Good restaurants are not necessarily marked by their size, but by the quality of their food and the caliber of their staff. In fact, some of the best dining experiences I have had have been in small hotels and dives — so small that they may never get reviews. Wines of the World Wine Shop & Bar (WWW Wine Shop) doesn’t quite fit this description.
Its location at The Junction, a popular mall off Ngong Road, makes it appear promising at first. The décor adds to the overall inviting ambiance, and features a backdrop of floor-to-ceiling wine cabinets where a plethora of wine bottles rest at optimum temperature.
However the mall location actually detracts from the atmosphere, thanks to the chatty, noisy shoppers passing through to neighboring stores such as Woolworths, Angelo and Diamond Watch Company. Also, the tables at the WWW are tightly spaced, to the extent that you cannot help but overhear the conversation at the next table. I am not antisocial but if I can reach over and touch the next table, that’s too close for my liking.
Furthermore tabletops are pretty small. I sat at a two-person table – deuces, in restaurant speak – and my plate occupied half the table. Adjacent to my table was a similar-sized table meant to seat four.
The medium rare sirloin steak that I ordered had a layer of shimmering fat that surprised me a great deal, since it’s supposedly a low fat cut of meat. But the fries accompanying the steak were somewhere between crunchy and soft — perfect.
Vegetarians or those keen to avoid the fatty meat could order a tofu burger, vegetable tempura or the orange and beetroots salad.
As the name suggests, wine is the forte at Wine Shop Nairobi. With a selection of over 80 wines and champagnes by the glass – including Dom Perignon and Billecart Salmon Champagne – you’ll be flipping through the wine list for a while before you make up your mind.
Prices at WWW knock the wind out of you. Wine lovers will get their money’s worth here, but foodies are unlikely to stick around for dessert. I didn’t.
It is a great place for old college mates to hang out, laugh out loud and drink copious amounts of fine wine – if they can afford it.