If you've read this page before, then you know I do the best I can to give every place I like to go – or don't like to go – a three-try minimum.
Sometimes this happens, sometimes it doesn't – particularly if I am so put off by the place after my first visit that I never want to go back again. I hear that's what happens with some people and their first degrees. Ha! But I digress.
The only times I will go back to a place I didn't like or I wasn't particularly impressed by is if I am planning a group thing, meeting a group of friends, for example, and I am outvoted by the majority who have read the hype of other writers and articles and/or influencers and decided that this is where they want to try out next.
THIRD TIME’S A CHARM
This is what happened last week with Ankole – for the second time, which means it was my third visit outside of the first time I decided to check it out.
Now, usually, if I am right about the place, I try not to say I told you so as well, considering that my money was wasted also, and so I try to go into the experience with the hope that I am proved wrong.
The first time I visited Ankole Grill at Senteu Plaza, Nairobi, I was far from impressed. It wasn't too full, which I liked, and they didn't charge parking, which is always also a plus for me. The former is no longer true, and the latter, thankfully, remains.
We went on a theme night, during which there was a good DJ – DJ Fita – and so, the place was quite packed, actually, to the point that a lovely waitress had to save us by finding us an available table, as it didn't look like there was any.
I was already sceptical when I looked at the menu – the first time I was here, I had some good sized but very oily samosas, so I avoided anything that resembled that, and I wasn't trying the tiramisu either, which had felt like a good attempt at the real thing, but was still a miss.
I already knew I wasn't going to have a burger (which I had on my second visit) – if burger week and other restaurants have taught me anything, there's a limited number of places in Nairobi to get a good burger.
I’LL BE BACK
The cocktails at Ankole always look good, so I decided to have one of the rum-based ones, and go with the safety of a spicy chicken stir fry, as opposed to a coconut curry that was catching my eye.
I'm not very good at chilli, but the waitress said that it wasn't too bad, so I went with her recommendation.
Our drinks came in good time, and then we were presented with a test item on the starter menu – fried okra with a spicy sauce and softly fried plantain with a mango chutney.
They were very tasty, and I heartily support their addition to the menu – in fact, plantain should be a staple on all menus. Out with the French fries, I say!
The food came and it looked delicious, I must say. I was well pleased with the mashed sweet potatoes, and the stir fry was indeed spicy, but not too much.
I wonder what the articles on the menu that have a chilli next to them might taste like if this was what they call not spicy, ha.
I enjoyed my food – enough to be willing to come back to Ankole next week when DJ Jack Rooster is on the decks spinning African House Music.
And I will have to try a different cocktail, because, if we're being honest, that rum one did nothing for me.
Maybe I should have had a second one? Maybe I would have, if I wasn't driving...
Wondering where to get the 411 on what's happening in and around Nairobi's foodie scene? There's a lot of places you could go, but here's where we want you to be – getting the dish on the dish. Get it? We knew you would.