You call to reserve if you want a table. If you walk in swinging your hands, you might not get a table. You might stand there, at a desk, as they look around trying to find a table for you. Eventually, they might say, sorry, no table.
You belong to the Winging Team, which isn’t a good team. Because they are busy serving halloumi tikka and peshawari kumbh and paneer tikka and platters of tikka and prawns. They are busy feeding Indian food lovers.
You can hear the kitchen hum with activity as you walk through the paved walkway. You can smell curry in the parking lot.
To be honest I was a little worried about Red Ginger. I read some good stuff on TripAdvisor but I also read some bad stuff about service and discrimination and the attitude of the hosts and hostess. [Of the 52 reviews, 21 were excellent, 11 terrible].
The first time I went there, I made no reservation because it was lunch time and in the middle of the week I was lucky to get a table. It was full but I was lucky. John Mutua was excellent, suggesting meals and things.
The second time was dinner but I reserved it. It was full and the hostess was hustled but I got my corner table from where I could see John walking the floor with his confident gait, hoping he would be our host. We got a fairly decent waitress, but he wasn’t John. Nobody can be John.
The food was as good as a good Indian restaurant can be. [I’m not one to review food]. The mood was upbeat — people on dates, family dinners, and young girls in groups sharing platters before they head for the night on the tiles. It was abuzz.
Outside in the bar area groups drank and watched football from the big screen. It looked like a cosy bar that one would enjoy on a warm night like nights are now.
Nothing major happened. In fact, the most exciting thing was seeing a man and his date being sent away because they hadn’t called to reserve.
That and my nine-year-old son saying, Can I taste your wine” and me saying, “Are you mad, boy?” And my daughter giggling.