CANTINA RESTAURANT ABUJA

large brick bar at cantina restaurant abuja

Cantina restaurant Abuja is an Italian restaurant that serves a combination of Italian, Mexican, and continental dishes. It’s located at 30, Yedseram street, Maitama.

It was my favorite cousin’s birthday and we went out to celebrate. See ehn, google maps showed us pepper! We were turning round and round in circles before finally locating the place, at that time, the hunger had set in, so everybody was on edge. The staff who greeted us was rather unwelcoming, she seemed tired and aloof. I don’t know if she was in a mood or it was late, but it’s her job to shine her teeth and show us to our tables ?‍♀️.

The menu at cantina restaurant Abuja is wide! There was so much to choose from which I liked, but on the flip side it made me indecisive and I took so long to place an order. Boldly written on the menu were the words “complimentary breadbasket” but it’s either they don’t offer that anymore or they were out of bread. Either way, we didn’t get any free bread ?.  Let’s see how the rest of the night went.

THE FOOD AT CANTINA RESTAURANT ABUJA

SEAFOOD PASTA – 8300

seafood pasta at cantina restaurant
Seafood Pasta at Cantina Restaurant

This pasta was the dish of the night. It tasted just as good as it looked. If you eat with your eyes, you’re in for a treat. The plating was beautiful, the blue and white ceramic plate reminded me of the ocean, and I felt like the meal was served on something from the sea. It gave off sea vibes and tasted divine! It was rich, creamy, and well-balanced. The pasta was well-done, and if anything was missing, it would be extra heat ?. I loved every bite of this dish. Sadly, there is a but. The portion was smaller than I’m used to, and for that price, there could have been more seafood on the plate. Regardless, this gets a B+.

CRISPY CHICKEN BURGER – 4700

I liked this burger. It was decent. But the question is, was the chicken crispy enough? Because the crunch was not 100%. I appreciated the layers of flavor here, the tomatoes and the lettuce added a welcome freshness, but I think the burger could do with more sauce though. It was good and presented nicely. However, the chips were not crispy enough. Nobody likes soggy chips! But they get a plus for the surplus ketchup provided…they gave us a whole bottle.

CHICKEN CORDON BLEU

Chicken cordon bleu is Chicken breast with ham and cheese filling, which is breaded and then fried or baked. We ordered two of these with two different sides, mashed potatoes, and Spanish rice. It was my first time eating cordon bleu, but I’ve watched so many recipe videos of it that it feels like I’ve eaten it before. First things first, the presentation was stellar! It looked like a million-dollar dish, you could see the crunch from a mile away. It was served in a large frying pan on a wooden board.

The chicken was divine; crispy and crunchy on the outside but creamy and gooey on the inside. It was mad tasty! The chicken was tender, and the melt on that stringy cheese was a welcome sight. Every mouthful of it was delightful. My favorite thing on the plate was the mixed vegetables. They were cooked and seasoned to perfection. It was delicious, I didn’t want it to finish. Sadly, there were some inconsistencies with the rest of the dish.

The dish came with two sauces, one of which was creamy and wonderful, I don’t know what was in it, but I loved it. It tasted like yogurt. Then the other was a mushroom cream which I think needed some seasoning. There was a blandness and tanginess to it that just wasn’t pleasant.

The mashed potatoes was decent at best, it wasn’t creamy nor buttery at all. Even though the texture was smooth, It was heavy and dense lacking any form of moisture. Cutting into it was like cutting into soft eba, Omo…remain ogbono make I know say na local cuisine I dey chop. ?

The Spanish rice, where do I begin? This was so not Spanish rice. Although it was very tasty, it was dry and lacked any form of heat. It had the look of plain brown rice garnished with peas. All in all, I think the mashed potatoes was a better side.

Altogether, even though there were issues with the sides, the main itself was wonderful and most of all, I appreciated the variety of textures on the plate. This is something I would love to eat again, with some adjustments to that mushroom cream of course.

THE DRINKS AT CANTINA RESTAURANT ABUJA

DAQUIRI – 2000

strawberry daquiri at cantina restaurant abuja

They say food can make you happy. Well, this drink definitely ticked the box for me. It literally made me smile. The strawberry flavor shined and I loved every sip. it was done right; it was sweet but not too sweet, It was one tall glass of strawberry goodness. And It made the wait for the food a lot easier.

LEMONADE – 2000

lemonade at cantina restaurant abuja

The lemonade was a fine combination of sweet, sour, and bitter, just the way it should be. The presentation, however, was extremely basic and boring. I feel like if I’m going to pay for it, then it should look good enough for me to want to take pictures of it. a different glass would have made all the difference.

OREO MILKSHAKE

oreo milkshake at cantina restaurant abuja

Firstly, It was pretty to look at. it was served like a large glass of calories ?. I liked this. it was creamy and chocolatey, with a rich Oreo flavor. the consistency and texture were just right. it was a great milkshake.

AMBIANCE

large brick bar at cantina restaurant abuja

Cantina restaurant Abuja has a massive space that is clean, beautiful, and atmospheric. The indoor area had a spacious hall, with a large open brick bar, and an open ceiling with cast-iron rails that gave off a conscious sense of air and intimacy. I loved the brown and white-themed aesthetics. Simple dining table and chairs, that fit into the modern-industrial style of the restaurant. My favorite part of the décor was the bricks. There was an Elvis Presley mural and some old photographs on the walls that played on that sophisticated vintage line. Large potted plants and the beautiful flowers hanging by the windows added some serenity with a welcoming effect.

The large outdoor area, seemed like an ode to Italy, as it reminded me of the picturesque narrow street outdoor dining that reflects Italian culture. Sadly, I don’t have any pictures of the outdoor dining area. There was a spread of simple white chairs and tables, with soft lightening which felt very relaxing. It was colorful, elegant, and airy.

SERVICE

It seemed like a busy night, so it took a while before a server/waiter could attend to us. The food arrived within 20 minutes, which was great. The waiter forgot something in our order and it took a hot minute before we could find him again. When we asked for the bill, he had to bring this large iPad-looking device to us because they were out of printing paper. So, we had to look through the bill on the device. ?‍?

PARKING

The restaurant doesn’t have any designated parking area, so you’ll have to park on the street. But there is restaurant security that helps you navigate where to park, which is a plus.

GENERAL THOUGHTS

Cantina restaurant Abuja is a beautiful restaurant suitable for everyone, most especially families. The food is decent and the price is alright. you’ll be looking at spending 10-15k per head, depending on what you order. I know restaurants have their bad days, but my experience was not the best, especially where their service is concerned. Overall, I would rate ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Have you been to Cantina restaurant? Let me know about your experience in the comments below.

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