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.

cimg4768

cimg4767

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.


Totally Fish – Kuwait Restaurant Review

February 10, 2008

On Sat, I met some friends out at Totally fish at the marina crescent.

It was a great day so we sat outside, soaking up the sun with a great view of the sea as well as the crescent.

For me, all I really care about is the quality and the taste of the food served at the restuarant (I’ve been disappointed by many ‘great’ restaurants and pleasantly surprised by many ‘shit-holes’).  Honestly, I don’t care much about the decor or the location etc. You may have noticed this in my previous restaurant reviews. All I care about is the quality of the food!

The food at totally fish was mediocre. Nothing to rave about. I had salmon croquettes for starters, which were promising, but needed more than the dijon/tartar dip they were served with. For the main course, I had the catch of the day, cooked with the tikka sauce. Whatever they had caught that day didn’t have much flavour. The flavour of the tikka sauce completely overpowered the fish, and I felt like I was only eating the tikka sauce.

Moodz and Zuzu were both there and they ordered Papilotte Fish and Baked whole fish, respectively. Moodz meal came wrapped in a banana leaf and was cooked in a coconut sauce. It was quite tasty and made me wish I had ordered that instead. Zuzu’s meal was a whole fish, that was deboned but came with the head. It was cooked in arabic-style spices that gave it a really distinct flavour, that was nice but again, nothing phenomenal.

As we were eating, we noticed that the restaurant only really hired good looking staff. Not sure what their hiring requirements were, we were sure that looking good was on top of the list. The service of the staff was really good – very attentive and helpful.

Overall, the price wasn’t much of a bang for the buck, but it was one of those cases where you pay for the atmosphere and the experience. I ended up paying KD 9 for a meal there, including tip. Total bill was around 75KD(the rest of the group had lobster, oysters etc) for 7 of us.

MoRating

Ambience – 10/10

Service – 10/10

Food – 6/10

Price – 6/10

MoRating overall experience = 8/10( I still would think twice about going to eat there again. I like a lot of taste in my food)


Burger Hub – Restaurant Review Kuwait

February 10, 2008

This weekend, a bunch of us went to Burger Hub, opposite the Seef Palace, on Gulf Road.

The decor of the place was great, albeit a little out of place in the area. Service was excellant, and the food was superb. It was a little pricey for the portions but we all really enjoyed our meals.

We tried the baby potatos with cheese and garlic sauce which were tasty tasty tasty. For my main meal, I had a Picante burger, which was advertised as spicy but tasted pretty mild to me(I think that I may have killed most of my tastebuds by literally drinking hot sauce with every meal). It was good, nonetheless, and very filling.

We also ordered steak fries, regular fries and sweet potato fries. They were well…. fries ….. Good but nothing spectacular.

Also, all of us had thick, old school milkshakes, which were all really awesome. My only complaint about the place was that even though most burgers were a min of around KD 3, they didn’t come with a side order. Everything had to be ordered seperately, which I thought was quite sneaky of the place.

The 5 of us ended up paying KD6 each.

MoRating Ambience and Decor – 8/10

Food – 8/10

Service – 9/10

Price – 6/10

MoRating Overall experience 7.5/10

dsc00508.jpg


Maki – A very short Review

February 3, 2008

Maki in Marina mall, is known for its resplendent architecture on Marina Crescent.

I am too lazy to write about my experience there, the food was good – a little pricey for my taste(I promise this is my last pun for the week), but good nonetheless.

I’m sure there are tonnes of reviews about it on any Kuwait blog, but I give it a 7/10.


Romano’s Macaroni(Avenues Mall) – You don’t need wasta for this pasta

January 27, 2008

So we went out to eat at RM’s last night. The only RM’s in Kuwait according to the Maitre D’.

Food was excellent. There were four of us, and we walked in to the crooning of Frank Sinatra into a dim-lit restaurant and were led to a candlelit table. It was a little like milestones(from Canada) (where fine dining meets Chili’s). The tables had tracing paper stacks over them and crayons so you could doodle while waiting for the food(jack astor’s), which was a little bizzare because the decor was quite fine diningesque.

Anyway, the menu looked great and even though I had nibbled on quite a few things at a party before, I was tempted to try almost everything on it. The drinks menu was just as enticing and they even served bellinis, something that K loved. Drinks were ordered around and K had the Belinni(Peach), I had the RM Lemonade(lemonade with a hint of raspberry). Our friends had coke(boring), but our drinks were really refreshing, albeit with a little more syrup than water thrown in the mixture.

We started off with complimentary Parmesan and Herb bread with an olive oil infused with balsamic vinegar(pretty standard complimentary starter, but flavourful nonetheless). We ordered a central starter for all of us, a Bruschetta that was served with slivers of Parmesan cheese. It was really delicious with the just the right amount of olive oil(at this point I was kicking myself for having ‘nibbled’ at the party earlier).

Soon enough our food was brought to us. On the table there were two orders of Cannelloni de Pollo, Chicken Marsalla(with fresh noodles) and one pasta milano(penne with mushrooms,chicken and sundried tomatoes in a rose sauce). I had the cannelloni, and it looked absolutely delicious. It was floating in a white sauce with tomato sauce drizzled over the top and parmesan cheese freshly grated over it. It tasted just as good, and K couldnt stop taking bites out of it. She had the spicy pasta milano, and it was also very tasty with nuggets of sundried tomatoes in it. Everyone around the table loved the food, and there were nods of approval and grunts of satisfaction as the conversation around the table petered down into focusing on shovelling food into our mouths.

By the end of it all we were all too stuffed to even look at the menu for the desserts. Costwise, with a generous tip, the total bill came down to 7 kd pp. considering that some of us had more than two drinks each(the drinks is where all the restaurants in Kuwait get you, even though there isn’t a drop of alcohol in them. At least until they’re served anyway)

The most awesome thing about the restaurant was it had open kitchens and when a plate broke, there was a loud cheer from the staff and it was contagious to everyone in the restaurant. The atmosphere was unlike any restaurant that I had been to in Kuwait. They even gave us a small saucer to break and though we were unsure about doing it initially, K stood up and crashed it on the floor to a cheer from everyone around!

I have to say that Macaroni was truly one of my favorite restaurant experiences in Kuwait, rivalled only by Gaucho and Pomodoro.

Totally, I give them a 9/10.

9 for ambience

9 for the food and

9 for the service.

We are definitely going back there again!