Pat's Bar and Restaurant is a hugely popular expat hang-out in Lagos and as is common-place, where expats are gathered in Nigeria a certain sort of clientele seems to congregate there.
Pat's Bar used to have a reputation of not being the sort of place you'd want to be seen but they've recently changed management, re-furbished and re-branded, and thank Christ those dark, seedy days are behind them.
I went there for lunch last week and I was suitably impressed.
I've come to the sad realization that people are just not that interested in signage, again there was no sign out front. I think they thought the thatched roof hanging out over Ajose Adeogun street and the flashing Heineken signs would suffice in lieu of a clear, well-placed sign advertising their establishment. Well, what do I know, I'm just a hungry customer who has had it up to here with performing navigation miracles looking for all these sign-less restaurants.
Pat's Bar and Restaurant is a British sports bar, leaning more towards rugby but shows football on several large screens spread out across the restaurant.
Its pretty basic out front, obviously the decorator (if there was even one) is definitely not cut from the same design cloth as Nate Berkus or Martha Stewart. Rather the shady, leafy, thatched oasis tucked away in VI Extension just says "come in, cast down your burden and get shattered...and maybe get propositioned by a prostitute or two)...nah I'm just kidding, I think they did away with all the pro's when they changed management.....I hope.
It has an outdoor beer garden.
With an outdoor bar...
The inside is again, not a feat of interior decorating prowess but it serves its purpose. I couldn't get pictures of the tables because there were a few people sat there and I wasn't sure they'd take kindly to being photographed and they definitely would not have stood aside for the minute or so it would have taken me to get a shot, so you'd have to rely on my word.
Its quite spacious with several nooks for more private dining *drops you a sly wink* and a decent open seating area, plus the outdoor tables ensures that it will not be uncomfortably crowded.
They have a live band too. I went in the middle of the day so they weren't up and running and so I can't give an opinion on their skill. According to the manager though it gets pretty lively at night and the day I went there they actually had a Nigerian rock artist that was going to perform that night and a few celebrity DJs were going to be spinning throughout the week too.
Now to the best part, the food was great. Like really good.
I was pleasantly surprised because the first time I went to Pat's Bar was a few years ago when it used to give a pretty good imitation of a brothel for expats that just happened to serve food, the food was nasty, just awful.
This time however, it was fantastic.
I ate till I was literally stuffed, ties were loosened, buttons were popped, plates were wiped clean......it was a good lunch.
My fave had the Pollo Asado which is a Mexican dish made up of red beans, rice, chicken and some other stuff. He pronounced it excellent.
I had the grilled chilli fish and fries and I pronounced it amazeballs.
Ambience - Again I can't really say. I went in the afternoon on a week-day so it was very quiet but the Pat's Bar of old that I remember does a roaring trade at night. I'm not sure if they've retained that liveliness though, you'd have to go to see for yourself. Therefore I can't really rate it. I like the fact that you had the choice of seating in an open area inside or in a more private part of the room though.
Service - The service was good. We had the manager drop by our table a few times to ensure that everything was going well. Slight but very important snag however, the food took a wee bit of time to get to us. Quite enough time that we had to ask what was taking so long. So they really need to step up with their timing. Tardiness aside the waitress was attentive, a bit spacey but I'm sure it came from a good place. I give it 2.5 starts out of 5 for service.
Drinks - I had a Maltina which was, as always like honey to my parched throat and we all know Maltina is nectar of the Gods so it can't be rated. I had a peek at their drinks menu though and it was pretty impressive, quite the selection. They're also reputed to have the best whisky selection in Lagos, whisky aficionados might want to get into that.
Food - 4.5 out of 5 and that's very high praise indeed. They have a varied menu cutting across African, Continental and Mexican so there's something for even the most discerning palate.
Price - The pricing here is pretty good. I had a whole fish and chips for N3,200; appetizers are not more than N1800; burgers range from N2000 to N2690; nothing on the Nigerian menu is more than N3,500; steak goes for N3300 to N6500; pizzas are not more than N3000; the Mexican is from N2600 to N4500 and deserts are not more than N1300. Considering how good the food is and the satisfying portions being served I thought it was quite affordable compared to what we're usually stuck with in this expensive slum called Lagos.
Oh and there's happy hour every weekday from 6pm to 8pm and full English breakfast every weekend.
Pat's Bar & Restaurant is located at 292c Ajose Adeogun street Victoria Island Lagos