Vol 2.7 | July 2016
PASTA PERFETTA LA DOLCE VITA Susan Wong gets a taste of the sweet life at La Dolce Vita
BUON APPETITO New Mediterraneo Head Chef takes diners back to his roots
PESTO 101 Experts give us the ins and outs of pesto 1.
Karen Hub Ad
PRIMI PIATTI The only real upside of the cold season is the comfort food that comes with it. Pasta is the ultimate comfort food whether whipped up at home or served piping hot in a restaurant. With the mid-year chill having set in, we think this edition of Yummy could not come at a more fitting time. One day during assembly in high school our music teacher caught my attention when she announced that she’d be taking the choir to Italy. I could barely hold a note, but the mention of Italy was enough for me to garner the confidence to audition and secure myself a spot. Having always had a deep appreciation for food (thanks to my mother’s and my shared obsession with BBC Food) this was set to be my first culinary destination. Although this was what one may consider a budget trip, everything I ate was nothing short of divine. The cold cuts and pastries meticulously laid out for breakfast, the gelato served in the town square, the enormous ruby strawberries from the fruit stand just outside our hotel and of course the pasta which was served
with every single meal! Gnocchi, ravioli, cannelloni...I was most certainly in culinary heaven and I had the gut to prove it upon my return! I may have been young, but I gained a deep respect and love for Italian cuisine from that point forth. I came to learn that Italians generally eat pasta once a day, with many feeling that a meal would be incomplete without it. Pasta has undoubtedly gained popularity due to its often simple, nutritious and versatile nature. As Chef Ray aptly puts it on page 31, “the gods themselves couldn’t have designed a more perfect vessel for flavour.” The Italians’ ability to profile flavours and honour the essence of fresh ingredients reflects their respect for produce. Some of their most famous dishes are the most simple.
This month we highlight several standout pasta dishes from some of our favourite Italian spots in town; from La Dolce Vita, Trattoria and 360 Degrees to Taste Awards winner of top Italian restaurant, Mediterraneo. Our recipes come courtesy of Artcaffe this month and are a must-try for anyone looking to whip up something simple yet impressive. I personally love the Fettucine Alfredo which I recommend that you serve along with homemade mozzarella-filled garlic bread because, let’s face it, you can never have enough carbs in the cold! Charity Keita, who coincidentally will soon be jetting off to Italy, scrubs up on her ravioli making with Chef Dario on page 19. Jackson Biko seems to have been wooed by Stockholm on page 45, and The Hub proves to
be the perfect destination if you’re looking for food to please all tastes on page 11 and 12. We do hope you enjoy this edition and are inspired to indulge in a little more pasta this month. As always, we love to hear what you think of the magazine so be sure to write in to us at email@example.com and you could win a dinner for two at one of our 10 featured Italian restaurants. Buon Appetito!
Michelle Slater General Manager
NEWS AND EVENTS Every month we bring you the best upcoming events in Nairobi’s food scene.
KAHAWA DIARIES We sit down with the Director of the Italian Institute of Culture to learn her coffee culture.
20 THE SWEET LIFE When Susan Wong experiences a pang of pasta nostalgia, she visits La Dolce Vita.
PASTA MENU 24
Get your forks ready! We’ve highlighted 10 pasta dishes from around Nairobi that you’ll want to try.
BUON APPETITO Mediterraneo’s new Executive Head Chef takes the restaurants back to his routes in Northern Italy.
PESTO 101 There’s more than one way to skin a cat, or make a pesto as the case may be.
AL DENTE Chef Ray reminisces his love for pasta and shares a deliciously simple recipe.
40 PENCHANT FOR PASTA Annabel Onyango discusses her complicated relationship with pasta while providing simple wine pairing techniques.
RUNNING MAN Biko Jackson runs to explore Stockholm while thinking about whisky among many, many other things.
46 BAR STAR Joan Samia winner of 2016 Diageo World Class Bartender
of the Year gives us an exclusive look into her cocktail recipes.
Yummy goes to Lamu to experience yet another magical destination.
YUMMY Vol. 2.7 · July 2016 · PUBLISHED BY EATOUT, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. MANAGING DIRECTOR Mikul Shah GM Michelle Slater EDITOR Soni Adriance DESIGN David Müller, Karan Khalsa SALES, MARKETING & OPERATIONS Anne Kisang, Daniel Muthiani, Devna Vadgama, Fred Mwithiga, Fridah Gumba, Gilbert Chege, Joy Wairimu, Jude Musyoki, Seina Naimasiah, Winnie Wangui CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Katy Fentress CONTRIBUTORS Amy Selbach, Annabel Onyango, Chef Ray Cournede, Jackson Biko, Susan Wong IT Kelvin Jayanoris SALES INQUIRIES Call Yummy, 0711 22 22 22 EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org
WIN WITH YUMMY
DEAR YUMMY WIN A VOUCHER FOR TWO AT ONE OF THE FEATURED PASTA RESTAURANTS ON PAGE 35. THE VOUCHER WILL BE VALUED AT KSH 4,000 SO YOU AND YOUR PLUS ONE CAN ENJOY A DELICIOUS THREE COURSE ITALIAN MEAL. LAST MONTH, WE GAVE AWAY BBQ KITS COURTESY OF GOLDEN FRY DURING THE NAIROBI BURGER FESTIVAL. The lucky winners of the home BBQ kits were Brian Kariuki, Cassie Rose, Sebastian Wanzalla and Shey Kibuchi. They were awarded with a customized home BBQ kit including a Golden Fry apron, tongs, a BBQ stand and more! To win a voucher valued at Ksh 4,000 to dine at one of the featured restaurants, send an email to editor@ eatout.co.ke and explain what you think of Yummy Magazine.
This month’s winner of the classic Bisquit VS Cognac is Mumbua Nzula Nzyoka who wrote in to express her love for the Nairobi Burger Festival and eagerness for the next food festival. This cognac courtesy of Distell Group Limited is worth Ksh 4,085. Don’t forget to send us an email to win a restaurant voucher valued at Ksh 4,000. email@example.com
NEW RESTAURANTS YUMMY
DINE AT THE HUB Karen’s biggest mall is a dining paradise! No matter what your food craving is, you’ll be covered. Check out these six new restaurants at The Hub:
LUSCIOUS SEAFOOD Catch a wave of fresh seafood at Ocean Basket If you’re in Karen, your favourite seafood restaurant is a stone’s throw away. Ocean Basket promises you a medley of flavours straight from the ocean. Their latest craze, Mediterrasian Sushi, will knock your socks off: bringing together the best of Mediterranean flavours and Japanese sushi all in one delightful plating. Can’t wait? Beat the traffic and catch the wave at The Hub’s square. eatout.co.ke/ocean-basket
WOK THE WALK Whipping up the best of Chinese cuisine at Mister Wok Ever find yourself in the mood for a bowl of piping hot Chinese wonton soup or some Chow Mein? Look no further than good old Mister Wok. Conveniently located on the first floor of The Hub, indulge in some of the best Chinese cuisine in town! Whether it’s vegetarian or non vegetarian, their wide menu selection will cater to all palates. eatout.co.ke/mister-wok
BAKLAVA LOVER Afghan cuisine at the Afghan House Revel in the delight of Afghan Cuisine right in Karen’s biggest mall. Afghan House, famed for their delicious baklava, tasty curries and their Afghan dumplings, have set up shop on the first floor of The Hub. Their meals use traditional recipes all infused with their own personal touch, guaranteed to set your taste buds ablaze with flavour and keep you coming back for more. eatout.co.ke/afghan-house
STEAK OUT Delicious steaks and ribs at the Eagle Peak Spur Too busy to set up your barbecue? Check out the Eagle Peak Spur in The Hub’s square. Best known for their ribs, buffalo wings and finely prepared steaks, this is your go-to spot if you’re craving grilled meat. Grab a friend or two and go on a steak out!
CAFE LIFE Your one-stop-shop Artcaffe is now open at The Hub Get your daily dose of coffee with your favourite pastry at Artcaffe located at the main entrance of The Hub. Indulge in their delightful menu whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Take advantage of happy hour from 4PM - 7PM available everyday and welcome the weekend with an electric Salsa Night on Saturday’s when Artcaffe is open 24 hours! eatout.co.ke/artcaffe
THE ART OF TAPAS Spanish tapas that will transport you to the heart of Spain. The new Spanish tapas restaurant Picazzo Restaurant and Lounge is located on the first floor of The Hub overlooking the pond. Watch the chefs prepare your dishes through the open kitchen over a glass of Spanish wine. Come in and wind down with friends! eatout.co.ke/picazzo
NEWS & YUMMY EVENTS
ESTELLE IN KENYA Will she find her American boy in the heart of Kenya? If you loved the performance Aloe Blacc gave during the April edition of Blankets and Wine, you’re going to love their July edition. Grammy winning singer, Estelle, famed for her ‘American Boy’ hit is set to make you sway to her soulful sounds on July 10th from 11AM to 10PM at the Ngong Racecourse Waterfront. Get your blankets, wine and dancing shoes on for what promises to be an epic show. Tickets can be purchased at blanketsandwine.com.
SUPPORT LOCAL The Food Market is back for a 2nd edition! Taking place on the 2nd of July at the Arboretum, the second edition of The Food Market will feature new local vendors, a talk from a celebrity chef, a foodie film screening, a pub quiz and a live performance from a local musical talent. There will also be fun activities for kids including a tasting booth, cupcake decorating, a treasure hunt and face painting. Come one and come all for an afternoon full of foodie fun!
LOVE PASTA Lucca launches a new menu, including some delicious pastas Lucca at Villa Rosa Kempinski is launching a new menu mid-July! They’ll retain guest-favourites but add new dishes created from their chefs’ creativity, travels and experiences. Alla Carbonara Di Mare is a new dish on their pasta menu which is a seafood version of the classic Carbonara and sounds like a dish you don’t want to miss! Visit Lucca to try their new salads, pizzas, pastas, mains and desserts.
MOCHA SPICED COFFEE Ingredients: • • • • • • • • •
1/2 cup ground coffee 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 5 cups water 1 cup fat-free milk 1/4 cup brown sugar 1/3 cup light chocolate syrup 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Whipped cream (optional)
DORMANS KAHAWA DIARIES
Method: Place ground coffee, cinnamon and nutmeg in a coffee filter or coffee maker. Add 5 cups of water and brew according to specifications. Combine milk, sugar, and syrup in a heavy saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. Stir in brewed coffee and vanilla. Top with whipped cream, if desired. Serve immediately.
HOW I TAKE MY COFFEE WITH FRANCESCA CHIESA What do you do for a living? I am the Director of the Italian Institute of Culture in Nairobi. I started this job in April 2015. What is your morning routine? I want to be at the office by 8:00AM so I wake up at 5:30AM and have a cup of coffee in bed using the electric coffee maker by my bedside. Early morning is the perfect time for creativity so I read or write till around 6:30AM. Then I get up and make breakfast for my husband and myself and I’ll usually leave my house by 7:45AM. How many coffees do you have in a day? Until about a month ago I was having six or seven coffees a day! Now I have one coffee in the morning, one during the day, then decaf or (sadly) green tea for the rest of the day due to health reasons.
What’s the best part of your job? I love when I get to prepare an exhibition. I try to have special kinds of exhibitions which combine local art with learning the Italian history of art. For example for the first exhibition we put together some works of Longinos Langina, a very talented Kenyan artist, who had sculptures using the theme of halos. We put those together with Italian art that used the same theme of the halo to show the history and the meaning of these very old symbols. Tell us a bit about the history of Italian coffee culture In Italy we don’t have native coffee plants but we did have brave and curious voyagers who brought coffee to Italy. The first coffee as we know it was made in Naples where the first coffee machine was invented.
What’s your favourite way to have coffee? My favourite way to have coffee is in a black espresso.
Drop by your nearest Dormans Coffee Shop at Junction • Village Market • AirKenya • Westgate Like us on Facebook @DormansCoffeeShops
THE FOOD LIFE
MAMBO ITALIANO Charity Keita needs to brush up on her “all things Italian” skills in anticipation for the exciting year that lies ahead of her.
old the press, steady the horses, stop whatever you are doing! I have an announcement! The results are in: I have been accepted at the prestigious Florence University of the Arts to undertake a one year course in wine business and enology! I can’t begin to tell you how exciting this is. Departure for Italy is scheduled for July, at which point I will do an internship at a wine shop in Rome. School starts in September and I will make sure to write back and keep you all up-to-date on the fun times that will be had, the amazing food that will be cooked and eaten and of course some precious tips on wine that I hope to learn along the way. I am attempting to immerse myself in as many aspects of Italian culture as I can and am currently putting
myself through an intensive Classic Italian film marathon as well as watching the adrenaline-filled TV crime series show Gomorrah; which fictionalises the story of the city of Naples’ notorious blood thirsty crime syndicate the Camorra. I am also, of course, trying to scrub up on my Italian cooking skills as I am keen to demonstrate to Italians just how good the Italian food we cook here in Kenya is. As part of my cooking skills improvement drive, I recently managed to convince my good friend Chef Dario Aloisio to give me a special ravioli making class. I have been eating at Chef Dario’s house for half a decade and have always wondered where he finds the energy to come back from working in a busy kitchen and whip up an amazing meal for the family. Once last year, he made
a duck ragu with pesto on lasagna sheets that was so good I spent about a month trying, unsuccessfully, to replicate it. On this occasion I got to Casa Aloisio to find the pasta machine out, a bowl full of eggs, a packet of the finest Italian flour and a creamy pecorino and sukuma wiki filling all ready for me to put together. The thing about ravioli is that if you have a pasta machine then they are basically a walk in the park. Chef Dario patiently showed me how to knead the dough - the eggs and the flour are a ratio of ten-to-one so in this case we went with one kg of pasta and ten eggs. We then fed it through the machine repeatedly, each time diminishing the space between the rollers until a paper fine dough was achieved. I carefully piped the filling onto the dough, folded it over
and cut it with what he referred to in Italian as a “coppapasta”, which I can only guess translates as a dough cutter in English. The guests for the night, a bunch of kids who are used to eating better than well, were a hard group to please. As the ravioli were plated and a pork and tomato sauce that I was told had been bubbling on the stove for the better part of the day was ladled over, I braced myself for the “constructive” feedback. They loved it! As I rubbed my hands in glee, I realised it was Dario who put in all the hard work and all I did was take part in the assembly line. Still… If I come across a pasta machine on my travels, I’ll be sure to make some killer ravioli! By the way, how do you say “sukuma wiki” in Italian?
RESTAURANT REVIEW YUMMY
THE SWEET LIFE When Susan Wong experiences a pang of nostalgia, she visits La Dolce Vita for its authentic satisfying pasta dishes and homey atmosphere.
was six years old when I used to walk around my parent’s home dusted and streaked with flour, crumbly yellow bits of dough crusted onto my nails and my face. Whether it was thick Shanghai noodles or ribbons of fettuccine inspired by our Italian neighbour’s homemade tomato sauce, my dad and I were obsessed. We made batch after batch – I even recall pasta for breakfast. Our motivation? My dad’s toy: a shiny, chrome-plated, steel Imperia Titania Pasta Maker with a wooden grip handle that was given to my parents as a wedding gift. Sometimes when I miss my family or home, I think “what a shame, my inherited pasta machine is packed away in storage in Toronto, and its cutters and gears have not been cranked in a decade”. Usually, a swift craving of homemade pasta follows and a visit to Nairobi’s La Dolce Vita on the weekend is imminent.
It takes enormous amounts of hard work to seem effortless and welcoming; and there is a lot of that effortlessness at La Dolce Vita, both in food and sense of place.
It takes enormous amounts of hard work to seem effortless and welcoming; and there is a lot of that effortlessness at La Dolce Vita, both in food and sense of place. “It was not possible for me to close the restaurant. La Dolce Vita was Riccardo’s life. He put everything and all his passion into it,” Patrizia Fiora, sister to La Dolce Vita’s late patron Riccardo Fiora, shared with me during a recent visit. The younger sister of Riccardo is now splitting her time between Italy and Kenya since her brother’s recent passing from a five-month battle with lung cancer. Together with her nephew, Francesco Fiora, Patrizia hopes to continue to celebrate Riccardo’s passion and memory through keeping La Dolce Vita as it was, and is. This 109-seat Italian restaurant has been quietly nestled at the bottom of the staircase of Muthaiga Shopping Centre for a decade and a half
and is the very essence of its Italian name, which translates as “The Sweet Life” and refers to the classic 1960 award-winning film by Federico Fellini. A neighbourhood favourite, it will be celebrating its 15 year anniversary later this year. The food at La Dolce Vita is not going to leave you breathless, but it is hugely satisfying. In some restaurants, buzz words such as ‘authentic’ or ‘rustic’ may feature frequently on the menu before you get a sense of the essence of what the restaurant is about. Here at La Dolce Vita, the team wears their passion for the cuisine on their sleeves. This is convincing cooking; not over conceptualised. My companion and I began with the Carpaccio di Salmone in Bella Vista; a thinly sliced marinated salmon rolled with some dill, arranged carefully on a dome of rocket, finished with a drizzle of light lemon vinaigrette. The classic combination of lemon and dill
delicately permeated the fish and complemented its richness. Our fresh homemade Tagliolini al Nero di Seppia all’Aragosta, homemade pasta with black squid ink in fresh lobster sauce, arrived with some decorative dill (a favourite garnish of the restaurant). The fresh pasta from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy is long and perfect for absorbing delicious sauces such as one made of lobster. The chunks of lobster were thankfully not overcooked and the bits that peaked above the sauce revealed beautiful white flesh. Served in the halved lobster shells, the entire portion could hardly fit on the plate. One of my favourites, Fettucine al Granchio, featured crab from Lamu and honestly, couldn’t have any more crab meat in it. Can’t believe I just said that. The ribbons of fresh pasta were coated generously with crab and fresh tomatoes; and the healthy portion poured out of a crab shell, again,
garnished with a bundle of fresh dill. ‘The Sweet Life’ came to a poignant conclusion with the arrival of Millefoglie Dolce Vita. I urge you to look past the unsightly and puzzling garnish of finely diced carrots sprinkled on the white rim of the plate, once you have (and I know you can), you will find a delicious mound of flaky puff pastry inter-layered with rich crema Chantilly. The neat and tidy family-run La Dolce Vita has been a fixture when it comes to Nairobi’s diverse culinary scene, but it isn’t just a piece of history. The restaurant is a living and breathing culinary destination that still champions the same passion that its founder had. It is certainly a place where appetites can be satiated, bouts of homesickness easily forgotten and memories revisited.
TEXT YUMMY SONI ADRIANCE PHOTOS MAGICBOX
CHEF PROFILE YUMMY
Cooking in Italy is all about good quality ingredients with a focus on making them shine. In Italian cooking, less is more.
BUON APPETITO Mediterraneo’s new Executive Head Chef takes the restaurants back to his routes in Northern Italy while differentiating each branch with unique menus that reflect the branch’s decor.
new chef can often mean a new direction for a restaurant and since Chef Giuliano Truddaiu took over the helm of Mediterraneo, he has strived to bring the flavours of his own Northern Italy to this award-winning Nairobi establishment. A graceful man, Chef Giuliano quietly moves through the Mediterraneo 9West restaurant, checking that everything is running smoothly. Welcoming me to our interview, he smiles and ushers me to a quiet table at the back of the restaurant. It is difficult not to be instantly charmed by his natural warmth and friendly smile. Chef Giuliano’s route to Kenya has been circuitous: prior to working here, he ran his own business in Italy, worked in Qatar and most recently, in Saudi Arabia at the Riyadh Ritz Carlton. It was there that Chef Giuliano made a name for himself by ensuring he never compromised on quality and used only the freshest of ingredients
to let his simple yet delicious dishes shine. Chef Giuliano grew up in the North West region of Italy, Piedmont. After finishing culinary school, he worked all over the peninsula to learn about cooking techniques of each unique area. “In Italy, food is like a religion” says Chef Giuliano describing how each region have their own recipes for different dishes. The Piedmontese are known for their use of meat, cheese and cream while the island of Sardinia, where the other side of his roots lie, is known for fresh seafood, slow cooked lamb and fresh vegetables. Cooking in Italy is all about good quality ingredients with a focus on making them shine. In Italian cooking, less is more. Chef Giuliano describes the famous Roman amatriciana pasta as a good example of traditional Italian cooking. This simple pasta sauce is composed of three ingredients: diced red onions, diced bacon, and tomato
sauce to which a rich and salty pecorino cheese is later sprinkled on. The magic of Italian cooking, he explains, comes from the care with which ingredients for dishes are chosen. Chef Giuliano tells his chefs that if you take care of the ingredients, from sourcing, storing, to cooking, your food will be fantastic. His mission is to create dishes that ‘wow’ the guest with all five senses through plating, flavour, and textures of the dish. Local produce is proving to be the cornerstone of his new revamped menu and fresh milk is brought in daily to produce delicious in-house mozzarella. To ensure authenticity, however, ingredients such as specialty cheeses are sourced directly from Italy. For the future, Chef Giuliano plans on reducing the main menu in all Mediterraneos to make the meal selection process easier for diners. The differentiating factor for each branch will be the specials menu. The
modern-style 9West branch will have an artistically ‘painted’ plate, Gigiri that has a Tuscany Rococo design, will have a fine dining special menu and lastly, the Junction branch that looks and feels like a typical Italian restaurant, will have authentic Italian food with traditional and ancient recipes. These special menus will have six to eight dishes each. Throughout our discussion, Chef Giuliano refers to Mediterraneo diners as his “guests”. He says this is part of his culture and that he wants to treat every diner as he would a guest in his own home. As we wrap up our interview, Chef Giuliano stops by a table that requested to see him. The customer is raving about a new dish on the specials menu: the wild berry risotto with strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. I can’t help but note that one down for future reference. I look forward to coming back to try it and the other dishes on Chef Giuliano’s new menu.
YUMMY PRODUCER TO PLATE
TEXT KATY FENTRESS
The word pesto is derived from the Italian word “pestare”, which means “to pound, or crush”.
There is more than one way to skin a cat, or make a pesto as the case may be, discovers Katy Fentress as she talks to some experts. “I have never bought a store made pesto in my life and given that pasta with pesto is something that we eat once a week, over the eight years I have lived in Kenya I have definitely come up with some delicious variations made with locally-sourced ingredients”. We are talking to Maria Grazia Pellegrino, the owner of the newly opened Upendo Pizza at the Yard in Westlands. The conversation has just moved to that Italian staple pasta sauce: pesto. Maria Grazia has two children and their insatiable appetite for pesto has provided her with ample opportunities to fine-tune a classic recipe that symbolises Italian’s love for all things delicate, delicious and creamy. The word pesto is derived from the Italian word “pestare”, which means “to pound, or crush”. The first thought most people have when they think of pesto is of the classic Genovese pesto (from the Northern Italian port of Genova) which is made up of pine nuts, basil, parmesan and olive oil. The truth, however, is that up and down Italy there are a good handful of variations on the traditional recipe and, as Italian food and culture has spread across the world, people have happily lapped up the idea and given it a twist of their own.
Here in Kenya, the Mombasa-based company Jars of Goodness specialises in making six different types of pesto which include their popular sun dried tomato variety and coriander, mint, pistachio and olive ones too. Jars of Goodness are about as close to a store-bought homemade pesto as you can get in this country and if you do come across them—unfortunately the only stockist in Nairobi is Monty’s at Sarit Centre—they come highly recommended. “My business started small and I initially limited myself to making jams” says Neelma Malde, the owner of Jars of Goodness, when we reach out to her over the phone to find out more about her pesto line. “When I began selling the products, I realised I needed to keep on coming up with new flavours and as I loved making pesto for myself and grow some of the ingredients I need for it in my shamba, I began to create an exclusive line”. Neelma has noticed that there is definitely a growing desire for pesto amongst her customers and says people are increasingly asking her for advice on recipes and serving suggestions. “Pasta isn’t the only thing that benefits from a generous serving of pesto” she points out and she isn’t wrong. You can spread it on
bread as part of a cheese and ham sandwich, drip it over a focaccia, smother your baked potatoes in it, or dollop it into a minestrone… Whatever way you choose, you will not go home sad! “Where I come from in Sicily we don’t actually make pesto Genovese so much,” Maria Grazia tells us. “Our traditional pesto is called Pesto Trapanese (from Trapani a port on the Western side of the island) and it is made by pounding together garlic, fresh tomatoes, almonds and basil. Another popular Sicilian variation is a pistachio pesto but it isn’t actually a pasta sauce and more something you dollop on top of a creamy pancetta pasta”. Maria Grazia, who has not yet begun serving a pesto pizza but says if the demand is there she might end up doing it, recognises that her Kenyan friends are no longer satisfied with the low grade Italian industrial pestos that are available at supermarkets and are looking into making their own. When it comes to knocking up an unforgettable homemade pesto, she encourages people to give it a try as it is a pretty straightforward process. “Don’t worry about using a pestle and mortar,” she advises, “sure, that’s the more traditional way but if you stick all your
ingredients in a blender the results will still be delicious and it will be ready in a tenth of the time”. Maria Grazia maintains a more traditional approach to her Pesto Genovese although she sometimes makes the odd tweak here and there replacing pine nuts with toasted almonds and cashews and experimenting with a rocket leaf pesto variation. Neelma’s offerings instead are reflective of the variety of ingredients we have here in Kenya. Neelma uses cashew nuts in her coriander version but sticks to pine nuts for the Genovese, saying she feels it doesn’t taste quite right without them. She does however confess to using Kenyan parmesan because, she says, Italian parmesan would make it cost too much for her customers. “Do I replace Italian parmesan for Kenyan?” Maria Grazia looks up from the question laughing. “Sometimes when I don’t have any Italian I do, although I would prefer you not tell anyone! But no, seriously… It’s fine to replace it but it’s probably best to mix it up with some pecorino and other hard cheeses to keep in creamy and flavoursome”.
AL DENTE Chef Ray Cournede reminisces his love for pasta and shares a deliciously simple recipe. “Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.” - Sophia Loren
ow that’s my kind of food loving woman! Especially in this day and age where gluten intolerance and low-carb diets have put pasta in the same bracket as, dare I say it, full-fat butter and red meat. However, a person who CAN digest wheat, and still does not appreciate a good plate of pasta – well, that is clearly never going to work! Pasta for me is the holy grail of Italian cooking. The gods themselves couldn’t have designed a more perfect vessel for flavour. Whether we’re talking of fresh homemade tagliatelle with a creamy porcini and truffle sauce or the simplest of them all: spaghetti al pomodoro, with just the most exquisite of ingredients— olive oil, sea salt, tomatoes and basil, the grated parmesan melting as it hits the heat of the sauce. There are very few ingredients in this world that can stand up to such a variety of tastes and textures. Pasta and I go a long way back. After I finished culinary school in Copenhagen I decided to open my
own restaurant. My passion at the time was Italian food and that’s exactly what I cooked at Al Dente. The day I opened the door, I knew that pasta would be something that is always on any menu I create. My favourite memory from that time, however, is not the wafer thin pasta sheets we would roll out for our guests, or the shaving of truffles we would handle like delicate gold leaf. Pasta was the staple of every staff meal at Al Dente; at 5pm the whole team, front and back, would stop what they were doing and sit together to wolf down a warm plate of pasta with whatever ingredients needed to be used up that day. Every day a different Sous Chef would cook and experiment, ready-steady-cook style. It brought us together, chatting, laughing, and getting ready for the next 8 hours of blood, sweat and tears. That is what true comfort food is all about. If you’re going to cook just one pasta dish this year then I suggest you try your hand at Cacio & Pepe. This is a pasta dish that everyone should try and we used to cook a lot at Al Dente. It’s a simple dish so the best quality ingredients go a long way!
CACIO & PEPE INGREDIENTS FOR 2 • • • • • •
Sea salt 200g spaghetti 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (cubed) 1 generous teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper 3/4 cup finely grated Grana Padano 2/3 cup finely grated Pecorino
METHOD Bring 3 liters water to a boil in a large pan. Season with sea salt and add the pasta. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just before al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Meanwhile, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large, heavy saucepan, over medium heat. Add the pepper and cook, swirling the pan, until toasted, about 1 minute. Add 3/4 cup of the reserved pasta water to the pan and bring to a simmer. Add the pasta and remaining butter. Reduce heat to low and add the Grana Padano, stirring and tossing with tongs until melted. Remove the pan from heat, add the Pecorino, stirring and tossing until cheese melts and the sauce coats the pasta (Add more pasta water if the sauce seems dry.) Transfer pasta to warm bowls and tuck in!
TEXT SONI ADRIANCE
A BRIEF HISTORY OF PASTA Pasta is commonplace in most modern day households, so much so that we rarely stop to think about where it originally came from. The history of this wonderfully versatile carbohydrate vessel, which allows for infinite combinations of cooking styles and flavours, has long been debated. The commonly held myth is that Marco Polo returned from his famed trip to Asia, eager to introduce the noodles he had discovered on his journeys to his people back home. This myth has since been debunked by several food historians. Whatever the case, the history of pasta is still unclear, due to a gap in ancient historical documentation. What little can be agreed upon is that the noodle was developed simultaneously both in the Mediterranean area and in Asia. The noodle that was developed in Italy evolved into the pasta (made with durum wheat) that we know today.
Italian cuisine is a mainstay in any major city across the globe and Nairobi is no different. The world has fallen in love with noodles and all of their derivatives: from spaghetti, to penne, farfalle to rigatoni, or the more adventurous stuffed ravioli and tortellini. Served with a hearty bolognese, a nutty pesto or a creamy carbonara, there is a delicious pasta dish for all palates. We explore 10 of Nairobiâ€™s great pasta offerings from authentic Italian eateries to continental restaurants with delicious pizzas and pastas. Whether youâ€™re looking for a quick food court meal or a fine dining experience to impress that special someone, thereâ€™s a Nairobi restaurant for all of your needs and wants.
Ksh 1,050 (add chicken for Ksh 150)
Art Pesto Artcaffe’s Art Pesto is a favourite on their menu and available at all branches. Penne pasta tossed in homemade pesto topped with thin slices of parmesan is sure to satisfy your pesto craving. Add chicken to this popular dish for some light protein.
Bonhomie at Concord Hotel
Oven Baked Bologna Lasagne is a perfect dish for a cold afternoon as it warms your body and soul. Layers of sheet lasagne separated by beef bolognaise in red wine, cream sauce and parmesan cheese, this lasagna is melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
La Dolce Vita
Tagliolini al Nero di Seppia all’Aragosta A homemade black pasta with squid ink in a fresh tomato lobster sauce. Served on a half shell of lobster, this dish is one of a kind. Be sure to check out Susan’s review of this dish and more on page 20.
Lucca at Villa Rosa Kempinski
Linguine con Gamberi e Zucchini Profumante Prawns and zucchini sauteed in garlic and chilies tossed in a homemade pesto and sprinkled with truffle oil. Treat yourself to this meal with a glass of white wine.
Mambo Italia Vegetable Lasagne After testing 15 different versions, here’s the one that stuck: zucchini, aubergines and mushrooms in a light passata and a touch of chilli, layered with classic spinach and ricotta and topped with mozzarella and sharp cheddar, it’s a must-try.
Spaghetti allo Scoglio Seafood spaghetti is found on almost every menu in Italy. Seafood cooked with garlic, parsley and cherry tomatoes with a splash of wine and a sprinkle of chili. This dish is served with half a grilled lobster; it’s a show-stopper to say the least.
Spaghetti Pomodoro Simple yet delicious the key to this pasta is fresh tomatoes and good quality olive oil. Sauteed garlic, fresh olives, tomato sauce and basil, this dish is enjoyable on any occasion. Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Sale e Pepe at Hilton Hotel
Penne alla Genovese Pesto pasta with fresh vegetables: oven roasted red peppers with julienned aubergine and courgette sauteed in onions and garlic and tossed in pesto sauce. Topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Spaghetti con Polpa di Granchio e Zenzero Inspired by local flavour, this pasta dish has a delicious fusion flair. Ginger, chilli, spring onion and a pinch of sugar stir fried with crab meat give this pasta dish a coastal twist.
360 Degrees Artisan Pizza
Spinach Tagliatelle with Lemon Chicken Enjoy a house-made Spinach Tagliatelle with Lemon Chicken tossed with sun-dried tomatoes and snap peas for a healthy, colourful dish enjoyable at any time of year.
Win a voucher for two at one of the above restaurants! Simply write in to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us what you think about the magazine.
TEXT AND PHOTOS TATIANA KARANJA
MAGIC & PASTA Since Artcaffe opened its doors in 2008, pasta has always been a mainstay of the continental menu we have all come to love and respect. From the classic Art Pesto to rich tomato and mascarpone sauce Dania Linguine, comforting and generous portions of pasta are served up all day, every day, using the freshest quality ingredients. These beloved pasta dishes can also be enjoyed 24 hours on Fridays and Saturdays at Artcaffe at The Oval. Hereâ€™s three easy-to-make and wonderfully satisfying pasta dishes from the team at Artcaffe â€“ a simple beef with penne pasta and a rich meaty sauce, slightly spiced tomato pasta and a creamy mushroom sauce with freshly made pasta.
BEEF PENNE Serves 2
A throwback to a classic tagliata, this dish uses seared beef fillet and garlic â€“ simple and delicious.
INGREDIENTS 30ml olive oil 40g finely chopped onion 1 finely chopped garlic clove 100g of prime beef fillet, cut into fine strips Salt & pepper 70g beef stock 200g cooked penne pasta al dente (check packet directions) Handful of cherry tomatoes and sliced basil leaves
METHOD Season the beef with salt and pepper and sear in a hot pan with a little olive oil until just browned. Remove and put to one side. Fry the onion in the rest of the olive oil until lightly glazed, then add the garlic and stir fry. Return the beef, add the stock and cherry tomatoes and reduce lightly. Do not over cook the fillet or it will become tough. Toss the sauce through the pasta then add the basil and serve straight away.
FETTUCCINE ALFREDO Serves 2
This is the ultimate comfort food and perfect for a romantic dinner to impress. The sauce is rich and creamy, so ditch the diet and indulge in a plate of perfect fresh pasta. Artcaffe doesn’t use alcohol in this sauce, but a splash of white wine added after the mushrooms are cooked adds another dimension and the rest of the bottle can be shared over the meal.
INGREDIENTS 1tbsp olive oil; 1 garlic clove crushed; 50g sliced fresh mushrooms; 100g light béchamel sauce; 20ml whipping cream; 3 leaves basil, sliced; salt & pepper; grated fresh Parmesan cheese (optional); 200g fresh fettuccine
METHOD Fry the mushrooms in the olive oil until they are almost cooked then add garlic and sweat down. Stir this into the warm béchamel sauce and enrich with the cream. Check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed. You can add cheese here to make it even more tasty. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water according to the instructions. Drain and toss through the sauce, add fresh basil, then plate up.
PENNE ARRABBIATA Serves 2
This rich vegetarian pasta has a nice little kick from the red chilli, use as much or as little as you prefer. Top with finely grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese for extra indulgence. This is a quick and easy recipe that bursts with flavour.
INGREDIENTS 2 tbsp olive oil; ½ onion finely chopped; 1 garlic clove crushed; 200g tinned tomatoes; Pinch of sugar; Red bullet chilli; Salt and pepper; 5g chopped Kalamata olives 200g cooked penne pasta ‘al dente’ (see packet instructions); 3-4 chopped basil leaves
METHOD Glaze the onions then add the garlic and cook over a medium heat until soft. Add the tomatoes, sugar, salt, red chilli (to your heat preference) and olives then simmer gently until thickened. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. Stir the sauce through the pasta and garnish with fresh basil to serve.
PENCHANT FOR PASTA Annabel Onyango discusses her complicated relationship with pasta while providing simple wine pairing techniques for different pasta dishes.
or a columnist in a food magazine, I cook surprisingly badly. There are only three meals in my repertoire that are edible: scrambled eggs, Caesar salad and spaghetti. I’m what you could call ‘kitchen lazy’, because squinting over recipe books, chopping onions and lining casserole containers are all agonizingly tedious to me. But with spaghetti - all you need is water, salt and a few minutes boiling time. Serve with olive oil, cheese and a good bottle of wine (Italian wine is optional) and you have a meal fit for a queen. Fun fact No. 1: Most pasta is best paired with dry white wines. Meatbased pasta dishes such as Bolognese
and anything with sausage is generally paired with red wine. Because of their meaty quality, mushroom-based pastas can also be served with lighter reds. Although I’m unable to make them myself, creamy pastas have the ultimate comfort food status. Egg yolks, cream, layers of cheese – these go with Chardonnays or Chardonnay blends. It’s a meal that sits satisfyingly heavy in your stomach and the stodginess can only be alleviated by a heaped serving of gelato (more cream, yes!) made from milk, cream, sugar and fruit. If you’re going to be bad, be baaad. Popular tomato recipes like Napo-
letana love to be eaten with a crisp white wine or very light reds. Using tomato sauce out of a jar is an easy but bland cooking method; add fresh herbs (basil) or spices (chilli). My favourite pasta recipe of them all is Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino (garlic, oil and chilli) to which I will typically add generous shavings of parmesan. Cooked al dente, it’s a great pasta dish not just for the simplicity of its preparation, but also for its varied tastes and textures, which ultimately allow your wine to shine. Fun Fact No. 2: Zinfandel (Primitivo in Italian) pairs excellently with tomato AND cream-based lasagnas, cannellonis and spaghettis. Zinfan-
dels vary from a robust red wine to a semi-sweet rosé. Pasta has a bad rep in the fashion and entertainment industries because its deliciousness commensurates with the amount of girth it adds to your thighs. As such, pasta should generally be consumed in the privacy of one’s own home, preferably only on gym days. Fun Fact No. 3: Eating pasta might be the happiest activity on earth. Carbohydrates in pasta stimulate the production of seratonin, which is a happy hormone. Studies show that serotonin is linked to sleeping well, feeling good and living longer!
WINE YUMMY PICKS
VINO E PASTA Italian culture mandates that wine and pasta go hand in hand. Here are some picks and pairings:
TOMMASI VALPOLIOCELLA CLASSICO Kshs 1,250 Nose: Fresh and fruity with intense cherry aromas Palate: Smooth, full bodied with lots of cherry and plum notes Food pairing: Excellent with a tomato based pasta dish with mozzarella Available from WOW Beverages, Kileleshwa
ALAMOS CHARDONNAY 2015 Kshs 1,250 Nose: Ripe tropical fruit aromas with citrus and floral notes Palate: Ripe pear and fig fruit with vanilla and sweet spice oak flavours Food pairing: Delicious chilled on it’s own. Pairs well with pasta Available from WOW Beverages, Kileleshwa
PEARLY BAY NATURAL SWEET RED Kshs 980 Nose: Aromas of sweet berry fruit Palate: An easy drinking wine with an abundance of fruit and flavour Food Pairing: Perfect for picnics, enjoy this wine with light pasta dishes. Available from Nakumatt, Chandarana and Slater & Whittaker Wine Shop
PEARLY BAY NATURAL SWEET WHITE Kshs 950 Nose: Upfront tropical and fruit aromas Palate: Soft and smooth with a sweet lingering fruit flavour Food pairing: Enjoy this wine on its own or with various desserts Available from Nakumatt, Chandarana and Slater & Whittaker Wine Shop
VILLIERA DOWN TO EARTH RED Kshs 1,260 Nose: Freshly crushed spices like cinnamon and nutmeg Palate: Dark berry with tannin Food pairing: Spaghetti bolognaise, goat’s milk cheeses and salmon Available from MIA Wines & Spirits
VILLIERA DOWN TO EARTH WHITE Kshs 1,260 Nose: Passionfruit and gooseberries Palate: Herbaceous, grassy and complex Food pairing: Seafood pasta, white meat fish, gazpacho, risotto Available from MIA Wines & Spirits
*PRICES LISTED ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE AT RETAILER’S DISCRETION
MAN ABOUT TOWN
TEXT JACKSON BIKO ART MOVIN WERE
RUNNING MAN Running is the key to exploring a new city according to Biko Jackson who explores Stockholm while thinking about whisky among many, many other things.
’m in Stockholm; my hotel window overlooks a stone bridge. By a long channel with boats, yachts and cruise ships couples walk hand in hand. It’s lovely here in the summer: everybody is smiling and wearing bright clothes and eating on sidewalk cafes in the cobblestoned alleyways. People think that since this is a whisky column and I constantly bang on about whisky, that all I do is drink whisky. Actually I don’t. I can go a whole week without a drink, especially when I travel. I haven’t had a whisky in close to ten days now and I don’t miss it. The other day I was signing my dinner check at the bar and when I looked up my eyes locked with a 15 year old Dalwhinnie. I didn’t feel anything, I didn’t feel any connection. I didn’t feel like we had
met somewhere before and we had had a good time and said we should do it again. I felt nothing. She was a stranger to me. I looked away, handed the waiter his pen and strutted out of the room. That’s the kind of man I am. I can walk away from anything, literally anything, at the drop of a pen. I walked away from that fine whisky, in that luscious bottle, in that low light. That’s who I have become. I’m like Robert DeNiro in Heist. We kick ass, we collect t-shirts and we eat burgers. OK, enough of that before I ask for a drink. I love running. Everytime I travel to a new city I will get into my running gear, lace up and run. The beauty of running in a city you don’t know is that you will get lost. When you get lost you run longer and see more things. I have been running almost
daily since I came to Sweden. I wake up at dawn and run, but their dawn doesn’t look like dawn during the summer because the sun rises at 3AM, which means their dawn technically starts at 3AM. I step out of the hotel at my dawn which is 5:45AM and I either go left or right. I keep going and going until I either run into water or I run into a big Swedish guy called Alexej, then I turn around. Running is the only time you get to be truly alone with yourself and your thoughts. Time to think and reflect and to write short lovely sentences in your head and dream and think about your kids and their future and your deadlines and people who owe you money and people you owe money to and your mechanic and his dodgy ways and that girl you saw in the lift on the fifth floor eating an apple and
reading a green book and the projects you want to do and the ones you have procrastinated and that toddler you saw on the back of a bike and is that the rain about to fall? Before you know it, you are running between two old buildings and right ahead is a familiar cathedral thrusting into the sky and you know you are not lost anymore. You look north and you see a big McDonald’s sign and you know your hotel isn’t far from there. I’m writing this after a 10 km run. I feel fresh and energised and know the hormones flowing through my shoes will help me meet the deadline for this story. One hour to go. Then I can pack, catch my flight home and get back to my 15 year old whisky.
1 - AL CAPONE
2 - FIREFLY
46. 3 - RUNAWAY BRIDE
COCKTAIL RECIPES YUMMY
TEXT SONI ADRIANCE PHOTOS TATIANA KARANJA
1 - AL CAPONE Ingredients: Rosso Vermouth 30ml Campari 30ml Bulleit Bourbon 30ml 60ml soda water infused with mint. Garnish: orange wedge Method: Add the vermouth, campari and bourbon to a cocktail shaker and mix well. Pour over a few ice cubes and top up with soda water. Squeeze the juice from the orange and use a wedge to garnish.
2 - FIREFLY Ingredients: 45ml Ketel One 15ml limoncello 15ml lemon juice 5ml sugar syrup Crushed black peppercorns Basil leaves 40ml pineapple juice Garnish basil
After being awarded the title of 2016 Diageo World Class Bartender of the Year Joan Samia’s life has been a whirlwind of media attention and training for the finals in Miami. “I’m surprised no one ever asks me about my pin” Samia muses, “it’s my good luck charm”. Sitting on the top left of her apron is a shiny metal pin with the outline of a heart and a person sitting in it sideways. Joan Samia wears her lucky pin every time she gets behind the bar. The pin is the symbol of the 3E Love company that works to raise awareness for people with disabilities. Samia’s daughter has Cerebral Palsy and when Samia found out, she went from being an actress on shows like Makutano Junction and Tahidi High, to working in the hospitality industry. “I felt I needed to hide from the world” reflects Samia. Little did she know, being a part of the hospitality industry would lead her to find her passion in bartending. Samia started her journey as a waitress at Onami in Westgate Mall. There she one day decided to try her
hand at working behind the bar. At the time, she knew nothing about bartending or mixology. Samia spent six months behind the bar learning about ingredients, liquors and how the bar works. One day, Samia was standing behind the bar alone when a customer came in and asked for a mojito. She looked for a bartender to assist but when she couldn’t find one, she nervously decided to make it herself. The mojito was a success and it started her career in cocktail creation. After working at the bar in Onami, Samia spent some time at Kempinski where she completed the Utalii bartending course as well as learned more about spirits, ingredients and mixing. She returned to Artcaffe last year where she became the Head Bartender. Today, Samia holds the title of the 2016 Diageo World Class Bartender
of the Year. She received a lot of media attention after her win but has since been keeping her head down and doing research for the final event that will take place in Miami this September. “It’s a great feeling to be representing Kenya and I want to win [the competition] for my country” says Samia. “I want people to want to come to try our cocktails because they’ve heard of me and how I won the competition”. Samia has been practicing her cocktail making at the Artcaffe Golden Shaker event that takes place at different Artcaffe branches every Wednesday. At this event, Samia showcases nine of the fourteen winning cocktails from the Diageo World Class competition. Samia has given Yummy an exclusive look into three of these cocktails and how they’re made.
Method: Muddle together the basil leaves, black pepper and pineapple juice in a cocktail shaker. Add the spirits and shake well. Pour over ice into a long glass and garnish with more basil leaves.
3 - RUNAWAY BRIDE Ingredients: 15ml berry syrup 30ml Tanqueray gin 5ml lime juice Top with sparkling wine Brut Garnish: rose petals Method: Mix together the berry syrup and gin in a champagne flute then add the lime juice. Top up with sparkling wine and garnish with rose petals.
MAGICAL MAJLIS Ami Doshi Shah escapes the Nairobi cold and heads to the Majlis Boutique Hotel to celebrate Fatherâ€™s Day.
TEXT AMI DOSHI SHAH PHOTOS MAJLIS
’m notoriously rubbish at buying gifts for my husband. As doe-eyed newlyweds, 11 years ago, my husband forced me to return the gift I painstakingly chose for him and buy something for myself instead. Some would say a noble gesture on behalf of my husband; I on the other hand was left ‘scarred’ and since, have never bought him a single thing - his birthday, our anniversaries, or any commercial holiday where gift buying is modus operandi. You may be asking yourself, what does any of this has to do with our recent trip to Lamu? Well, you see, in those 11 years, the guilt of my indifference had been mounting and with Father’s Day coming up, my two boys and I decided to plan the ultimate getaway away from Nairobi, where the weather had turned bleaker than a bog-standard London day. We needed to remind ourselves that we live on the equator. Off we set in search of much needed Vitamin D and landed on the shores of Manda. Much to the boys’ delight, a familiar Captain Bwana was at the airport to pick us up. The last time we were in Lamu, they had rode with Bwana in the Ras Kitau Bay, as he towed members of the gang who wanted to show off their water skiing skills. I remember returning from that trip, my younger son had exclaimed that he might want to grow up to be a ‘Captain’ if his career in the English Premier League didn’t turn out as he has planned. A quick 10 minute speedboat ride and we had arrived on the shores of the beach front palace that is The Majlis. Meaning a place of meeting in Arabic, the hotel was originally built as the holiday home of Italian businessman, Nanni Moccia. He traversed Africa and at some point, in the 70’s owned a textile manufacturing business in Ethiopia. His heart chanced upon the untouched expanse of Manda and he subsequently bought a small plot of land along the bay where The Majlis now stands. The main house was completed in 2005 with the help of Malindi based Italian artist and designer, Armando Tanzini. The structures, inside and out, have clear Neoclassical and Swahili influences. Two additional villas and a rooftop bar and restaurant were completed in 2009 at which point, the family decided to convert the ‘family and friends’ home into a 27 room boutique hotel. Inside, white terrazzo flows throughout the villas creating a blank canvas for weathered Afghan kilims and a treasure trove of furniture collected, commissioned, or made in the on-site wood workshop. Walls too are whitewashed and display an array of art and artifacts from Kenyan artists, Kivuthi Mbuno’s stunning primal depictions between man and animal to Kinuthia’s larger-than-life size portraitures. And photos, offering a glimpse into the Nanni’s life in Ethiopia during the 1970’s and that of his sons Federico and Stephano, who now run the hotel. My voyeuristic tendencies forced me to linger for some time on these images capturing the elegance and beauty of the tribespeople of the Omo Valley, Ethiopia and the affection between Nanni, his sons and the tribespeople. In another
context, what would appear haplessly cliche, shed light on how Nanni’s love affair with Africa began. Lip discs, vibrant stacks of necklaces, and the geometric pattern of the scarified chest of a warrior. This home had become a monument to a colourful history and passion for beauty. I couldn’t help but feel privileged to experience it. At some point, famous filmmaker and artist Julian Schnabel had stayed with the family and his paintings, crafted on old dhow sails, still colour the walls in the main house. Contributing to the conversation about Majlis, my 9 year old son felt using the word “spacious” apt to describe almost everything on our arrival - the rooms, the corridors, the Lamu doors, the beach, the spaghetti a la pesto he had for lunch. Even the whole crab that my husband attempted to attack at lunch was “spacious”. A fight to the end, armed with a wholly inadequate claw cracker, he finally managed to get to the sweet succulent meat encased inside. He dipped it in lemon butter and claimed it was “the best crab” he’s ever had. Under the makuti tiled roof of the main restaurant, Chef Kennedy Oniela, serves up the freshest fish and seafood handpicked every morning from Lamu’s fisherman. Crab, lobster, and oysters are brought in heaving gunny sacks and their own boat goes out every fortnight to bring in line caught yellowfin tuna, white and red snapper, sailfish, calamari and octopus. His favourite fish dish, he tells me, is the oven poached red snapper simmered with leek, celery, garlic and onion, which truly lives up to expectations. The Nyanza native has 17 years of experience in working in Mombasa, Zanzibar, Watamu and Lamu, but what he loves most about The Majlis is, “The quiet to think about preparing dishes in the best possible way. In this hotel, despite having an a la carte menu, we can tailor dishes to our guests requests. If you want to have dinner on the beach, in your room, by the pool, or even among mangroves, it’s possible”. At the heart of the hotel is a stand alone arabesque structure of antiqued cement flanking low lying acacias and a shaded swimming pool. Enveloping Lamu beds and giant coffee tables of limed mvule offer respite and comfort for sundowners overlooking Shela where even the warm evening light settles for slumber. This is the epitome of what the Majlis symbolises. A social venue designed with relaxed state of mind but oozing character, style and warmth. Here, my husband and two boys settled in after an evening walk on the beach to play charades, have a glass of crisp Italian chardonnay and munch on fresh cassava crisps. We consider ourselves to be veterans of holidays in Lamu, this being the tenth trip to the archipelago and invariably stay in Shela, Lamu town’s bourgeois suburb. We have come here to celebrate anniversaries, romantic weekends and hedonistic weekends but this has been the first time we’ve come to just celebrate family. Two days to linger, laugh hysterically and bake in the Lamu sun is a gift no one can or ever will want to return.
Amy Selbach is the founder of tautbody.com and the Taut Body studio at Village Market Shopping Mall in Nairobi. Through her Taut Body fusion workouts and nutrition plans, she has helped women from all over the world lose weight and gain their health and confidence back. She is also a business and marketing coach and mentor with over 20 years of experience in international sales, marketing and communications. She regularly holds workshops on entrepreneurship, marketing and wellness. Email her at email@example.com
SAVOUR FLAVOUR What does it mean to be gluten intolerant? What are gluten free alternatives to pasta? Amy Selbach has these answers and more.
asta. How on earth could anyone say goodbye to this coveted comfort food classic? These days, the world’s most trendy diets mandate that you do. In fact, the paleo diet, which has a following of millions of people, does not allow grains at all meaning no gluten free pasta substitutes. When I first started experimenting with a gluten free diet, my first thought was letting go of trips to Italy sipping wine and playfully wrapping those long slippery noodles around my fork, fastening them with my spoon in true Italian style. So let’s rewind to why anyone would EVER give up their Mediterranean favourites unless forced by waterboarding. Two decades ago no one knew what gluten was. It is a protein found in several grains central to the new global diet. There are people with an autoimmune disease called Celiac whose bodies cannot tolerate gluten. For people with Celiac, the immune system launches a response to
gluten as a dangerous invader to the body. The result is an inflammatory response that damages the intestinal lining, leading to malabsorption of diverse nutrients — including vitamins and minerals and an increased risk of cancer. However there is another scientifically recognised classification of gluten intolerance called “gluten sensitive”. This group is a larger number of people who report similar symptoms to many autoimmune disorders such as bloating, gas, fatigue, headaches, skin rashes, weight gain, joint and muscle pain, sciatica and more. The numbers for both categories have been growing rapidly in recent years. Alternative medical practitioners and Western doctors often have different views on why this is. Functional MDs and Alternative doctors tend to point to genetic modification of wheat and the “Leaky Gut Syndrome” which is a permeability in the intestine thought to be caused by our modern diet,
largely grains. Western doctors argue that the number could simply be growing because we are more aware of the problem and know to look for it. The old adage “everything in moderation” is proving to be detrimental for people with gluten sensitivity as even a little gluten can send their health into an outright flare up that takes months to reel in. Going gluten free takes commitment, as even the smallest amount can curtail the positive effects. It can stay in the body and wreak havoc for months if you are sensitive to it. So finding gluten free meals that you LOVE and can eat sustainably is important. Having committed recently to gluten free eating, I love finding creative substitutions for my old cravings, and pasta is at the top of the list. Here are three of my go-to swaps: •
Rice Noodles: By far the best brand on the market that is the closest consistency to the bouncy chewy noodles we are
used to is Tinkyada Pasta Joy. In fact I now prefer this brand over any regular noodles. The second is Taste of Thai Rice Noodles that are available globally including in Kenya. Antipasti Ragu: I sautee onions, portobello mushrooms (for their chewy consistency) and grass fed ground beef (when available). I use this as my base, then I add my Mediterranean favourites on top; capers, olives, artichokes, and a tomato basil sauce. You can also add your favourite cheese if you are not dairy free. Zucchini or Spaghetti Squash Noodles: A vegetable spiralizer is a must have - in the gluten free world. My favorite is sauteed shrimp with avocado pesto on a bed of zucchini noodles.
If you have any questions about going gluten free, I’d love you hear from you! Please message me on Instagram @tautbody or on Facebook at www. facebook.com/tautbodyandsoul.
YUMMY MUMMIES YUMMY
We’re introducing a new column brought to you by Mum’s Village. Every month, we’ll highlight a different celebrity mum who will give you the inside scoop on where she likes to eat with her family. This month, we sit down with Isis Nyong’o Madison who is one of Africa’s tech leaders and a new mother of two adorable children, two year old Juno and one year old Sky. She’s the founder of the advisory firm Asphalt & Ink and Kenya’s fastest growing website for pregnant women and mothers, MumsVillage. Here are five of her favourite Nairobi restaurants for ... Sunday brunch with the kids Zen Garden in Kitisuru is a fantastic treat on Sundays. Zen has always had tasty food with an impressive selection of salads and lighter dishes that many other restaurants don’t offer (the couscous halloumi salad is a dish I crave). If you book well in advance, you can get one of the ‘front row’ bandas or tables which gives you good visibility to watch your kids play on the grass and bouncy castle.
Date night without the kids The fine dining options in Nairobi have really blossomed over the past few years so it’s so hard to pick just one. When I plan a date night, I like to explore the spectrum from really cheerful cheap eats to succulent splurges. I’ll pick one in the middle, a relative newbie is Marula Mercantile in Karen which has some of the most amazing food I’ve ever had in Kenya and doesn’t break the bank.
Girls’ night out I’m afraid to admit that a girls’ night out is so rare now that I have 2 young children. I swore I’d never be ‘that person’ to fall off the edge of the social world but alas. I’ve been to the Alchemist in Westlands twice now, so I guess that’s my newest favourite spot for a night out since it’s got an eclectic crowd with a unique vibe and that’s where I can enjoy Nairobi’s best burgers at the Mama Rocks food truck.
Sinful desserts Desserts cannot get more sinful than Coldstone Creamery ice cream cakes. I-don’t-even-want-to-know how many calories are in those cakes! Ordering in with the family For fast and easy delivery I usually go with Domino’s Pizza because it started in a small town called Ypsilanti, Michigan where I was born so I have lifelong love for that pizza.
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GIGIRI, MUTHAIGA, UN AVENUE, VILLAGE MARKET YUMMY
The Village Market, Gigiri Cafe 0717 193 895 An elegant and simple style gives Café Brassiere at the Village Market a distinct class. It is the main bakery for all their cafes and serves an extensive menu through- out the day.
Tribe Hotel, Gigiri International,Formal Dining 020 720 0000 Jiko is glamourous yet sophisticated whilst maintaining the warmth and personality of Kenya. Its contemporary cuisine focuses on fresh ingredients.
Villa Rosa Kempinski Pan Asian 0703 049 000 Let them take you on a culinary journey through Asia. Admire artistry from within the theatre kitchen as you watch the restaurant’s master chef prepare your favorite dishes.
Zen Garden, Lower Kabete Rd Pan Asian 0717 542 017 Bamboo is a fine dining restaurant offering the finest fusion cuisine. You can enjoy a combination of Chinese, Thai and Japanese cuisine, set in an elegant atmosphere.
La Dolce Vita
Warwick Centre Bakery & Juice Bar 0732 444 111 This spot uses traditional recipes to make delicious treats that feel home baked. Cake City will always be there to deliver carefully created cakes and pastries exactly as desired.
Muthaiga Shopping Center Italian 020 374 9945 This restaurant subscribes to rustic, robust and reasonably priced. The interior is bright and airy with art work from the Federico Fellini film creating a stylish space.
Eldama Ravine Road Continental 0721 850 026 Offers a well-prepared menu and beautifully presented dishes from around the world. Enjoy an intimate dining experience in a leafy area of Westlands.
Amee Arcade, Ground Floor Chinese 020 375 1312 Offers cozy atmosphere with retro style of ambiance with traditional Chinese cuisine. The restaurant specializes in seafood and signature dishes from Chinese cuisine.
UN Avenue, Gigiri Burger, Fast Food 0714 782 380 This branch is located at the corner of United Nations Avenue and Limuru Road. This is the perfect spot to eat, work and chill with either friends or family.
United Nation Ave, Gigiri Italian 0705 269 841 It is evocative of an Italian villa capturing Italian love for dining from their traditional specialties of seafood, pasta, meat and wood oven baked pizzas with exclusive selection of wines.
Rhapta Rd, Westlands Indian 0734 320 330 For a fantastic Indian meal featuring classic curries like jalfrezies and tikka masalas in a warm and inviting ambiance, this restaurant never fails to deliver.
The Oval Burger, Fast Food 0714 781 351 Visit Big Square’s new branch at The Oval, Westlands and enjoy juicy succulent burgers, creamy milkshakes as well as a fun kiddie corner. Let’s make a square mess!
The Village Market, Gigiri Cafe 020 500 6662 Aside from your favourite cup of coffee, this latest branch of Dormans boasts a new menu including a wide selection of salads, delicious sandwiches, pastries, cakes and cookies.
Tribe Hotel, Gigiri Bakery & Patisserie 020 720 0000 Get all your custom cakes, novelty cakes, freshly baked pastries, gourmet chocolates, authentic Italian homemade gelatos and much more, all at Suite 101 at Tribe.
General Mathenge Lane, Westlands Eritrean 0721 948 020 A modern and friendly dining atmosphere with fresh, authentic Eritrean and Continental cuisine. They also have an extensive alcoholic beverage selection and children’s play area.
The Concord Hotel & Suites Italian and Continental 0711 111 333 For a tantalizing array of contemporary Continental gourmet dishes paired with a superb range of fine wines and beverages. An italian dining experience like never before.
UN Avenue, Gigiri Thai 0710 886 688 Serving authentic Pan Asian cuisine with flare, the Emerald Gardens provides an intimate setting and offers great space for events or private dining.
The Village Market, Gigiri Continental 020 712 4005 Casual trendy atmosphere ideal for coffees, lunch and dinner. The restaurant’s exciting menu offers a delicious selection of light salads and gourmet dishes.
The Oval Café 0717 193 895 Distinctly chic style with creative décor including the largest balcony space among the Artcaffe outlets. The ArtBakery serves freshly baked homemade breads, pastries and desserts.
Fortis Tower Lounge 0705 466 836 This spot reaches new heights of luxury with an expansive lounge and exquisite outdoor terrace where guests can feast on delectable bites and sip specialty brews and cocktails.
United Nations Crescent, Gigiri Ethiopian 0725 869 955 Reknowned for its authenticity in Ethiopian cuisine, Habesha offers a wide array of traditional, hearty Ethiopian cuisine served in a rustic and homely atmosphere.
ABC Place Italian - American Fusion 0700 360 360 Upscale casual restaurant known for serving authentic neopolitan pizza in a warm and lively modern atmosphere. The brunch here is the perfect way to spend any weekend.
Sankara Hotel, Woodvale Groove International 020 420 8000 Located in Sankara Hotel, from the outdoor terrace to the private dining room, Artisan is designed to reflect a relaxed yet sophisticated atmosphere. Perfect for sun-downers!
Delta Corner Complex Lounge and Cafe 0736 604 121 Head here to relax at their upstairs, rooftop “VIP” lounge and glowing circular bar with a welcoming lounge area that provides a 360 degree view of the Westlands area.
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LOWER KABETE, PARKLANDS, SPRING VALLEY, WESTLANDS YUMMY
Cafe VILLA ROSA
Villa Rosa Kempinski Cafe 0703 049 000 This spot is an ideal destination for an international dining experience. Whether it’s a taste of home or something rather different you are after, Cafe Villa Rosa is the place to be.
Fuji Plaza, Ground Floor Indian/Coffee Bar 0708 778 877 Experience pure North Indian cuisine prepared by their chefs brought in directly from the heart of India. Has a modern setting and coffee bar. With in-door and outdoor seating.
Sankara Hotel, Woodvale Grove Steakhouse 020 420 8000 Enjoy aged beef, succulent seafood, and classic steakhouse dishes exquisitely paired with an eclectic wine and whisky list featuring some of the finest producers in the world.
Villa Rosa Kempinski Italian 0703 049 000 A popular spot for family brunch on Sundays with a wide range of Italian cuisine, live entertainment, children’s play area and a fantastic mini-buffet.
Diamond Plaza Bakery & Juice Bar 0734 265 718 Using traditional recipes to make delicious treats that feel home baked, Cake City will always be there to deliver carefully created cakes and pastries made just like you like them.
West End Towers, Waiyaki Way Italian 0791 496 894 Their contemporary restaurant makes for a perfect meeting point with friends or family. Their authentic Italian cuisine is made with the freshest ingredients. A slice of Italy.
The Mall, Westlands Indian 0736 651 933 Haandi - the ultimate name in quality North Indian Cuisine. They offer a bespoke menu and a large selection of wines & beverages that will satisfy any discerning patron
9 West Plaza, Ring Road Italian 0725 547 800 Mediterraneo has a modern back drop to the best Italian fine dining in the city, from their mosaic pizza oven to home made pastas, seafood dishes and Italian ice creams.
Jade Tea House
Next to Soin Arcade, Westlands rd Bakery & Juice Bar 0732 444 111 This spot uses traditional recipes to make delicious treats with a homebaked feel. Cake City delivers carefully created cakes and pasteries made as desired.
Ring Road Parklands Japanese 0722 488 706 Furusato specializes in authentic Japanese cuisine and friendly service that will make your dining experience unforgettable. Now with 6 Teppanyaki tables and a Sushi Bar.
Zen Garden, Lower Kabete Rd Multi Cuisine 0724 288 791 Overlooking the beautiful Zen Garden, Jade is a beautiful venue, situated in the heart of Spring Valley. The food quality and high level of service, attracts customers to this area.
The Oval Seafood, Sushi 0786 227 538 Here you’ll find people who share a love for delicious seafood served hot. You can expect quality seafood, a cool relaxed atmosphere, friendly service and great value.
Sarit Centre Bakery & Juice Bar 0770 808 451 Using traditional recipes to make delicious treats that feel home baked, Cake City will be there to deliver carefully created cakes and pasteries made exactly to your liking.
Viking House, Waiyaki Way Brazilian, Steak House 0729 243 202 Fogo Gaucho Churrascaria will serve you more than a dozen cuts of meat and 20 different salads prepared by Brazilian cuisine experts in an elegant South Brazilian ambience.
The Mall, Westlands Cafe 0700 592 028 Kafe Afrikana is an authentic Kenyan brand, serving Premium Kenyan Coffee brewed to perfection and accompanied by great tasting snacks.
Oil Libya, Waiyaki Way Fast Food 0723 971 417 Pizza Inn continues to deliver some of the best pizza made using the freshest ingredients. Enjoy their contemporary interior design as you indudlge in a hot and yummy pizza of your choice.
ABC Place Contemporary American 0716 663 463 The warm, inviting ambiance and relaxing atmosphere here is perfect for a quick bite, business lunch or celebrating special occasions with friends. The service is also really great!
Limuru Rd, Oil Libya Service Station Fast Food 0721 296 268 They offer authentic flame grilled chicken with Lemon and Herb, Mild, Hot or Extra Hot as per the preference of the customer. Many of their patrons have termed it unmatched.
Next to Spring Valley Police Station Indian, Pub 0721 738 570 Set in the leafy suburbs of Spring Valley, Lemon Lounge has a breathtaking view with an all day menu of both Indian cuisine and pub food, not to mention an amazing happy hour.
Matundu Lane, Off School lane Japanese, Lebanese 0716 161 011 The Phoenician is a fabulous restaurant which serves sushi, Lebanese and Teppanyaki courses. The Phoenician has a delightful ambience, children’s play area and good service.
Oil Libya Service Station Fast Food 0723 390 317 The design and layout of Chicken Inn is inviting and colorful, appealing to the whole family. Their menu has something for everyone from roasted rotisserie chicken to children’s meals.
Southern Sun Hotel, Parklands Rd Steak House 020 374 0249 Offers delicious specialty steaks, burgers and a wide range of exciting salads. This classic family restaurant also has an activity area for children, withh a kiddy menu and playground.
Hotel Royal Orchid Azure Multi-Cuisine 0736 277 170 Offers buffet set-up and seats both inside and outside set on the large veranda overlooking the swimming pool giving a relaxed atmosphere.
Pride Inn Hotel, Westlands Rd Continental 0728 224 595 Lovers of authentic Indian or Chinese cuisines are in for a treat at Royal Kitchen. Customers are guaranteed of genuine and tasty cuisines.
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JUNCTION, HURLINGHAM, KILELESHWA, LAVINGTON YUMMY
Sankara Hotel, Woodvale Grove International 020 420 8000 Enjoy sweeping views of Nairobi in this exclusive rooftop location as you try expertly made cocktails. Note that the age limit after 6pm is 25 years and above.
Sarit Centre Fast Food 0700 377 777 Snack Attack Kenya at Sarit Centre is a quick serve restaurant franchise from the UAE and the first restau- rant in Nairobi to bring you “Loaded Chips”, made using their own unique recipe.
9th Floor, Victoria plaza Mordern Indian Fusion 0733 678 153 Specializing in Indian Fusion Cuisine with a twist of Molecular Gastronomy. First of its kind in Kenya. Exotic Indian food served in a contemporary style, delightful ambience and good service.
Piedmont Plaza, Ngong Rd Bistro 0771 152 359 Fine dining section complimented by a centralised open kitchen which serves Pan-Global cuisine, incorporating a fusion of French, European, Asian and classic Kenyan flavours.
2nd Flr, Victoria Plaza, Parklands Rd Indian Vegetarian 0704 182 222 The world’s largest vegetarian chain now has a branch in Nairobi, and with chefs directly from Chenhai! Swing by for tasty, organic, purely vegetarian South Indian cuisine!
dusitD2 Hotel, 14 Riverside Drive Thai 020 423 3000 SOI brings world-renowned Thai street food with a modern twist to your plate. SOI also features a communal table and an enclosed space with its own terrace for more privacy.
Hotel Emerald Multi-Cuisine 0729 418 241 Enjoy Indian, Chinese and Italian specialties in a serene setting with a great view from the 6th floor of the Hotel Emerald making any evening out special and unforgettable.
Oil Libya, Ngong Rd Fast Food 0720 294 568 The design and layout of Chicken Inn is inviting and colorful, appealing to the whole family. Their menu has something for everyone from roasted rotisserie chicken to children’s meals.
14 Riverside Drive Cafe 0708 800 847 Conveniently located in the new office blocks at 14 Riverside Drive, they strive to keep their food simple, fresh and natural. Secret Garden is one of Nairobi’s must-try healthy restaurants.
dusitD2 Hotel, 14 Riverside Drive International 020 423 3000 Soko offers a private dining roundel and a sublime terrace perfect for an upscale business lunch, a get together or a romantic dinner completed with an international and eclectic menu.
Hotel Royal Orchid, Westlands International 0733 816 007 This is a chic yet classy lounge perfect for a night out with friends. It boasts of an eclectic ambiance with an impeccably designed VIP room where you can have private parties.
The Junction Mall Chinese 0722 739 143 Double Dragon is a Chinese restaurant located at The Junction Mall. The location offers great service and authentic Chinese cuisine to its customers.
ABC Place, Waiyaki Way Seafood 0737 776 677 Offers a sumptuous selection of the finest Indian Ocean seafood. Indulge in one of Seven’s decadent desserts to complete Nairobi’s most unique and sought-after dining experience.
Villa Rosa Kempinski Levant Cuisine 0703 049 000 An intimate rooftop lounge, bar and restaurant with a striking decor, exceptional Shisha, authentic levantine cuisine and electrifying performances by belly dancers.
Lavington Curve Mall, James Gichuru rd Portuguese 0723 111 999 An upmarket Portuguese restaurant catering to a variety of tastes, including a Halal menu; a combination that will leave you wanting more.
Kilimani, Galana Rd Brazilian, Steak House 0715 414 141 Brazilian Steakhouse with a set price for all you can eat, magnificent buffet professional baristas and specially selected wine list. Beautiful ambience with outside terrace seating.
Diamond Plaza New Wing Chinese, Indian 0773 868 497 Delicious Indian & Chinese Cuisine prepared by highly experienced chefs in their tastefully decorated interior. Home deliveries and catering for your special events also available.
Junction of Lower Kabete & Peponi Indian Cuisine 0702 018 709 A hidden gem with an upscale patio style set up that is serene and pocket friendly serving hearty meals for healthy eaters. Best for hot naans, Curries and Tandoori bbqs.
The Junction Mall, Ngong Rd Café 020 232 7799 Bright, light- filled café famous for its roasted coffees,hearty dishes and mouth watering deserts. It is the ideal spot for postshopping coffee and cake, breakfasts and leisurely lunches.
Galana Plaza, Galana Rd Japanese 0708 333 999 Ginza serves hearty and authentic Japanese meals from fresh sushi, delicious desserts, salads, stir fried and Teppanyaki dishes and more, all prepared by their able chefs.
Apic Center , Westlands Chinese, Indian 0707 030 338 Authentic Chinese and Indian cuisines dishes are offered with a pleasant, cozy dining experience in a perfect setting ideal for couples, small groups or flocks of family and friends
Hotel Royal Orchid Azure Indian 0716 079 305 A fine dining restaurant that serves fine Indian cuisine from a delicate balance of succulent food, featuring an authentic ambiance and personalized service from experienced staff.
The Junction Mall, Ngong Rd Burger, Fast food 0714 781 351 you are guaranteed to enjoy the ambiance as you eat your favorite fries, the famous square burger, crunchy onion rings and juicy ribs marinated in Big Square’s secret sauce.
Argwings Khodek Rd, Hurlingham Ethiopian 0733 730 469 Renown for its authentic Ethiopian cuisine complimented by great hospitality, Habesha has continued to win hearts around Nairobi and is set in a warm homely atmosphere.
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Yummy Card holders enjoy special offers and amazing discounts at the best restaurants in Nairobi. Order your card online at eatout.co.ke/yummycard
KAREN, NGONG ROAD, LANGATA
Sierra Wine Bar & Grill
Radisson Blu Multi Cuisine 0704 810 000 Serves local favorites and international dishes with an African twist. The Larder’s cosy ambiance enclaves create a sense of intimacy. In-door and ourdoor seating.
Eastlands Hotel Multi cuisine 020 386 1005 Noah Restaurant offers an array of delicacies with contemporary fusion of the west and orient, Karaoke and hotpot on griddle tables available in private VIP rooms.
Hurlingham, Yaya Centre Continental 020 806 8594 Sierra Brasserie is a modern interpretation of a classical French brasserie serving simple yet elegant food using the best ingredients available and with fast and friendly service.
Karen Crossroads Shopping Centre Café, Continental 0717 193 895 Offers a tranquil setting for work and play, boasting a two-level restaurant space including the famous Art Bakery, a coffee bar, cocktail bar and outdoor seating
The Steak Out
Muthangari Gardens West African 0736 222 324 Mama Ashanti prides itself in providing authentic West African meals in a calm serene environment. Their menu includes the famous jollof rice and goat pepper soup.
BEST WESTERN PREMIER NAIROBI International 020 292 7000 The menu here encompasses a wide variety of international cuisine, from Asian dishes to Italian pastas and pizzas. Sit either indoors or outside and be sure to be spoilt for choice!
102 Manyani Rd. Off James Gichuru Multi Cuisine 0726 211 443 The Steck Out is an elegant and urban steakhouse serving creative foods for all palates in a comfortable ambiance ensuring a memorable dining experience.
Karen Square, Ngong Rd Burger, Fast Food 0714 781 351 Big Square Karen offers some of the best burgers and ribs that your teeth can sink in to. Features play area for children that has iPads and latest gaming consoles.
Lavington Curve Mall, Lavington Italian 0719 468 885 Mambo Italia is a casual Italian restaurant and café specializing in gourmet pizzas, pasta, salads and more. Enjoy thin-crust pizzas, home-made gelato or coffee on their fabulous terrace.
Junction Mall Japanese, Lebanese 020 374 1524 The Phoenician is a fabulous restaurant which serves sushi, Lebanese and Teppanyaki courses, in an al fresco atmosphere, a delightful ambience and good service.
House 904, James Gichuru Rd Café 0729 400 291 The Arbor is an eco-friendly garden cafe with an eclectic selection of food and as well as a marketplace in a tranquil garden setting in the heart of Nairobi.
Carnivore Rd, Langata African, Barbeque, Kenyan 0722 204 647 Considered as ‘Africa’s Greatest Eating Experience’, the Carnivore serves exotic meats roasted over charcoal and carved in front of the guests’ eyes at their table.
The Wine Shop
The Junction Mall, Ngong Rd Italian 0734 845 077 An Italian experience set in its family like atmosphere with a variety of traditional Mediterranean specialty of seafood, grilled meat, home made pastas and Sicilian ice cream.
Oil Libya, Ngong Rd Pizza 0720 294 568 “It must be the Pizza!” This popular pizza outlet makes some great tasting pizza, all made using only the freshest ingredients, hence their popularity with patrons around the city.
671 Piedmont Plaza, Ngong Rd International 0718 003 302 The Wine Shop encourages you to explore your palate and experiment either by the glass or bottle. They also offer a selection of delicious complimentary dishes for your wines.
Wilson Airport (Off Langata Road) Continental 0722 959 552 Creative Kitchen offers an a la carte lunch menu that caters to all palates. Family friendly with a playground for the children, they feature a live band that plays once monthly.
MEZZE on the deck
BEST WESTERN PREMIER Middle East & Mediterranean 020 2 927 000 For traditional Arabic hospitality, food, an exotic array of sheesha flavours and a breathtaking view of the Ngong Hills, Mezze on the deck is ‘the’ place to dine in Nairobi.
Adlife Plaza, Kilimani Pizza 0729 918 435 This spot has a perfect classic pizzas menu and more available on a ‘Two for One price’ being served in a stylish ambience perfect for creating memories and capturing moments.
The Hub Afghan Cuisine 0717 781 815 It provides freshly prepared Afghan Food that is made on order and delivered all around Nairobi. They also specialize in Turkish baklava. Middle Eastern cuisine not to be missed!
Ole Dume Rd Continental, Bar 020 520 3931 Hidden in the Lavington area, Explorer Tavern is the place that celebrates a wide variety of single-malt scotches and different cuisines. One try and you’ll be back for more!
Js Fresh Bar
Lavington, Valley Arcade Continental 0737 032 064 Inspired by the abundance of fresh and organic produce in Nairobi and across the country. Offers guests a delightful menu and tranquility at the heart of the shopping center.
Junction Mall Bar 0704 595 818 Located within the Junction Mall, This is a stylish wine shop and bar with a selection of bottles from Spain and more. They also host regular wine tasting affairs for enthusiasts.
Ngong Lane, off Ngong rd International 0709 090 000 Spread out over the first floor, Amber Hotel’s all day dining restaurant offers culinary experience at its best with savory international Cuisines. A great dining experience.
Karen - Opposite St. Christopher’s Continental - British Inspired 0718 607 197 J’s is East Africa’s Café Del Mar, serving fabulous British inspired cuisine in a sumptuous wooden shack; in an informal and cool atmosphere, always with great music.
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CBD, INDUSTRIAL AREA, MOMBASA ROAD
Makuti Bar & Grill
Marula Lane, Karen Modern/International 0706 224 444 Locally-sourced, modern cuisine and innovative cocktails served in a rustic, laid-back garden setting. Bread, pastries, jams, sausages and more all made in-house.
Adams Arcade Fast Food 0700 377 777 Snack Attack Kenya is your go to source for delicious “Loaded Chips”. Head there and indulge in their tasty menu which offers extensive and rich meals at an affordable price
Gem Suites, State House Crescent Continental with Italian Fusion 020 263 5556 ‘Argenti”, meaning “silver” in Italian, communicates the fine dining and elegance of the restaurant while retaining an air of exclusivity. They also have very efficient service.
InterContinental Hotel,CBD International 020 320 0324 The restaurant is popular among businessmen and other prominent personalities who frequent it for lunch and meetings. Situated by the pool, this is also ideal for families.
Hse.2 Kifaru Lane, Langata South Rd. Cafe 0719 204 834 Classy cafe nestled in the serene location of Karen boasting of beautiful gardens and an inspiring bronze art gallery. Enjoy their tasty sandwiches, light grills and wholesome salads.
320 Ngong Road African, Pan-Asian, European 0733 761 449 Talisman serves up a delightful fusion of European, Pan-Asian and African Creations by their creative chefs. Live music and art exhibitions are available at the Veranda.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, UpperHill Continental 020 274 6000 An All-day restaurant on a terrace overlooking the hotel’s main pool. They serve full english buffet breakfasts, contemporary buffet lunches, and an al a carte or set dinner menu.
Nairobi Serena Hotel Formal Dining 020 282 2000 This restaurant overlooks the pool and offers a fine- dining experience. Known for the excellence of its seasonally inspired menu and extensive wine cellars.
Nyama Mama Xpress
Yaya Center, 2nd Floor,, Food Court African, Local Fusion 020 7 602 066 An unpretentious, fun, modern day African roadside diner. Locally inspired, some of our skillfully concocted dishes include chapatti wraps to Mama’s stews and flavourful sides.
336 Karen Road Continental 0733 603 065 Relax in the cozy indoor restaurant with adjacent outdoor garden, remodeled with a variety of functions areas set in one the largest and oldest formal gardens in Kenya.
InterContinental Hotel,CBD Indian 020 320 0322 Bhandini transports you to Northern India in first-class style with fine cuisine and a sophisticated setting. The Chef works his culinary magic in a glass-enclosed kitchen.
Fairview Hotel, Upper Hill Cafe 020 288 1000 The Mukutan Garden Café overlooks the most beautiful water feature in East Africa and is known for its, coffees and light meals such as gourmet sandwiches, pizzas and quesadillas.
Oil Libya, Galleria Fast Food 0700 323 323 Pizza Inn continues to deliver some of the best pizza made using the freshest ingredients. Enjoy their contemporary interior design as you indudlge in a hot and yummy pizza of your choice.
Karen Blixen, Karen Seafood 0733 603 065 Tamarind Nairobi offers some of the city’s leading seafood in an ambience of elegance. Enjoy a drink in their bar or a well-prepared meal as a live band entertains you.
Ole Sereni Hotel, Mombasa Rd Multi Cuisine 020 390 1000 Prepared to savor and relish over the finest of five cuisines of the world as you watch their award winning chefs prepare each order before you with a bonus view of Nairobi National Park
Fairview Hotel, Upper- Hill Formal Dining 020 288 1330 With its famous underground wine cellar, romantic ambience, quality service and excellent taste, the Pango Brasserie is indeed in a class of its own.
Black Gold Cafe
Karen Shopping Centre,Karen Continental 0728 272 902 This neighbourhood bar is a stylish yet simple space. Provides the perfect informal location to enjoy a meal, drink or lounge.
Ngong Race Course Pub Food 0706 317 753 Nairobi’s first authentic Irish Pub found at Ngong Race course, with ample free parking and great authentic Irish cuisine.
Nairobi Serena Hotel, CBD Seafood, Cafe 020 282 2000 An international buffet is served in the Moroccan Café Maghreb, which also features a table d’hôte dinner menu and 24-hour brasserie service.
The Panari Hotel, Mombasa Rd Cafe 0711 091 000 Black Gold Cafe is known for its well roasted coffees, teas, light meals, smoothies and desserts. Its location gives it the atmosphere of a game lodge as it faces Nairobi National Park.
Sikia Fine Dining
Carnivore Rd, Langata African, Barbeque 0722 204 647 A vibrant informal restaurant which fuses a childrens playground and a lively nightclub. You are welcome to for their fine cuisine or a themed night out with your friends.
Kisauni Rd Nairobi West Afghan Cuisine 0717 781 815 Afghan House provides freshly prepared Afghan Food which is made on order and delivered all around Nairobi. They also specialize in Turkish baklava, a popular dessert.
Sarova Panafric, Valley Rd International 0709 111 000 Dine at this restaurant overlooking manicured gardens and prepare your senses for an unmatched culinary journey. Their personalized service will ensure a great experience.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, ,UpperHill Formal Dining 020 274 6000 The Sikia Fine Dining room is perfect for lunchtime catch-ups or mid-week dinners with friends and family. The modern menu is delightful and the dining room is comfortably elegant.
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THIKA ROAD, TRM MALL, GARDEN CITY
Fairmont Norfolk, Harry Thuku Rd Formal Dining 020 226 5000 This restaurant offers flame grilled, aged cuts of high quality meat. The fine dining experience comprises of an a la carte menu and an international range of wines.
TRM Mall Cafe 0709 202 020 Their quietly elegant décor and amazing art provides the perfect setting for the intermingled aromas of freshly baked bread, pastries, cakes and specially roasted coffee.
Garden City- Grnd Flr Fast Food 0702 323 323 Offers delicious and authentic flame grilled chicken, burgers, rice dishes and french fries, and that’s what first comes to mind when you think of this popular fast food chain in Nairobi.
Garden City - 1st flr Fast Food 0702 323 323 “It must be the Pizza!” This popular pizza outlet makes some great tasting pizza, all made using only the freshest ingredients, hence their popularity with patrons around the city.
Pizza Inn TRM
The Sarova Stanley, Kimathi St,CBD Thai 020 275 7000 One of the city’s most elegant dining establishments, The Thai Chi boasts the finest in authentic Thai cuisine. The Thai Chi is a small piece of Thailand in Nairobi.
TRM Mall Cafe 0734 265 718 Cake City uses traditional recipes to make delicious treats that feel home baked. Delivers are available and include carefully created, personalised cakes and pastries.
TRM Mall- Grnd Flr Fast Food 0700 416 858 Galito’s offers delicious and authentic flame grilled chicken and french fries, and that’s what first comes to mind when you think of this popular fast food chain in Nairobi.
TRM Mall - Grnd flr Fast Food 0700 416 858 “It must be the Pizza!” This popular pizza outlet makes some great tasting pizza, all made using only the freshest ingredients, hence their popularity with patrons around the city.
Fairmont Norfolk, Harry Thuku Rd Formal Dining 020 226 5000 Classic, charming and modern restaurant ideal for business executives, families and groups of friends. The menu features robust international and authentic Kenyan cuisine.
Garden City - 1st flr Fast Food 0702 323 323 The design and layout of Chicken Inn is inviting and colorful, appealing to the whole family. Their menu has something for everyone from roasted rotisserie chicken to children’s meals.
Garden City Italian 0703 967 149 Mambo Italia is a casual Italian restaurant and café specializing in gourmet pizzas, pasta, salads and more. Enjoy thin-crust pizzas, home-made gelato or coffee.
Garden City - 1st Flr Pizza 0729 918 435 With a perfect classic pizzas menu and all available on a ‘Two for One price’ being served in a stylish ambience perfect for creating memories and capturing moments.
Thorn Tree Cafe
Chicken Inn TRM
The Sarova Stanley, Kimathi St,CBD Continental 020 275 7000 Thorn Tree Cafe is a legendary openair, bistro style pavement cafe most famous for its message board located at the centre of the restaurant. The cafe is the perfect meeting place for friends.
TRM Mall - 2nd flr Fast Food 0700 416 858 The design and layout of Chicken Inn is inviting and colorful, appealing to the whole family. Their menu has something for everyone from roasted rotisserie chicken to children’s meals.
Garden City Cafe & Lounge 0708 084 835 Moca Loca - a cafe, restaurant and lounge serving breakfast, lunch & dinner, as well as coffee and cocktails . Ambiance is central to this new brand which also has a location in Nakuru town.
Garden City Mall - 1st Flr Caribbean 0792 482 042 The recently opened Sugarcane offers Caribbean food in a casual, stylish atmosphere. Favorites like Jerk Chicken, Curry and Roti, tropical desserts and yummy drinks!
Artcaffe Garden City
Garden City Mall Cafe 0709 202 020 A place to rest and relax over great food and drinks made by their passionate team of chefs, baristas and mixologists, to ensure each visit is a memorable experience.
Garden City - 1st flr Fast Food 0702 323 323 Creamy Inn promises to tempt you with that special sweet something that makes life worth living. Their ice creams are really popular and upon trying some, you will realize why.
List Fantastic your restaurant discounts at foryour onlyfavourite Ksh 5,000 restaurants. per month.eatout.co.ke/yummycard Email email@example.com