Cantina Restaurant Abuja – MasterCard Restaurant week edition

Restaurant week is back again and this time I excitingly got to participate. Now the major reason I decided to hop on the restaurant week offer is not just because of the fantastic deal but also to have the restaurant week experience and share a full review. This season of restaurant week is presented by Lost in the city and sponsored by MasterCard and Heineken.

Restaurant Week is an amazing foodie event specially for Lagos and Abuja restaurants that is largely misunderstood. If you ask me, I would say the Lost in the city team are doing a poor job promoting the restaurant week because very few people know about it and even fewer people understand how it works. This is quite sad because the restaurant week offers such amazing food deals at some of the top restaurants in Abuja and Lagos. But anyway, that’s why y’all wonderful people have me in your lives to bring you the best of the best deals. I’ll be sharing all the details about Restaurant week in this blog post, as well as my dining experience at Cantina restaurant Abuja.

This season of restaurant week offers 3weeks of exquisite 3 course meals at a fixed price. Now this unique experience is limited to only a few participating restaurants. These participating restaurants are classified into Casual dining and Fine dining.

If you’re in Abuja, here is a list of the participating restaurants;

CASUAL DINING FINE DINING
Pink bear cafe 355 Restaurant and Lounge
Vibe by Anns Bombay to Beirut
Anns restaurant and bar The vue
Cantina Restaurant Uncle T’s
Avrum restaurant Kapadoccia
House 43 restaurant Amazonia
De Cascade restaurant
The barlance
Seven Bistro
The Pavillion
Zuma Rock resort
Lagos Bistro
Gatsby by Zodara
Cilantro Restaurant
Indigo Lounge
Sketch cafe and Restaurant

Now that you have seen a list of the participating restaurants here’s the deal! 3 course lunch at any of the casual dining restaurants cost N12,000 while dinner costs N14,000. For the fine dining restaurants, a 3 course lunch costs N24,000

To participate and enjoy any of the amazing deals, here’s what to do;

  • Select any of the participating restaurant (Either casual or fine dining)
  • Visit your selected restaurant and ask them for the restaurant week menu
  • Select a 3 course meal of your choice
  • Pay for your meal with your MasterCard.

SIMPLE AND EASY!

Now that you know how to participate in the ongoing restaurant week, take a deep dive into my dining experience at Cantina restaurant Abuja. As you already know, Cantina is a participating restaurant in the Restaurant week activities. I decided to go to Cantina because it came highly recommended by a friend and out of the list of participating restaurants, it is one of the few I haven’t visited yet so I decided to jump on the opportunity.

Cantina restaurant is located at No 30 Yedseram street Maitama and is usually open from 8am to 11pm daily. The restaurant offers interesting mediterranean style cuisine and has a 24/7 delivery service.

Ambience

Cantina Restaurant has an indoor and outdoor space which are both unique and quite different from the usual Mediterranean restaurant spaces in Abuja. I don’t know but something about the entire restaurant just reminds me of the ratatouille movie I watched while I was younger. I can’t explain it but I’m certain I’m not the only one that feels that way. I dined indoors so I didn’t really get a lot of pictures and videos of the outdoor space. Walking into the compound/outdoor space really felt like I teleported from Maitama to a little village in Italy. From red and white checkered table cloth, to the lights, the floors, and the furniture. It really felt like Italy for a bit.

The indoor space was quite beautiful and cozy. The restaurant interior had a rustic design which had a traditional and contemporary balance. It was beautifully fitted with fresh flowers, plants and orange lights which really complemented the space. I really loved the feeling the space provided. The indoor space featured a few corners where you can privately sit and dine and also a bar. The space was clean but had a few flies going around which were quite irritating and unpleasant for a restaurant.

I like the entire restaurant space and truly enjoyed the rustic feel but I really hated seeing the vents on the ceiling. I found it quite disturbing and interruptive.

Restaurant week menu

The restaurant week menu features only a few items from the restaurants main menu. You can choose an item each from each section to make up your 3 course meal. Any 3 items you choose from the menu will still cost the same price and is inclusive of a free bottle of Heineken. It costs N12,000 for lunch and N14,000 for dinner.


The food

I visited Cantina with a friend and we each selected our own individual 3 course dishes. I opted for the MasterCard restaurant week platter which was made up of Bruschetta Pomodoro and Cheese garlic bread, Chicken Alfredo and Sabayon chocolate mousse for dessert. My friend Mahmoud had the Green salad, Half grilled chicken with a side of mashed potatoes and Créme Brulé for dessert.

Appetizers

After placing our orders, we got some complimentary fresh bread and butter. The bread was hot, fluffy and delicious. The butter melted right on it and oh my God, it was heavenly. Few minutes later they brought out the platter, together with the green salad. The appetisers made a colourful spread so I assumed it will be delicious and it sure was!

The green salad was portioned adequately for an appetiser. It had just a few ingredients but it was really crunchy. The salad came with a vinaigrette which made the salad tangy.

The MasterCard restaurant week platter was my favourite. It had 2 bruschetta pomodoro and 3 garlic bread. Everything about the platter was very enjoyable. The garlic bread is the best I have tasted so far in Abuja.

Main course

The chicken Alfredo pasta was made to perfection with linguine pasta, creamy white sauce, chicken strips, mushrooms, and topped with parmesan cheese. The pasta was not too creamy and also not distastefully cheesy. It had all the ingredients in the right portion so the dish was very yummy.

The grilled chicken was averagely spicy but very juicy. The flesh fell right off the chicken at the first cut because it was so tender. The mashed potatoes tasted good but it was lacking a lot. It was a bit hard and did not have a silky smooth texture. The mashed potatoes was not rich in ingredients or texture, it was almost bland and I did not like the plating style.

Dessert

I was so excited for dessert but I ended up not having so much out of my dessert. I ordered the sabayon chocolate mousse which was absolutely delectable but I sadly couldn’t get to end of the cup because it was just too much for me so I had enough of it quite early. It had a nice texture and the broken biscuits used to garnish it gave the dessert a crunch. I love a good crunch in any dish!

Drinks

For drinks we just had water which cost N450 each. My friend and I rejected the complimentary Heineken that came with the restaurant week offer because neither of us drank alcohol.

TOTAL BILL – NGN28,012 (Including VAT & Service charge)

General Review

The Restaurant week is a great opportunity for all food lovers to enjoy good food from their favourite places. It is also a good way for restaurants to appreciate and give back to their customers. However, I feel like all the participating parties are not doing a great job creating enough awareness about the entire event. I mean , what’s the point of sponsoring restaurant week if people do not know about it or even understand it.

This current restaurant week offer lasts until the 27th of November 2022. There have been previous offers within the year and I’m sure there’ll be more in the coming year.

Watch out for more on restaurant week!

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