WestGate Mall is the pinnacle of Kenyan Architecture, Chique and Consumerism.
Therefore, it is not surprising to find some of the ‘creme – de-la- creme’ businesses positioning themselves in every nook and cranny of the mall.
One of these , is the newly opened, Onami.
Japanese restaurants have sprung up all over Nairobi, Sushi seems to be the Ugali of the upper crust and Onami seems to be vying to be one of the top restaurants in the country, but miserably falls flat on it’s face.
I walked in there last night with the wife, with no expectations and was pleasantly surprised by the decor and ambiance. There were quite a few tables occupied – busy for a Wednesday night.
I just wanted a quick nibble, nothing to heavy so I ordered sushi, the wife ordered some tea, beef and sushi. One thing we noticed was there was a starters/main course menu and a wine list. No drinks or dessert showed in any of their literature…
Food came – it was ok, nothing spectacular – quite a bit of rice vinegar in the sushi, and a miniscule helping of prawn in my ebi maki. Desert, Chocolate Fondant, was the best thing we had there.
The shock came when I got the bill.
Everything else was ok, except that the tea cost Kshs 440(approx USD $ 5.5). I consider that daylight robbery for hot water with a few leaves in it, so I called up the waitress and asked her what was up…. Her reply was ” I told you guys to share the tea…” Not sure what that meant, I told her that it didn’t justify the price of the tea and if she could explain why it cost that much. I told her I don’t mind paying for it if the tea was rare, but we really couldn’t understand why it was costing that much. Compared to everything else on the menu, the tea was almost the same price as of the steak, moreoever, there was nothing on the menu showing the cost..
The manager was called and he couldnt answer any of our questions. He went an got the supervisor, a short bald guy, to explain what the story behind the tea was… and all he said was he would look into it…. and walked away…. and hung around the place doing absolutely nothing.
Out came the camera and we started taking pictures of the tea and the receipt and he saw it happening.
This must have triggered some action from him cos he came up right away with a complimentary dessert and said he would look into the bill…. and did nothing…
For me, service in a place is the life and soul. I could eat in a dingy restaurant and still enjoy the meal if the service was good.
In the end, I was tired of waiting and not in the mood to cause a scene. I just paid the bill and walked out with a sour taste in my mouth(yeah the vinegar in the sushi was that strong.. ).
Anyway, just goes to show that more than one person has had a bad experience in this place. I really hope that the restaurant is served some Kenyan justice, and is avoided( like what happened to Blue Times and Cosmic etc) and the patronage can spend their monies in other (plenty of) well deserving restaurants around Nairobi.