By Megan Cunnane
Beauty expressed through simplicity seems to be the guiding phrase at Akemi, Dar es Salaam’s first revolving restaurant. The décor is understated—a collection of creams, dark greens and blacks, with circular light pieces hanging in a simple geometric order, echoing the circular arrangement of the main tables. These tables, when the restaurant is in full swing, slowly rotate, providing every guest with a 360-degree view of Dar es Salaam from 21 floors above street level.
This view is not overwhelming; the walls of the restaurant are more glass than concrete and so present a guest with the simple, freeing feeling of being suspended in the sky. Priya Kanabar, one of the owners of Akemi, states that the restaurant’s goal is to help guests “to see how beautiful Dar is, actually is.”
“You know, when you’re there on the ground and you’re stuck in traffic, there’s the heat and the dust, sometimes you forget where you are, but everybody comes here and sees the view and basically is just like, ‘wow… Wow, how stunning,’” she tells Bang!.
Akemi’s menu, as well as the way in which is it built, furthers the trend of Akemi’s successful simplicity. Made up of a pasta section, seafood section, and a grill section (their most popular), Akemi’s menu is, according to Kanabar, “all about flavors, a fusion of flavors.” Akemi’s chef is dedicated to this simple authenticity and often goes fishing for ingredients or sources them at the market.
Akemi’s biggest challenge, according to Kanabar, is staying on top. Rather than merely maintaining a standard of excellence, Akemi strives to constantly improve.
Recently, Akemi made Thursday nights a special drinks night, meaning that a different alcohol is featured each Thursday in specialty cocktails and even free samples. “We’re going to be teaming up with other partners as well, like we’ll have a Moet evening on a Thursday,” Kanabar says. Other Akemi specials include Sunday lunch, which is prepared from 12 – 4 pm and involves a live band, as well as their cocktail hour, which runs every day from 5:30 – 7:30 pm.
Akemi is all about helping guests relax, escaping, if they need to, every day stress for the simplicity that is Akemi’s aesthetic and menu. “If someone were to leave here, I’d just want them to feel entertained and happy, and special without feeling uncomfortable… with the pricing, the way the food is presented, it’s not daunting.”