Good food, but be prepared for the long wait

Chili Garlic Wings at Acacia Premier Pool Bar & Grill, Kisumu   PHOTO| Maryanne Owiti

What you need to know:

The service was not bad, but it was not good either

 The waiters were polite, but the service was slow, even for Kisumu standards

Taking its name from the tree where villagers met to make important tribe-shaping decisions, the Acacia Premier boasts of first-class African comfort and hospitality. Located in the prime suburb of Milimani in Kisumu, the pool bar and grill offer a mix of international and local cuisine as well as views of Lake Victoria. Parking is shared with the West End Mall, and you have to enter the mall to access the hotel. 

Let’s start with hospitality. The service was not bad, but it was not good either. The waiters were polite, but the service was slow, even for Kisumu standards. At least other establishments cushion the long waiting times with a steady flow of drinks. Here, even the drinks took a while (think 10 to 15 minutes) to arrive, and I was only six meters from the bar.

The food fared better. The restaurant offers sandwiches, pasta, meat platters, tikkas, and wet/dry fry. I ordered the chili garlic wings as a starter and the Philly cheese steak for the main. The wings were superb, heavier on the chili than the garlic, which was exactly to my taste. They were supposed to come with a dipping sauce. However, they were excellent as is. Besides, I didn’t want another wait to find out if the dipping sauce would have added to the flavour.

The fries were of the superior variety, medium thick and perfectly salted. The Philly cheese steak was good. It would have been better if it came with a creamy sauce. The ciabatta bread was on the thick side, so the sandwich was a little dry. They could have also added more Swiss cheese. Otherwise, the beef fillet slices were seasoned and grilled to perfection.  The coleslaw could have used some dressing as well.

The highlight of the meal was the wine – a sweet French wine. It came in chilled glasses and was perfectly refreshing for the hot day.

All in all, it was a pretty average experience. While the food was good, it wasn’t enough to cancel out the poor service. The price was fair if a little on the expensive side.  The best time to go is in the evening. It’s cooler, and you can catch the splendid sunset over the lake. As it was, I went in the afternoon, and it was hot. There was the occasional breeze, but it seemed like the best way to beat the heat at that time of day in the brilliantly blue swimming pool.