Drink Lagos: The Harvest
If you ever want to test a bar’s customer service, go on a Friday night. Then again, who really has time to be an investigator? Sounds like too much stress. Well, that’s why this blog exists. We do these things for you.
I’ve been wanting to try The Harvest for a while now, it’s been hyped excessively. However, I hate restaurants that don’t have structural bars as its usually not as committed to alcohol side of things. If that isn’t a crime in the 21st century – the era alcohol proved to be humanity’s antidote, then I don’t know what is.
Robin Dunbar of the Financial Times has a really interesting article on how alcohol has been more valuable to our species’ survival than we might imagine. Might explain Folarin’s anger when I got a menu and he didn’t. It’s usually the other way round because Nigeria is awfully sexist and passive aggressive to women. Although it was probably handed to me first because I was irritated from all the waiting and maybe the fact I couldn’t sight a bar.
We wasted about 15 minutes looking for where to sit without any assistance from the waiters and when we found a corner that wasn’t so loud with music and noise, it was awfully wet and before we knew it, we were forgotten like a bunch of invisible people. I don’t think I want to be a ghost when I leave this world, a tree or wind maybe. We returned to a different table so this time we’re visible enough.
I really don’t know what The Harvest was going for with the decor. Is it a sports bar? The way the table are arranged suggests it might. I think the reason the first bar designer didn’t incorporate couches is so you don’t sleep off. The bar stools were very uncomfortable and they feel like stern reminders to handle your liquor with immediacy and go home. And what’s with the projector? There was a stuffy pool corner, and other confusing stuff. I’m not sure if they were trying to mimic a pub. If yes, maybe they could learn a thing or two from Maroccaine?
It has taken a while to introduce the drinks because that’s how long it took to actually order. This delay is intentional, I promise!
Finally, I picked the Pine & Ginger because there’s a fire song by Valleyz, Tessellated & Amindi K. Fro$t with the same title. I was so ecstatic when I found this on the menu even though a fire song doesn’t constitute a fire drink. However, I was asked to wait because they were out of ice. At this point, I was over it. I stared at the menu in grief and noticed it was already falling off. Didn’t they just open?
The waiting game wasn’t easy because it was a Friday with lots of pre-club enthusiasts and loud music, which was annoying for grumpy 9-5’ers who just left work. Our drinks came 43 minutes after our arrival. And while my drink stalled, Folarin proceeded with his Shanghai Swift which had Martell, lemon juice, bitters and sprite.
We all know Folarin can be a bit “bougie” but I have to agree with his claim that this drink reeked of cheap ingredients. I’m not sure if the bitters ruined the palate because cognac and bitters go well together. The head barman at the legendary Hemingway Bar in Paris, Colin Peter Field, uses cognac and angostura bitters in a mix, called drink Lutteur III Horse's Neck, which has become a major staple in Paris. So it definitely isn’t the pairing. It was more a combination of an uninspired mixologist and maybe bleh ingredients.
When my Pine & Ginger finally arrived, I wasn’t as hyped as I originally was. It looked too artificial for a drink that had fresh pineapple, lemon, vodka and ginger beer. I was so obsessed with ordering this cocktail that I settled in the vodka section on the menu (you know it’s serious when I don’t choose whisky). The only good thing The Harvest got right was categorize its cocktails according to spirits.
My drink tasted like the pineapple flavoured Nutri-C.
Another red flag.
I couldn’t even taste alcohol. I hate pineapple juice and having it with bad alcohol is always a recipe for disaster. I felt sick. This was like our experience at Brass & Copper. This easily made it my worst cocktail experience so far. Mind you, this isn’t how you make Pine & Ginger. It’s such a classic. The only thing I looked forward to was the ginger to clear out the toxins this drink had clearly given me.
The final cocktail was a Champagne Colada, which had fresh pineapples, coconut syrup and prosecco. I mean, it wasn’t that memorable although Folarin’s camera skills might deceive you to think it was fantastic, it wasn’t. The only thing we can confirm about the champagne colada is that it’s real prosecco.
On a good note though this is the best pina colada we’ve had. But if you follow this blog, you know we’ve never had a good colada. Folarin gave them props for putting a pineapple leaf in the drink, asper aesthetics.
We both felt nothing but sleepy afterwards, that should tell you everything about our Harvest experience; it was definitely a bad harvest.
Good for: Dinner & Drinks, Date Night
Food: Full Kitchen
Happy Hour: Yes | Bottle Service: Yes | Wine: Yes | Beer: Yes
Pine & Ginger - N3500
Shanghai Swift - N3500
Champagne Colada - N5000
Christina is a TV and Film junkie who also spends an incredible amount of time reviewing skincare products she can barely afford.