Divine sushi to float your boat at the Phoenician restaurant

Location: Westlands


Birthdays are to be celebrated, and when the birthday boy loves Lebanese and Japanese food then the only option is to go to a restaurant that serves both. So off we went to Phoenician.

Walking up a flight of stairs-that tend to be steep for women in stilettos-you can’t help but anticipate what you will be having for dinner.

As soon as you reach the top of the stairs you are welcomed by the sushi bar that is elegantly designed with a sushi master who really looks like he knows what he is doing. The general dining area itself is somewhat outdoorsy but with a rain-proof roof  letting guests enjoy the fresh air and mosquitoes Nairobi offers so generously.

Now I have been to Phoenician many times and while I love the sushi, I usually dislike going there as the service leaves much to be desired. Waiters are often forgetful, cold, quite grumpy and have a rather negative attitude towards customers. Plus the owner tends to be rather frightening as well sitting at his corner table like a King on a throne barely greeting customers.

But the food always reels me back in.   Surprisingly this time, the staff were rather light-footed and more courteous than usual and when I actually got a smile/grimace from the owner I realized things were definitely looking up.

We began by ordering hummus for the benefit of our vegetarian friends who were there only for the starters. While the hummus itself left much to be desired, the garlic sauce that accompanied it was creamy, thick and unbelievably delicious. It was so good I had to suppress my robbery streak of slipping into my bag! The Pita bread that came with it was light and just the right texture.

Then came my starter that I had been craving for days. Tuna and avocado salad in wasabi. Delicious!

Since there were four sushi lovers we opted to go for the sushi boat that cost 6500/=Yes I let out a silent scream at the cost but it was a birthday and who knew when I would have sushi next. I was ready to sacrifice my new shoes for the sushi. Onward bound we went ready to indulge and get broke!

But before that we sampled the Agadashi Tofu. Grimace all you like but I adore this soupy, saucy style tofu at the restaurant. The tofu was fried in the perfect way, being crispy on the outside and soft on the inside but the flavouring of the soup was overdone with too much salt (methinks the chef got carried away with the soysauce).

But my spirits lifted as I watched the sushi boat sail onto our table. What a feast! The Salmon and tuna sashimi were to die for as were all the nigiri and maki! It honestly was like dying and going to sushi heaven. Even my dearest who usually wrinkles his nose when I so much as suggest sushi sampled a few and did me proud.

All of it was fresh and exquisitely prepared with generous samples of all the sashimi, sushi and wasabi. This is one boat I would recommend as the sushi is sinfully sublime.

For non sushi lovers there are plenty of Lebanese styled dishes as well as pizzas (yes my non adventurous friend Robert ordered one and he loved it), so don’t let the sushi bar deter you.

Despite our stomachs being filled to capacity we had to order the date pancakes and icecream as we had heard rave reviews about them. TNot bad I have to say.

I recommend the Phonecian to anyone who is an avid sushi fan.

However service needs to be greatly improved, the owner needs to be a tad bit more cheerful (considering how much money he is making off us) and the prices are unbelievably exorbitant!! We forked out 3000/=Kshs. for our meal and very few alcoholic drinks but for a less extravagant dinner you can easily shell out between 1500/= to 2000/= Kshs.

Pub in the Star in 2010 Jan.


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