The latest offering from the Art Caffe group bears the hallmarks of all their restaurants: understated, tasteful décor, solicitous service, cozy ambiance. Too bad they don’t seem to know the definition of tapas. The food on offer is tasty, but who ever heard of a tapas bar without cheese, olives or chorizo on the menu? Any tapas chef in Madrid or Barcelona who tried to pass off French Fries (chips) as “patatas bravas” would be summarily dismissed. In the same vein, a tortilla turns out to be wrap, not an egg dish resembling an omelet, as it is in Spain. When we specifically asked for olives, we were brought some that, strangely, seemed to have been doused in perfume. Not at all a pleasant experience. My friend went away grousing that he hadn’t had any tapas despite the fact that we had ordered (and consumed) five dishes.
It’s possible that the owners thought there were not enough expats in Nairobi who know what Spanish tapas really are and that Kenyans certainly don’t. They’re probably wrong on the first count and should take the effort to educate the palates of their Kenyan customers. There’s much that’s right about this bar, but they can’t expect customers to come back DESPITE the food.
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