For 20 years Cactus has been a staple in Lagos dining. With their in-house bakery and waterfront location, it has always been a local favourite. Lagosians have purchased their cakes here, have held their birthday parties and enjoyed meals with friends and family, all within the famous Cactus compound.
Over the years Cactus has gone through many changes, but the biggest one yet was when Cactus closed its doors last year for its most dramatic transformation. The new Cactus is jaw-droppingly gorgeous, with a refined look and sleek design that effortlessly brings together each arm of the business.True to its name, a row of friendly cacti stand proudly at the entrance to greet you. As the glass doors slide open, you are welcomed into an impressive space filled with homemade gourmet ice-cream on one side and the bakery on the other. But, it’s not just the mouthwatering treats that catch the eye, it is the overall decor that captures you from its black and white custom Italian tiles in the entrance to the leafy wallpaper in the bakery.
Although Cactus is a large space, it is smartly divided into distinct areas, from the bakery and coffee shop with its large communal table, to its chic brasserie-style dining space in the middle, and a more casual area with the pizza oven as its centerpiece, leading to the breezy waterfront outdoor area and playground. The silver vintage style food caravan in the corner of the outdoor space tempts you with treats like crepes, churros and soft serve ice cream! The new Cactus design draws you in, but the food will keep you there for a while.
The new revamped menu is all sorts of delicious. The breakfast alone will tempt you with its full breakfast options from fresh croissants and baked goods to copious amounts of Illy cappuccinos. Although breakfast is served only until 11:00 a.m., the lunch options are enough to keep you coming back to try everything. Their Kale Strawberry Salad is light and refreshing, with quinoa, sunflower seeds, feta cheese, almonds, cranberries and, of course, strawberries and a house balsamic dressing.
Another new addition is their colourful Salmon Tartar: fresh smoked salmon on top of layers of avocado and mango with a sprinkling of chilli flakes and black sesame seeds, served with a side of crispy garlic bread. Their appetizers are best shared because sharing is caring! The Plantain and Yam Fries, with their dusting of salt, pepper and chilli is the perfect start to any meal. Another favorite is the Suya with the side of spicy peanut sauce. This is a perfect sundowner dish when paired with a chilled beer overlooking the lagoon at sunset. Their menu covers everything from the classic Club Sandwiches and the indulgent Mac and Beef Burger, to the more refined Centre-Cut Filet Mignon and Grilled Salmon Fillet.
The Nutella and Banana Crepe is just one of the options for dessert, but their Churros are a must. The crispy fried dough is rolled in either plain sugar or cinnamon sugar with an option of a dipping sauce on the side. A favorite in Spain with hot chocolate, the Cactus Churros are just as good enjoyed in Lagos. So whatever your reason for visiting Cactus, know that there is no shortage of friendly faces to make you feel at home, as there have been for the past two decades.
20, 24 Ozumba Mbadiwe Road, Victoria Island, Lagos
For months, people would drive by the corner of Adeola Odeku and Agoro Odiyan Street in Victoria...