Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Simba's Grill

Occasionally or more like shamelessly three to sometimes every day of the week, I spend a couple of hours looking for a restaurant to go to for dinner. I start with searching restaurants based on convenience and change the location if none of the eateries interest me. Sometimes I get those "good" days where I find a couple of places and think, "I HAVE to go there" while other times it is more like, "hmm looks okay" and settle. With that said, Simba's Grill has been on my list of interest for quite some time because I always notice the restaurant when passing by. So when I finally decided to look up some comments on Urbanspoon and Yelp, Simba's Grill seemed like a must visit to me.

Okay, honest to truth, I was obsessed for the whole day about going to Simba's Grill and had bad cravings to come here. Since there are not many photos of the dishes online, I even resorted to searching through Instagram and looking for their geotag just to find more photos! From what I remember reading, the owner is very friendly and welcoming especially towards first time visitors. I am big on supporting family businesses but at the same, only those who I believe deserve to be successful. By "deserve", all I really mean is for the owners to show they care about their clientele. To further simply put it, owners that do not act miserable.

When we walked in on a raining evening with dripping umbrellas, a friendly waitress provided us with a seat by the door when the restaurant was not busy. We asked if it was possible for a different seat, one not so close to the door, and she was happy to oblige. The waitress gave us the option of seating anywhere and we asked if a four person table is okay because we tend to order a lot. This is when the owner stood up from his seat, pointed towards a table in a corner and said, "no!". There is no exaggeration with the exclamation mark. At this time, BF wanted to leave because of the rudeness from the owner but I begged him to stay because I literally spent like three hours looking for photos online and I really wanted to dine here.

Rating: 3/5.
After ordering, we were presented with three kinds of chutney. The condiments include coconut, yogurt and tamarind. The coconut chutney has a rich coconut flavour along with flakes, but the consistency is watery (a thicker consistency can hold more flavour). Following, the yogurt chutney is very thick and rich. Neither of us tried the tamarind chutney.

Rating: 4/5.
Other than the chutney condiments, we were also presented with two kinds of hot sauce. Simba's hot sauce actually tastes spicy, close to a full level five and is fairly flavourful. The spiciness hits the mouth immediately and because of the richness, it is not a "bland" tasting hot sauce. As for the mango hot sauce, there is a nice thick consistency and a rich mango flavour. The mango hot sauce does not taste as spicy compared to the regular one because of the addition of mango, but is still spicy. For those who do not like spicy but want a taste of the mango flavour, I recommend adding some yogurt to kill the spiciness.

KUKU CHOMA, "Barbecued chicken tenders" ($14.00).
Rating: 2.5/5.
The kuku choma consists of a sliced chicken breast, tasting tender and exhibiting nice grill marks. The chicken tenders also have a light marinade and are not heavy on the seasoning, but did not taste moist nor dry. My favourite accompanying chutney with the chicken are the yogurt, hot sauce and mango hot sauce. The yogurt provided a rich refreshing flavour and I played around with the mango hot sauce later, where both combined had a different taste.

LAMB CHOPS, "Barbecued lamb chops" ($14.00).
Rating: 1/5.
When the lamb chops were dropped off, we expected actual chops. But regardless, the meat tastes very dry, tough, and is hard to cut. Add in a heavy handed girl and thin cutlery, there was definitely some damage to my hands. Asides from the toughness, the meat has a salty seasoning (in a good way). The seasoning is one dimensional where the only flavour is literally salt, but I do not mind because I rarely taste literally only salt. This is still the worst item we ordered out of the bunch however because of the meat. As for the saffron rice, it is fluffy and nicely cooked.

KAMBA MUCHUZI, "Prawns cooked in a special house blend of spices" ($14.00).
Rating: 3.5/5.
The best item from the evening are the prawns! The kamba muchuzi includes five jumbo prawns which are perfectly cooked. The prawns exhibit a bouncy snap and the curry tastes very flavourful. Despite the small about of muchuzi, the curry is full of flavour and tastes great when paired with rice. This is something that I would come back for and to try with the chicken or goat but because I am big on service, I cannot.

TOTAL: $46.20 + TIP $7.80 = $54.00.

Due to the small table and because we did not want to juggle dishes around or eat uncomfortably (we actually still had to juggle dishes around), we only ordered three dishes and were still hungry. The both of us considered ordering more but because of the greeting we received from the owner, we passed. This was such a shame because the waitresses are very friendly and attentive (although keep in mind we were the only people in the restaurant). It was sad having to go next door to Zakkushi Charcoal Grill because we were still hungry! As for the food, the highlight is the kamba muchiuzi and I highly recommend the dish. 

- Perfectly cooked prawns
- Genuinely friendly waitresses

- Limp salad
- Very tough lamb chops
- Owner is not welcoming 

Food: 2.5/5
Service: 3.5/5 (excluding the incident from the owner)

Simba's Grill on Urbanspoon

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