#SusanEats: Business Lunch at Onami


If I was a cynic, I would say Onami Kitchen Bar is sometimes too good to be true.  But, there’s something so perfectly poised about this place.  Perhaps it’s the beautiful contemporary Japanese-inspired space, its easily accessible location with plentiful parking in one of Nairobi’s premiere malls, Chef Avi’s consistent creations, or the expected quality service (that sometimes falters on a packed evening).  Ok, so it’s not perfect, but it sure is close.

According to Eat Out, an average meal at Onami Kitchen Bar will cost around Sh 1,800 per person.  For location details, prices, and how you can book online – make sure you check out Eat Out Kenya!

Check it out now! http://www.eatout.co.ke/onami

Onami is like a Bento box of sensory pleasures.  A culinary destination and urban meet-up spot.  The expansive space, low-lit ambience, open kitchen, U-shaped bar, painted sage walls and stone facades radiates a hipster cool; the crowd is stylish and the conversation hums every evening.

During the day, Onami transforms into an airy, quiet and sophisticated space where business deals are penned.  The 4-course business lunch from noon to 5pm will set you back Sh 1,200 to Sh 1,500.  The food is simple, light, refreshing, and very carefully calibrated to bring European precision to a clean, Asian sensibility.

Complimentary still-water steeped with cucumber slices and fresh mint leaves calms your busy-body self, and prepares you for the courses to come.  A chilled Soba noodle salad is served as the “Welcoming Bite.” Healthy buckwheat strands with its earthy taste and silky texture tossed with julienned vegetables open up your palette.

The selection of starters included popular dishes from Onami’s à la carte menu.  The Capital Lifestyle team settled on Papaya Salad, Red Snapper Tartar, Thai Chicken Salad and Tempura (Spicy Noodle Salad was our first choice, but it had already finished when we arrived).  Our selection of starters sounds pretty typical, but thanks to Chef Avi’s signature use of fresh and aromatic herbs, flavours of the ingredients are accentuated and allowed their own voice, making the dishes anything but typical.

For our mains, the team sampled the vegetarian Indonesian Curry, Grilled Chicken Thigh with Teriyaki Sauce, Red Snapper with Fresh Couscous Salad and Beef Sizzler with Steamed Rice.  There was a rich and delicious vegetable curry laced with coconut milk, fragrantly spiced, plus a simple bowl of steamed rice.  The generous portion of red snapper was moist and flaky, and perhaps needed another minute.  The grilled chicken was moist and the homemade Teriyaki Sauce was exactly what one would expect.  The Beef Sizzler served on a hot plate crackled to the table.  Saucy, tender and not an ounce overcooked, the sizzler was certainly our favourite.

Finally to the last course, dessert. Homemade ice cream and green tea is served.  Velvety ice cream satisfies the sweet tooth and green tea cleanses your palate and assists in digestion, finishing off one of the best and well-orchestrated business set-lunches I’ve had in Nairobi.

Business Lunch at Onami is one of those experiences that silences your inner cynic and stops the world for a while, and we certainly can do with more of those.



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