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A night on ice and Chinese

Beating the evening traffic in Nairobi had never felt so good. Eustace and I were eager to experience Panari Sky Centre along Mombasa Road that evening.

We arrived, got screened and went up to second floor where directly to our main focus, the Ice Rink. Unfortunately, we found the rink being cleaned and had to get something else to do for an hour. The Anga Imax’s movie, Avengers Infinity War was already in session so that too was out of the question. The health club and swimming was also an idea but it was too late to work out and have a massage. We resolved to come back some other time.

Then hunger announced its arrival and we decided to head for the Chinese Restaurant’s open doors. Along a rich red carpet and well-placed wine bottles along the entrance, we made our way into the spot. A Chinese lady smiled at us and as she said welcome as a waiter met us and led us to a table. It wasn’t too busy save for a few Chinese guests who were having a blast preparing their own meal on the hot plates on the tables. 

The waiter had a red Chinese jacket embossed with Mandarin script which we obviously could not make out.  He handed us the menu which had all the items in Mandarin but also conveniently translated into English. We decided to have something that wasn’t foreign lest we blew our money and skated on hungry stomachs. Eustace settled on sizzling beef and I suggested rice and fries as accompaniments.

Before our meal came, our waiter served us green tea which felt great going down. Those healthy vibes kicked in but now that I think about it, it was probably because I was hungry. That said, green tea is medicinal and has its fair share of benefits, as our waiter explained. He told us about their Wednesday offer, an all you can eat affair for Ksh1, 000 but with a catch, you get to prepare the meals yourself from the comfort of your seat. They provide all the ingredients and all you have to do is go pick them at the serving points along with the cooking pans then come back and cook the food on your table’s hot plates.

Our food arrived in less than fifteen minutes which was timely considering we needed to go skate at exactly 9pm seeing as the management was a stickler for time. We got to digging in and realized the portions were too generous. The hunger was all a false alarm as it turned out we were not as hungry. The rice was really hot, a bit over-done but fine. I loved how soft the beef was. It was well diced and the spices gelled well together. The Chinese chefs did a pretty good job and we left a happy duo after parting with Ksh2, 600.

We dragged ourselves to the rink because food had gotten the better of us but as soon as we parted with Ksh1, 800 and wore the boots, we were back on track. No lessons, no instructions just a question of if you have your socks on or not. After we had strapped on our boots, it was time to hit the rink.

The guy in charge handed us a pair of blue seals that would help us glide on the ice for starters. While he just got on to the ice and strutted his stuff on the ice. After mustering my courage, I put the seal away and took to skating just like I do with roller blades. I did a few rounds way before Eustace could get around to one. He soon hung his boots up but I was not about to waste the one hour we’d paid for. Yes, I fell, once and that was it. Panari is actually affordable and better still in the evenings when there’s les human traffic. The scenery too is wonderful!

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