Drink Lagos: 355 Restaurant & Lounge
LALA: It was cheat day on Friday so Gbenga and I had to pick a spot to add those calories. We decided on 355 due to its recent rebranding plus we had a get together there with friends later on. Kill two birds with a stone kind of situation.
GBENGA: Every day is cheat day so I don’t know what Lala is on to be honest but back to the review. 355 was the favourite go-to spot on a Friday before heading to your final destination so I was really curious to see what the new vibe felt like, seeing that they were closed for a while.
LALA: Wowie at what they did with the space. No more mini sections downstairs that gave it that club feel but it now has a nice restaurant look. Good work with the space upstairs too. Thank God they removed that awful thing in the middle of the space that looked like it was for a stripper. The new look gives it a really chilled vibe and you can also chill on the veranda.
GBENGA: In my opinion, this was more a business decision and less of a creative one because 355 has a completely different vibe to it. Probably they had a re-think of who they want their target audience to be? More suit and tie, less skinny jeans. The lounge upstairs looks decent, nothing out of the ordinary. Also with what Crossroads is doing for the skinny jeans demography, I don’t think 355 would’ve been able to compete so in hindsight, this is a genius decision on their part.
LALA: CALORIES TIME!!! Our bartender was called Samuel. Samuel had a blast telling us about how we were going to be blown away by their cocktails.
GBENGA: I am usually skeptical asking bartenders for drink recommendations because of too many bad experiences but I decided to trust Samuel and boy did he deliver!
LALA: First look at the menu and it was quite an extensive menu. I also liked the fact that the cocktails were categorized based on spirits so it made it easier to pick a drink by just looking at your preferred spirit.
GBENGA: Yup, attention to detail. It makes life easier when deciding on what to order. Kudos to whoever thought this up
LALA: For my first order I decided to go with a beer cocktail. I picked the black & tan which has patron coffee, chocolate syrup, and stout. I was really excited about this mix especially because I have recently been complaining to bartenders in Lagos about how boring it was that patron coffee was just served as shots. So a mix of stout and chocolate syrup? Yass
I liked that it came in a tall glass and I was also happy that the stout was poured last. It gave it that foamy finish on top. However, on taking my first sip, all I could taste was the chocolate syrup and a hint of the stout. That was a bit surprising to me as I thought the stout and the patron coffee would definitely overpower the chocolate syrup.
I looked at the glass and realized that the chocolate syrup had settled at the bottom of the glass, so I had to move my straw up to taste the other components of the drink. I decided to give it a stir, tasted it again and then there it was, the stout was definitely announcing its presence. I still couldn’t taste the coffee patron. The chocolate syrup and stout overpowered it.
It’s a different and interesting mix and I think you’ll either really like it or not like it at all. I liked it but I wished I could taste the coffee patron. A balance of the three ingredients would have been perfect.
GBENGA: Worst! Worst behavior, Mutha**** never loved us…. Sorry I digress, my cocktail was called a Worst Behaviour. So guys imagine making Indomie with shrimps, Asun, minced beef, lamb chops, and shredded chicken. Overkill? That’s a Worst Behaviour. It had Vodka, Tequila, Gin, Bacardi, Triple Sec and Southern Comfort, I’m getting dizzy again just by typing this out.
Immediately I took a sip, I was filled with a realization of dread. Not the “I left the house but forgot I was boiling rice” kind, far from it. Remember the look on Jon Snow’s face during the Battle of the Bastards when he fell off his horse and Ramsey’s cavalry were seconds away from decapitating him? That’s exactly how I felt and It was at this moment I mentally decided not to finish it, else….
It has an initial sweet taste due to the sugarcane, peach, and grenadine syrup in it but just when you’re about to get comfortable the different spirits torment you from all angles. I would want to take longer sips because of the sweet taste but few seconds after I would be transported back to Winterfell. Such a complex but yet beautiful cocktail.
LALA: I have had the worst behavior a couple of times. Please if you are not a heavy drinker, don’t do it. I still shake my head when I remember my behavior after having it. I did warn Gbenga that the name was so accurate for the drink but Mr. “do you know how long I’ve been drinking” didn’t listen to me
GBENGA: I used to think the beer cocktails at Crossroads were the best till I had Lala’s. Its layered into two parts with the upper layer having a mix of patron coffee and brewer’s yeast while the bottom layer has the chocolate syrup and the stout mixed together. It felt like two different drinks in one glass as I would sip from to top half, wait a second, then take a sip from the lower. Trips! Someone then had the bright idea of mixing both layers, smh.
LALA: LMAO. I wanted to taste the coffee patron now
LALA: For our final option, we decided to go with the runway. It has vodka, lemon, sugarcane juice, mint and blue cacao. I won’t lie; we really had a lot of expectations for this drink. I mean look at the mix, I even closed my eyes and told Samuel to let me know when he was done.
GBENGA: It did look really good so naturally, expectations were high. I kind of liked it but Lala didn’t but to be honest, I was already buzzed from the Worst Behaviour so everything tasted awesome to me.
LALA: I loved how it looked. Saw it and thought yes this is the kind of cocktail you order when you are on a getaway on some island. Then I tasted it and nooo, it was just all wrong. It tasted like blue cacao and syrup. No presence of the vodka, lemon and definitely no mint. I guess the sugarcane juice gave it that extra sweetness but I really expected the vodka, lemon, and mint to balance it out.
Gbenga had to even ask Samuel if there was actually mint in the cocktail, and he confirmed they were out of mint.
GBENGA: He thought he could sly us lol, he fessed up and apologized for the omission though. I think not having mint leaves added to Lala’s disappointment in the cocktail because mint-based cocktails need the mint to produce a contrast between sweet and more bitter flavors.
LALA: Quite an extensive list as I mentioned earlier. I will definitely come here to chill and have cocktails with friends or pre-drinks before I go out.
GBENGA: After conquering Winterfell I can with all honesty recommend the cocktails at 355 to anyone, especially the Worst Behaviour. They have an extensive, well organized list of drinks so you will be satisfied no matter what you’re in the mood for. Prices are good too, the cheapest cocktails on the menu were N2,500 and the most expensive was N5,000 with a lot of in-betweens.
LALA: Conquer what pls? You did not finish that drink Gbenga
GBENGA: “Those who run live to fight another day” - Jon Snow
LALA: They also have a good list of shooters. Gbenga vouched for the B-52. I think they should consider introducing happy hour.
Good for: Pre Drinks – Groups – After Work Drinks
Food: Full Kitchen
Happy Hour: No | Bottle Service: Yes | Wine: No | Beer: Yes
Black & Tan- N2500
Worst Behaviour- N5000
Lala is the Founder and Head Consultant Marketing at Lala Alakija agency. She also runs a cocktail club, Eko Cocktail Club, which you should join if you are a lover of cocktails and you are interested in partaking in creative boozy experiences.