Me: *says this blog title in real life*
Anyone who grew up in Lagos: *laughs* Karina, you definitely went for someone's birthday. We all did!
(Me in my head: I was a bit of a hermit who moved to Lagos from Brunei when I was 9 so no actually, I didn't. But I appreciate you kindly including me in the 'grow up in Lagos experience')
Me in real life: *also laughs*
For those who didn't grow up in Lagos, this might be confusing. Worry not, I'm with you.
I was not born in Lagos and I moved when I was 4.
By the time I moved to Lagos, friendship groups had been formed and parties had been had and I had a strong accent so was a bit of a weirdo. I was invited to a few parties and I hoped one would be at this 'Cactus Restaurant' I kept hearing about. None were.
So, I simply never went.
When I heard Cactus has been refurbished a couple of months ago and was now open to the public, the 9-year-old within me smiled as this was finally my chance to see this Cactus.
I was not disappointed.
It was a day like any other in Lagos-traffic. I had been running around carrying out pointless errands linked to NYSC so as you can imagine, I was extremely stressed out. I decided, as I do on a daily basis, to treat myself. My last errand was right around the corner from Ozumba Mbadiwe Avenue so naturally, your girl carried herself to Cactus for lunch. I bumped into an old friend and exchanged pleasantries with her and her lunch buddy. The conversation at the start of this blog post occurred and I reacted precisely as I expressed.
I carefully selected my window seat and asked my lovely waiter, Babangida, for his advice on what salad I should order. I eventually got the Mandarin Salad.
The salad was tasty, filling (actual filling and not salad filling), it had the perfect salad:chicken ratio and was made up of different colours and textures like a great salad should be. If you, reader, visit and order this salad my personal recommendation would be to ask for the dressing on the side as the quantity was a bit much for the dish.
Cactus' service and ambience are top notch. I was treated the same way Kate Henshaw was; who happened to be seated a couple of metres away from me with a group of friends. Yes, she was even more gorgeous in person.
I went back to Cactus the following evening for drinks with a friend. I say a friend but in reality she's an inspirational lady who had been my WCW since I was 18. Now, I proudly call her my friend. I started off with a glass of house white which is unusual for me but I was on my period so I explain that choice by saying 'hormones'.
We had a lovely evening of laughter and cocktails. At a point, I wanted to know what was in the 'Cuba Libre' before I ordered a glass. To ensure I got accurate information, our waiters and waitress called their colleagues to our table for help. We ended up with 5 staff members, including the head barman, standing around our table dissecting the cocktails ingredients and ensuring I was happy with my choice. It was hilarious. That's the level of dedication the staff have.
I have high hopes for Cactus and I do hope they maintain this standard. If you do visit the restaurant, be sure to let Babangida that you read about him in this blog post and that Karina still can't pronounce his name.