We got in by chance on the night of April 20. That was my first time at Casper and Gambini’s. A friend who worked overseas was in town with his widely-travelled White South African friend whom I wanted to get his perspective about travelling in Africa. But Rudolf found the original rendezvous of Afrika Shrine too strong for him and having satisfied his curiosity, had suggested a mellow hang-out. Naturally, the Ikeja City Mall came to mind. Off to Alausa we went, ending up at C&G where we passed the night pleasurably.
The following week, another evening meeting with another friend, the same mall again, and the same place, Casper and Gambini’s.
This time every one of us, have had a taste of the place previously and we all had an idea that Casper and Gambini’s is an international restaurant chain. “I know it is in Beirut, Lebanon and I think I have been to one of its outlets in London too,” Goddy Nanakumo said.
“It is also in VI, and Abuja,” Jide Awosike supplied.
Though each of us had different experiences and different degrees of satisfaction, there was a consensus that C&G was not far from the centre.
What makes it tick? If you want somewhere you can munch a mixture of Asian, Lebanese and Mexican chow, that is something right up the alley of C&G.
Though, an all-day restaurant-café (with opening hours of 9 to 9) what is available in abundance is an extensive array of sandwiches, handcrafted burgers, salads, pizzas, desserts and many other delicacies that come in good taste.
And, you can make a minimum order of ₦2,000.
The first time, Rudolf had asked for Asian Sesame Chicken, which turned out to be one of their popular orders. When it arrived on the table, it was shredded spicy chicken, chilli and vegetable salad with an exotic flavour, and “peanuts and ginger pickles served with sesame Japanese dressing.”
On the second occasion, we had prawn suya. That is grilled prawn with suya spices, tomato, onion, coleslaw.
Nanakumo who ordered for us had first browsed the menu. What he picked (“it’s my go-to order,” he said) did not immediately register. He had wiped out his phone and went straight to the Instagram page of the restaurant, to show us the graphic details. The order when it came was as colourful as it appeared on Instagram.
It was Tomato Basil Soup. Though not as rich as soup in the Nigerian sense (think of fish, pomo, beef, shrimp and other condiments we usually add for flavour, taste and consistency) it was worth it.
He also ordered for us Casper & Gambini’s’ own coffee brand and espresso.
Generally, I was impressed. The restaurant has a contemporary look. It has a dining area and a huge bar that appeared well stocked. Its location at the Ikeja City Mall is another attraction, there is an abundance of parking space at the mall.
Most of the patrons are young and well-heeled. Looked closely and the demography coagulates into an unmistakable picture of folks straight from work who wants to unwind before going home to a fitful rest.