FOOD. DRINK. LIFE.
NRW 2018 CHEFâ€™S TABLES
NEW YEAR TRENDS
Vol.4.1 January 2018
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO
EXPERTLY CRAFTED DELIGHTFULLY SERVED
Dormanscoffee @dormans_coffee @dormanscoffee
KTB NRW Who would have ever thought that Kenya would one day become one of the top culinary destinations on the continent? Nairobi is gearing up to steal your crown as Africa’s most vibrant and multicultural food city and it could not be at a better time when Kenya Airways is about to start flying directly to the United States, connecting Nairobi to the world’s biggest economy in New York. As the country strives to make itself known around the world for more than just its breathtaking natural beauty, exotic wildlife and pristine beaches, food is the way to our visitors’ hearts and here in Nairobi, we seem to be doing a pretty good job at making that happen. From the look of things, it’s even getting hard for us locals to keep up with all the new and exciting restaurants that are opening up around the city. Events like Restaurant Week are swiftly becoming invaluable resources for Nairobians to get to know their own culinary scene better and for our out-of-town visitors to sample some of the many delicious menus from our growing pool of astounding eateries. The fifth edition of Nairobi Restaurant Week, running from the 25th January to 4th February 2018, is a great opportunity for Kenyan chefs and restaurateurs to show off how their culinary skills are going from strength to strength. These ten days continue to give food lovers the perfect chance to indulge in a variety of different and exciting cuisines at over 75 participating restaurants. The Kenya Tourism Board is excited to once again support the Nairobi Restaurant Week. Food festivals continue to put the city on the worldwide culinary map. We encourage you to join us as we dive into this exciting week of wining and dining. Bon appetit. We sincerely hope your experience will be magical. Karibuni. KTB Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Betty Radier
EDITOR’S YUMMY NOTE
NRW IN VINO TURNS 5 VERITAS
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you risk getting disappointed! Elsewhere in the magazine Susan specialhas meal for the our time Sicilian Table Wong taken to predict recipeshe section Karanja Nzisa what hopes[p40], is going to happen can’t a delicious meal scene he hadinin on theget Nairobi restaurant the holy cityand of Jerusalem out of his 2018 [p.32] Winnie Wangui mind [p58] andto David Cecil describes got the chance talk to some how a magicalthat Rasta turned restaurateurs arecaterer pushing the the vegetarian food on his film conceptual boundaries of restaurants shoot frominbland andtoday depressing to and cafes Nairobi [p.58]. Oh, and invigorating [p60]. Idelicious almost forgot, if you turn to the last I sincerely reading page you willhope find Iyou spillenjoy the beans on the magazine much weidea did for why I decidedas that the as best producing this it and that at the least, itit Christmas year was to spend willaninspire you out of your comfort in Ayurvedic ashram in Sri Lanka zone toDon’t go and try a new wine from [p.68]. ask. the delightful selection that Kahiu hand-picked and vetted especially for you.
Katy Fentress Editor In Chief
CONTENTS NRW SECTION 36 How To: Bang for your buck at NRW 38 Overview: Restaurant week worldwide 56 Editor’s Pick: Wagyu beef at Sierra
27 CHEF’S TABLES A photo celebration of Nairobi’s enterprising chefs and the vibrant food they put on their restaurant’s tables.
REGULARS 20 Kahawa Diaries: Rizwan Ibrahim 23 Anyiko’s List: What’s Hot 24 On the line: Sanford Masinde 32 Susan Eats: 2018 Trends 61 Ask a Wino: Ordering Out 64 Man About Town: World’s End 67 Social Butterfly: Afropunk Central
EAT AND IMBIBE 19 EatOut Picks: Healthy Eats 62 Wine Picks: All Whites
NUGGETS 11 Dear Yummy: Lucky Winner 58 Trend: Master of One 68 Culinary Escape: Ayurvedic Spree
36 35 NRW GUIDE The complete list of all participating restaurants divided by category for you to peruse at leisure
YUMMY Vol. 4.01 January 2018W · PUBLISHED BY EATOUT, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. MANAGING DIRECTOR Mikul Shah GM Michelle Slater EDITOR IN CHIEF: Katy Fentress STAFF WRITERS Winnie Wangui, Leroy Buliro CONTRIBUTORS Jackson Biko, Megan Iacobini di Fazio, Josiah Kahiu, Patricia Kihoro, Fred Mwithiga, Anyiko Owoko DESIGN John Njoroge, Brian Siambi SALES, MARKETING & OPERATIONS Daniel Muthiani, Devna Vadgama, Gilbert Chege, Jane Naitore, Joy Wairimu, Ruth Wairimu, Seina Naimasiah PHOTOGRAPHY Peter Ndung’u IT Douglas Akula, Erick Kiiya, Asim Mughal SALES INQUIRIES Call Yummy, 0711 22 22 22 EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org
Naturally Perfect 10.
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PATRICIA KIHORO Patricia Kihoro’s father is “a very enthusiastic foodie” and NRW is the perfect activity for them to enjoy together. She will visit restaurants such as Ohcha and Cheka Izakaya for the first time. She is excited to join Nairobi residents in sampling cuisines represented here from all around the world.
ANYIKO OWOKO Anyiko Owoko is eager to discover a good spot for the traditional vegetable osuga which is cooked in milk. For her, a food festival is amazing for Nairobi because Kenyans are extremely diverse. She is excited to sample the world-class dishes offered in what she calls the “capital of hospitality”.
Twenty one year old winner of the Bailey’s giveaway hamper Jessica Kihori was super excited to find out that Christmas had not yet ended for her earlier this January. She won the prize, which she says she will be sharing with her mother, by correctly answering the question: What year and month did we feature a Bailey’s Irish Cream Hot Chocolate Recipe on the Yummy Website? The answer was July 2014.
JACKSON BIKO Jackson Biko thinks Nairobi needs an eventful festival because Nairobi often feels like an overdrawn relationship. If Mercado restaurant adopts him, he will be so well behaved… until dinner time when he will rush through the main course and settle in to chow on his churros. Preferably with his shirt off.
WIN THIS MONTH Are you a Yummy reader? Do you have five free minutes? Would you like to have a free meal at Artcaffe? If yes, then make sure you complete our online survey this month for a chance to win Ksh. 10,000 worth of Artcaffe vouchers to be spent at your leisure. To participate visit yummy.co.ke/survey making sure to fill in your email for a chance to be the randomly selected winner of this month’s giveaway.
NEW YEARâ€™S SOCIAL SCENE
CITY Kenya Nights, Nairobiâ€™s most influential Electronic Music events company has always fit right into the Alchemist Yard vibe so it made total sense that this year they join forces and put together a banging party for all the Nairobi revellers who stayed home to enjoy the city in its more empty and less chaotic end of December incarnation.
NEW YEARâ€™S SOCIAL SCENE
Back for its fourth consecutive year the 2017/18 Kilifi Distant Relatives New Years Eve mega bash, was four times bigger than previous years. Instead of taking place around the grounds of the Distant Relatives Backpackerâ€™s, the site was moved deep into the Kilifi plantations and benefited from more space, baobab platforms and luminescent animals than any Kenyan New Years Eve party has ever seen before.
NEWS & EVENTS
New Crêpes Menu at Le Grenier à Pain Candlemas is a Holy Christian day that falls on February 2nd and commemorates the presentation of baby Jesus at the temple. To celebrate this lesser-known day in the Christian holiday calendar, Le Grenier à Pain will be launching a new crêpes menu which will add to their extensive selection of pastry, bread and dessert treats. Stop by for lunch to find out what all the fuss is about. eatout.co.ke/le-grenier-a-pain
BUBBLES NOUVELLE Luc Belaire Launches New Wine Varieties
The French wine brand Luc Belaire recently launched the Belaire Gold and Belaire Luxe Fantôme limited edition bottles. This is a brand hell-bent on sticking out and the Belaire Gold sparkling wine, blended from hand-picked Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, does not intend to get left behind. Belaire Luxe Fantôme, a limited-production edition of the Belaire Luxe cuvée, achieves this by featuring a luminescent label on the bottle.The two bottles are available in Nairobi at various nightclubs and retail stores. lucbelaire.com
Tandoori Patio Moves Location When it comes to casual, upscale, patio-style restaurants, Tandoori Patio always had it locked. Now, in its new location on the roundabout junction of Lower Kabete and Brookside Drive it has upped the stakes. With a very tranquil and serene ambiance, Tandoori is a go-to spot for those looking to indulge in some spicy delights from the Indian subcontinent while sipping on a glass of fine wine. eatout.co.ke/tandoori-patio
ITâ€™S TIME FOR YOUR NEXT BUSH BREAK Flying you to
17 Bush, Beach & Business destinations across Kenya & Tanzania +254 (0)20 669 0000 email@example.com
REFRESHING TREATS Fresh Juices, Coffees, Teas at Sigiria Cafe Sitting in the dappled foliage of the Sigiria entrance to Karura Forest just off Thigiri ridge, is a delightful new cafe which is bound to multiply the visitors to this lesser-known entrance to the park. Enjoy coffees, teas or smoothies after a long walk, quench your thirst with some of their delicious fresh juices or just nibble on some of their tasty, yet healthy, oatmeal cookies. eatout.co.ke/nairobi/sigiria
PASTRY MEDLEY Coffee Blends Scrumptious Baked Goods Opening a second spot at Village Market, Alexandre Chocolatier are popular for their freshly made pastries and various coffee blends. If you are looking for a spot to enjoy your breakfast with a friend, they boast over 200 unique flavour combinations of hand crafted pastries which are bound to leave you happy and satisfied. eatout.co.ke/nairobi/alexandre-chocolatier
GUILT FREE EATS Healthy Indulgence at Afta Eats Afta Eats at Village Market serve up healthy desserts to satisfy your cravings while at the same time allowing you to stick to your healthy eating plan. From light and airy crepes, to freshly-made Belgian waffles, smoothies and milkshakes, their sugar free, vegan friendly treats are the ultimate solution to healthy desserts. eatout.co.ke/nairobi/afta-eats
HEALTHY EATS Let’s face it, you probably overindulged on the food and the booze front over the holidays and January’s “healthy” resolutions have been hard to stick by. It’s fine, we get it and don’t worry, we are definitely not judging you. That said, especially with the extra indulgence of NRW on the horizon, now might be the time to double down on those healthy lunches you’ve been promising yourself. Can’t be bothered to make your own salad? That’s fine, we’ve drawn up a list of some of the best healthy lunch options around town that are sure to keep you guilt at bay, your calories in check but your taste buds tingling. KI.CHEN If you often forget to carry your packed lunch and intend to have a healthy one Ki.Chen’s healthy menu features a variety of light snacks, salads and full meals that can be delivered right to your desk. Their prices are quite favourable and they have weekly packages where they can deliver your lunch every day. eatout.co.ke/kichen
PURPLE EARTH FOODS If you take your calorie count seriously, so do Purple Earth Foods. Every item on their menu includes details of ingredients and calorie count. Their baked goods are prepared with whole grain wheat flour, a healthier and more nutritious alternative. All their menu items are available on delivery. purpleearthfoods.com
STACK & SQUEEZE Popular for their fresh, healthy, salads, sandwiches, juices, smoothies and extensive vegan menu, Stack & Squeeze at Lavington Green mall will definitely keep you on track on your healthy eating journey. Beware of their addictive delicious juices, you’ll definitely find yourself wanting more than one. eatout.co.ke/stack-squeeze
ARTCAFFE GRAND What sets this Westgate branch apart from other branches is their vegan menu. If you are looking to go vegan and are wondering what you’ll do when you don’t feel like cooking, then a trip to Westgate will save you the hustle while still keeping you on track. Some of the items on their menu include gnocchi, butternut steak, couscous and more. eatout.co.ke/artcaffe-grand-westgate
URBAN EATERY Urban Eatery’s healthy menu has a number of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. Some items on their normal menu have been repurposed and given a healthy twist making them mostly high in protein and low in fat, with healthier choices of carbohydrates and sides. These include the stir fry Asian greens, high protein tofu salad and a bun-less burger dubbed the Lo-Carb Burger which substitute lettuce with the normal burger bun. eatout.co.ke/urban-eatery Juicee With two locations, Sarit Centre and The Junction, Juicee just like the name suggests serve up freshly squeezed juices, smoothies, salads and sandwiches. Their juices are filled with nutritious ingredients, including beetroot, celery, carrots and ginger, all freshly made. juicee.me
COFFEE AND PASTRY OFFER Everyday from 7.00am to 9.30am
WITH ALMOST A DECADE IN THE ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS UNDER HIS BELT, RIZWAN IBRAHIM HAS MADE QUITE THE NAME FOR HIMSELF AND HIS COMPANY KENYA NIGHTS ON THE NAIROBI ELECTRONIC MUSIC SCENE, INITIALLY AS A PHOTOGRAPHER AND AT A LATER MOMENT AS AN EVENT ORGANISER AND PROMOTER. Which of your many accomplishments are you particularly proud of? We celebrated 8 years of Kenya Nights in December 2017 which was great, although hosting international superstar Diplo (Major Lazer), was without a doubt one of my crowning moments to date. What gets you out of bed in the morning? Usually the loud neighbours and/or the gate slamming, but it’s definitely the hustle that gets me up and going. What is breakfast for you? Breakfast depends on the mood I’m in. Usually I go straight in for a bowl of cereal, but when I’m feeling slightly more motivated, I’ll make two eggs (fried, scrambled or poach depending on my mood) on buttered toast. I usually have a cup of tea with this but once out of the house, I regularly stop at a cafe and get a hazelnut latte. Anyone who knows me well, knows my obsession with hazelnut lattes. I would settle for a vanilla latte at a push. What music do you listen to when you need to focus? So many options!! I often catch myself listening to a mix by Bonobo or Caribou - beautiful soulful live vibes when I need to get things done. I also tend to have 2 albums by a Swedish heavy metal band called Opeth on standby Deliverance and Damnation. Yes I’m a huge heavy metal fan.
If you could throw a party anywhere in the world where would that be and why? Probably at a place called the Gashouder in Amsterdam. The most amazing venue I’ve ever seen in my life and such an experience! Techno heaven is what it is. Industrial style, dark, perfect acoustics, and so much room to play around with. Another spot would be on the shores of Lake Turkana. Google the images of it, i’ll speak for itself. Who would you invite to come and play at it? Ah, the dream team! Firstly, I cannot express how talented our Kenyan DJs are. My first pick would be Suraj, followed by Dylan-S, L.A. Dave, Foozak, Zelalem, Franki B, Norah at the top of my head. Internationally my top three would be Ricardo Villalobos, Nicolas Jaar and Bonobo followed by, in no particular order, Craig Richards, Sven Vath, Maya Jane Coles, Seth Troxler, Magda... I got to stop the list is endless! What is the secret to making people comfortable in front of the camera? There’s no real secret I reckon. I usually see if people are comfortable with having me around them with a camera. If I sense some hesitation, I’ll respect it and move along. More often than not, I’ll get approached for a picture to be taken, makes everything a lot easier as people are already comfortable within themselves.
WHAT’S HOT Publicist to the stars extraordinaire Anyiko Owoko, spends her entire life trotting around Nairobi, Kenya and the rest of the globe, meeting influential people, trying on new clothes and adornments, tasting foods and drinks and generally experiencing life to the max. In this new column, she shares with her Yummy readers tidbits and highlights from her adventures. My Funkiest Cocktails In the last month, I’ve acquired an insatiable craving for the spicy jalapeño Margaritas. After sampling them across the Czech Republic this Christmas I discovered, on my return, that they existed in Kenya too! So I’ve just concluded that the funkiest and most spicy and hot Margarita resides in Tapas (Westgate). This is only for the lovers of spice!
Craziest Quote Last year Nigerian music producer, Masterkraft, dropped his debut album: “Unlimited The Tape.” It reminded me of a 2016 interview I had with him. He said: “To stay ahead of the game I make sounds naturally. Sometimes I wear my Timberland Boots and stomp on the ground to record sounds.” Earlier this year, I realised he was serious when he posted this on his Instagram: “I’ll be spending the next 7 days of my life living close to the forest! Making 5 beats a day with sounds from animals, trees, wind, water and as much I can sample! 35 mad beats in a week!”
Favourite Series I am obsessed with Stranger Things, I bingewatched it all as if it were two long movies! What I really love is the fact that the kids and younger characters are the protagonists. It’s the only new age show bringing forth young characters as heroes. So much redemption – I strongly recommend this.
The Funniest Thing! I just found out that its true that the world’s biggest reggae band, Morgan Heritage, have a thing for Kenya and even consider themselves Kenyan. In January, the Grammy-award winners were in the country for a week right after their concert performance in Uganda. Mojo of the group said to me: “After every tour, we always need to get back to our roots and Kenya’s soil, air and feel completely resembles that of Jamaica. We secretly come into Kenya every year, and have already spotted homes we would like to purchase.
Most Memorable Diva One time when my company conducted PR for a West African singer, she required us to share with us all pictures we took of her so she could edit them all and add her own filter before sending them back to us for posting. Then another time, she stopped an interview because she wanted to add some foundation to her elbows, which she claimed were ashy. They weren’t! She’s just a diva!.
Best Goodie Bags I’ve been very honoured to be part of a team of industry professionals consulted by the GoDown Arts Center to attend sessions to exchange ideas on how to join forces in rebuilding the art centre that will be taken down and rebuilt anew. The new space is set to accommodate more artists and create more opportunities in East Africa and beyond. I really adore the Michael Soi fridge magnets they gifted us in their goodie bags. So cute and thoughtful! Can’t wait to share with you some cool Kenyan things I recently collected! Coming soon ...
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ON THE LINE
BLOGGERS WE LOVE Social media has changed the way we consume our meals, appealing to our visual sense before anything else. If you’re a sucker for deliciously crafted Instagram feeds, chances are you have come across Sanford Masinde’s profile (@sanniesanford) and craved at least one of his well-shot dishes. Oozing with mouthwatering shots from his food endeavours, Sanford Masinde’s Instagram profile is the type you visit an hour before your lunch break for meal inspiration. Based in Nairobi, the 27 year old food photographer is the perfect example of the millennial foodie shoot it, post it, eat it, creating his online journal one meal at a time. His journey to food photography started at home as he watched his mother and grandmother prepare meals for the family. Learning to cook at a young age was the foundation for his love affair with food. In time, he developed a passion for photography and merged it with his existing appreciation for food, turning the man into a brand. In an age where social media has spearheaded content consumption, he prefers to shoot with his iPhone 6s, especially when he needs to create and publish on the run and a Canon EOS 600D when he’s working on involving projects. So why food and not anything else? From Sanford’s point of view, he believes in inspiring his audience to dine out more and improve their
cooking skills. “I want to use my food brand and show the outside world a unique perspective of this country. Apart from our wildlife, our food culture is rich.” True to his words, a glance through his feed consists of top-end restaurant dishes, homemade recipe shots, and gems from ‘vibandas’ he has visited on his travels. His path has certainly not been a lonely one. As much as it has been an individual journey, Sannie is always keen to collaborate with fellow industry creatives. From creating quirky food illustrations with Ed Wainaina (@edwainaina) to envisioning Nairobi as an ice cream flavour with Nairobi Hooray (@nairobihooray), it’s quite clear that collaborations are just as, if not more, rewarding. His most notable partnership has been with Mandi Sarro (@missmandithrowdown) one of the city’s most notable food vloggers and media personalities as her official photographer. “Mandi and I met on the interweb. I was trying to figure out how I could grow my audience and fine tune my skill when she reached out to
me on Twitter looking for a good photographer to work with. I picked the ball and ran with it. Here we are still creating amazing work together!” Forever on the hunt for a new spot to dine at, a memorable experience is what he seeks the most. For him, it all boils down to a fantastic ambiance, delicious food and terrific service. Date night with his significant other is no small affair. His go-to restaurants for a romantic night about town are Soko Restaurant at Dusit, Ankole Grill and Ocean Basket, based on their food and ambiance. While he believes that the food scene is headed in the right direction, he thinks restaurants should further expand their menus to include more options for vegans, vegetarians and those on a healthconscious diet. When he’s not taking pictures of his food at restaurants, he’s in the kitchen whipping up one of Miss Mandi’s recipes. His favourite so far? Her Chicken and Pasta Bacon Salad. A simple, yet filling salad that will brighten up any dull looking taste buds.
Chicken and Pasta Bacon Salad You Will Need: 1 Shredded Chicken Breast Pasta Garlic Powder A half Red and Green pepper diced Cooked and chopped bacon strips 1 cup of Italian dressing 1/2 a cup of sweet corn 2 tablespoons of olive oil
Procedure Put a pot of water to boil. Add garlic powder and some salt. Stir and let the water boil. Once the water has boiled pour in a bowl of pasta and let pasta cook, After 5-6 minutes the pasta will be ready. Drain water and add olive oil to the pasta. Then add in red pepper, green pepper, bacon and sweet corn. Pour in 1/2 cup of Italian dressing then mix everything. Then throw in the shredded chicken and some more Italian dressing and mix everything in. Once done mixing, your salad is ready to serve. (Meal Prep by Miss Mandi) yummy.co.ke/bloggers-we-love
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As Nairobi’s culinary repertoire grows and expands, so the sheer volume of amazing colours and spices that we find on our tables multiplies. In order to keep the ingredients to the highest level possible, restaurants like FONDA have resorted to importing chilies from Mexico and then planting them in their own expansive shamba upcountry and Mandhari at the Serena hotel, seamlessly combines Indian classics with a more traditional Continental fine dining menu, has no short of aromatic spices to flavour its dishes with. The following pages are a celebration of these restaurant’s colourful menus and the creative inspiration their respective chefs bring to them.
FONDA NBO Chef Geraldo Rodolfo Perez Lopez
TRENDS CHEFâ€™S TABLE
MANDHARI Chef Jackson Wanjohi
NAIROBI IN 2018 Susan Wong knows that the Nairobi restaurant scene is hell-bent on becoming bigger, better and more adventurous and she fully intends to partake in the city’s flavour revolution. 2017 was quite a rollercoaster for many of us in Kenya. What began as a promising year, quickly became entangled in its political dramas, which affected the spending and dining habits of many consumers. Despite the conservative year, 2017 wrapped-up with a flurry of activity with several restaurants opening their doors to curious diners eager to take part in Nairobi’s flourishing gastronomic scene. I’ve said this before: culinary and restaurant trends aren’t new to us, and understanding them depends on the prediction of mood, behaviour and eating habits of diners at a particular time. Kenya is no different. In fact, the Kenyan food world is changing at an incredible speed and the industry must evolve too. Let’s look at what’s in store for the dining world in Kenya in 2018. Inspired by some global food trends, Kenyans will most likely see the rise of the vegetable, more ethnic restaurants, curated restaurant popups, increase use of healthy plants like Moringa and experiment with new cuts of meat. 2018 promises to continue with some old trends such as locallysourced ingredients, whilst bringing in some vibrant and fresh concepts shaped by the influence of Nairobi’s growing cosmopolitan population. Buying local, vegetable-forward and ethnic-inspired menus will be a recurring theme this year. Many of us already incorporate these trends in our lifestyles and want to see them reflected in restaurants as well. Vegetable-forward menus have been a global food trend for some
time now, but with global giants such as McDonald’s introducing a vegan burger in many countries and Google looking to reduce their environmental footprint by reducing their employees’ beef consumption, vegetables are now officially the cool thing on a menu. Fresh produce will be the star of a dish. How a chef redefines the use of vegetables is an exciting culinary frontier and one which will ultimately amplify the concept of combining great taste with great nutrition. In Kenya, don’t be shocked to see a resurgence of indigenous greens cooked to perfection in a contemporary African setting. Mexican cuisine has been a global food trend that has seen its popularity grow strength-to-strength thanks to its street food appeal, traditional culinary techniques and unique ingredients and flavours. The recent openings of two fully-fledged Mexican eateries in Nairobi is a testament to the evolving palate of Nairobians. We’re becoming more adventurous and mindful of trends from other parts of the world. I personally think Nairobi is missing three specific cuisines: Turkish, Vietnamese and Filipino. You might find Bánh mì (Vietnamese Baguette) or Pho (Vietnamese Noodle Soup) in a couple of places, but when was the last time you found a good Nuoc Cham (dipping sauce) just sitting on a table? The ultimate breakfast, in my opinion, is a Turkish one. A Kahvalti is a decadent spread of fresh cheeses, olives, sausages, fresh-baked bread, honey, sweet butter, salads, salami, soup, tea and brewed coffee. Doesn’t that sound perfect under Nairobi’s sunshine? Finally, Filipino cuisine
is eclipsing global ethnic cuisine trends such as Thai, Korean and Mexican. According to Google, Filipino food searches have doubled since 2012. It’s inevitable that the Filipino craze will hit Nairobi soon, I just hope it’ll be this year. With many Kenyan diasporas returning home to invest, some of whom are trained professional chefs and food and beverage professionals, Nairobians will see more pop-up restaurants this year. Perhaps they want to test out a restaurant concept or they just want to keep diners curious, the pop-up scene is expected to push boundaries in terms of flavours and experience. So, look out for them! Back to combining great taste with great nutrition, the superfood Moringa is literally taking over supermarket shelves in the US and Canada. In Kenya, you’ve probably already taken Moringa before. Whether it’s at your grandmother’s farm or in your breakfast porridge, Moringa isn’t a new thing to Kenyans. What’s new is that Kenyan produced Moringa is being spotlighted as some of the best in the world, and companies are investing in developing new products such as incorporating Moringa in tea and even spice blends. Moringa is no longer limited to smoothie and juice menus. Don’t be surprised to see it in salad dressings or sprinkled on a roast this year. Finally, using locally-sourced meat is no surprise, but using traditionally less popular cuts will be featured more on menus.
Global trends will always lead the food conversation, but Kenya is blessed with incredibly delicious produce and creative talent. Whether it’s the oyster steak, shoulder tender, Vegas Strip Steak, or even a Merlot cut, these are all cuts of meat that we should be eating. You probably won’t find most of these obscure cuts at a supermarket, but with access to butchers, chefs will be able to cook some magic with these flavourful cuts and add diversity to the steak eating experience. Global trends will always lead the food conversation, but Kenya is blessed with incredibly delicious produce and creative talent. 2018 will truly be an exciting year for the Kenyan food world. Get ready!
NRW2018 Nairobi’s yearly celebration of all things food, drink and dining out is back and this year, with over 70 participating restaurants, promises to be even more yummy than usual. Confused about what it’s all about? Here is everything you need to know in a nutshell.
WHAT Nairobi Restaurant Week is a ten day celebration of our budding gastronomic culture. WHY Never been to a restaurant before? Worried you can’t affod it? Well what are you waiting for? This is your chance to try out some of the most amazing deals and meals our city’s restaurants have to offer. WHEN It will take place from January 25th to February 4th everyday, lunch and dinner. WHERE There are over 70 different participating restaurants this year and the best way to find out who they are and what they are offering is to download the EatOut app and have a browse through the many different menus to decide which one tickles your fancy. HOW It’s simple, go onto the app, choose a restaurant with a menu that you feel you might enjoy and a price point that you are comfortable with and book! Nothing else to it! WHO With price points going from Ksh. 1000 all the way to Ksh. 5000, there is something for anyone who ever wanted to go out and discover a restaurant or five this year!
BANG FOR YOUR BUCK Nairobi restaurant week can be really overwhelming what with there being more than 70 restaurants to choose from, a head-spinning array of menus and price points and in the end so little time to try them all out. This is one of those situations in which it really pays off to organise a bit in advance and make sure you know exactly what you are doing in the week before the festival kicks off. To help guide you through this most important of Nairobi food weeks, we have set down some ground rules which should help you get the most out of your dining experience.
POCKET SAVER Is Ksh. 3000/4000 the most you are willing to fork out over the course of the week? Well then you have three options: you can go the group booking way which involves choosing one nice restaurant in the Ksh. 3000+ range and make it a night out with your friends. If, however, you are not so into dining in large groups, then you might as well mix it up with one lunch and a dinner at one of the establishments with lower price points. Alternatively, consider taking that special someone out for an extra delicious meal; at many establishments dinner for two will cost you Ksh. 4000 (minus drinks) which is a steal, if you look at how much the meal would cost normally.
MONEY BAGS Is money not an object? Do you want a series of unforgettable dining experiences without having to stress about getting an amazing deal? If that is the case your best bet is to decide exactly how many meals you intend to have. Mix it up between lunch and dinner, lunch menus can hide some delicious and unexpected surprises. Plan for a solo lunch, one of those ones in which you get to catch up on the news without anyone insisting on making conversation and maybe schedule a client meeting, that’s one way you are bound to make an impression. When it comes to dinner, book one restaurant you know never fails to deliver before the week even starts, book a second restaurant according to whichever menu catches your eye and finally wait a bit and read customer comments, leaving the last restaurant of the week as the one which has received the best reviews.
WELL RESEARCHED It really pays off to carefully inspect the different restaurant menus on the EatOut app. Some lesser-known establishments use this occasion to really shine and you won’t know until you see what it is they have planned for you. With that in mind study the different menus carefully and select ones that stand out in terms of creativity and attention to ingredients. On top of that, as the week goes on, customer reviews will begin pouring in so it pays off to keep on referring back to the Facebook event page to see who has worked hardest to stand out over the course of the week.
BEST RESTAURANTS There is a handful of restaurants that consistently perform amazingly during NRW, for them, this is about showcasing over and above the best they can do and it really shows. This being the fifth year and all that, you can rest assured that the word is out and that they will get booked up pretty fast. If you are the kind of person who prefers to go with the tried and tested establishments, well you are going to have to make sure you reserve well in advance. We’re talking the first day here, anything more than that and chances are you won’t get a seat.
FEEDBACK Did you really enjoy your meal? Was there something about it that made it really stand out? People often only take the time to review establishments if they have had a negative experience but the truth is that it is just as important to share the positive too. Make sure you share your comments primarily on the Facebook event page so that customers can get real-time feedback on how the different restaurants are fairing over the course of the week. With that in mind, NRW can really make or break a restaurant’s reputation and, as tempting as it might be, we suggest you refrain from taking out your woes on the EatOut app. Sometimes restaurants get overwhelmed during restaurant week, it might be their first time participating or they simply were not prepared for such a high volume of diners. If you give them a one star on the app because they were struggling during the week, that will affect them for ages to come, which isn’t really constructive if you ask us.
SNAP AND TAG If you are a budding food photographer or just want to show off to your friends, take the time to take a picture or three of your meal and upload it onto Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, taking care to tag us and adding the hashtag #NRW2018. There are lots of giveaways up for grabs during the week and at the end of the week including a trip for two to Istanbul, Turkey, restaurant vouchers, gift hampers and more and winners will be selected at random, so the more you tag, the greater your chances of winning.
Nairobi Restaurant Week is so close you can almost smell it, but how does our city’s biggest culinary celebration compare to other cities across the world and where did Restaurant Week even come from? Unless your birthday is around the corner or you just won the lottery, January doesn’t rank high on most people’s favourite month of the year list. For the most part it feels like waking up from a hangover and rushing to work with only two drops of coffee in your system. However, once you make it past the first two weeks, you start to see a light at the end of the tunnel. The alluring aroma begins to draw you in and you begin to taste the flavour in your mind, savouring each bite until it hits you Nairobi Restaurant Week is here! Back for its fifth consecutive year, the annual Nairobi Restaurant Week runs this year from January 25th to February 4th, with over 70 participating restaurants across the city offering special prix fixe lunch and dinner menus. Certainly more than enough time for your taste buds to discover Nairobi’s vibrant culinary scene at a discounted fee.
If you’re reading this and wondering what this is all about, here’s a brief description: launched in 2014, Nairobi Restaurant Week is an annual celebration of the city’s dynamic restaurant industry. Throughout this period, participating restaurants serve special 2 course lunch menus ranging from Ksh. 1000 to Ksh. 2500 and 3 course and 5 course dinner menus priced from Ksh. 2000 to Ksh. 5000. To top it all off, you get to enjoy a complimentary drink or special discounts on your food bill at select outlets. This year, it’s a lot different. Downloading the new EatOut app onto your phone will allow you to browse through different restaurant NRW menus, claim your complimentary drink, redeem discounts or call your restaurant of choice to make a reservation. As incredible as the restaurant week
concept sounds, we can’t take any credit for coming up with the idea. In fact, EatOut Kenya adopted the concept quite late compared to other cities around the world. Restaurant Week was thought up in 1992 by Tim Zagat, founder of the Zagat rating system and Jim Baum, a top restaurateur in New York City. Their sole purpose was to create an annual week-long lunch-only experience that would attract tourists to the city’s restaurants, offering a special $19.92 price point across all five boroughs of the city. The two planned the first Restaurant Week to coincide with the Democratic Convention in NYC – a week filled with new guests, mostly reporters, looking for dining options. The week-long event was such a success, New York City has witnessed it grow from a one-week event to a 4-week one. Needless to say where New York goes others follow, and it
didn’t take long for it to become a nationwide phenomenon. The concept of restaurant Week rapidly evolved from an exclusively New York celebration to a worldwide trend, with major cities adopting and sometimes putting their own spin on the concept. From Paris to London, Madrid to Tokyo, Kampala to Lagos, these days it’s harder to find a major world city that doesn’t host its own version of this popular food festival. While it is impossible to predict where the future of Restaurant Week is headed globally, one thing for certain is that here in Nairobi its popularity is not going to wane anytime soon, at least if the restaurants remain dedicated to the cause. There’s so much Nairobi has to offer, we just have to reach out and taste it. Suddenly, January doesn’t seem so bad after all.
WINE, BAR, GRILL TAMAMBO BLIXEN 336 Karen Road, Karen 2 Course Lunch Menu @ Ksh. 1,500 3 Course Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 3,000
BREW BISTRO & LOUNGE Westlands and Ngong Road Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 2,500 Lunch Menu @ Ksh 1,500
Having maintained a reputation for tasty cuisine over the years, Tamambo promises a variety of tantalizing dishes from brilliant burgers to mouthwatering desserts. Diners could choose the cosy, indoor restaurant with adjacent terrace or the peaceful garden. Go to the bar for delicious cocktails, bar snacks and to catch sporting events. Look out for the different events, with oyster and wine Wednesdays, Thirsty Thursdays, Calabash Band on Fridays, DJ on Saturdays and a scrumptious BBQ buffet lunch on Sundays. eatout.co.ke/tamambo
Brew Bistro has made a name for itself for offering an unparalleled dining adventure in an electrifying atmosphere. The dramatic & energetic interior of the fine dining section is complimented by a centralised open kitchen which serves PanGlobal cuisine: a unique cuisine incorporating a fusion of French, European, Asian and classic Kenyan flavours. eatout.co.ke/brew-bistro-lounge
HAVANA Woodvale Grove, Westlands Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 2,000 Lunch Menu @ Ksh. 1,000 Havana features three sections: the outside terrace with a great view of Woodvale Grove, the main bar area featuring a long counter with mellow lighting and the quiet candle-lit restaurant, with the salsa music spilling over from the bar. The Bar caters for any taste from crisp and fruity daiquiris to the classic mojito with fresh mint and the restaurant is a great place to kick it with friends or have a chill romantic dinner. eatout.co.ke/havana
THE TAV Ground Floor, The Mirage, Chiromo Road, Westlands 2 Courses Lunch Menu @ Ksh. 1,000 3 Courses Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 2,000 JS FRESH BAR & KITCHEN Westlands and Karen Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 2,500 Lunch Menu @ Ksh. 1,500 J’s Fresh Bar and Kitchen is a great place to enjoy wonderful British cuisine. The ambiance is chilled out and they often have great live music which makes the experience even more forgettable. They also have a great selection for alcoholic beverages. eatout.co.ke/js-fresh-bar-kitchen-1
NYAMA MAMA Westlands, Gigiri and Hurlingham Westlands Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 3,000 Lunch Menu @ Ksh.2,000 Gigiri & Hurlingham Dinner & LunchMenu @ Ksh. 1,200 Find out what all the fuss is about by grabbing a meal at any of Nyama Mama’s outlets. Nairobi has crowned Mama queen of preparing home-style dishes with a modern eclectic twist. Some dishes include Chapati wraps to Mama’s stews and flavourful sides. Indulge in some nostalgia with our sharing platters and signature cocktails served in iconic metal Vikombe. eatout.co.ke/nyama-mama
The Tav Irish Pub and Eatery is a rustic but modern pub with an Irish flair. It has a spacious terrace and is perfect for a relaxing break from city life. Tastefully executed meals await NRW guests with the menu comprising delicacies such as bacon wrapped chicken and ale battered fish and chips as well as a wide array of local and international beverages. eatout.co.ke/nairobi/tav
WINE SHOP 671 Piedmont Plaza, Ngong Rd Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 2,500 Lunch Menu @ Ksh. 1,500 Ah, wine bars, with their wine, food, and socializing and more socializing. Now Kenya has a beautiful wine bar of its own. Use the wine bar for what it does best (besides meeting other people)- experimenting with something new for your palate, either with a flight of wine or by the glass. Enjoy also their selection of tarts and truffles, gourmet sandwiches, freshly baked breads and much more. eatout.co.ke/wine-shop
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CAFES ARBOR PLACE Next to Ebru TV, James Gichuru Rd, Lavington Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 3,000 Lunch Menu @ Ksh. 1,500 The Arbor is an eco-friendly garden café with an eclectic selection of food and also a marketplace in a tranquil garden setting. From their cocktails to their bites to their mains, they’ll cater to all types of palates. eatout.co.ke/the-arbor-place
NEWS CAFE Karen, Kilimani, Limuru Road and Westlands Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 3,000 Lunch Menu @ Ksh. 1,500 News Cafe serves world class food offerings and premier beverage choices in a contemporary and vibrant atmosphere. The fact that their menu looks like a newspaper is proof of how particular News Cafe is with details, and this reflects in the amazing food they serve. eatout.co.ke/news-cafesarit-centre
THE BIG ELEPHANT CAFE Valley View Park Along City Park, Limuru Road Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 2,000 Lunch Menu @ Ksh. 1,000 Find out why everyone is talking about Big Elephant Cafe. The modern metropolitan café with a retro ambiance and an eclectic multicuisine menu will have your taste buds yearning for more. Whether you’re out on a date with your favourite person indulging in their cornish hen broth or in need of their signature berryjito, The Big Elephant is ready to take on your cravings. eatout.co.ke/Big-Elephant-Cafe
ARTCAFFE GRAND Ground Floor, Westgate Mall, Mwanzi Rd, Westlands Dinner & Lunch Menu @ Ksh. 2,500 NRW is a great chance for you to explore the food and drinks at Artcaffe Grand which have their own distinct twist unlike any other Artcaffe. There is a large balcony to soak up the day’s sun or watch it set beneath the clouds. Grand features a stylish outside bar area and an Artbakery Counter. Good news for the vegans: a full scrumptious vegan menu is available. eatout.co.ke/artcaffe-grandwestgate
TIN ROOF CAFE Ksh. 1,000 to Ksh. 2,000 for a meal with a drink This café, with its homey farmhouse decor, is a haven for vegans and the health conscious as well as those looking for some serious café comfort food. The food, which includes salads, crepes, sandwiches and café food, is fresh and packed full of flavour with organic produce and superfood ingredients. eatout.co.ke/tin-roof-cafe
MOCA LOCA GARDEN CITY Garden City Mall, Thika Road Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 2,000 Lunch Menu @ Ksh. 1,000 Moca Loca’s menu is a fusion of culinary traditions and tastes from around the world. The cocktail menu, comprising both classic and specialty cocktails, showcases their mastery of mixology. If you are a lover of live entertainment, you will love the weekend at Moca Loca: Jazz Fridays, Rhumba/Reggae Saturdays, and a mix of all sounds on Family Sunday. eatout.co.ke/moca-loca
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HOTEL DINING ATRIUM BRASSERIE Double Tree by Hilton (Amber Hotel),Ngong Lane, Ngong Rd Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 3,000 Lunch Menu @ Ksh. 1,500 Atrium offers savory local and international cuisines. The restaurant includes an outdoor terrace overlooking the swimming pool and their Piano Lounge offers the perfect ambiance for guests to relax, impress or have a casual meeting. eatout.co.ke/atrium
BONHOMIE The Concord Hotel & Suites, 31 Wangapala Road, Parklands 3 course Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 3,000 A statement of architectural excellence, The Bonhomie is an elegantly designed hotel featuring the best of Western and Italian Cuisine. From the good-natured staff to the tantalizing array of contemporary Continental gourmet dishes, you are sure to feel at home with family and friends as you dine in this vibrant, light & airy terrace atmosphere, eatout.co.ke/bonhomie
FLAME TREE AT SAROVA PANAFRIC Sarova Panafric, Valley Rd, CBD Cuisine: International 3 Course Lunch Menu @ Ksh. 1500 3 Course Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 3,000 Once the watering hole for African freedom fighters, this exquisite dining facility borrows its name after the Flame Tree that stands proudly in the middle of the restaurant. Guests can select from al fresco dining or indoor seating and enjoy a contemporary fusion of cuisines in an extensive menu. eatout.co.ke/flame-tree
GALAXY Eka Hotel, Mombasa Rd Dinner @ Ksh. 2,500 The dining experience at Eka’s Galaxy Restaurant provides guests with a taste of a broad selection of international and local cuisine. The restaurant overlooks a swimming pool. It is also the ideal spot to enjoy well-selected breakfast buffets and all-day à la carte snack dining. eatout.co.ke/galaxy
JIKO Tribe Hotel, Gigiri Dinner & Weekends @Ksh. 5000 2 Course Lunch Menu @ Ksh. 2500 Jiko holds true to the glamourous yet sophisticated feel of Tribe. For NRW, its contemporary international cuisine features delicacies such as smoked duck breast and one side seared salmon steak as well as vegetarian option such as vegetable lasagna. The dessert menu promises to rouse your tastebuds. Jiko’s exclusive wine list highlights some of the finest selections of wines to perfectly compliment the flavors of Jiko. eatout.co.ke/jiko
LIVE-INN @ PARK INN BY RADISSON Waiyaki Way, Westlands Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 3,000 Lunch Menu @ Ksh. 1,500 Go to Park Inn by Radisson Hotels to enjoy high quality dishes and excellent service. Their simple yet smart award-winning architectural design provides the best ambiance to enjoy sumptuous delicacies and excite your taste buds. eatout.co.ke/live-inn
MARKET PLACE Four Points By Sheraton JKIA Airport, Mombasa Rd Dinner @ Ksh. 3,000 Lunch @ Ksh. 2,000 Nothing beats the taste of market fresh. The chefs pick the freshest produce every day to ensure you get the best in dining every day. From full breakfast, to lunch and a late dinner, we specialize in international cuisine adding a touch of the savory and sweet. So, whether you are meeting a business colleague or just grabbing a quick bite before you travel, market place keeps it hearty and wholesome. eatout.co.ke/marketplace
POOL DECK RESTAURANT The Sarova Stanley, Kimathi St Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 3,000 Tucked away on the 5th floor of the Sarova Stanley is an Oasis offering refuge against the hustle and bustle of town. The Pool Deck Restaurant is characterized by its al fresco dining concept, allowing you to relax and dine in the comfort of the open air. eatout.co.ke/pool-deck THE MANDHARI Serena Hotel, CBD 3 course Dinner menu @ Ksh. 3000 With a commanding view of the Park and the hotel’s swimming pool, ‘Mandhari’ lives up to the beautiful scenery its name references. The cuisine contains continental dishes from Classic French to Indian dishes, paired with an extensive wine cellar that contains a good number of Limited edition Auction Wines. With the subtle piano playing in the background, Mandhari is the place to close a big business deal or propose to your significant other. eatout.co.ke/mandhari
THORN TREE CAFE The Sarova Stanley, Kimathi St Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 3,000 Lunch Menu @ Ksh. 1,500 A legendary open air, bistro style pavement café, Thorn Tree Cafe is a perfect meeting place for friends and offers a remarkable dining experience in the central business district. It has a deli counter, serves pizzas from a wood-fired oven, fresh juices, beers, the widest range of coffees and a varied menu which includes popular continental and nouvelle dishes. eatout.co.ke/thorn-tree-cafe
TRAVELLERS Hilton Hotel, Mama Ngina Street 3 Course Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 3,000 The Travellers Restaurant is the main dining restaurant at the Hilton Nairobi and features an extensive buffet, themed at night, and an à la carte menu with an extensive wine list. Inspired by a bygone colonial era of travel, this Nairobi restaurant is decorated like an old-fashioned train, with leather suitcases and other traveling paraphernalia creatively poised to create a unique dining ambiance. eatout.co.ke/travellers-restaurant
UTAMU AT IBIS STYLES Ibis Styles Hotel, 155 Rhapta Road Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 2,500 Lunch Menu @ Ksh. 2,000 Indulge in a wide selection of continental cuisine. With two outside terraces with seating and patio heaters, the restaurant serves freshly prepared food a la carte. eatout.co.ke/utamu
INTERNATIONAL ABOUT THYME Eldama Ravine Road, Westlands Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 3,000 Lunch Menu @ Ksh. 1,500 With its classy yet casual alfresco ambience, this restaurant promises a varied range of international dishes to suit every taste. Make sure you leave space for the decadent dessert selection. This gem in the heart of Nairobi promises to showcase your old favorites and some new and innovative dishes from around the world. eatout.co.ke/about-thyme ASMARA Westlands and Karen Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 2,000 Lunch Menu @ Ksh.1,000 For authentic Eritrean cuisine in a relaxed afro-contemporary setting, Asmara is the place to go. It is a favorite among many food lovers and serves an eclectic menu with some signature asmara dishes. eatout.co.ke/asmara
CAPTAIN’S TERRACE Kellico Complex, Mombasa Rd 3 Course Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 3,000 Few experiences are as scenic as eating at a restaurant that overlooks the Nairobi National Park; the view from the Terrace is unmatched. For NRW, guests will enjoy a variety of main dishes such as a grilled rack of lamb or seafood casserole served with cumin rice as well as mouthwatering starters and desserts. eatout.co.ke/ captain-s-terrace
LORD ERROLL Gigiri 89 Ruaka Road Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 3,000 Lunch Menu @ Ksh. 1,500 For an exceptional fine dining gourmet experience, go to Lord Erroll. The restaurant’s ambience is as carefully thought out as its amazing food. The decor includes country style exteriors, a large terrace overlooking the garden, polished wooden floors, stained glass specimen, wood panelled and regal interiors, ornate waterfalls, streams and ponds. For NRW, the restaurant promises a culinary offering that
pays tribute to a bygone era with homegrown fresh produce. eatout.co.ke/lord-erroll-restaurant MAMA’S RESTAURANT @ WARIDI PARADISE Rose Avenue,off Argwings Kodhek Rd Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 2,000 Lunch Menu @ Ksh. 1,000 Mama’s restaurant offers a wide variety of international cuisines including African, Continental, Indian and Italian. The meals are prepared with exceptional care and diligence hot from Mama’s kitchen and you are sure to love the serene ambiance at Waridi Paradise Hotel eatout.co.ke/waridi-paradise-hotel OCEAN BASKET The Oval and The Hub Dinner @ Ksh. 3,000 Lunch @ Ksh. 1,500 For seafood lovers, Ocean Basket is a taste of heaven. Retaining their signature casual seaside-chic from their South African counterparts, Ocean Basket offers the freshest array of Seafood, to suit every person, situation and taste. Spoil yourself with their one of a kind, limited edition, prix-fixe menus for the city’s biggest celebration of food and drink bound to have you craving for more. From the best in Flakey, juicy Hake to authentic Sushi, You’ll be hooked! eatout.co.ke/ocean-basket-oval
SECRET GARDEN 14 Riverside, Riverside Drive Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 3,000 Lunch Menu @ Ksh. 1,500 Secret Garden promises an escape from the bustling corporate world. They are highly acclaimed for being health conscious and offer a variety of classical meals with a twist to create deliciously healthy options. You can choose from their variety of salads or customize them to your palette. An intimate dining atmosphere to cater to intimate or groups who are looking for a euphoric culinary experience. Shhh!..... it’s a secret. eatout.co.ke/secret-garden
SEVEN SEAFOOD AND GRILL ABC Place , Waiyaki Way Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 3,500 Lunch Menu @ Ksh.1,500 Seven Seafood & Grill is Nairobi’s premier seafood & steak destination, and a hub of culinary innovation in Kenya. It offers a sumptuous selection of the finest steaks & Indian Ocean seafood. A mouth-watering array of oysters, lobsters, prawns and ocean fish are delivered daily, freshly prepared and make a great pair with Seven’s signature sauces. Meat lovers are well catered for, with exclusive, hand-selected cuts of Kenya’s finest beef that have been carefully aged and butchered in-house. Many review their dessert selection as the best in town. eatout.co.ke/seven-seafood-grill
TALISMAN 320 Ngong Road, Karen Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 3,000 Lunch Menu @ Ksh. 1,500 The Karen-based restaurant blends fine dining with unbridled eclecticism. They serve up a delightful fusion of European, PanAsian and African cuisines. With their hallmark greenery and fresh air, they have made every effort to create an ideal ambiance, complemented by distinguished service from their cordial staff. eatout.co.ke/talisman
THE GROVE Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 3,000 Lunch Menu @ Ksh. 1,500 To hide away from the busy town life and savor an intoxicating view of the sky, go to the Grove. In a casual yet elegant setting, the restaurant serves an electric mix of continental and international cuisine and both alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages. eatout.co.ke/the-grove
THE RENDEZVOUS RESTAURANT 5th floor of La Maison Royale Hotel Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 2,000 Lunch Menu @ Ksh. 1,000 Rendezvous Restaurant is where African and Indian dishes are brought to life using the freshest local ingredients and French Cuisine meets Mediterranean Style. The restaurant offers a buffet breakfast and Ala Carte Lunch and Dinner. Diners have a choice of cosy indoor seating, outdoor seating at the La Terrace rooftop bar and the Namaste Terrace eatout.co.ke/la-maison-royale
VENTANA RESTAURANT Ksh. 2,500 for 3 course meal ( Dinner all Week and Lunch on Weekends) and Ksh. 1,500 for 2 course meal ( Lunch on weekdays) Enjoy an eclectic mix of cuisines including a wide range of vegetarian options at this upscale gastro-pub. The menu includes appetizing Italian, Levantine and Indian options. The décor is a mix of Jazz Fusion and African Glass art with Moorish touches. Go to Ventana for a heartwarming meal with family, friends and business partners. eatout.co.ke/ventana
ARAB /INDIAN ALDAR Two Rivers Mall, Limuru Road Dinner @ Ksh. 2000 & Ksh. 3,000 Lunch @Ksh. 1000 & Ksh. 1,500
fusion and the master Indian chefs ensure true authentic flavor. From hello to goodbye Mayura maintains the highest standards of quality service. eatout.co.ke/mayura-1
Aldar Restaurant Nairobi continues the tradition of its sister branches in Istanbul, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain of offering wonderful Mediterranean food. Signature dishes include Hummus, Falafel and Oriental salad, but they also offer a mixed grill. Friendly atmosphere for those who want to spend special times with their families, friends and beloved ones. eatout.co.ke/aldar
ROYAL KITCHEN AT PRIDE INN Pride Inn hotel, Westlands Rd Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 2,000 Lunch Menu @ Ksh. 1,000 If you are looking to enjoy a casual meal in a quaint, warm atmosphere then Royal Kitchen is the place for you. Whether itâ€™s a light lunch of fresh salads, meaty sandwiches and delicious pastas, an aromatic cup of tea or a moreish lunch of mouthwatering Indian and Chinese delicacies, Royal Kitchen is always ready to offer you a memorable dining experience. eatout.co.ke/royal-kitchen-at-prideinn
ANGHITI WESTLANDS New Rehema Hse, Rhapta Rd, Westlands Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 3,000 Lunch Menu @ Ksh. 1,500 If you love curry, you will love Anghiti. The restaurant has an extensive menu which features classic curries such as jalfrezies and tikka masalas. The restaurantâ€™s signature dish is the Murg Malai Kebab which is beautifully seasoned chicken made with a creamy blend of yoghurt. With a large dining room, the intimate setting is perfect for dinner parties and celebrations. eatout.co.ke/anghiti-westlands
BHANDINI: InterContinenta Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 3,000 Lunch Menu (Weekdays Only) @ Ksh. 2,500 This superb restaurant offers a large selection of curries, kebabs, specialty naan breads and some of the finest North Indian dishes in Kenya,
prepared by their highly acclaimed Indian Chef, Mr. J.P. This restaurant is ideal for a business lunch, a romantic dinner and a family dinner. eatout.co.ke/Bhandini-atInterContinental-Hotel
Southern India, such as a light stir-fry, sweet and tangy chutney or even a delightful grilled and smoky dish, marinated with light and balanced seasonings eatout.co.ke/curry-flavours
CURRY FLAVOURS The Concord Hotel & Suites, 31 Wangapala Road, Parklands 3 course Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 3,000
MAYURA Westlands and Karen Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 2,000 Lunch Menu @ Ksh. 1,000
The restaurant boasts an eclectic mix of rich Indian dishes expertly prepared. You will experience a mouthwatering culinary journey of delicacies, filled with tailor-made delights from all around North and
When you first take in the exquisite decor at Mayura, you will think that is the best part about the spectacular theme-based restaurant. But that is before you taste their food. The menu is traditional classic with modern
TORANJ 912, James Gichuru Rd, Lavington Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 3,000 Lunch Menu @ Ksh. 1,500 This stylish and unique restaurant serves Persian, Turkish and Italian dishes. Treat yourself to tasty kebabs, wood fired oven baked pizza with a blend of fresh juices and mocktails. The ambience will take your breath away and it is the place to take someone you are anxious to impress. eatout.co.ke/toranj
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STUFFED CANNELLONI Ingredients:
Crepes: 4 Spinach sauteed in butter, salt and black pepper: 1 cup Grilled tomato slices: 12 Grated cheddar: 0.5 cups Oregano: 1 Tbsp
Place the spinach in the crĂŞpes and roll into a tube taking care not to tear the crĂŞpe Spread the tomatoes across the roll Sprinkle on the grated cheddar cheese and the oreWgano Put under the grill for 10 minutes at medium heat
Bikram Singh Melwan
TANDOORI LAMB MARINADE Ingredients:
Cumin, fennel, cardamom seeds: 2 Tbsp Crushed peppercorns: 2 Tbsp Chili flakes: 1 Tsp Vegetable oil: 6 Tbsp Minced ginger: 2 Tbsp Minced garlic: 4 cloves Natural Yogurt: 200g Lime Juice: 3 Tbsp Lamb chops: 1.5kg
In a dry skillet lightly toast the spices Transfer spice blend into a bowl and mix in remaining ingredients Rub the mixture over lamb, cover and refrigerate for three hours
ASIAN GARDENS Village Market, Gigiri Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 3,000 Lunch Menu @ Ksh. 1,500 Famous for its freshly made wide selection of succulent indian gourmet cuisine, Asian Gardens will tantalize your senses. They serve up sushi and sashimi, teppanyaki, Japanese, Korean, Thai and Indian cuisines. As a bonus, they have a variety of freshly prepared salads including murg malai salad. eatout.co.ke/asian-gardens Cheka Izakaya 101 Manyani East Road, Lavington 2 Course Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 2000 This Japanese-owned restaurant serves authentic Japanese meals such as Salmon Sushi Rolls, Cheka noodles, Fried Sardine, Fresh Tuna, Fresh Oysters and imported SAKE. Prepare yourself for a culinary adventure at NRW by sampling an exciting selection for your meal such as beef barbeque with vegetable sushi rolls or heavenly pan fried vegetables. eatout.co.ke/cheka
PAN ASIAN YAO UN Avenue, Gigiri Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 3,000 Lunch Menu @ Ksh. 2,000 At Pan Asian Yao, Mr Yao’s passion for travel and culture continues to come alive through the must-taste fusion philosophy of South-East Asia. Fresh ingredients, handcrafted dishes and spice come together in sharing style dishes. eatout.co.ke/pan-asian-yao
UMAMI The Concord Hotel & Suites, 31 Wangapala Road, Parklands 3 course Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 3,000
PHOENICIAN Matundu Lane, Off School lane, Westlands Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 2,500 Lunch Menu @ Ksh. 1,500 The Phoenician is a fabulous restaurant which serves sushi, Lebanese and Teppanyaki courses. The Phoenician has a delightful and classy ambience, a children’s play area and extremely helpful staff. eatout.co.ke/the-phoenician
SOI AT DUSITD2 14 Riverside, Riverside Drive Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 3,000 Lunch Menu @ Ksh. 1,500 Soi at DusitD2 will wow you with their delightful Thai cuisine. The contemporary chic restaurant is ideal for couples and business associates alike. You have the option to sit indoors or outside at the terrace which overlooks a garden while you enjoy excellent service and great food. eatout.co.ke/soi-at-dusit-d2
FURUSATO Ring Road Parklands Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 3,000 Lunch Menu @ Ksh. 1,500 Furusato Japanese Restaurant is where great Japanese cuisine and great service meet. The expert chefs specialize in Japanese food: Sushi, Sashimi, and Tepanyaki. The ambiance is very classy and with the friendly waiters ready to meet your wildest needs you will feel like royalty. The outdoors seating area means there is a great view of the Westlands area. Try out the Japanese Rice Wine (sake) while you are there! eatout.co.ke/furusato
The Japanese synonym of Umami restaurant’s name literally means ‘deliciousness’. Umami signifies an induced meaty and savory taste sensation originating from the delectable Pan Asian inspired fusion restaurant, showcasing truly authentic Chinese, Japanese, Thai & Korean dishes sure to keep you craving for more. eatout.co.ke/umami THAI CHI RESTAURANT The Sarova Stanley, Kimathi St, CBD Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 5,000 Lunch Menu @ Ksh. 2,000 Thai Chi is a small piece of Thailand in Nairobi. Named the most authentic Thai restaurant in East Africa, it offers delectable Thai specialties prepared by experienced chefs from Thailand. eatout.co.ke/thai-chi-sarova-stanley
VEGAN TEMPURA Ingredients:
All purpose flour: 50g Water: 4.5 Tbsp White Vinegar: 1 Tsp Ice cubes: 2 Assorted vegetables: cut into fingers Frying oil: 3 cups
Mix all the batter ingredients taking care not to stir too strongly to avoid creating air bubbles (air takes away the crispiness) Heat the oil Dip vegetables into batter When oil is at 180 degrees place in vegetables and fry until golden
SABOR LATINO ADEGA Lavington Curve Mall, Lavington Dinner @ Ksh. 2000 Lunch @ Ksh. 1000 Feast in true Portuguese style at the upmarket Adega Restaurant which caters for an array of tastes and styles. It is situated at the rooftop and has a terrace offering a warm ambiance that allows diners to enjoy the highest level of quality food coupled with the personal attention of the Adega team. As well as introducing their one of a kind Starfire lounge for watching special games and serving premium alcohols, Adega promises to bring you a melody of tastes this NRW leaving your palate salivating for an encore eatout.co.ke/adega-restaurant
ITALIAN 360 DEGREES ARTISAN PIZZA ABC Place, Waiyaki Way, Westlands Dinner menu @ Ksh. 2500
LUCCA AT VILLA ROSA KEMPINSKI Villa Rosa Kempinski, Westlands Dinner Menu @ Ksh 4,000
360 degrees Artisan Pizza is an upscale casual restaurant serving authentic wood-fired Artisan Neapolitan Pizza in a warm and lively modern atmosphere that includes modern wood taupe and ochre interiors. eatout.co.ke/360-degrees-artisanpizza
This trattoria-style restaurant at Villa Rosa Kempinski has tantalizing and intoxicating aromas of home cooked Italian food that will stimulate your taste buds. Since Lucca prides itself on some original recipes, you are sure to find something you love. eatout.co.ke/lucca-at-villa-rosakempinski
LA CANTINA RISTOPIZZA AND WINE Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 3,000 Lunch Menu @ Ksh. 1,500 This cosy Italian restaurant is a hidden gem. Chef Dario is a darling and caters to special requests so that you get exactly what you want. Prepare yourself for a creative southern Italian menu, comprising of seafood. The service is amazing and the restaurant has a nice small verandah. Word on the street is that the tiramisu is to die for. eatout.co.ke/la-cantina
FONDA NBO Rosslyn Riviera Mall, Limuru Road Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 3,000 Lunch Menu @ Ksh. 1500 Mexican soul food comes to Nairobi in this enchanting new restaurant inspired by the colourful markets of the countryâ€™s cities. Tacos, sopas, churros and the most colourful and flavoursome Margaritas Nairobi has to offer are but some of the treats on its everyday menu. Expect them to pull out all the stops in the coming weeks. eatout.co.ke/fonda-nbo
MERCADO MEXICAN KITCHEN AND BAR Kenrail Towers South Wing Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 3,000 Lunch Menu @ Ksh. 1,000 Everyone who has been to Mercado wants to go back. Their rustic, wooden and playfull open plan dining room looks over Westlands roundabout and their menu is an ode to a blend of two powerful food cultures: Kenyan and Mexican. Treat yourself to a dizzying arrays of tacos and enchiladas for your main meal and Aspic de frutos rojos (gelatin candy) for dessert. eatout.co.ke/nairobi/mercadomexican-kitchen-and-bar-1
PICAZZO The Hub, Karen Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 3,000 Lunch Menu @ Ksh. 1,500 Picazzo specialises in Spanish cuisine, tapas and a variety of international delicacies. For NRW, Picazzo has great dishes planned including the fish of the day served with coconut gravy and trio of rice or the beef medallions wrapped with bacon served with wainaina potatoes. That is not all. Picazzo has an unforgettable wine menu which will be a great way to wash down your meal. eatout.co.ke/picazzo
TAPAS CEVICHE BAR Westgate Mall, Mwanzi Rd,Westlands Dinner and Lunch Menu @ Ksh. 2,500 Tapas rice Ceviche Bar is truly a glimpse into the Spanish soul. It is rustic, with dark wood, patterned tiles lining the walls, and warm earthen red floors. An inviting space offering only the finest range of wines, tequila and cocktails, Tapas stays true to its name incorporating a wide range of cazuelas, pinchos and cosas de picar delicacies including vegetarian, seafood and meat dishes to fill any appetite. eatout.co.ke/tapas-ceviche-bar
STEAK HOUSE CHOP HOUSE AT RADISSON BLU Radisson Blu Hotel, Elgon Rd, UpperHill Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 5000 (Reservations only) For fans of open kitchens, Chop House is the place to dine. Specialising in a holistic dining experience that highlights modern African fare, dining at The Chop House is a theatrical event in itself. Sample starters served on planchas with grilled vegetables and cured meats, and then dive into your chargrilled fillet tenderloin steak. Leave room for the Jack Daniel chocolate fondant cake with homemade vanilla ice cream. eatout.co.ke/chop-house
EAGLE’S STEAKHOUSE Ole Sereni Hotel, Mombasa Rd Ksh. 2,000 for 2 course lunch menu Ksh. 2,500 for 3 course lunch menu Eagle’s is a favorite amongst locals and repeat travelers alike. Featuring aged steaks that are hand-selected for their quality and the finest fresh seafood brought in from Kenya’s coast and mouth-watering vegetarian options, the Eagle’s menu is sure to delight. Located on the fourth floor, the delicious food and extensive wine list is complemented by incredible views, making for a memorable experience whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or just enjoying a quality meal. eatout.co.ke/eagles-restaurant OLPUL STEAK HOUSE & GRILL Two Rivers Mall, Limuru Road Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 3,000 Lunch Menu @ Ksh. 1,500 Going to Olpul is the definition of letting yourself have good things. The restaurant brings to life Kenya’s Nyama Choma culture in a modern 21st century setting. The meat is
from all the fine ranches you learnt about in primary school geography– Naivasha, Nanyuki and Kitengela – with options of freshly cut to 21 day aged meat set on the menu. Tasty marinades are made from locally sourced spices, oils, and herbs to ensure that both the flavor and the texture of the steaks served are as delicious and authentic as the culture that inspired it. eatout.co.ke/olpul-steak-house
SIERRA BURGER AND WINE Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 3,000 Lunch Menu @ Ksh. 1,500 Sierra’s Chef Allan Murungi loves the challenge of charming his guests with finger-licking food. The restaurant is an ideal place to unwind and enjoy high quality beef (burgers and steaks) made as ordered with an extensive wine list and a few exotic cuts and breed of animals available. Sierra is intimately casual and their style is reminiscent of new york loft designs. eatout.co.ke/sierra-burger-andwine
STEAK OUT 102 Manyani East Road, Lavington, Lavington Dinner Menu @ Ksh. 3,000 Lunch Menu @ Ksh. 1,500 A must-visit for delicious steaks and other foods in a rustic yet chic space. They have a wide selection of meat cuts, from beef, chicken, lamb, seafood and pork, all perfectly prepared to tackle the meat lover’s ravenous appetite. They also have a great fully stocked bar. eatout.co.ke/the-steak-out
culinary experience PRIVATE DINING, BUSINESS LUNCHES.....
OPEN MONDAY TO SATURDAY PLEASE CALL US ON 020-28822464 TO MAKE YOUR RESERVATION www.serenahotels.com
PHOTO BY PETER NDUNGâ€™U
JAPANESE KENYAN Yummy Editor Katy Fentress got to taste Wagyu beef at Sierra Burger and Wine in Brookside and she’s still salivating, almost a whole week later. To say I don’t get overexcited about food would be the understatement of the century. These days, a week doesn’t go by without me getting all fizzed up over some dish I saw on my Instagram feed, the thought of a new amazing restaurant opening in town, the prospect of the boyfriend getting creative on soup night (I’ve been promised dumplings in broth today). Understandably, my nearest and dearest tend to tire of my neverending flow of excited WhatsApp messages bringing their attention to this video I just saw (pizza cooked with ice cubes anyone?) or that thing that Italian Chef Extraordinaire Massimo Bottura just said to American food superstar David Chang (definitely going to try my hand at making kimchi lasagna). There are two different trends that, of late, I have noticed have really been clogging up my feed. One is something I have labelled “cheese porn” and the other, a global obsession with that beautifully fatty Japanese Wagyu beef. I shall save a conversation for the merits, or lack thereof, of cheese porn for another time and take a moment, focus my attention, instead, on this most fetishised of beef cuts.
For those of you who live under a rock, far, far away from the visual delights of foodie social media feeds and are not familiar with this global beef phenomenon, let me explain: Wagyu beef is derived from four different types of Japanese cattle with “wa” translating as Japanese and “gyu” as cow. This breed of cattle was originally reared in Japan for use in agriculture and steeds were selected to achieve maximum physical endurance while out ploughing the fields. According to the American Wagyu Association, this, “selection favoured animals with more intra-muscular fat cells “marbling” - which provided a readily available energy source”. So basically Wagyu beef stands out from other beef in the extremely obvious white tentacles of fat that stretch out like an intricate river of veins on the cross-section of its cuts of steak. It goes without saying that fattier cuts of beef release more juices when cooked and the resulting steak is more tender and flavoursome than your regular hunk of meat from the butcher. But it turns out those are not the only reasons to celebrate these Japanese cows. Korean scientists have successfully proven that “high
quality marbled beef not only has excellent eating quality but also contains a lot of beneficial fatty acids”. Add that to the other research that shows how wagyu beef has high levels of good monounsaturated fat which is now celebrated as being good for us (in moderation like everything else, of course) and it looks like there is more to the trend than just a visual obsession with marbled beef. Which brings me to my opening gambit on getting excited about foods. When, the other day, I found out that Sierra Brasserie, of delicious steak fame, was going to be serving Kenyan-reared Wagyu beef steaks for this year’s NRW, I almost fainted with pleasure. Which didn’t even begin to prepare me for the next piece of news: I was going to be one of the few people to get to sample these prized steaks before the actual event. Rarely has my job given me quite so much of a thrill in the space of thirty seconds. And so it was that on the day, my two colleagues who managed to secure a slot at this very prized lunch table, the photographer and I, were treated to a full Kenya-reared Wagyu beef experience. Although
the beef that we ate was not, as chef Alan Murungi explained “purebred Japanese Wagyu” but a cross breed between Wagyu and Simmental cattle that began as an experiment 6 years ago when Murungi imported some Wagyu semen from Australia (the second biggest Wagyu rearing country after Japan), the results really were as amazing as promised. Look I could get into a long-winded explanation here. I could tell you that we did a blind test between a delicious aged Borana steak and the Kenyan Wagyu (see image left) and that the Wagyu stood out in terms of flavour, colour, texture and tenderness. I could tell you what it felt like to have the tiny rivulets of flavour-packed fat coursing over my expectant taste buds. But I think the most important takeaway from this is that Sierra Brasserie will be serving deliciously moist Wagyu Beef burgers for the ten days of Restaurant Week and then that’s it. Finito. No more Kenyan-reared Japanese beef for who knows how long (something like 6 months Murungi told me but he was suitably vague about it all). If I were you, I’d get booking fast. https://eatout.co.ke/sierra-burgerand-wine
MASTER OF ONE Less is more, discovers Winnie Wangui, when she interviews four new and upcoming food and beverage entrepreneurs who are determined that doing one thing and doing it well, will make them stand out more than those who try to please everyone at the same time.
Growing up back in the 90s, I remember eating out involved going to Wimpy for some chips and chicken on a weekend afternoon - it was either there or an eatery in Karen that had a playground, some nyama choma and beers for dad to enjoy. When it came to eating out in those days, there really werenâ€™t so many different places to choose from and whether or not a meal was good, was judged by the tenderness of the meat and not much else. Fast forward to now and the restaurant scene in Nairobi is constantly changing and evolving. More than ever before people are well-travelled and have high standards when it comes to what they expect from a dining experience. As a result, restaurant owners bear the pressure of keeping up with Nairobiansâ€™ demand for more variety. So much so, that over
PHOTOS BY PETER NDUNG’U SHOT AT THE ARBOR, LAVINGTON
the past few years, it has become normal for new restaurants to open up every month. Some of these restaurants experiment with menus they have seen abroad and a few even try to offer up local dishes with a twist. To keep up with the trend, longstanding restaurants that have been on the scene for a while, have tried to rebrand by some reinventing some of their menus in a bid to stay relevant, retain their traditional customers who might be looking elsewhere and appealing to the new crop of food lovers who are more discerning and adventurous to trying new cuisines. In this stride, restaurants have been introducing speciality dishes, vegan menus, as well as improving on the dining out experience which is now considered a major component when going out. Restaurants are no longer expected to just sell food but an
experience as well. The downside to this desire to please everyone, can be symptomised by extensive menus that seem to be suffering from an identity crisis. When a menu tries to combine Continental dishes, pizzas, grilled meats and Indian foods, you know it has begun to lose its way. This is why Nairobi Restaurant Week is so important for keeping restaurants on their toes by encouraging people to vote with their mouths and ensuring restaurateurs try their absolute best. Increasingly, restaurateurs are beginning to wise up to the fact that in order to stand out, it benefits to do one thing and do that thing really well. Concept restaurants and establishments use one thing and one thing alone to stand out. So we find that entrepreneurs like Sajan and Jessel Dhanani have decided
to launch into opening speciality coffee shops like Spring Valley Artisan Coffee, which excels in churning out freshly roasted coffee blends and pastries and not much else. Why try your hand at unoriginal wraps and fried breakfasts, when you can just do two things sublimely? In that vein we find the newlyopened BaoBox, which is run by a mixed group of investors, who decided to make theirs a concept restaurant by creating a play space complete with 100 board games for patrons to enjoy on their own (but who would want to do that) or in large groups of friends. Or Abby MacAndrew, who opened the first Tin Roof Cafe in 2013 at The Souk in Karen and the second in Langata and decided that her beautifullydecorated and environmentallyconscious lunch spots, would focus exclusively on serving up speciality
salads, superfoods and healthy treats. Tin Roof Cafe’s wide range of Yotam Ottolenghi-inspired salads, are packed with pulses, grilled vegetables and a wide array of beautiful and delicious fresh and nutritious ingredients. And that’s not all, now diners can discover the experience of eating their food off a conveyor belt at the Sushi Soo Food Train at Kenrail towers, dine at one of the diverse highly-specialised food trucks at the Alchemist Yard, or enjoy a unique waffle menu at D’s place at the Hub in Karen. We may not yet be at the stage of opening up restaurants which only sell Lobster and Burgers (or half of each), as an immensely popular restaurant in London’s Knightsbridge started doing a few years back, but who knows where this trend will take us. Omena bar, anyone?
FRESHLY CUT GRASS Josiah Kahiu is here to tell you everything you need to know about Sauvignon Blanc Considered as one of the world’s most popular grape varieties, Sauvignon Blanc is known for its refreshing, sharp, herbaceous profile due to a combination of high acidity, and low amounts of sugar. This characteristically piercingly aromatic, refreshing and best drunk relatively young grape, varietal hails from France, specifically Bordeaux and the Loire. In France, it is thought that the name originated from the word Sauvage which means wild as the grapes grew like weeds in the region. Considered as one of the worlds most reliable varietal wines to drink, Sauvignon Blanc is grown in most of the wine producing regions of the world accounting for its wide range and styles. From the birthplace in Bordeaux, the
varietal started to be cultivated in the Loire, specifically Sancerre (“san-SER”) where it was used to produce a single varietal wine, which they chose to name Sancerre after the region. Here is when it grew in popularity as they used it to produce a relatively sweet easy-to-drink wine. From the pubs and bistros in France, the grape traversed the globe including a stopover in New Zealand where it found a place to really thrive. New Zealand is surprisingly the place where the grape managed to make itself globally renowned in the global wine industry. Before the 1980’s, if you mentioned the name Sauvignon Blanc, most people would associate it with the name Sancerre. It was New Zealand that brought it to the international forefront due
to its crisp, refreshing taste and most of all - affordability. After New Zealand started producing good quality wines, the other wine growing blocks took notice and cultivations started popping up in regions such as California, Chile and South Africa. Now to understand the different styles of Sauvignon Blanc. Cooler climate growing regions such as New Zealand’s Marlborough district produce a crisp, zingy wine with citrus and tropical fruit aromas. Mainly produced in stainless steel tanks, they tend to undergo little or no barrel ageing. Warmer climate places such as South Africa and California, tend to produce a rounder denser fruitscented wine. Some producers there will blend the wine made in stainless steel with one that has undergone
a slight barrel-ageing process. The outcome is a wine with both the crisp freshness (stainless steel) and deeper flavour and complexity from the barrel ageing. With all its different styles around, Sauvignon Blanc will remain as a top seller due to its versatility. As a stand-alone wine, its refreshing, crisp, profile with aromas of herbs and freshly-cut grass makes it pleasant and easy to drink. As for food pairing, if you are looking for a refreshing yet sharp white wine that would accompany a wide variety of dishes, be they fish, chicken, pork, salads, Chinese or whatever tickles your fancy, this is the perfect choice that will not make you feel like you just spent a day’s worth of salary on it.
ASK A WINO How do I know which wine to choose from a restaurant menu? Gilbert Chege, 30 We have all had this problem before: you go to a restaurant, are presented with the wine list and have little or no clue as to what to choose. Well here are a few things to make your life simpler and hopefully impress the rest of your dinner party. 1.
Start with something light. Keep in mind that drinking a full-bodied Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon could ruin the rest of
the meal. Big bold wines have the opposite effect of a palate cleanser and will mask the taste of any other wines and dishes that you have. A light, crisp and refreshing wine such as a Sauvignon Blanc or even better a sparkling wine will get your taste buds ready for whatever is to come. Let the food do the talking. By this I mean choose the wine after you have decided on what to eat. You do not want to end up with a full-bodied red for your salmon or a light easy white
wine for your barbeque ribs. Also, another suggestion is to choose food-friendly wines. By this, I mean wines from warmer growing regions such as South Africa, Chile or Australia. These wines are generally fruit forward and often pair well with a wide variety of dishes. They are also more pocket-friendly. Try getting younger vintages on the wine list. This is good as they are generally the cheaper to mid-range wines. These varieties are often easy drinking and appeal to many due to their
light fruity refreshing qualities that tend to fizzle out as the wines age. So the next time you are out on a date, read the tasting notes on the wine list and try not to order to impress. Chances are the people on the table will not be able to tell the difference between a 5000 shilling bottle and a 2000 shilling bottle! Have a question you want to ask? Get in touch with Josiah by sending him an Instagram DM on @knife_and_wine
WINE YUMMY PICKS
PHOTO BY PETER NDUNGâ€™U SHOT AT THE ARBOR, LAVINGTON
ALL WHITES These three sauvignon blancs and one chardonnay are the perfect wines to see you through a long lunch or for sipping after a morning spent lounging by the pool.
1 Mud House Sauvignon Blanc This wine is crisp and refreshing with notes of passion fruit, green apple and pear. Good balance between acidity and minerality with medium to long zesty finish. Try pairing with Salmon or pasta. Available from the Wine Shop, Ksh.2250 thewineshopkenya.com
Domaine La Baume Chardonnay This Chardonnay has been matured in wood creating a beautiful golden yellow color. Fairly intense on the palate with notes of vanilla due to contact with wood. Persistent finish that pairs well with grilled fish and shellfish. Available from the Wine Shop, Ksh. 2250 thewineshopkenya.com
Hathersage Sauvignon Blanc 2016 This dry South African white has surprising complexity. On the nose it has strong aromas of citrus and passion fruit. Has a good zesty, fairly persistent finish on the palate. Fairly strong for a white so best with a meal. Available from Pharleys. Price Ksh. 2200 https://pharleyswine.com/
W Sauvignon Blanc This dry smooth easy to drink white, is full of tropical flavours, with a hint of gooseberries and green fig. Tropical fresh fruit notes, balanced by good acidity on the palate. Good to drink on its own or with light dishes. Available from Pharleys. Price Ksh. 1700 https://pharleyswine.com/
MAN ABOUT TOWN
WORLD’S END Jackson Biko has a very important time-sensitive message to share with everyone so make sure you sit up and listen. Nobody knows this or will believe it but we are enjoying the very last era of whisky as we know it. Whisky is dying. The art of drinking whisky is also dying. Everything about the originality of whisky is dying. I’m telling you that in a few years time we will not be able to recognise our favourite whiskies after distillers decide to dress up its bottles in a frock. This is because distillers and marketers want everybody to drink whisky. But everybody can’t and shouldn’t drink whisky. In fact, we don’t want everyone to drink whisky. We only want people who want to drink whisky to drink whisky. Now distillers - according to a story I recently read in the media are introducing flavoured whiskies to cater for the “young adults and women.” Now you have whisky with
honey. Honey for chrissake! Well, why stop there? Why don’t we also add some ginger and lemon into it? Stick an umbrella on it too. If they succeed - and looks like they are going to if a story by Eric Spitznagel in Men’s Health is anything to go by “women and young adults” will soon be overheard in bars screeching at the barman, “Gimme that strawberryflavoured whisky!” To top this off, to add salt to this gaping festering wound, there will be hordes of “women and young adults” drinking whisky in water glasses. There will come a time when we will miss these last days of whisky consumption when men and women would order whisky neat and not ask for a Fanta to mix it. When you didn’t need convincing with sugar to drink whisky. Watching people drink
honey-flavoured whisky gives me a headache. Even when it only happens in my mind. One day we will wish for these good old days because one day, “women and young adults” will order whisky according to the colour of the bottle, or whether it has a picture of a banana or worse, a man in a locomotive. I always tell my friends who say whisky is harsh: “drink sweet red wine”. Or, even better, drink cider and let them stick a wedge of lemon on it. The general rule of drinking whisky, as I tell anyone who says whisky is not palatable, is that if you cringe and make a face while drinking it then it’s not for you. And that is absolutely fine by me. I’m told that what we are experiencing now is a whisky revolution. Which means I’m thinking of stocking up on the “original”
whisky before it’s infiltrated with fruits and honey. We are living in a dying era and we don’t appreciate it. We go about our businesses, waiting at traffic lights when the apocalypse is happening right before us. I say take arms and defend this heritage and culture. We will be very few when the time comes to defend the last of our bottles. We will be the last to defend the honour of drinking and even though we will perish under the marketers’ and distillers’ sinful indulgence with sugar and fruits, we shall be remembered as the last tribe that stood when everybody ran off with their silly long glasses and their honey filled drinks masquerading as whisky. Consider yourself forewarned.
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SOCIAL BUTTERFLY YUMMY
Despite a knack for extended procrastination Patricia Kihoro is proud to say she made it to Jo’burg and looked her punky finest at this year’s Afropunk Festival. As soon as it was announced that the Afropunk Festival would finally be coming to Africa, with Solange, Anderson Paak and Laura Mvula as the main acts, and some of my favorite Afrocentral (my radio show) artists on the line up performing, I didn’t think much about planning around it. I rushed to the website to buy my weekend pass as though my life depended on it. June 2017, with only my festival ticket in my email, and a clear vision of all the fun I would have in December, I felt proud of myself as this was the first time I had ever committed to doing something so far ahead of time. I’m the kind of person who books flights last minute mainly because I like to keep my options open, as well as being very aware of my mortality. I made a clarion call on Facebook, and soon after a WhatsApp group of fellow Afropunk enthusiasts was formed to discuss our enthusiasm,
visa requirements, flights and accommodation. This was promising to be an epic New Year’s plan and I was feeling like quite the adult for being so organised. Yet I could feel the dark veil of procrastination slowly falling from my eyes. December 2017, and as WhatsApp travel groups are wont to do, a couple of people had bowed out. There I was, the curse of procrastination firmly back in place, rushing to apply for my visa last minute. I still had no flights booked, or accommodation planned but I was as determined as ever to cross into 2018 being blown away by the greatness of all the artists scheduled to perform. A day before I was to get my passport back and find out if I had or hadn’t been granted a visa, I put out a little, earnest plea to the Almighty to make the trip happen. I followed this up with some posts on the Instagram feeds of the artists, to let God know I really meant it. An hour later, the
South African Tourism board had called and plans were underway to fly a group of Kenyans, myself included, to Johannesburg for the festival, all expenses paid. Can I get an amen? The festival itself was a magical, two day amalgamation of everything good and not so good that could happen at a festival. Day one was marred by a ridiculously violent hailstorm that did nothing to dampen the excitement of the party goers. Decked out in Kenya apparel and accessories and doing the most in our Afropunk shine, my friends and I endured the cold and wet conditions, and even found refuge at the Sumting Fresh food truck which had the most amazing chicken wings I have ever tasted, and a flirty crew that sang to you as you ate, making me consider ditching my life as I know it and contemplating a future as a food truck server. The hail dissipated and the night’s performances resumed with Jojo Abot and Blitz The Ambassador
deserving special mention. Day two, and the sky was the clearest I have ever seen it and the sun cast the perfect glow onto everyone in attendance. Bumping into Kenyans from places far and wide made it even more magical to experience. Having to broadcast my radio show, Afrocentral, live from the festival, meant that I had to approach and speak to a vast array of individuals, from all over the world, who had travelled just for the festival. The artists themselves laid their hearts bare on the stage and despite Solange’s last minute cancellation, Anderson Paak and Laura Mvula were worthy headliners. I even got to meet Anderson and hang out in his trailer for a little while after the show, making that the cherry on the top of the most wonderful start to the new year.
YUMMY ESCAPE CULINARY
All health aside, Christmas in an Ashram may not be everyone’s cup of tea, as Katy Fentress found out during a recent trip to Sri Lanka I take a sip of my herbal tea and it takes every iota of my willpower not to spit it out. “You have got to be kidding!” I mutter loudly. The boyfriend looks at me, trying to suppress a giggle before bringing his own cup to his lips. I can tell by the way he screws up his face that for him too, the steaming garlic tea really takes the proverbial biscuit. In any other situation I could have drunk it. Seriously, I am not averse to the odd weird tasting brew if it is accompanied by amazing health benefits. And we all know how good garlic is supposed to be for you. The thing is that it is Christmas day and, though by all accounts and purposes it is me that signed us up to go to a Sri Lankan Ayurvedic ashram for this most holy and gluttonous of Christian holidays, I just expected something that was a little bit more friendly on the tastebuds to wash down my vegan Christmas meal. You see when, back in November, I excitedly booked us into an ashram for Christmas, I was wishfully hoping that I would be pregnant. It seemed
like a great way to avoid booze envy to just cut out all suggestions of alcohol. Unfortunately, though, I had forgotten to factor in how I would feel if I wasn’t pregnant. Which I am most definitely not. Now, after a booze and meat-free Christmas meal, with the closest thing to a fruitcake having been a Hopper—a Sri Lankan coconut pancake cooked in a small wok, I am desperately trying to look on the bright side to avoid admitting I was wrong to my other half. Of course there is a huge bright side. I flick through an article on my phone which describes what people’s average Christmas dinner would look like if they stuck to the calorie recommendations made by nutritional experts and feel quite smug at the thought that I will not have to spend January desperately trying to lose the kilos I gained over the course of a couple days in December. But then I remember that at that moment, my family in the States is probably eating some delicious Eggs Benedict and my victory feels short lived. Surely the benefits of spending time with your
loved ones that live overseas, vastly outweigh the tightened waistbands at the end of the holiday? But then again if I had been pregnant, I reason, I would have had to watch them as they knocked back Bellinis and Bloody Marys and surely that would have been a worse torture than one little sip of foul garlic tea? Although this is not an escapade I am totally excited to repeat again in the near future, it must be said that as an experience it is not entirely negative. The ashram’s buffet is served on clay burners out of delightful red clay pots, the content of which our charming host carefully describes. For Christmas there is banana flower curry, which tastes of nothing much, there is a mushroom soup which tastes a million times better than the green gloop we were served the previous day (which I charitably described it as “moss soup”), there are pulses, brown rice and perhaps my favourite part, the salads and sambols, Sri Lankan fresh chutneys which have more flavour than all the other dishes combined. When I tell my friends on my
foodie WhatsApp group about what we are eating, they all agree that I should have known in advance that Ayurvedic food is not famous for being super flavoursome and what the hell was I thinking forcing us to go there? Sigh, they aren’t wrong, what was I thinking? Even the two hour Ayurvedic massage earlier that day, which consisted mainly in lots of oil being rubbed over me and then a weird pot of warm oil poured over my head for forty minutes that left me with little more than a painful crick in my neck, are not enough to kickstart the zen in me. Now as I enter two booze-free beginning of the year months (trying to get pregnant can be ever so much of a drag), I can’t help but wonder if it was really worth it being so virtuous? But then again, maybe I’ll change my mind when I see all my hungover and overindulged friends slowly trickle home after their alcohol and calorieladen holidays.
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he ultimate guide to Nairobi’s fifth annual restaurant week. Read on to find out more about this celebration of the city’s blossoming gastro...
Published on Jan 20, 2018
he ultimate guide to Nairobi’s fifth annual restaurant week. Read on to find out more about this celebration of the city’s blossoming gastro...