Drink Lagos: Craft Gourmet
Craft Gourmet by Lou Baker
I think there are multiple ways to incorporate drinking on the blog, that supersedes just liquor and cocktails. So stay tuned and expect more unconventional ways we will be drinking. Folarin and I shared an experience at Craft Gourmet which you can read about here. To accompany the food, we came across really interesting juices, teas and a soothing daiquiri that made this Sunday afternoon a blissful one.
Craft Gourmet is a very brunch-y spot, maybe not like La Brioche, but the aesthetic is there. Immediately you are inside the restaurant, Craft Gourmet gives off very Shoreditch cafe vibes. Like one of those cosy-but-serious-with-food type cafés that thrive on minimalism. The waiters are dressed like surgeons and nurses, with grey scrubs inscribed with: “honest and handcrafted food”. In a way, it feels like some kind of food lab, and the extensively written menu further proves that.
Since this was a brunch thing, we went with a couple of friends: Alex who ordered the Vegan Cafe Frappe, Lubee who had both the Iced Daiquiri as well as Infused Water (which she initially deemed pretentious by the way).
Zubeida ordered one of their specialty drinks – pineapple, hibiscus and ginger, which struck me as high-end zobo as it cost N2500, Folarin ordered the Craft Ginger Citrus Iced Tea. I had one of Craft’s favourite – the Jallab which was essentially date syrup served in a mug with pine nuts.
The Jallab is a middle eastern fruit syrup made from carob, dates, grape molasses and rose water, which is then smoked with Arabic incense – yup, magical stuff. I’m glad I tried it because who orders a drink with pine nuts in them? And because this came in a large mug, I had a little problem finishing it, mainly due to the high sugar content and the large cups didn’t help either. I shared it with Zubeida and Folarin as I generally do not like sweet things, I’m sure I say this in every post but watevs. The ice and a slice of lemon helped loosen it up. Will I try this again? Yes, but either in Jordan or Lebanon, where it’s a staple. I also liked the solid fragrant notes from the incense – it made my brunch experience really sophisticated. Again, who drinks pine nuts?
Folarin’s ginger citrus iced tea was like any fresh orange and ginger emulsion but due to the blatant disregard for all the ‘fresh’ juices in Lagos, this comes clenched as we did not taste chivita or the artificial juices that infiltrate a lot of the bars here. I liked it and Folarin did as well, although it didn’t feel ‘iced’ or ‘cold’ like the name suggests. The problem with putting ice in every drink is that it dilutes the taste so Folarin endured until it was all done.
According to Alex on the very vegan cafe frappe:
Luckily, Craft Gourmet offers vegan options to some of our favourite coffee drinks. I went with an almond milk substitute, because I dislike soy and oat was not available. The taste of the coffee was a little strong and the almond milk wasn't really creamy enough to mute the bitter notes. I didn't add sugar so that might have also played a role. In the future I would definitely order it again, but only if they have the oat milk.”
Zubeida on her pineapple, hibiscus, ginger:
Lubee on her daiquiri:
When I asked for comments on the Infused water Lubee said: “it tasted just like how water infused with strawberry, orange and basil would taste.” So yeah, if you’re in need of a good detox don’t sleep on it.
Despite the amazing experience we had concerning the meals and drinks we shared with our friends, the service at the end was a total let down. Folarin already covered what went down in his own review.
Good for: Fresh juices, Dinner and Drinks
Food: Full Kitchen
Happy Hour: No | Bottle Service: Yes | Wine: Yes | Beer: Yes
Jallab - N2500
Iced Daiquiri - N3000
Vegan Cafe Frappe - N300
Craft Ginger Citrus Iced Tea - N1200
Specialty drink (pineapple, hibiscus, ginger) - N2500
Infused Water (Strawberry, Orange, Basil) - N1200