CHARME RESTAURANT | REVIEW

My sister paid a visit to Abuja a little while ago, and she wanted to have a good restaurant experience, so we decided to take her to Charme restaurant. Located at 41 Gana Street in upscale Maitama, Abuja, the restaurant specializes in Chinese cuisine. I had heard good reviews of Charme restaurant through the grapevine, and we were also drawn to its beautiful aesthetic and artsy ambiance. But Charme had other plans for us. It was an eventful outing, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it. Let’s get into it!


Ambiance

Charme restaurant’s lighting was warm and inviting, creating an artsy and intimate atmosphere. The noise level was adequate, and the decor was stylish and sophisticated. A restaurant with a really beautiful aesthetic and a great location for taking cool pictures. I really loved that they had kiddie chairs, making it very family-friendly. The beauty of this place is in the white theme and minimalism. If you’re looking for spots to take beautiful Instagramable pictures, then add this to your list.


THE FOOD


Beef dumplings: 4800

The dough in the dumplings was chewy and flavorful. It was so good. The filling had such a good flavour, and the beef was seasoned lightly. We were provided with soy sauce and chili oil as condiments, and when the dumplings were dipped in the soy sauce and chili oil, it was absolutely fantastic. The condiments enhanced the flavor of the beef dumplings, and I was literally beaming with joy. I personally preferred the chili oil, while my sister was a fan of the soy sauce.


Shrimp hot plate: 9800

The shrimp hot pot was delicious, with perfectly cooked shrimp and a flavourful broth, although the broth on the plate was a little too small. I loved that the vegetables tasted fresh and had the right crunchy texture. However, even though the dish was tasty, it was quite a small portion for the price.


Spicy Fish hot Pot: 9800

The fish hot pot was delicious, but the portion was small. The fish tasted fresh and had such a tender texture, and the broth was seasoned perfectly. However, it gave off stew vibes and was oily, and because of this, I’m not sure whether I’m a fan or not. but one thing is for sure: it tasted great and paired quite well with the rice, just like rice and stew 😂


Chicken fried rice: 4800

The chicken fried rice was bland and one-dimensional, but it paired well with the fish hot pot. However, I liked that the rice wasn’t basmati (most Chinese restaurants in Nigeria use basmati); it was also slightly sticky, so it felt like a more authentic take on Chinese chicken fried rice, and I appreciated that.


Handmade noodles: 4800

The handmade noodles were disappointing, as they were soft and tasted like instant noodles. I didn’t really enjoy this. It had a lot of chicken, but it didn’t do much to help the dish. It gave indomie vibes, and it had a soft texture that made it seem overcooked in a way. This dish was lacklustre and unmemorable; I wouldn’t recommend it.


Menu and Budget

Filled with various hot pot, rice, and noodle dishes, the menu at Charme restaurant is broad and robust, leaving you with a wide variety. However, the menu was quite expensive. And the prices are subject to a 7.5% VAT and a 5% service charge.

The budget per person is 15,000–20,000.


The Service

The service was not the best; our server took over 10 minutes to come over and greet us and then took another 5 minutes to present the menu. But most of all, it took over two hours after we had been seated before the food arrived. This was quite frustrating, especially since we were dining with my sister, who was visiting from out of town. Other diners left after waiting for a while, but we had stayed so long that we didn’t want to give up. And when the food arrived, it was rather average and not worth the wait. The manager came over to apologize, but the deed had been done.


Overall, we had a disappointing experience at Charme restaurant. The food was good, the ambiance was nice, and the servers were polite, although very slow. I would recommend this restaurant if you’re looking to get some Chinese food in a place with good aesthetics, but I would also warn that you should expect a wait for your food.

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