It was date night / post valentine dinner rolled into one and since we had previously come up with list of possible restaurants to visit on date nights, we decided to start from the top. Panache Restaurant was top on our list.
Its nicely tucked between Unity Bank and NNPC tower so locating the place was easy. At the beginning of the stairs that led to the restaurant was a bold Panache Restaurant signage on the wall. Walking into the restaurant you’re first greeted by a female staff with a very warm smile. Look beyond her and behold one of the finest dining setup in the city of Abuja.
A very polite and friendly male waiter helped us locate the best table for two. He followed it up with compliments and we were flattered. He promptly handed us the food and drink menu that exuded luxury. My date went for white rice and Oxtail with a side of potatoes. I settled for steak and fried rice served with cheese and mushroom sauce. The sauce was recommended by the chef. As for drinks, they didn’t have lemonade so I requested for their home made fruit blend.
We asked for when the food will be ready and the waiter said about 25 minutes. While we waited for the food, I looked around and observed that only two other tables were taken. The music was right and the general atmosphere was rich and perfect. While drinking the sparkling water we ordered the waiter brought two small freshly baked bread and butter. The bread was good but tasted better with the butter.
Twenty minutes later our food arrived and I must say the plating was good and well executed. The waiter jazzed up our meal with black pepper for additional flavor. The steak tasted good and spiced to proportion, although I think it was a bit dry in the mouth. Not as juicy as I’d have wanted it. Combining the fried rice with cheese and mushroom sauce was a good decision but I hardly saw mushroom in my soup. It was more like two slice of mushroom got invited to a cheese party. I wasn’t particularly happy with the quantity of rice I got, considering that I worked into Panache Restaurant with an empty stomach.
I enjoyed my mixed fruit juice, but it wasn’t as chilled as I would have wanted it. I can’t really comment on what my date ate but from the look on her face, I could tell she enjoyed her meal. She ended up scoring them an overall 6 out of 10. As for me, this is how I score them.
Atmosphere: 8 (beautiful rich ambiance)
Service: 9 (especially for the staff)
I generally enjoyed my time at Panache but because am not Hushpuppi, I won’t be frequenting the place. I’ll reserve Panache Restaurant Abuja for special dates and treats.
Words by Mr Manny (Ejike Manny)