Hello dear readers, hope y’all are great? Today’s blog post would be on a restaurant I visited this month. Circa Non Pareil

If you’ve ever passed through Admiralty way in Lekki Phase 1, it’s that big grey and silver building that screams “luxury for the crème de la crème ” of the Lagos elite. Well, you know that saying about all that glitters? Yeah, it applies in my experience.

You know how I do. I’m always on the lookout for potential locations for enjoyment. So, when my friends and I planned on going somewhere chill to have a relaxing bond time over lunch, i thought hey! Circa Non Pareil was perfect for the luxurious atmosphere we were looking for.

Its the D-day and we arrived at our destination in an Uber. We were greeted with a skeptical looking security guard at the gate. I say skeptical because he stood there for about five minutes probably wondering if he saw people or ghosts standing at the gate. (C’mon people, have we now gotten to the point where we are now too pretentious to believe customers could possibly walk to the entrance of a restaurant? Maybe next time we’ll try this again, but this time we’ll pull up at the gate in a G wagon. See if that gets him on his feet 🙄). When he came to, we were barraged with questions like ” Are you here for an event?” we replied in the negative, telling him we just came to eat.

Next, he proceeded to -and without an ounce of discretion- look us over. Yep, from the crown of our heads to the soles of our feet and left to look for his “superior.” My friend commented on it as him “sizing” us up, to determine if we were able to afford the place or if we were prostitutes. We understand this is a city that dishes respect and appreciation based on the “who is who” list and appearances. But for the simple fact that this is a BUSINESS that is open for the public you’d think they’d train their staff on fundamental things such as; good customer service and business etiquette.

The head security arrived and scrutinized us (with, surprise! A bit of discretion this time) after deciding we had passed his apparent “sizing”, he let us in but not after throwing in an offensive statement that would have disintegrated the appetite of lesser men. Lol. He said “There is no way we can allow this gentleman stand under sun.” Incase you are confused at this point, yes this happened on a fine November day in 2019. No, we hadn’t suddenly walked into a time capsule that transported us to the nineteenth century. Although I admit, I was lost for a moment. What year was it? Had the women’s right suffrage happened? Was feminism even real? You can imagine our irritation at this point.

At the entrance, a female receptionist welcomed us. I noticed the outdoor space was artfully decorated, giving out a cosy and playful vibe great for taking Instagram worthy pictures. While indoors had a minimalist decor going on. With monochromatic colours and open spaces, the place is perfect for family and groups. We were given the menu and had difficulty choosing a meal, so we did what most people do -we asked the waiter to assist us in selecting a dish. Unfortunately, he was unprofessional about the whole situation. We had two wait staff attend to us and they both seemed inexperienced. There was a minor misunderstanding at our table over whether burgers came with our meal or not. Apparently the first one misunderstood the menu.

We decided to order two plates of their Gathering Samplers which cost ₦12,500 per plate. A pitcher of Apple juice and another pitcher of Pineapple juice which cost ₦3,000 each. The dish is a combination of wings, shrimps, potato wedges, spring rolls, strips, thousand island, mango tartar, sweet chili and french fries served with honey mustard. The wait time was fair, we got our food in less than twenty minutes. There was a 10% service charge which I felt was unreasonable considering the unprofessionalism displayed by their waiters.

 

Pros and Cons
• While the outdoor space is perfect for Hangouts and lunch dates, indoors doesn’t have a private dining area for couples
• The receptionist was friendly and the wait time wasn’t too long, but the security guards and waiters could do with better training. Their customer service fell below my expectations.
• The food was surprisingly a nice blend of ingredients and it was filling as well. Food decoration was minimal in a way that goes with the restuarants theme. Although, the spring rolls was nothing to write home about. I couldn’t seem to decipher what was in it.

Last but not least, how would I rate the place? I’d give the place two stars for the positive atmosphere and delicious food. Would be returning? Unless they improve their customer service I have no interest in coming again. I guess what I’m trying to say in essence is; while I understand that a restaurant does have its off days when the staff are not 100%, I believe with proper training, the place has the potential of becoming gold that glitters indeed.

Have you ever been to CIRCA NON PAREIL? If yes, tell me all about your experience in the comment section.
Thank you for stopping by.

 

Edited by Shalom Egbagbe-Wakama.

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