NOSA: RSVP sounds like exactly what you're looking for. The ambience is fantastic and if Instagram has told me no lies, the pictures there always bang.
FOLLY: Nosa is right about RSVP and pictures - it always clicks. Ginger Tapas is also an option, sharing plates would be cute for a girls hang out. La Verandah also has lots of natural light and great food, you pictures will definitely go platinum on Insta.
NOSA: If this birthday is on Wednesday/Sunday, you have to jump at pizza & wine at La Taverna. If it isn't, I'd say Petit Paris but I doubt they fit take 15 people in that place. You should give Basilico a shot. It won't blow a hole in your wallet, but the food can be hit or miss if you stray outside the pastas.
FOLLY: People seem to love Crust & Cream for things like this aka birthday dinners. It's not my favourite place, but others love it way more than we do, and so you may too.
FOLLY: Last time we were here, it was an absolute disaster. Nosa didn't get his quesadilla and my burger was absolutely wretched. We decided to give Crust & Cream another chance, however. Perhaps it was opening day jitters. Happens to the best of us.
NOSA: First thing we noticed was the streamlined menu. They'd taken out the quesadilla and a couple of other things. THANKS FOR THE HEADS UP, GUYS! The waiters were super attentive unlike the turdbucket from last time. So attentive that every time they came over, it felt like they were coming to deliver some bad news. "We ran out of everything in the kitchen. We're sorry". Blame the PTSD.
FOLLY: I got the Pasta Carbonara while Nosa got the Philly Cheesesteak. He definitely doesn't learn.
NOSA: The Philly Cheesesteak was pretty good, like, way better than I expected. When the guy brought it over, I wasn't expecting much. They went with american cheese over provolone. That's a big red flag if you've ever had a cheesesteak. Also, there was this residual trauma from Folly's burger last time here. The fries weren't as struggle. They still tasted like the frozen fries you put in the oven, but this time they tasted like the instructions were followed.
Anyway, back to the cheesesteak. Their cheese choice was vindicated because the sandwich was so delicious and the sauce was just perfect. I've had lots of shit cheesesteaks before so I know my onions when it comes to shit cheesesteaks. This wasn't one.
FOLLYPOPS: Guys, so I think I stole Nosa’s order as this is how the conversation went when we were about to order:
Me: I’m really hungry so I think I want to get pasta.
Nosa: Says something about pasta carbonara.
Me: Yes, I’m getting the pasta carbonara.
He didn’t pick up on this so I don’t even know why I’m admitting it publicly. He even remarked that he was slightly jealous that he didn’t get the carbonara when our food arrived because we were both impressed by the plating, but he still didn’t realize that I stole his order. Nosa, I'm sorry.
NOSA: Good to know.
FOLLY: Anyways, back to what’s important, I LOVE pasta. While I was in College, I ate pasta almost every day. I also love creamy pastas. As a result, I consider myself well versed on the subject of pasta and I believe that three things make a good pasta dish:
- The ratio of pasta sauce to pasta;
- The seasoning of the sauce obviously; and finally
- The tenderness of the pasta.
Inadequate pasta sauce stresses me out; I actually just cannot deal with it. Period. Thankfully, this was perfect and the pasta sauce completely coated the linguini. In fact, I didn’t expect carbonara to be this creamy, but as I mentioned earlier I love creamy pastas so this worked for me. Next, the linguini was perfectly boiled; it was neither chewy and nor was it comparable to baby food. That brings us to 2/3 using my earlier outlined grading system. However, if there was any area for improvement in my meal it was the flavouring, as I could taste notes of burnt garlic. I know what burnt garlic tastes like cause I’ve scorched garlic far too many times while making a similar white sauce.
NOSA: That's a lot of words for pasta.
Anyway , the menu description did not say my pasta was served with garlic bread so I wasn’t expecting it nonetheless it was a welcome surprise. It was warm and buttery – not even the slightest bit hard. Also noteworthy is the fact that you have an option to select chicken or shrimp to be tossed in there along with everything else. I forgot to choose so the chef helped me decide on shrimp and the kind waiter actually came to let me know the chef’s choice and that he hoped that I didn’t have any shellfish allergies.
NOSA: Where the bacon bits at doe?
FOLLY: I guess in making this executive decision for which I hold absolutely no grudges, the chef forgot to add the bacon. With that in mind, thank God Nosa didn’t order the carbonara after all as he would have seriously minded this omission! I didn’t, so all was still well.
NOSA: Crust & Cream definitely made up for their opening day debacle.
FOLLY: It was definitely “crust and redemption” this time around as I really enjoyed my meal.
We decided to give Crust & Cream another chance because opening day jitters and whatnot. Check it out.
Folly ordered a barbecue beef burger, Nosa ordered chicken quesadillas. Folly’s burger arrived tasteless and cold, while Nosa’s order never arrived. They both left hungry. The End.
The Long Story
FOLLY: I got invited to the opening of Crust and Cream, “a new bakery, pastry and bistro”. Yeah a lot. Maybe that could explain the disorderliness. I forwarded the message to Nosa and naturally he was in. Manchester United’s game delayed our brunch to lunch but in this situation that was my personal problem, oh well.
FOLLY: We arrived, greeted some familiar faces and then went wandering into a wide-open space because really that is what it is. The restaurant has a very nice space – bright with lots of natural lighting, floor to ceiling windows, everything. I was still wandering around when I overheard Nosa talking to some waiters, they were showing him what I overheard was called the “Smoker's Lodge”. I didn’t peek into the smokers lodge but it seemed like quite a huge chunk of the restaurant was being devoted to this smoker’s paradise, as there appeared to be considerably less seating available in the non-smoking area. Whelp.
NOSA: The place was pretty much laid out like a toddler planned it. The only two areas that made any sense or looked like they were created with any sort of foresight are the the "Smoker's Lodge" and the pastry area. Everything else felt like "well, we have all this space, we have to do something". The tiny bar, which no one can sit at, is right beside the kitchen. The salad bar is smack dab in the middle of some expansive real estate with a TV right behind it. The "hallway" to the smoking area is lined with a couple of tables and chairs to form the most awkward dining area in the history of anything.
A smarter man than I am would have the salad bar and the bar switch places. The salad bar gets smaller real estate and doesn't look so lonely, while the bar gets potential seating area. Oh, and that awkward hallway-meets-dining area gets scrapped completely.
FOLLY: NOSA’S QUESADILLAS NEVER ARRIVED. As in, they just never showed up. Like they didn’t even RSVP no with regrets. It was almost like they were never ordered. Apparently what had happened was that they didn’t have quesadillas and the waiter had tragically not been trained to inform the customer that their selection was unavailable, with that you know unapologetic, there’s nothing I can do about it one liner, the “madam/oga what you order is not available”.
NOSA: The patty in Folly's burger was bland and cold. The mushrooms and bun were perfect though, but she didn't order a barbecue mushroom sandwich so that doesn't mean anything here. The fries were terrible. No sugar coating it. You know those frozen fries from Tesco that taste better when you put them in the oven but your mother always deep fries them? Your mother made Folly's fries. On the bright side, the patty tasted like it was made from actual meat. Not 30% meat like Taco Bell or that struggle Mr. Biggs serves you. It was proper ground beef worked into a patty with no seasoning whatsoever. Delicious.
The Redeeming Qualities
FOLLY: I’m not sure what to call them but some sort of seasoned bread bites/knots we were given along with the dessert as compensation for Nosa’s food never making an appearance were a hit.
NOSA: None for me, because I didn't, like, get any food.