A Tasteful Experience at Eric Kayser
Maison Eric Kayser is here to make a case that simple is always better—whether you like it or not. The reputable restaurant, first established on September 13, 1996 in Paris, is the brainchild of one of the world’s most renowned bakers, Eric Kayser. Today, there are over 200 Maison Kaysers worldwide, from the Philippines to Mexico, Tunisia, Greece, Portugal, the United Arab Emirates, Chile, Indonesia, and now Nigeria. Despite its reputation as a patisserie, Kayser is also able to offer unique culinary options with a French twist in ways that diversify the hospitality scene in Lagos. To soothe ourselves in the scorching heat that has been plaguing us in this part of the world, we visited the restaurant for a quick lunch, and here are our findings.
Some of the restaurant’s most popular dishes, like the Eric Kayser Chicken Supreme, Spaghetti Carbonara, and Kayser Salad are simple options that perhaps indicate Nigerians’ attitude towards foreign food: non-experimental and minimalist. After ordering our food, we started with a baguette (which is a long and thin loaf of French bread) with olive butter, a complimentary snack served to customers.
We were also served drinks called Freshness and Kayser Sangria. The Freshness was as fresh as the the name implies and had the most amazing textures and notes, with a mix of pineapple, orange, and passion fruit topped with grenadine syrup. At first, I was a bit hesitant to try it, especially since I was not in the comfort of my home, as my bowels are generally intolerant of smoothies. However, this surprised me and made me not want to stop drinking. It was even more satisfying when I felt no repercussions for overindulging!
The Kayser Sangria was beautifully crafted as well. Sangrias are typically a mixture of fresh juices, liquor (optional), and red wine—and are mostly dismissed as boring, which is entirely speculative. The Kayser Sangria was especially distinct due to notes that indicated the presence of mangos, nectar, mint, passionfruit or kiwi (who knows?), and rose wine. In a pool of badly concocted sangrias in Lagos, this version stood out as nothing short of extraordinary. It was delicious and accompanied our meals perfectly.
The Chicken Supreme was essentially chicken breast tossed in a rich, creamy mushroom sauce, which, according to Spruce Eats, is a finished sauce made by enriching a chicken velouté with heavy cream. It paired perfectly with the sautéed chicken and made our non-protein Spaghetti Carbonara a stellar entrée. You might wonder why we paired two creamy dishes together. The carbonara and chicken tasted like two sisters who were similar but very different at their core, especially when accompanied by the Kayser Salad. The cabbage, mixed peppers, walnuts, black olives, and the special Kayser dressing drizzled with olive oil had a certain sourness and bitter note that could only be complemented with cream. The extremely creamy dishes balanced the raw flavours, making the salad a sophisticated delicacy.
We also had delicious slushies to end this extremely hot day, which was definitely worth it. Maison has fantastically mastered how to make its dishes a staple in Lagos by being aware of its target market and their proclivity towards simple cuisine.
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