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Review: Hob House

I had heard many good things about Hob House. I had high expectations, but still kept in mind it’s a B&B and not a full scale restaurant. The food lived up to the hype. The rest of the experience fell flat.

Things started off wrong when they had no record of our reservation. They managed to get us a table.  Unfortunately, it was not in the restaurant seating area. It was the main dining room table in the common area for the B&B guests. (No pictures because I couldn’t have random people in the shots.) It felt like we were dropped into someone’s living room and told to eat.

One of the owners came by to chat with us. This was fine for the first couple minutes. Ten minutes later we really wanted her to leave but were being polite. Why did she spend such a long time with us? First she had to give us brochures for the B&B part of the business. Then she had to sell us on her favorite dessert and tell us the whole story about it (which involved murder). We really just wanted to eat dinner.

Service was slow and required a lot of reminding.

The icing on the cake was when a guy with his four-year-old sat down with us so she could eat dinner. He was nice. His daughter was lovely. And this was the common table so we really couldn’t complain about it. But, this is not how we wanted to have dinner.

Maybe it would have been better if they had remembered our reservation and sat us in the regular restaurant area. We will never know because I have no plans to ever go back.

My advice on Hob House: skip it. You can get good middle eastern food in Nairobi in a better setting and with better service.

Review: Body Shock

I recently got a few more piercing and a couple new tattoos. I’ve been joking that it’s part of my mid-life crisis. Really, it’s because I found a good piercing and tattoo place.

Body Shock, in the Ya Ya Center, is a clean, safe place to get work done in Nairobi. The ladies who run it are nice and no-nonsense. (They will turn away anyone who is being a diva, needs to have an entire entourage present, or is just otherwise not in a state that’s right getting a piercing or tattoo.)

My tattoos were done by Abe, who is amazing. He did a great job and had an excellent bedside manner (inking side manner?). Yes, it hurt. But Abe moved around never working too long in any one area and he had a very light touch.

If you are in Nairobi and you want to get pierced or get some ink, I highly recommend Body Shock.

Dog Licensing Update

I wrote about getting a dog license in Nairobi a while back. I am writing again with an update. The process has started this year. The forms are getting processed and sent over to the vets, who then do home visits.

These visits will be scheduled with you ahead of time. Do not allow any random visits as those are con artists. The visit should not require you to pay any kind of fee to the visiting vet.

I was called by someone from the office of Dr. Ngatia F.M. (Westlands based, phone number is 0722 332 543). The person refused to come for the visit unless I paid her transportation fee. I told her this was illegal. She then said that they would not come for the home visit.

Rather than let Dr. Ngatia hold my dog license as hostage, I reported the practice to the Director of Veterinary services at Nyayo House, Dr. Makori (tel 0722 469219). I haven’t gotten a response. I am now resubmitting the license application, along with the application for a license for my second dog, with a note requesting that the processing be done by another vet.

I also reported Dr. Ngatia to the Kenya Veterinary Board (info@kenyavetboard.or.ke). They are looking into the matter. I don’t think it’s right for a vet to extort money from people.

If you are faced with Dr. Ngatia or another veterinary practice that demands transportation or some other fee, tell them no and then report the practice. If enough people do this then maybe we can get this fixed.

Review: Ciao Bella

I’ve reviewed Serenity Spa as well as Serenity Spa’s Kitisuru location. Now, I’ve expanded. I checked out Caio Bella in the Rosslyn Riviera Mall.

It’s a cute little nail salon. It reminds me of a lot of the small nail places in New York. Not fancy, but nice. Clean, neat, and good service. I was happy with my manicure and pedicure and spent a lot less time than if I had been in a larger, full scale salon.

If you want something quick but done well, definitely give Ciao Bella try.

Yes, I know. This is a short post. But, that’s all there is to say.

Looking out from the beach bed

Review: The Maji Beach Boutique Hotel

This year for my birthday we took off to Diani. We stayed at The Maji Beach Boutique Hotel. It. Was. Awesome!

We loved every aspect of it. The grounds and pool are gorgeous. We loved the canopied day beds that overlooked the beach—this is where we pretty much spent all our time.

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Here’s a short video walking through the wrap-around pool.

The interior common areas were nice.

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Our room was fantastic.

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Most of all, the food and service were amazing. I cannot say enough about the quality of the hospitality. And the food…so good! It’s all a la carte, fresh, and freshly made. (Now I’m craving crab and oysters just from thinking about the food there!)

I very highly recommend staying at the Maji.