It had been a rather busy Saturday, with me darting about the place trying to complete as many errands before the silly season kicks in. Christmas is almost upon us and woe unto me if I am unprepared.
It did not do my day any good to go to Nairobi Java House at the Sarit Centre, a coffee shop that has been a firm favourite for years, and get served burnt meatloaf. And I mean burnt enough for me to have to scrape chunks off. Considering that I spent an unusually long time waiting for the meal meant that returning the dish would also mean another long wait for the same plate to come back and an appointment would be missed. The waiters were profusely apologetic and tried to pacify me. But truth be told I was not really angry as such, just finally fed up with the state of affairs at an eatery that introduce tex-mex food to Kenya.
There was no supervisor visible and the waiters tended to gather at one end of the counter, almost out of sight, for a good chat. Getting someone to bring the bill almost took me waving both arms like a windmill. Not a good sign considering that I have been used toa head honcho walking about making sure everything was alright and the waiters always asking if there was anything else I needed. Well not yesterday.
I happened to mention this to a friend who proceeded to rant and rave about how the service has gone down the tubes, the staff don’t write down the orders anymore, they bring chips instead of rice or vinaigrette instead of thousand island dressing. He complained that the menu has been static and the food has turned bland. He advice was simple head for the Art Caffe at westgate if you want get a feel of what Java used to be.
Now I have been to the Art Caffe and love it, but to be honest, sitting on the balcony of a Jewish owned business in a Israeli owned mall with Al-Shabab threatening Kenya does not inspire much confidence, so I will give it a pass.
Nairobi Java House’s growth has outpaced it management capacity, with seven stores and an eighth rumoured at the new Galleria mall on langata road. The airport branch is the absolutely bottom of the barrel, but since the travelling public in the international departure terminal is a captive one no effort seems to be spent to keep some semblance of a decent standard. Perhaps the arrival of Savannah coffee at the airport will shake things up a bit, but I doubt it.
Dormans coffee is still of a much better quality and the service is just great, most of the times. It a place for a snack and not for a proper meal simply because they tend to be tucked into exposed corners of different malls. And that is something they really need to think about changing.
One of the directors of Java has been in a spot of bother with criminal charges filed against him for defiling under age girls. The rumour he was set up by his business partner to get him out of the way. Hmmmmmm. What ever it is, the court of law will settle the matter, all I want is that my favourite burrito should have more meat in it, period!