ONAMI – A Tea-totallers Tale.

March 5, 2009

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.


Raila – The New President of Kenya?

February 4, 2009

Check out this goof up by CNN, stating that Raila Odinga is the President of Kenya.

Stupid Americans… you think that they’d pay a little more attention with their president being ‘HALF-Kenyan’.


Kenya spare some change?

October 28, 2008

I was in Kenya for work last week, with some colleagues who were travelling to the country for the first time.

We were in Tanzania before and they were complaining about how unfriendly Tanzanians were.  Being the proud Kenyan that I am, I immediately told them about how friendly Kenyans were and how we always have a smile on our faces.

Immediately upon landing in Nairobi Airport, we were greeted with a smile …… and an open palm.

I tried to tell my colleagues that bribery was a part of Africa and people would find any reason to get money from your, but the manner in which it was done was brash and unabashed.  Like taking a bribe was a part of life and part of the immigration process.

It didn’t stop there.  It seemed that all of Kenya, or Nairobi(Nai – robbery) was looking at any way to squeeze money from visitors there. From the Bellboys to the Cab drivers to “Five Star” Hotels, everyone seemed to be out to gyp visitors out of their money.  Case in point – many of the hotels in Nairobi – (Serena, Intercon) used to charge a set amount for a bed and breakfast.  Now they charge USD$ 25 for breakfast – which is cereal, eggs, sausages and bread.  For Kenya, even with the economic status of the world currently, this is exorbitant! The least a hotel can do, after paying over USD $ 200  a night at a ‘five’ star hotel is feed you breakfast!

At one of the restaurants in Nairobi, The Tamarind, a waiter told us about his daughter getting married and he was expecting a big fat tip from us.  Not that I haven’t heard this story before, but how it was propositioned was a shock to me. He literally asked us to give him money.

We were there for three days and in the course, asking for money in one form or another was a repeat performance by Kenyans.  My colleagues left Kenya with a soiled image of Kenyans.

To me, it was a shock.  I kept on thinking about how we had come to this position.  From what I see, there are two layers to this.  The outer one is trying to exploit visitors as much as possible and the inner one is the easiest way to make money – begging.  Maybe our reliance on tourism was taking a negative turn for us.  It seemed like we have corrupted our morality and our humility to get here.  Then I got thinking about the fact that the govt. of Kenya doing the exact same thing with the World Bank.  Getting on its knees and begging for handouts.  It was appalling.  No wonder, many Kenyans don’t have any shame in begging.

I don’t know, maybe its the fact that I have been out of the country for far too long.

We have so many resources, industries, stability and it is a shock to see people doing these things. If we cannot pull our act together, there are many beautiful places in the world that tourists can head to.  If our tourism industry is in a decline we only have ourselves to blame for exploiting and disgusting tourists out of the country.

Kenyans say the daftest things….

March 16, 2008

I really hate Kenyans who leave Kenya and seem to forget about what the country is like.

Case in point, I went to Chili’s at Mall of Emirates today. We were greeted by a hostess who looked VERY obviously Kenyan.

She led us to our seats and I said, Asante(thank you).  She looked at me like I had just barraged her with a slew of choice expletives.  Here follows our conversation:

Her: “You speak SWAHILI!!!!!!”(she looks shocked. Almost disgusted)

Me: “Yes I speak Swahili. Are you from Kenya”

Her:”Yes, but HOW did you know I’m from Kenya?”

Me: Shrugging, “You look it….. besides I’m Kenyan too”

Her:”But you’re not BLACK!!!” (here’s when I wanted to slap some intelligence into her)

Me:”How long have you lived in Kenya?”

Her:”All my ..”

Me:”Have you been living on a shamba(farm) somewhere? Cos if you visit any city you will find that other people that are not black have lived in Kenya for hundreds of years. You should go to Nairobi sometime. It’s a great city to visit.”

Her:”I actually lived in Nairobi..”(shes being defiant now to show that only black people are ‘real’ Kenyans)

Me:”And how long have you lived in Dubai?”

Her:”Three weeks”

Me: “Great. Its good to see farm people get out a little”


Me:”Ok. Thank you. See you later”

Apparently this has happened to a friend of mine a bunch of times as well. Not at the same place but around Dubai.

It’s fucked up to see Kenyans behaving this way.

If you see the girl at Chilis at MOE near the movie theaters. Go say Jambo. Especially if you are not a ‘real’ Kenyan.


Finally, peace in Kenya

February 29, 2008

Kibaki has allowed Raila to create a full powered PM seat in Kenya as part of a brokered power sharing govt.

I couldnt care less about this. I just want the bullshit to stop so we can all move on with our lives.

Thanks for the violence guys, now can you get back to stealing from us so that we can live in peace?


Kenya patches it up…

February 28, 2008

Breaking news, Kofi Annan has declared that the two parties in Kenya have come to a decision that satisfies both the leaders. More information will be revealed in the news tonight.

Let’s hope it’s good!


We’re so witty, oh so witty and pretty and briiiighhhtt

February 6, 2008

I just had the following email forwarded to me… it’s really hillarious! I miss Kenya!


Thanks Mubzzzzzzzzzz!

Email :

These questions about Kenya were posted on a Kenyan Tourism portal and were answered by the website owner.

Q: Does it ever get windy in Kenya ? I have never seen it rain on TV, so how do the plants grow? (UK )
A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die.

Q: Will I be able to see elephants in the street? (USA )
A: Depends how much you’ve been drinking.

Q: I want to walk from Mombasa to Nakuru – can I follow the railroad tracks? ( Sweden)
A: Sure, it’s only two thousand kilometres….take lots of water.

Q: Is it safe to run around in the bushes in Kenya ? (Sweden).
A: So it’s true what they say about Swedes.

Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in Kenya ? Can you send me a list of them in Nairobi and Mombasa? (UK)
A: What did your last slave die of?

Q: Can you give me some information about Koala Bear racing in Kenya ? (USA)
A: Aus-tra-lia is that big island in the middle of the pacific. A-fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe which does not …oh forget it! Sure, the Koala Bear racing is every Tuesday night in Koinange Street. Come naked.

Q: Which direction is north in Kenya ? (USA)
A: Face south and then turn 90 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we’ll send the rest of the directions.

Q: Can I bring cutlery into Kenya ? ( UK)
A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.

Q: Do you have perfume in Kenya ? ( France)
A: No. We don’t stink.

Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in Kenya? (USA )
A: Anywhere where a significant number of Americans gather.

Q: Can you tell me the regions in Kenya where the female population is smaller than the male population? (Italy )
A: Yes, gay nightclubs.

Q: Do you celebrate Christmas in Kenya ? (France)
A: Only at Christmas.

Q: Are there killer bees in Kenya ? ( Germany)
A: Not yet, but for you, we’ll import them.

Q: Are there supermarkets in Nairobi and is milk available all year round?
A: No, we are a peaceful civilisation of vegan hunter-gatherers. Milk is illegal.

Q: Please send a list of all doctors in Kenya who can dispense rattlesnake serum. (USA)
A: Rattlesnakes live in A-meri-ca, which is where YOU come from. All Kenyan snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and make good pets.

Q: I was in Kenya in 1969 and I want to contact the girl I dated while I was staying in Mombasa. Can you help? ( USA)
A: Yes, but you will probably still have to pay her by the hour.

Q: Will I be able to speek English most places I go? (USA )
A: Yes, but you’ll have to learn it first.

(Acknowledgment to StrangeZoo.com for the baboon pic)