Great ambience, a fire playlist, and mind-blowing drinks.
The three key ingredients for any great night at a bar.
Shiro packs all three with a remarkable beachfront to boot. A view that The Lagoon must envy.
Fun Fact: Shiro plays only Top 40 music by design. They take these vibes very seriously.
Anyway, to the drinks...
The Secret Garden, described as apple-soaked mojito, is probably the universe begging me to never diss sweet alcohol ever again… in a glass. In popular culture, the Mojito is like coffee for cocktail lovers. Having a long day? Got dumped? Your boss pulled you in a random tedious meeting? Sip a mojito. It single-handedly responsible for my long-standing affair with rum.
Shiro’s version was solid with quality rum; fresh mint and potent notes of sugarcane, lime and apples which stabilized the sweet and sour palate of this cocktail. Its combination of sweet, citrus and mint flavors embodied the rum for easy passage. This is certainly the best mojito I’ve had in Lagos and all the Shiro bartender had to do was not cheat me.
Most mixologists in Lagos have this fraudulent thing they do to their mojitos - less alcohol, more sugar. I’ve heard that “customizing” mojitos with fruits like passionfruit, blueberries and mangos beats the regular virgin mojito. Shiro’s Secret Garden makes a very solid argument for it. It was concentrated, in a short glass, but as you drink, the ice dissolves and loosens it up in a refreshing way.
That said, the Secret Garden suffers from what appears to afflict every mojito in Lagos. Those tiny particles floating around that get stuck in your straw and cling to your teeth? The worst.
Nature’s Song was our next drink. Made with ABSOLUT, lemon grass, green tea, sugar and lime juice, I think my drink buddy picked this because she was down with a flu. At first, the cocktail is soothing with its earthy and herbal properties, but after a couple of sips, it gets tedious. Who comes to the bar for medicinal purposes? Props to the lemongrass straw tho. Also, I never want to have green tea and vodka unless I’m getting paid a lot (read: $50,000) for the suffering. I haven’t been to an Herbalist before but I’m certain this is what they would commend for constipation.
For our next drink, the bartender recommended the Strawberry and Lychee Margarita.
Sigh – absolute bliss.
Again, this was another proof that sweet cocktails, if done right are EVERYTHING. It was the best drink of the night. The strawberry and the lychee, accompanied the tequila perfectly. I bet that the mixologists used tequila with 100% agave (please note that this is the tequila that doesn’t give unnecessary hangovers).
However, I wish the margaritas weren’t made from store-bought syrups because there was not enough acidity to adjust the extremely sweet palate. It could have been a fancy ribena, thank goodness for the ice that managed the impending crisis. It loosened the sweetness the more you drank. I’m a sucker for good ice and loved that I didn’t have to worry about gulping my drink immediately after serving.
I don’t think this next drink is worth reviewing because it was HORRIBLE and to confirm it, my camera refused to get focus. It was the Smoke Strawberry Martini. I have decided to write about it to warn you. Also, since our bartender was really excited to burn the strawberries for an audience, maybe he deserves an accolade lol. The process seemed very ITK from burning to mashing and finally, juicing strawberries. We really wanted to love it but fell incredibly short.
Maybe it would have tasted better if its carrier was gin rather than ABSOLUT. I find vodka martinis too plain. Although middle-aged Manhattan men battling mid-life crisis love this variation – Mad Men.
The Smoke Strawberry Martini was too sour, too bitter and too acidic for anyone’s bowels. You know how tart strawberries are? Imagine having them roasted and accompanied by vodka’s neutral taste – a disaster. The complex profile of gin could have grounded the bitter notes but the vodka barely masked anything. The drink also looked disgusting. With the red and black particles dancing around the glass, this is probably what Kanayo O. Kanayo and his Coven friends to drink during their “night meetings”.
Couple hiccups aside, I liked the Shiro bar and I’d definitely come here for date night. They definitely don’t play with aesthetic and I also loved the playlist as much as I loved my margarita.
Christina is a TV and Film junkie who also spends an incredible amount of time reviewing skincare products she can barely afford.
Good for: Groups - After Work Drinks - Date Night - Special Occasion
Food: Full Kitchen
Happy Hour: No | Bottle Service: Yes | Wine: Yes | Beer: Yes
Secret Garden - N2500
Nature's Song - N2500
Strawberry & Lychee Margarita - N2916
Smoke Strawberry Martini - N3750