There’s a new spot in town! The INTI – A Nikkei Experience is on Waiyaki Way, Westlands on 20th floor at One Africa Place. To get if driving it’s along Waiyaki Way and there’s ample parking at the basement. A taxify (bolt) from town is about 200 bob or Uber around 250 bob. The place is opposite delta so you could just alight at delta if you’ve taken a Westlands Matatu from town or Ngara. Matatu fare is about 50 bob. In case you use Ojijo Road and feel a bit lost, walk to The Mall, Westlands and cross the road to the opposite side.
- What kind of a restaurant is it?
I picked up that the place is,
…the reflection of the Japanese influence on the Peruvian gastronomy. The ingredients of both cultures complement each other as if they had been born to be one. It is an honest cuisine with unique textures and flavors. The menu offers Japanese- Peruvian aka Nikkei inspired cuisine that ranges from fresh cuts of sashimi, handmade sushi and tempuras steeped in tradition, to some twists such as causa, tiradito and ceviche. TWO ANCIENT CULTURES. TWO WORLDVIEWS. TASTE & EVOLVING TECHNIQUE. INTI: A RESTAURANT SERVING MODERN AND CREATIVELY INNOVATIVE JAPANESE-PERUVIAN NIKKEI CUISINE.’
- Setting/Dress Code
The place is divine, very posh and only available upon reservation due to limited seating space. If you ask me, going there without knowing you’re headed to such a place can throw you off. Its the kind of place that demands you look the part. Not just throwing on a t-shirt and jeans. It’s even in the rules, the administration reserves the right of admission. Flip flops, caps, shorts are not allowed. It clearly has the ambiance of a high end space in Westlands Nairobi.
Rule number 1, dress the part! Get your groove on when heading there, get all dolled up and slay. I assure it’s those places you go once in a while so you may as well make it worth it.
- When to head there?
The restaurant isn’t open all day, just at specific times. If heading there make sure you make a reservation in good time and confirm when they open. I’d recommend from 5:00 pm. It gets really packed from 7:00 pm when they serve dinner. If you’re on a date and want to chill then getting there earlier definitely gives you time to enjoy the beautiful sunset from 20 floors above Westlands over a glass of wine.
- Affordable or naah?
I’ll be honest if you’re in your early twenties still hustling to get a steady job this place is pricey. But to curb that i’d recommend going there as a group to dispense this and get to try a variety of Japanese dishes. Also, save up. Go there when you’ve planned on an average of how much you’re willing to spend. But if money is not a problem, go all the way, by all means!
Rule no 2: Plan! If you’re not careful you may just spend a whole 10,000 bob getting through to desert.
- What to eat?
If you haven’t tried japanese food talk to the waiter/waitress serving you. Ask for Sharon if you’re there early enough, she’s fantastic, she patiently takes you through the menu and recommends what may tickle your fancy. The beauty of the restaurant is before opening, the waiters and waitresses sampled all the meals so they give you an honest opinion.
Rule no 3, ask! You don’t want to get a complicated sea food that you may not be able to stomach.
- For your kamnyweso needs…
There’s an open bar serving from wine to cocktails and even beer. Unfortunately, there’s no happy hour (as of when we visited). But if you want something fair you could try a glass of wine. Their White Sweet Wine called Birds and Bees is particularly terrific. It’s also the cheaper option going for 700 bob per glass. In the event you decide to go for wine, just take the bottle for 3200 bob, it ends up being cheaper if that is your preferred drink.
For cocktails, their menu has quite a variety as compared to other places we’ve visited. It was only paramount to try new ones. For gin fans, you could try the spicy sekatu and note, it is very spicy! If you’d like a variation of the spice be sure to tell the bar tender. For tequila fans look out for the tequilla mulla, it’s sweet as candy and a very sexy red. They go for 950 and 800 bob respectively.
Rule no. 4 try something you’ve never had!
- Food, food and more food!
My biggest issue with posh restaurants is portions. I don’t get why you’d go spend so much money for such small potions. One hack though that you need to always have in mind is to ask the waiter/waitress. Don’t treat them like they are just there to take your order. They will tell you which portions work best. In our case we wanted something that could feed two so we settled for a meal called Polo Alabrasa basically it comes with a full grilled chicken, rustic roasted potatoes, an amazing salad (THAT HAS AVOCADO IN IT!) and three difference sauces that I can’t pronounce. One with chilli, another lemon and finally one with zingy taste that I couldn’t identify.
You’ll be tempted to get more rustic roasted potatoes because the meal serves two and they seem few, but don’t. They are enough, and that chicken is bigger than it looks. (In case you feel like adding or having them alone they go for 500 bob) For the meal for two, it goes for 2900 which is a cheaper alternative to having two separate meals in my view.
Rule no 5: Have a great time! The staff is friendly, the ambiance is great, the Japanese Music will have you nodding here and there. The city’s view at night is too beautiful. Be sure to enjoy it!
A few things to note is the washrooms are a floor away meaning you need to go down two flights of stairs. They are clean and well maintained probably that far since the place is new and the building is still having a few final touches here and there. The place is suitable for groups and couples and is split up accordingly. Upon making your reservation be sure to state how many people will be coming in. Finally a budget for two is about 5000 to 7000 if you’re willing to go all the way with drinks and dinner. Try the place for a special occasion every now and then.