15 Dec LET’S CHECK OUT THE COUNCIL, MAITAMA
The Council is one of those places that you should resist following the directions from Google maps otherwise you’d miss it and you will be frustrated. To make things easy for you, just ask around for British Council and drive inside, that’s all.
I would call this place more of a lounging area than a restaurant, it’s your perfect chills spot especially if you are coming with a large crowd. Of course, there are dining areas but not as large as the lounging area. Also, even though I was told that families usually eat here on Sundays I still will not recommend you bring your kids here, why because smoking is allowed inside, no kids menu and nothing here to even keep the kids occupied.
In this article, I will be focusing on the drinks and the bar experience. Myself and my right-hand person, the professional mixologist of whom you might already know; Tomi Aina who happens to be the owner of the mobile bar 521 Cocktails in Abuja. Having worked in an exquisite bar, catered to multiple small and large events and happens to be an ardent drinker, Tomi’s experiences on cocktails dates back to about 6 years. I couldn’t help but to see her as the perfect fit to venture with me on a bar tour, hence how we found ourselves here.
So let’s talk about the drinks menu; firstly, contrary to what’s on the menu, beers aren’t sold here except for Heineken draught which goes for as high as ₦3,000, also their drinks appear to be a little more expensive than the average bar in Abuja, a bottle of water costs ₦1,000. I think ₦4,000 for a cocktail is on the high side. I couldn’t find any special reason why this place should be more expensive than 355 Restaurant for example. I somewhat liked the interior but if I’m being honest, I think their décor was quite tacky and not standard enough to be classified as an expensive setting. Also, for a space that appears to be a lounging area, The Council’s bar that is set to sit 6 people isn’t where you will find a wide variety of cocktail menu, all they have are the well known classic cocktails that can be found in any other bar, like the Mojitos, the Long Islands, The Daiquiris and so forth. They also offer about 4 variants from their specialties section where they get to mix from their in-house recipe. Today, we will be ordering 2 cocktails from this section and I will allow the pro mixologist, Tomi give her take on what we drank.
The Council Special: ₦4,000
A combination of Vodka, Rum, Menthe, Orange Juice and Strawberry syrup that gave it a fruity alcoholic feel. This was the drink I ordered, even though I had a good share from this 50cl Tiki mug, I however let Tomi do the honours. Her take was that; considering the drink was a fruity layered drink it would have been nice to serve this in a transparent glass, this would add to the excitement and décor. The bartender justified that it was rather served in a Tiki mug because I’m of the male gender. It would have made sense if he said that because it’s a Rum based drink and of the tropical mixture, but Tomi can’t see how Tiki mugs are made for men. Also, Tomi wasn’t happy that packed orange juice was used in making the mixture, I agree with her, for a place this expensive I would believe that they should be willing to go the extra mile by offering everything fresh. Chivita or 5 Alive or whatever brand they used doesn’t sell this place well as an expensive establishment.
As for the taste, well, the mixture definitely gave it that fruity taste and two full shots of Vodka and Rum should be enough to get you to that tipsy level especially if you’re just sitting down without burning energy. As for the garnishing, I liked that they offered more than one fruit option for garnishing, I mean, if you don’t want to munch on the apple slice, why not go for the grapes instead?
Baby Girl: ₦4,000
A combination of Brandy, Baileys and Kahlua. Tomi loves the baby girl life, and apparently, she’s an unrepentant alcoholic! 😂 That was why she order for a complete blend of alcohol. She also likes that cream and coffee taste, reason for choosing this cocktail. She applauded that the straw was cut short for ease of drinking from a snifter; a bowl-shaped brandy cup. Also, this glass was specifically used in serving because Bailey’s and Brandy are the base liqueur in this. As for the garnishing; wait, allow me to laugh a bit 😂😂😂😂. Our dear bartender spent almost 5 minutes trying to garnish this drink but it just wasn’t working. Apparently, there’s a special way of garnishing this drink to make it extremely picture friendly, but I think the devil was working really hard not to make it work. The garnishing was meant to be formed as some type of large bubble floating on the surface of the cup and the bubble kept on bursting as he tried, until we got tired and just took the drink like that. Tomi advised that a better garnishing for a cream-based drink would have been whipped cream and some jimmies, i.e. those sprinklers used in decorating cakes, or whipped cream and a bit of grated nutmeg or caramel toppings, or just simply lining the glass with caramel before pouring in the drink would have also giving a fancier styling for such drink.
Well, we had an overall nice time at the bar, could have been as a result of the alcohol or because James, the bartender kept us good company by holding conversations down which should be one of the major attributes of a good bar man.