Ever been faced with the pleasant question; “where can you recommend for lunch please? Well, I
have. My friend fetched me for a lunch date and moments later, I was sitting in the car heading to 805 Restaurant, Aminu Kano, Wuse 2 Abuja. A restaurant known for its vast eclectic cuisine and one of the few old restaurants still standing tall within the metropolis of Abuja. She is known for her remarkable services and mouth watering delicacies which influenced my choice of it.

As we pulled in, we were greeted by the security men who opened our car doors with warm
smiles amidst other unanticipated pleasant gestures. The smiles on the faces of these full bodied
men were far from affected; it was glaring that the salutation was professionally genuine, as
against the aberrant sycophantic welcome expected from most security guards (no umbrage
meant).

We settled in and took a few minutes to admire the serenity which bore an uncanny resemblance with the sort of ambience expected of a top class restaurant within a first world country. While we were still admiring the soothing atmosphere, we were politely distracted by a smart looking young lady who welcomed us and provided us with a well structured menu which was concise as well as rich.

It was time to place orders and I opted for pounded Yam, Afang soup and offal (popularly called
“assorted”) with Sprite on the Rocks. In same spirit, my friend chose fried rice with chicken and
plantain. We asked to know the expected time of preparation for both meals and the waiter
averred it would take 15 minutes. Wait a sec, just 15, or 45 minutes? I asked again, knowing how
long most restaurants would take to get their acts together for such meals, but our host gave an
assuring smile and assured us it would take just 15 minutes, while she begged to be excused.
Exactly 12 minutes later, she returned with our food and took 2 minutes to get the table set. She
brought us warm bowls of water to wash our hands and a nice fragrance of hand wash. I was in
awe and impressed because the food came before the expected time without any push and in
perfect presentation.

The pounded yam was soft and just right. As for the soup, Hmmm, words are not enough to
explain. It was a smorgasbord of moderately cooked vegetables and offal. I could still taste the
freshness of the soup and I didn’t have to struggle with the meat as it was well seasoned and
cooked. We were both silent all through the meal as our taste buds were mesmerized by the
delicious taste of the meal. My friend enjoyed his meal so much that he forgot his resolve to have
abstemious meals as a strategy for weight management.

I tried in my usual mischief to play the devil’s advocate by attempting to find faults, but none –
these guys seemed to have it all covered; from taste, to staffing, to hygiene, to management, you
name it! However, I overheard some loud noise from bickering staff at a fair distance from the
sitting area which I thought was untoward, and needed to be addressed by the management of
805 Restaurant.

Soon afterwards our table was cleared and we requested for our bill, which I thought would take
a while and probably remind us of how prodigal we had become, but a modest bill which came
promptly, was the climax of my pleasant surprises.

The level of professionalism displayed is quite remarkable. It explained the spread of this noble
restaurant to Ghana and even London which has played host to Hollywood actress, Gabrielle
Union. On a scale of 0 to 10, 805 Restaurant is comfortably blazing at an 8 for its impeccable
services, polite staff, beautiful and neat set, strategic location, soothing as well as refined
ambience. Her competitors would need to take a cue from her.

Words by Aliyu Gidado

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