At Pearl, the Space Excites but the Food Doesn’t
FOLLY: This past weekend we were trying to dine on a budget because sometime, in the lifecycle of a Lagos living millennial, it be like that.
NOSA: The broke comes at you fast.
FOLLY: Again because as a Lagos based millennial, you want Budweiser on a Harp budget, we quite ridiculously took our talents to the Pearl Pesto-Cafe at Eko Atlantic.
NOSA: It’s a bit weird they’ve set up a restaurant in Eko Atlantic. They don’t have that many residents and the security at gate gives off a “we don’t want you poors” vibe. Feels like hustling backwards and I think being empty on the Sunday afternoon we visited is a tell.
I might be wrong so take my observation with a pinch of salt.
FOLLY: The service at Pearl Pesto-Cafe was incredibly fast.
NOSA: Again, we were the only ones in there so had no excuse. I liked the space at Pearl. It’s not the biggest space, but they make good use of the natural light.
FOLLY: We ordered a starter at least 15 minutes after we placed our main course order and managed to get both at the same time. It was almost as if they had anticipated we were going to place this order.
NOSA: We got some Mozzarella Sticks to start and a pair of sandwiches (Chicken Avocado & Chicken Alfredo Burger) as our mains.
FOLLY: The mozzarella sticks were great. Just look at that golden brown crumbly exterior.
NOSA: I, Nosa, wouldn’t go as far as calling them “great”. I thought the batter was a bit OTT.
FOLLY: They even took the time to season the breadcrumbs, granted it was mostly Thyme - I wish they kept the same energy in the chicken sandwich but we’ll get to that.
NOSA: Actually, we should get into that now.
FOLLY: I’m really surprised that I didn’t like the chicken avocado sandwich because on paper it sounds like everything I’d ordinarily like. My issues with the sandwich were mostly around the way it was constructed and that the chicken didn’t have seasoning.
FOLLY: There was also too much mayo and that combined with avocado, and cheese made the entire thing too moist. The moisture from the avocado soaked the bread and made it soggy so it didn’t hold up.
NOSA: It looks like one of those Cafe Neo sandwiches, which isn’t the worst thing but when you’re paying 6k+, your expectations tend to change. On expectations, I had great ones for my burger. But I ended up disappointed like Will Smith in that one episode of Fresh Prince where he thinks he’s making a connection with his birth father but homeboy bails on him. Might be the saddest episode of Fresh Prince ever. If you haven’t seen it, go look for it on the internet because you’re missing some quality TV.
I bet writing about that would be way more fun than writing about this burger.
On paper, an Alfredo burger is pretty exciting. If we were judging by the menu, we’d probably put Pearl up there with the best in Lagos. But in reality, not so much. The execution on the burger and Folly’s sandwich is utterly tragic. There was way too much bun and the chicken is so bland. The whole thing is just “somehow”. Sometimes words fail you and Nigerianisms come to save the day.
FOLLY: The pictures tell a different story though because looking at the sandwich or burger, it still manages to look attractive and like something I’d want to it even though I already know
NOSA: Pearl feels like one of those places that influencers visit, take couple nice pictures and have you thinking the place is decent. I realise that’s probably what our Instagram looks like most times so maybe we’re guilty of it. Our experience at Pearl is a microcosm of our experiences with dining out in Lagos
Overpriced and underwhelming.
I think we need to rethink our EDL Rating because these Larry David faces don’t really tell the full story. We give out so many “mehs” and it might be time to shake things up a bit. Pearl is a firm “no” from me. There’s no way I’d willingly spend the one salary that my wonderful employer pays me to come eat here again. I work too hard for that.
FOLLY: I also abandoned more than half of my sandwich because I couldn’t pretend any longer.
NOSA: That alone should put this firmly in the one star region. It’s a passable restaurant, which might excite some but it won’t excite most.
FOLLY: Pricey but a really nice space. If you’re looking for a fancy place to go for drinks - definitely here.
NOSA: The whole thing is a “nah” for me.
Mozzarella Sticks - N3500
Chicken Alfredo Burger - N6200
Chicken Avocado Sandwich - N7300
Even if the car park is full , there’s an abundance of space.