot, my friend T, went ahead and drank it anyway. Her opinion : just okay. Again. My Whisky Iced Tea was average. I ordered a Moscow Mule as my second drink. That was disappointing as well.
Our food and drink took a really long time to come out. As the bar/lounge was pretty much empty, this was hard to understand. We also had to battle with flies while we ate, ask for coasters as the melting ice from the drinks was leaking through the table onto our feet, and basically watch our dirty plates for ages and beg them to be taken away when we were done. We noticed that the waitress, Bimbo, had to, on numerous occasions, be prompted by her colleagues to attend to us. The whole food and drink experience left us feeling terribly underwhelmed.
T also ordered a bottle of water halfway through her meal. We watched Bimbo scratch and pat her weave and use the same hand to pick up the glass to come serve us. T opted to drink directly from the bottle instead.
Rating: 4/10. See above.
The bbq chicken was N2500, the burgers were N2000 each. Alcoholic drinks were between N2000 and N3500. The fresh juice created a problem with the bill however. The menu said N1000. They claimed that because it was like a smoothie that it was N1500. We argued that T had pointed to the menu to order and did NOT ask for a smoothie so that was their fault. Total bill was approximately N16000 for 3 people.
Bimbo, the waitress, was borderline rude throughout our time there. She would also say ‘Oya’ before handing over the POS when we needed to pay, which I found quite unprofessional.
Rating: 6/10. Only because they are reasonably priced. The whole process was annoying really.
I will not go back there to eat in. Maybe take-out after drinking. Or I’d probably go back at night with male friends when our orders are only alcohol and come in bottles. The food really isn’t that good. Also, the staff need training desperately and the outdoor space needs fans and fly/insect trappers.
(Bimbo really did make the experience worse that it already was. We watched her pick food off the grill and put it in her mouth for instance. Note: It was not responsibility to man the grill so this behaviour should not have been displayed in the presence of customers. )
OVERALL RATING: (Over 40) : 21. BARELY average.