The original plan as stated on my travel calendar was to review Velvet restaurant in March but I decided against that on seeing the number of unappealing reviews it had gotten. Though I would have still gone irrespective but for my entourage which included Aisha and Adesi who advised we tried The backyard bar & grill even though Aisha was a bit hesitant.
How To get To The Backyard
The agreed time for departure was 3:00pm so I hailed a Taxify immediately Aisha linked up with me at 2:35pm. Since I had been keeping tabs on Adesi all through, it was a seamless assignment as he hopped into the cab just at the junction of his street few seconds to the agreed departure time of 3:00pm. The driver, a soldier whom I guess would be in his early 50s started the trip to 4b Musa Yar’adua street Victoria Island Lagos amidst humorous chitchats.
In 20 minutes we were within the premises. We crowdfunded to raise the required N1,600 for the driver to unlock the cab doors.
Like a mother waiting patiently for her daughter to return from a late night party, the white bungalow sat confidently within the spacious compound staring at us intimidatingly, leaving enough space for about 15 cars at the front and a walkway on the right which leads to the backyard where the coffee shop and events place are located. Since we were there for a review, we ventured inside through the front door. Our arrival made the ratio of white to black-skinned turn 8:2 because aside A lady adorned in the restaurant’s uniform who welcomed us with a bright smile and some other members of staff in sight, the rest of the people inside were whites. I would have thought we were in the wrong building if I hadn’t heard “welcome to the backyard bar and grill”.
The ACs doled out refreshing air from the inside while the vegetation on the outside supported the artworks on the walls to give the premised an astounding look.
We were immediately ushered to a seat of four but Adesi wasn’t so cool with the idea of us seating on a bench inside when the name of the place itself is ‘The Backyard’, so we requested that we be moved to another section of the restaurant which made us enjoy a view of both the inside and the backyard properly.[tps_title]NB: there are 2 types of tables inside the main eating area. The high table which is surrounded by tall comfortable stools and the low tables surrounded by simple benches.[/tps_title]
We settled at table 9 – a high table for 4 and like it was automated, the food and drinks menu landed on our table almost immediately. I left the duo of Adesi and Aisha to decide what should be served.
I gave a short insight on what the goal for the day is, stressing the importance of objectivity and sincerity and everyone agreed to be at their best. One of the agreements was that we’d opt for different foods and drinks so as to enable a diverse opinion and numerous food options to sample.
Going by the available options on the menu, Starters, Skewers, Salads, Specials, Sandwiches and Main meal (which were the most expensive so we didn’t bother picking from there).
As planned, we ordered for just Chicken tenders ((N2,810)), The Backyard grill (N3190), Buffalo wings (N3048), wedges (N1,143), fries (N1,143), jollof rice (N1,143) from the side menu options. We were more than disappointed with the food, perhaps due to our huge expectations or probably our bad taste buds. But can we all have it that bad?
Adesi felt the chicken tender tasted more like fish rather than chicken. He feels the buffalo wings was just there and the backyard grill was too fatty. He boasted he could do better at jollof rice. He felt the wedges was just there as well.
Aisha feels the dipping sauces were terrible (save for that which accompanied the chicken tenders). Rather than being tender, Aisha confessed the chicken tenders were too crispy but liked the backyard grill (only God know what she loved about it *squeezes face*). She also feels my jollof is best compared to Ghanian jollof as it in no way can be compared to an average Nigerian Jollof.
For the drinks, there were 2 sections: Juicebar (which ranged from N1,500 – N2,000) and cocktails (which were all N3,500). Aisha opted for Chapman (N1,500), I did power up (N2,000) and Adesi went for Strawberry smoothie (N2,000).
Aisha hated her Chapman as it tasted just like Chivita. Going forward to say their saving grace was that they called it local Chapman. Adesi Loved his strawberry smoothie and also my power-up but disliked Aisha’s Chapman.
In all the drinks kinda compensated a bit as we were at least neither disappointed nor impressed.
The Cakes and Ice Cream Section
After the food and drinks, We made payments via the POS and exited through the back door which exposed us to the backyard where we proceeded to the coffee, cakes and Ice cream section just adjacent the main sitting area.
We had just one goal as we moved closer to the entrance: Compensate for the disappointment we got inside.
The scenery of the coffee section held us spellbound as the scent of freshly brewed coffee permeated the rectangular room, collaborating with that of the Ice cream and cakes to give a refreshing scent capable of luring anyone into spending beyond budget.
Yeah, it was that captivating.
Since a scoop goes for N900, We requested 2 scoops each. Tope took a combo of strawberry cheese cake and Oreos scoop , Aisha requested Oreos chocolate and chocolate chip while I did Almond butter and chocolate. We settled at a table of 3 just beside the entrance and I could sense we all took our first spoons with pounding hearts.
We finally had a reason to smile. The Ice cream eventually made the trip worthwhile. We thanked goodness we had it after the food.
It’s easy to impress me. I don’t need a fancy party to be happy. Just good friends, good food, and good laughs.
– Maria Sharapova
I thought the coffee guy at Cafe neo Yaba and the head of Kitchen at Mega Chicken Agidingbi were going to be the benchmark of customer service in any Nigerian restaurant, my jaw dropped at the agility and emotional intelligence level of the attendants in The Backyard bar and grill. Though most of them are guys, it was easy to tell they were enjoying their job. When Charles isn’t at our table to know what we’d need and ask if we were comfortable, the bartender was performing his mixing magic. In short, all we didn’t see in the food, we got it in the scenery and work ethics of the staff.
Food= 4 points
Customer care= 9 points
Ambiance= 9 points
Average: 7.3/10 points
It’s kinda funny though because after out timeout at the backyard bar and grill, I asked if either of the duo if they’d come back and I was stunned to hear a yes but with a clause that they won’t be coming for the food but for either the drinks or to just enjoy the amazing scenery one or more times.
Total amount Spent
Food and Drinks #18,875
Ice Cream #5,400
Grand Total #27,275
Each person spent approximately #9,100 and if asked if that action was regretted, the answer will sure be an affirmative NO.
Please follow @nomadic_negro on Twitter and Instagram. it’d mean a lot to me.