A PLACE FOR THE SOPHISTICATED LEBANESE EXPATS IN LAGOS
The name of this place alone has been calling me…..Arabic names have my heart! Then practically all my foodie friends had visited and their snapchat moments just had this adorant appeal I couldn’t wait to indulge in.
I finally made it for brunch on Saturday and as expected, my experience was darling.
It started off a little shaky because it was raining and I had to park a little far off from the door. Their parking area is quite tiny so you might need to squeeze in some corner, except you would like to park a bit more on the premises of their main complex which also houses Cactus Restaurant.
The run from my car had my chest pounding and I was already wondering if I really wanted to embark on this adventure, but a dash into their glass door and my heart melted. My eyes met with a lobby exuding intense blue hue.
A host walked up to me and asked pleasantly where I was headed which was confusing for a second, then he explained that it was actually a hotel, but yes, their restaurant is obviously open to all and possibly operates as a standalone entity. I noticed a small coffee shop on the side which I am definitely going back to explore soon but walked past it to the door of Salmas Restaurant. Another glass door swung open to a classic dining set-up and I was ushered into the hands of another host who asked if I wanted to sit inside or outside (a more relaxed dining area which is actually their smoking section and a viewing spot for the grill house and the poolside. I was in the mood to be sophisticat so I went with “inside”, considering that I was looking for a more cosy environment and I wanted to watch TV, lol. They have TV screens like in every corner, like at some point I hoped they could just dash me one to use in my bedroom. I mean, you can’t sit anywhere here without having a good view of the screens though. Another thing was, with mirrors in every corner, the TVs were practically reflecting on every one of the mirrors, I’m now wondering where to focus my attention to until my eating partner CK comes. So, well, he finally walked in, and, time for magic.
The menu came and of course was heavily Lebanese with little or no English infusion whatsoever, thankfully someone took their time to explain each meal in concise English. The prices are quite high-end but well, it’s a high-end place so I couldn’t expect less. We both opted for a glass of wine each, white for me, red for CK. Our waitress had us served in no time as we scanned through the food menu. I knew I wanted this experience in reverse mode….desserts first! And my favorite thing about Salmas is this….they have two dessert options with cotton candy! Please can we have a cotton candy shop in Lagos pretty soon? I picked the one that came with ice-cream just because I had a hunch that it would be decadent. “This place is too pretty to serve less” I said to myself.
Paused a little and looked around, mirrored walls here and there, subtle notes of their dazzling blue here and there, perfectly set table….yes Bouzet Salma (ice-cream and cotton candy) mix.
Lots of families were beginning to troop in at this time and I instantly fell into brunch mode, pancakes were on my mind. I found them on my favorite part of the menu….desserts! Two desserts in one day….lucky me! And they were so good! You all need to try Arabian pancakes guys! CK opted for a platter of tiny baked meaty goodies….love love! One thing that had me happy was the quickness of how our meals arrived.
For last, we decided to share a cocktail just for the fun of it and just as we emptied the glass, our waitress arrived with two trays….beautifully cut fruits in one and sweets on the other. We tried to inform her that we made no orders for such but she explained that it was complementary. My chest! I was extremely touched. Am I the only one that feels that the Lebanese are really hospitable? All the while we were there, we constantly got checked in on by their staff.
As much as I just wanted to sit there all day and watch parents be all cute with their kids, it was time to go. I noticed a pretty blue sofa by their sign on my way out and of course stopped for a quick shot. Really can’t wait to come back for their grills and salads!
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