I’m excited for all the new restaurants that will open throughout the country this year, and that’s partly because of their contributions to society. Take for instance Ciala Resort which opened in Kisumu County in 2018, about 8km from the airport which lies well outside the city centre.
What may have been a sleepy little village a few years back is now a thriving and fast upcoming hub thanks to Ciala, and other than directly providing employment to various people, there has also been a ripple economic benefit from the businesses that have come up.
It’s a one-of-a-kind resort in Kisumu, and I decided to swing by with my parents on New Year’s Eve. We sat by the pool where there was a buffet going for Sh2,800 per person.
Who was going to pay that after all the expenses incurred in December? After a lot of back and forth with a waiter, we finally settled on fries, which were the only thing being served a la carte that night. We also got three sides: samosas, fish fingers and chicken fingers.
Service was really slow and there wasn’t even a full house yet. The food was just okay; there was nothing innovative, unexpected or exciting about the menu or dishes.
Because we were intending to usher in this new year at Ciala, I decided to order a round of drinks – dawas for my parents and a mojito for myself.
The dawas were served in a whisky glass which was filled about a quarter way such that one could easily take it in two sips, and the average cost of their cocktails is Sh600.
I got a second round for my mother (and myself), this time a mojito, because mine had actually filled a Collins glass. This was however nothing like the first drink – it had way too much soda water, barely any alcohol, some lemon quarters and that was it. It was not even a mojito.
Their bartender was being as inconsistent as my ex-boyfriend. I sent the drink back but when the waiter returned, rather than give me an update, he simply slipped the glass onto the table and slunk away into the night, and that’s the last I saw of him. Apparently waiters are great at ghosting too.
On tasting the “mojito 2.0”, there was no improvement to it, much like with a big percentage of the “new year new me” squad this second week of January.
The lemon had been muddled and the peel now made the drink bitter and unpalatable, so it remained untouched for the rest of the evening.
To make thing worse, they changed the music and brought on a fancy orchestra which played a set that was good but neither suited the crowd nor the occasion.
With bad cocktails, overpriced food and misplaced music, it seemed like the universe wanted us to go usher in the new year somewhere else, so we obliged.