I am in Abuja for a few days and I decided to check out some of the things the city has to offer. On this fine Sunday, I grabbed my brother and we drove about town. First stop was Salamander. Salamander is a cafe, restaurant, coffee shop, whatever you want to call it. I first heard about it twitter. It was described as a peaceful, artsy environment and when I heard free wifi, I was sold.
This is what it looks like on the outside
The weather was a bit hot so we decided to sit inside.
There is a small bookstore inside.
We did not fully explore the entire place but we were told that there was more space upstairs.I also did not ask about the events that take place but it looks like the kind of place to hold book readings, have a live band and the sort.
Before going to Salamander, I combed the web for their menu but I could not find it. I like to have an idea of what a restaurant offers before I go there. I took pictures of the menu as best as I could. If they are not clear, it is because I am too shy to take pictures in restaurants and so I tried to take these lowkey.
The food menu:
The drinks menu
After much thought, I decided to be adventurous and try the Breakfast Quesadillas. This is me being adventurous as I had never had quesadillas before and was leaning towards the familiar pancakes or crepes. I did not order a drink because the menu said “Cafe Big Breakfast comes with fresh orange juice.” I was not completely sure what cafe big breakfast was, but I guessed it referred to all breakfast items. My brother had the granola yoghurt fruit thingybob.
I asked for the wifi password and was immediately given. The wifi was not the greatest but it was alright. The food came out after a while:
It was not bad. My quesadillas had sweet corn, mushrooms, scrambled eggs and cheese in it. I was happy to see some greens on my plate. I am always talking the talk when it comes to healthy eating and was pleased to be given an opportunity to walk the walk.
The waitress didn’t brink any orange juice with my food and I was beginning to think I had misunderstood the menu. Just to be certain, I decided to stylishly ask her what the cafe big breakfast meant. Long story short, she told me my meal was supposed to come with a glass of orange juice but they were out of oranges so she didn’t bother. I thought this was ridiculous. The least she could have done was to inform me of this and offer me an alternative. But to say nothing and hope I’ll just eat and leave? That is nonsense. She eventually brought me a glass of watermelon mixture which was actually quite nice.
We left Salamander and decided to go to the arts and crafts village. My brother had driven past there on a few occasions but had never gone in.
The Arts and Crafts village is a lovely place. It is made up of a number of clay huts, all of which house handmade arts and crafts items for sale. The items are mostly handmade in the village and range from paintings and sculptures to jewellery, dresses and much more.You can even have things customised for you on the spot. It is a nice tourist destination and it reminds me of Global Village in Dubai.
That wooden thing is a wall clock. It is so cool.
I wanted to buy so many things. It is nice that people are earning a living out of their creativity. The village is a good project.
We bought a few things and went to a restaurant in the village to get something to eat. The restaurant is called Madiba, presumably after the late Nelson Mandela.
The interior was quite nice and there were paintings of different people up. Can you guess who they are?
The food here was reasonably priced, relatively speaking, and even though we had just eaten, we were tempted to buy something.
My brother ordered a 1 litre jug of palmwine for 700 naira. I took a few gulps and started yawning. I ain’t about that life breh.
We ordered some food to go. One complaint I have about Madiba is that their chicken is falsely presented as grilled when it is clearly boiled and tossed around in pepper.
We rounded up the evening by going to visit our cousins. It was nice to catch up and we were given a container of food to take home with us. It is 10pm now and I just got home.
If you are in Abuja, you can check out these places.
Salamander Cafe: no 5, Bujumbura street off Libreville off Aminu Kano crescent Wuse 2. Monday-Sunday 8am-10pm
Arts and Crafts village is located behind Yar’adua centre, adjacent to Sheraton Hotel and Towers. They are open everyday from morning to evening.