There are very few places, if any, in Nairobi that are fishier than The Ocean Basket. (hahaha see what I did there?) Located at the Oval at Ring Road Westlands the smell of this place will just take you back to the small cafes in Malindi, at the ocean front that sell prawns for a bargain.
Ocean basket opened it’s doors to Kenyans not too long ago and there was a lot of buzz surrounding it. This was mainly due to the reputation of the parent restaurants in South Africa. The place did seem to keep up to a lot of the expectations with the biggest complaint being that the service staff was a tad bit too attentive and therefore not giving people space to enjoy their food and their conversations.
I have been to Ocean Basket I think 5 times now and my experience has been nothing short of great. First time, I went for dinner with my girl Mona. We had cocktails and shared a platter for two. We had a good time and ogled at a very good looking waiter *insert giggles* I remember enjoying the ambiance as it was not too noisy and we had our platter cajun which we also really enjoyed. My only issue with them at that time was that one, they did not offer an option of mixing up how you chose your sea food cooked and 2, they did not have a Happy hour so the next time I visited them I always went to the neighbors for cocktails first then dinner at Ocean. I’m a Kenyan who is a Kikuyu, do not judge me, I like deals.
When I went back to Ocean in December, they had just started their Happy hour with Cocktails and wine at half off. There was therefore no need to go to the neighbors for cocktails. I was quite excited when I learnt that the offer included wine and because my resolution when I turned 30 was to have more wine, I decided to try the wine. I had a wonderful sweetish rose Fish Hoek which comes from South Africa. Mum had some tea, and being a fussy tea drinker she gave exact instructions on how she would like her tea done. Good thing it came just as she had requested. What I liked most was the attention they paid to her. Asking her if she was cold, if she needed the heater on, if her tea was hot enough. NKT I am cold why don’t you ask me too goddamit!! heheheh it is good to be a mum I tell you the respect and care people give you is just special.
After her tea mum joined me with the wine and we ended up getting a carafe of wine and guess what??? get one carafe and we got another free. SCORE!! hehehe clearly I like free wine. We enjoyed our wine as we caught up while waiting for my brothers who by now were 2 hours late. I mean who does that???? It was 8pm we had set a date for 6pm and they still had not arrived!!!! we got a bit hungry as we waited and decided to have some Sardines as a starter.
What we got was very different from what we imagined. For some reason mum and I have only ever had canned sardines that are super tiny. It was quite a pleasant and enjoyable surprise. We enjoyed the sardines though I wouldn’t advice you to buy it for your children unless you will check each and every bite they have as it is full of lots of tiny bones that can be quite dangerous for any child perhaps below the age of 13. The warm mixed stir fry that was served with it was out of this world. Honestly probably what I enjoyed most that night because it was so unusual for veggies to be cooked so perfectly .
After lots of wine we finally ordered for dinner without my brothers who by 9pm had not gotten there. We were hungry and angry not a great combination I tell you. What was even more upsetting is that they had those Kenyan tales of “We are on the way” “We are just here” “5mins we shall be there” Nkt Kwani 5 minutes became 50 minutes in 2015??? So annoying. Anyway we ordered for the family platter, fried and decided they would join us later.
When the platter came we thought that that was plenty of food but boy were we wrong. I have never had the platter fried and I had not envisioned that it would be so tasty. I guess unhealthy things make you eat twice as much eeeh???? The prawns were a favourite between mum and I and by the time the boys got there the platter was almost done.
We had gone through almost all the prawns and calamari hehe . We ordered an extra portion of prawns and mussels . I would suggest you do this too in case you have big appetites for anything in particular on the menu. The boys also swept through the prawns like a hurricane and soon we were all sitting there in a food comma.
We each had a last drink as we complained about tardiness and caught up on recent happenings in our lives .We had such a great time. My only complaint was that the manager took one FREAKING hour to come see me when I requested for him. I mean who on earth does that? He, however, was quite apologetic for this and assured me that we would get stellar service moving forward which we did.
Lots of love from mum and I
Comment and tell me about your Ocean Basket experience.