I went to the restaurant with a friend. She celebrated her birthday a few days earlier. So I decided to treat her to some fine dining. The person who suggested the place to me said the restaurant has a private small space they rent out. He used one of these spaces and really enjoyed his experience there.
Chai Tang has one of the best ambience I have seen in a while. The atmosphere was calm and beautiful. There is this little bridge you cross to get into the main restaurant. It reminded me of those Japanese movies I used to watch where you have two samurai warriors battling it out on a bridge. Which brings me to the main issue I had. My take on Chai Tang is that it’s a Chinese restaurant but I couldn’t help but feel like it was a mixture of both Chinese and Japanese cultures. The bridge concept to me is more Japanese than Chinese. The writings were more of Japanese than Chinese. I even saw a Bonsai (Miniature tree) which is well-known to be Japanese.
Regardless, the ambience was really good. The restaurant space was large enough to accommodate a sendoff for a former employee; their activities didn’t bother us. The temperature in the place was too cold or too warm, it was just alright.
Where we sat had a perfect view of the sea. The sad part of it was we went at night, so we didn’t enjoy what we believed would have been an awesome view.
I always like it when the waiters are not too close to you but are always a call away. This wasn’t fully the case on this day though. The waiter kept hanging around. He wanted us to order as soon as we could and even began suggesting what we should have. When I made mention of this observation, he said the individuals having the sendoff for their colleague would soon order and when they do, it would take a longer time for us to get our food. So I understood to a certain level but still…
Our aim was to order two starters, two mains and a dessert. We theorized that after the main course, we would be too full to order two desserts. In the end, it was just theory as this didn’t go as planned.
Our starters didn’t take time to arrive. I ordered Chicken spring rolls and the birthday girl ordered deep fried chicken wings.
The spring rolls where bigger than I thought though, which was good of course. There was really nothing too special about chicken wings but it tasted really good.
We didn’t have enough time to rest before the main course came. Again, the waiter said it was because of the individuals having the sendoff.
One thing about Chinese foods is that it always a lot, the waiter reminded us of this as we ordered our main course. Well, we were really hungry when we ordered them. We just finished the starter when the main came and we were bedazzled. We devised a strategy when it came time to order the main course; seeing that each main might be enough for two people, I decided to have a soup. I ordered a plate of Stir fried beef with seasonal vegetable. The aim was to have it with a rice meal, hence the Shrimp fried rice my pal ordered. This didn’t help, we had bitten more than we could chew.
Now, I can say our main course was really good. Maybe it’s because of the combination we came up with. The beef was well cooked (soft and tender) and had a barrage of flavors. The shrimp rice really had a good number of shrimps in it. I have been to some restaurants that instead of shrimp rice, I was given fish rice. Imagine my amazement when I saw this shrimp rice.
Obviously, we couldn’t finish the food, we aren’t beasts. We had it packed.
At this point, there was no way we would have taken dessert. To be honest, the dessert menu wasn’t all that.
Chai Tang restaurant is really a change of scenery. The ambience alone is enough to stimulate intelligent conversations between people. The food is awesome don’t get me wrong but for that kind of atmosphere, I expected more. Would I visit the place again? OF COURSE but I am broke now.
Chicken spring rolls – N600 each
Deep fried chicken wings – N4200
Shrimp fried rice – N5800
Stir fried beef with seasonal vegetable – N6800