Vol 3.02 | February 2017
YUMMY VALENTINE COMFORT FOOD Susan Wong revisits the comforting site of a former heartbreak
KEN(YAN) TASTE Learn more about what it takes to bring coconut products to your supermarket shelf
THE POETRY OF WINE We talk about how wine can be romantic poetry with a Head 1. Sommelier
FOR THE LOVERS As we finally bid adieu to our January blues, love takes centre stage in February and we’re giving in to the romance of it all. Sure it can seem a little cheesy but we all secretly (or not so secretly) have a soft spot for the day of love! I recently read that Valentines is to women what the Super Bowl is to men! I first experienced this as an 11 year old when attending the annual Valentine’s ball. The build up to the night was unbearable. The girls were all caked in cheap makeup and the boys floated about in their dad’s ill-fitted blazers. We all stood in the school hall waiting for a rose, a dance...anything! You could just tell that our little hearts were in our throats as we all knew the night could go either way. Our romantic expectations shot up from this point and have remained there since. I will be the first to admit that I’ve rarely had a perfect Valentine’s experience and I believe it’s due to unrealistic expectations. For me, like
many, the day always seems to fall painfully short of the epic romantic gestures witnessed in the rom-coms we shamelessly binge watch at this time of the year. I personally have been known to eat myself into a food coma while Bridget Jones drones away in the background! But I digress. The thing is, we all love love. We all crave loving gestures and for that reason alone it’s always best to just celebrate this holiday regardless of the inbuilt anxiety and regardless whether we’re in a relationship or not. If we look beyond the veil of pressure, there is so much to love about the 14th. The candy is insanely delicious, the restaurants’ customised menus are beyond decadent and you get to watch old married men break into
a serious sweat while desperately trying to pick the perfect card for their wife which is comedy gold! In this loved up edition, Jackson Biko reminisces about a certain Manhattan lady on page 45, we have you covered if you’re trying to suss out how to pick a romantic spot to match your current relationship status on page 28. Or if you’re on the other end of the love-o-meter and feeling a break up lurking in the background, at least do it somewhere the food will lovingly fill the void as Susan Wong did at the Arbor on page 32. Don’t sit back and let Valentine’s pass you by. Take a deep breath, shake off the fear of the cheesy and show someone you love them. Whether you plan on making
breakfast for your partner, are heading out for an intimate candlelit dinner for two or will simply spend the morning cuddling up with your little ones, whatever you do, whomever you do it with, do it with love! And hey, at the end of it all, don’t forget what Valentines is really about...the chocolate! Lots of Love!
Michelle Slater General Manager
CONTENTS 20 PAELLA FOR A PAIR
Chef Ray walks us through the story behind the meal that he swears brought him to true love
WHAT TO DO IF... Read to find out some of the different restaurant-related scenarios you may find yourself in this Valentine’s, and how you could approach them!
THE HISTORY OF VALENTINE’S DAY A primer on the history of St. Valentine’s and some of the fun facts about this holiday
COMFORT FOOD Susan Wong finds comfort in the food at the Arbor in the wake of a heartbreak
COO COO FOR COCONUTS We learn more about the coconut products making their way to our shelves courtesy of Kentaste
MANHATTAN LADY Jackson Biko finds himself reflecting on a past romance around this time of the year..
46 WINE AND POETRY Charity Keita brings us an interview feature on love, poetry, and how wine fits perfectly into all of this
SWEET LAMU We visited this sweet and slow coastal town to bring you tips on where you have to go and what you must do!
Meet Picazzo’s Executive Chef, Hector Boo, and read about his love stories with his job, and with the love of his life.
YUMMY Vol. 3.02 · February 2017 · PUBLISHED BY EATOUT, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. MANAGING DIRECTOR Mikul Shah GM Michelle Slater EDITOR Wanjiku Mungai DESIGN Rachel Mwangi, Brian Siambi SALES, MARKETING & OPERATIONS Daniel Muthiani, Devna Vadgama, Fred Mwithiga, Fridah Gumba, Gilbert Chege, Joy Wairimu, Seina Naimasiah, Winnie Wangui CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Katy Fentress CONTRIBUTORS Charity Keita, Chef Kiran Jethwa, Chef Ray Cournede, Jackson Biko, Soni Adriance, Susan Wong PHOTOGRAPHY Neha Shah, Susan Wong, Tatiana Karanja IT Kelvin Jayanoris SALES INQUIRIES Call Yummy, 0711 22 22 22 EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org
WIN WITH YUMMY
DECEMBER’S DEAR YUMMY WINNER, WHO RECEIVED A DINNER VOUCHER FOR TWO AT THE SIKIA FINE DINING RESTAURANT AT CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL, WAS CHRISTINE KAMUNGE
Featured above is Christine’s husband, picking up the voucher at our Yummy offices.
Dear Editor, I love Yummy by EatOut and look forward to the copies my hubby picks up and brings home. I especially love this month’s article for the various options being advertised for Christmas family fun and I plan to check out the TACC Christmas sale from the insert! Love it! A dinner for two for hubby and I would be a dream, with 2 babies under 2, we don’t get out much... It would be an absolute treat! ;) Best Regards, Christine
Win a bottle of champagne and dinner for you and your Valentine! For the month of love, we at Yummy are giving away a bottle of Champagne and dinner vouchers for you to take out that special someone you’ve had an eye on ;) If this deal is screaming your name, what are you waiting for? Write in to email@example.com and tell us what you think of Yummy Magazine so far this year, and to which love milestone you’d be hoping to pop this bottle!
Hi Christine, Thanks for writing in! We love to hear from our Yummy readers. I’m happy to announce that you’re the winner of dinner for two at Sikia Fine Dining Restaurant. Congratulations! Kind regards, Soni Adriance
Let us know!
NEWS & EVENTS
FOOD FIRST Come one, come all- it’s the Urban Eatery Food Fair. The 1st Edition of Urban Eatery’s Urban Food Fair is set to take place on the 12th of February from 10am-10pm. With a variety of street food stations, a selection of your favorite food vendors, live music entertainment and more, you better bring your appetite along with you! eatout.co.ke/events/the-urban-eatery-food-fair
WILLY WONKA Hitch an express ride to the Dusit Chocolate Festival this Valentines The dusitD2 Chocolate Festival is back! From 11th to 14th February, indulge in a chocolate buffet menu with over 50 treats at only Ksh. 1000 per plate! Sample, taste, savor, and delight in some of the finest chocolate from Madagascar, Brazil, Ecuador and Sao Tome handmade by dusitD2’s resident pastry chef - the perfect treat for any sweet tooth or your significant other. eatout.co.ke/events/chocolate-festival-at-dusit-d2
BRUNCH ’N’ SHOP Buy and sell while enjoying a delicious brunch menu at the K1 Flea Market! Nothing beats retail therapy besides retail therapy and food. At the K1 Flea Market, you can sell & buy new, second hand and pre-loved items all while indulging in a fantastic brunch menu available at Ksh. 990. Make sure you check them out this and every Sunday at the K1 Klubhouse on Ojijo Rd. eatout.co.ke/events/retail-therapy
FLARE, ZEST & FIRE Rich Indian Cuisine at Mayura Do you need some flare in your life: some zest, some fire to keep you warm? Or are you just looking to try something new and fun? Whichever it is, Mayura Restaurant at The Hub Karen has all that and then some. The blends of spices, the richness of the ingredients all come alive when the flavours are set free on your taste buds. www.eatout.co.ke/mayura
TENDER LOVING STEAK Ribeye, Fillet or Sirloin? Find the juiciest cuts at Olpul Steakhouse at Two Rivers
Few things come close to the joy of steak cooked to perfection with tender loving care; which is exactly how they like to do it at Olpul Steakhouse at Two Rivers. Whatever your preferred cut â€“ Ribeye, Fillet, Sirloin or T-Bone, the chefsâ€™ grilling finesse will have you yearning for more. eatout.co.ke/olpul
Continental cuisine with a dash of traditional classics at The Node Innovative creations, bold flavors and traditional classics are what you will find when you visit The Node at Woodvale opposite Jacaranda Hotel. Whether you are in need of freshly brewed coffee and pastries or a fun evening watching the most-anticipated game, their ambiance will light up your experience. eatout.co.ke/the-node
FOR ROYALS Experience intricate dishes at Mosaic Restaurant Located along Tigoni Rd in Kilimani, Mosaic Restaurant offers exquisite cuisine with International specialties. Using only the finest and freshest ingredients, whether caught from the ocean or sourced from local farms, the chef and his team curate a thrilling gastronomic experience. eatout.co.ke/royal-tulip
COMFORT FOOD Delightful donuts and pastry treats at Donuts World All with an immense love for donuts say ‘Aye’! Warm your hearts with rainbow-sprinkled, chocolate-dunked, sugardusted and other assorted donuts at Donuts World at the corner of Muthithi and Mpaka Rd and breathe deep as you dig into the softness and comfort of a fluffy donut.
SALT N’ PEPPER Indian Cuisine redefined at Peppercorn Take a culinary trip to India at Peppercorn Restaurant at Nextgen Mall Mombasa Rd. From their savoury Pav Bhaji to exquisite Dahi Purji delights, there’s no better place to satisfy your Indian cuisine cravings. eatout.co.ke/peppercorn
PAELLADASIAC Like any relationship, this paella recipe is complex and takes time and patience, but according to Chef Ray Cournede, is more than worth it. As a Chef, it probably comes as no surprise that I won my girlfriend over with food and not just my sparkling personality! She tells this story much better than I but here goes… I had just started working at Peponi Hotel in Lamu, when my family introduced me to an old family friend. Italian, big into food, mother is a chef…not intimidating at all! That night she tried my seafood paella. The rest, as they say, is history (I told you she tells this story much better!). That seafood paella however is the moment she says that she fell in love. Food is so often paired with moments
of romance and thankfully that played to my advantage on this occasion. But before I share the secret to wooing your Valentine, I’d like to get back to my strong point. After all, this is a Chef’s column and it’s not all roses and candles in our world! January is still a busy month for most restaurants, with many people still on holiday mode for the first half, followed by Nairobi Restaurant Week kicking things into gear and causing a veritable foodie frenzy. February ushers in a new season and a fresh start, and as things slow down, in many kitchens, this is a time for
regrouping, redesigning, reinventing, and hopefully getting that pay rise we’ve been bargaining for! Personally, I’m looking at a whole new seasonal menu, with exciting new ideas and local produce as well as taking some time to develop some signature dishes. But before I give away too much, let’s go back to the fact that Valentine’s is around the corner and some of you may need a helping hand in the kitchen department. This is not the easiest of recipes but well worth the effort in the search for true love! You can play around with the seafood but if using fresh
vongole or clams then purging them is necessary to get rid of sand and grit that these molluscs absorb. This is only if they are fresh, not frozen, and should be done for any recipe that calls for clams. Fill a large bowl with cool water and add a teaspoon of salt for every litre of water and let it dissolve. Add the clams and let them soak for 30 minutes. Strain the clams, rinse the bowl and soak the clams for another 30 minutes in clean, unsalted water this time. Strain again and place the clams in a dry bowl, covering them with a damp paper towel. Refrigerate for 15 minutes before using.
until the clams have opened, about 5 minutes. Transfer the clams to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Filter the liquid and reserve. Discard any clams that did not open. Twist off the empty half of each clam and discard. In a large cast iron pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sweat down the onions with the minced garlic until softened. Add the king prawns and cook, turning over until pink, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add the green pepper and squid and cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook, turning over once, until opaque, 4 to 5 minutes. (Remove any stray legs or antennae from the pan and discard.) Add the tomatoes and cook until soft and pulpy, about 10 minutes. Tip in some of the reserved liquid from the clams to keep it moist. Stir in the saffron and paprika. Pour the stock into the pan and bring the liquid to a boil over high heat. When the liquid comes to a boil, sprinkle the rice around the pan. With
a wooden spoon, check that the rice is evenly distributed and that the grains are below the surface of the liquid. Do not stir again. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes over high heat. Arrange the reserved king prawns and crab claws across the top of the rice. Reduce the heat to low and cook uncovered for 8 to 10 minutes more, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice grains are tender but still have an al dente bite to them. If all the liquid has evaporated and the rice is still not done, shake the reserved liquid from the clams tablespoon by tablespoon over the rice where needed and cook for an additional few minutes. Remove the paella from the heat, cross wooden spoons over top, cover with paper towels, and let rest for 5 minutes to allow the rice—particularly the grains on top—to finish cooking and the starches to firm up. Garnish with parsley and lemon wedges, carry the paella to the table and serve from the pan.
• • •
SHELLFISH PAELLA Serves 4 Ingredients • 1 onion, diced • 3 garlic cloves, finely grated • 225g vongole (clams), scrubbed • 225g cooked crab claws, cracked • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil • 6 king prawns with heads and shells, devein
• • •
1 small green bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) pieces 455 g small squid, cleaned and cut into 1/2-inch (1.25 cm) pieces 18 fresh whole large shrimp with heads and shells, devein 3 ripe medium tomatoes, halved crosswise, seeded, and grated 1 pinch saffron threads, drytoasted and ground 1 teaspoon sweet Paprika 7 cups (1.7 L) fish stock 3 cups (600 g) Bomba rice or another short- or medium-grain rice (Arborio risotto rice) 1 bunch parsley, coarsely chopped 1 lemon, cut into wedges
Method Discard any clams with cracked or broken shells. In a saucepan, add the clams, cover with 240 ml water, and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and cook, shaking from time to time,
ARTCAFFE KAHAWA DIARIES WE TALKED WITH SHEBA HIRST ABOUT STRANGE COFFEE EXPERIENCES THAT SHE’S HAD AND WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO DIRECT THE NAIROBI FILM FESTIVAL. How do you like your coffee? I started to have it black with no sugar 6 months ago. I’ll have 2 cups in the morning, another cup in the middle of the day, and then if I go out I’ll have an espresso after a meal or with a meeting. I don’t usually have any coffee in the evenings. I just don’t drink hot drinks in the evening, generally, unless I’ve been out to dinner. I also like the taste of coffee beans, like chewed, but you worry about having grounds caught in your teeth. What’s the oddest coffee experience you’ve had? We were traveling in Burkina Faso in 2003 for a film festival and I was staying at a budget place. We asked for coffee and they brought this bowl of lukewarm water with condensed milk, and then a spoon and then a sachet of coffee. I remember thinking, “Is the spoon for stirring or am I supposed to drink it like a soup?” because there was bread on the side. In the end we just drunk-ate it-- dunked the bread in and souped it up. What’s your pet peeve when it comes to coffee? I try not to be too judgmental about people’s ways of enjoying their coffee. But if it’s not
strong enough it’s not nice. And then there are things I think are kind of mysterious. I was surprised about instant coffee- I don’t think it’s the worst kind of thing, I think it’s a different thing, like a powder with a different flavor. What was the best part of organizing the Nairobi film festival? The satisfaction of knowing that the space that we identified as absent for ourselves was replicated in so many other people who from the moment we announced that we were doing this were beyond excited. It’s an exciting thing to feel that people are waiting for you. And of course Katikati. It’s such an honor to be associated with that film, [that’s] going to be an important film in our filmmaking history. And the hardest part? To say there hasn’t been a hard part would say that I’m tempting fate. It would have been difficult if [my co-organizer and I] hadn’t had clarity and that intensive articulation of our vision, literally to each other, and a unified idea of what we wanted this festival to be. That’s important, so that when things start to challenge you you have a really clear framework of what you’re trying to do.
Drop by your nearest Artcaffe at Galleria Mall • Garden City Mall • Junction Mall • Karen Crossroads, Lavington Mall • The Hub The Oval • The Village Market • Thika Road Mall • Westgate Mall• Yaya Centre Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/artcaffekenya
In this episode, the Fearless Chef Kiran Jethwa chomps down on minty termites and makes a sumptuous meal using the unique ingredients of the Peruvian jungle.
“This is what the locals use for insect repellant” Jimmy says. “What is it? ” I ask, staring at a busy queue of angry looking termites going about their business. He explains that the termites produce an insecticide like acid which, when squashed on your skin, keeps the bugs away. “And,” he adds, “they are edible too.” With that, I am instructed to shove my hand into their nest. It’s like Indiana Jones, you know that scene you’d never never want to be in? I feel like I’m in that scene at this moment. I hesitantly squash the termites into my skin and throw a handful of the bugs down my throat. Immediately, I am shocked at how acidic they are and my eyes begin to burn out of their sockets. However I’m impressed to discover that they have a minty fresh taste, exactly like menthol. In this episode we head to Peru which lies on the West Coast of South America, bordered by Colombia and Ecuador to the North, Brazil and Bolivia to the East, and Chile to the South. My journey starts in the tropical jungle within the Amazonian plain, at a small village near the river town of Pilcopata, some 500kms from Peru’s ancient Inca city of Cusco. We set out on a six hour journey navigating the rushing Madre De Dios River into Peru’s Amazon in order to meet the Huachipaeri tribe who number some hundred or so people and still hunt with bows and arrows and forage for wild plants and medicines. It is said they only came into contact with outsiders 60 years ago, and like many tribes in the area,
are skilled in the making of tools and weapons. My guides, Jimmy and Oliver, have lived among the tribes for many years and they take me to meet an expert jungle craftsman, Victor, who after only ten minutes carves the perfect arrowhead using materials only from the jungle. I am in awe of the incredible craftsmanship. With the evening light fading, there is just enough time for a bit of target practice. After a few unsuccessful attempts, we trek in merry spirits back to the village where we are quickly confronted with the harsh realities of jungle life. Just at the border of the village lies a dead Ocelot, a carnivore similar to a small Jaguar. The locals found it scavenging and killed it the night before in order to protect their children and families. In human and wildlife interactions of this nature, cats unfortunately ultimately lose out. Thankfully, Ocelots are not endangered. Saddened by the loss of the Ocelot and feeling hungry, my crew and I stroll back to the village. It is a welcome sight then when Oliver brings out a small pot containing a local delicacy. Like the termites, it inhabits palm trees, in this case living inside the stumps… only, it’s much bigger than a termite… “What is that!? And why is it in a box?” I ask Oliver, who explains that “it” is the larvae of a beetle and very
good to eat apparently! I don’t believe him but it isn’t long before he plucks out the fattest, wiggling, Sago worm and shoves it down his throat without a second thought. I am assured that it is sweet and juicy and full of protein, even though it looks disgusting. It takes me about 5 minutes to psyche myself up to have a go at the “delicacy”. I bite the head off gingerly and observe the rest of its body still wriggling. I feel like I want to vomit. However as the horror dissipates, I observe that it kind of tastes like raw bacon fat. Plenty of flavour, plenty of texture, but aesthetically, definitely not so great! After a long day, it’s time to rest before the much anticipated bow and arrow hunt. The Matsiguenka eat several species of birds; however most are difficult to catch, being so high up in the canopy. Javier, who knows a lot about the jungle, leads our troupe for several hours. We creep in absolute silence, following his lead. The journey reminds me of being back in primary school, where any noise would draw you hateful stares and retribution. Two and a half hours later we have yet to catch anything. Desperate, we turn our attention to fish. With daylight fading, there’s is just enough time for a visit to the Machu Wasi Lake, a body of
water that has meandered away from the Manu River to form an ox-bow lake. We board a raft and quietly wait. Patience and stillness is the key to fishing with a bow and arrow, and from the bank, I can see plenty of them in the murky water, but we need to strike at the right moment…The waiting is painful. Eventually I take a shot but miss after miss only adds to my frustration. It’s so hard, and with the evening upon us, we retire and reconvene at the crack of dawn. The next morning we have to make a catch even though it feels impossible. You need to almost be over the fish, so you can shoot it down, but as soon as you get within shooting distance poooooph! they disappear. Finally, a chance presents itself, and at last, we are successful! Two and a half days in the jungle and that’s the net result of our efforts. It has been horrendously hard but finally, after an awful, awful amount of effort we have managed to nail one, a type of carp. Later that afternoon, Oliver and I are allowed into the Matsiguenka’s wild medicine garden, normally restricted to a privileged few villagers, where I forage for some exciting flavorsome plants. I can’t wait to put my newfound ingredients to the test when I create a Seared Amazonian carp, with crunchy termites and jungle lemon cane salsa. Peru has been an incredible adventure! And as a chef, to be able to gather all these new ingredients and to use them in a completely different way has been the ultimate payoff.
Kiran Jethwa is the Chef & Co-Owner of Nairobiâ€™s award winning Seven Restaurant. His TV show, the Fearless Chef, has aired in over 100 countries on National Geographic & now on Channel 4 in the UK.
I canâ€™t wait to put my newfound ingredients to the test when I create a Seared Amazonian carp, with crunchy termites and jungle lemon cane salsa.
GET IN THE MOOD... Throughout history, humans have believed that certain foods are good for your love life. Named after Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, aphrodisiacs are foods and drinks believed to have properties that put you in the mood. Here are some to incorporate into your recipes this Valentine’s Day:
ARTICHOKES The sensual experience of eating an artichokestripping the leaves and scraping the flesh with your teeth- was probably not lost on Marilyn Monroe. Before earning the title of “ultimate sex goddess,” the starlet was crowned the first California Artichoke Queen in 1949. High in fiber and calcium, artichokes are good for your liver as well as your libido.
AVOCADO Sharing a creamy avocado with your loved one may be just the thing to start any Valentine’s Day meal. The ancient Aztecs and Mayans honored the avocado tree, and thought it enhanced sexual desirability. It turns out that avocado is rich in vitamin E, which is nicknamed the sex vitamin because it aids in hormone production. Better yet, it is high in omega-3 fatty acids known to promote a healthy heart.
CHOCOLATE It’s decadent, makes you happy and melts in your mouth...chocolate can’t help but be sexy. Choose dark chocolate with at least 70% cacao. It has a touch of earthiness that balances the luscious sweetness. Melt it into a fondue like in this month’s recipe section, turn it into a chocolate mousse or just let a piece dissolve on your tongue. What’s more, dark chocolate is super-high in antioxidants.
OYSTERS When one thinks aphrodisiacs, oysters are often the first thing to spring to mind. Whether this is because of their sweet-and-salty pheromone-like smell or super-silky texture, oysters have been considered aphrodisiacs since the dawn of man. There are so many species to choose from, each with a unique texture and flavour. They’re great eaten raw, and the smaller ones tend to be younger and hence more tender.
POMEGRANATE In Greek mythology, Aphrodite is said to have planted the first pomegranate tree whose fruit, because of its many seeds, is thought to symbolize fertility. It has also long been used as a symbol of romance in English literature. Filled with antioxidants which support blood flow. When its juice is drank daily, it increases testosterone levels which puts one in the mood. That’s bound to put a spark into your relationship!
STRAWBERRIES Perhaps it is because strawberries resemble little red hearts that they have always been associated with Venus, the Roman goddess of love. They contain lots of vitamin C, which improves circulation. Combine them with whipped cream, chocolates or champagne and love will be in the air - in fact, you may have some, then want some more.
Soni Adriance explores the different scenarios you may encounter on Valentine’s Day and suggests how to approach each. Here’s what you should do if...
YOU’RE ON A FIRST DATE First dates can be tricky, I always think you want to go somewhere intimate and comfortable where you can talk but not so quiet that you don’t have things to be distracted by if conversation starts to go south. If your first date is on Valentine’s Day, you may want to avoid places where long-term couples canoodle. Try going to one of Nairobi’s many cafes for a casual bite to eat. There are plenty of big name cafes with multiple branches where you can have a casual drink and get lost in each others’ eyes or shift the dying conversation to people watching. YOU’RE LOOKING TO TREAT YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER TO A NICE DINNER If you’ve been in a long term relationship and you’re looking to do something special/different with your significant other (SO), check out restaurant deals at hotels. Many
high-end hotels in Nairobi have dinner-for-two deals during the week of Valentine’s Day. Splurge a little, it is Valentine’s Day after all, ask for a nice bottle of wine and enjoy great service, romantic ambiance and a special meal. If a fancy dinner isn’t your SO ‘s style, take him/her to their favourite restaurant or a restaurant they’ve always wanted to try. Call ahead to make a reservation to snag your favourite table. YOU’RE DATING A FOODIE The options seem endless when your SO is a foodie! There’s plenty of restaurants to choose from but why not try someplace new? Check out Facebook foodie groups, the EatOut website or the “new restaurants” section of the last few Yummy magazines for all the new hot spots. Find a hidden gem to treat your foodie flame and they’ll be impressed with your knowledge on the newest trends of Nairobi’s dining scene.
YOU’RE DATING SOMEONE WHO HATES VALENTINE’S DAY This can be a tricky situation to be in, you might want to start by finding out why you’re significant other doesn’t like Valentine’s Day. Whatever the case may be, if you’re still looking to do something, treat the evening like an ordinary date night. Go to your favourite fast food outlet and grab a quick bite to eat before you catch a film at the cinema with some popcorn and snacks. End your night on a sweet note with ice cream or dessert. Keep it fun and casual but most importantly, be sure to show lots of love to your SO on this otherwise difficult day. YOU WANT TO BE ON YOUR OWN Sometimes you don’t want to be involved in all the hype, that’s cool. You can stay in on Valentine’s Day but still enjoy a good meal. Order in from one of your favourite restaurants and treat yourself to your guilty
pleasure meal. Also be sure to throw on that film you’ve been meaning to watch, enjoy a face mask, take a bubble bath and feel rejuvenated for the rest of the week. If you want to be alone but not in your own house, grab a good book and head to a restaurant with an outdoor patio or balcony. Bask in the sun and enjoy a lemonade iced tea. YOU’RE GOING TO BREAK UP WITH YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER Don’t do it. Seriously, don’t. That is the worst idea I have ever heard of. Who breaks up with someone on Valentine’s Day?! You either should have done it well before V-Day or at least held out till a week or so after. If you’re seriously unhappy, choose to do something low key with your significant other: maybe a lunch or a fun activity during the day. Whatever you do, please, please do not break up with someone in a crowded public place ever, but particularly on Valentine’s Day.
A Valentine’s Primer... The birth of Valentine’s Day goes back to an ancient Roman festival known as Lupercalia, a celebration which involved the sacrifices of a goat and a wolf, and their blood thereafter being spread upon the women of the town using hide whips. Another legend is that during the time of Emperor Claudius II, a priest named Valentine persisted on marrying young couples even when the king forbade it, and was imprisoned for his rebellion in the name of love. As for Valentine rituals, roses had been associated with Aphrodite, the Roman goddess of fertility, long before the holiday took hold across Europe, making them an almost natural addition to the celebration. Chocolate, on the other hand, was first consumed amongst upperclass Mayans and Aztecs, before it was exported to Europe and sold as a cure to all ailments amongst the aristocracy. In the late 1800s, Richard Cadbury (yes, *that* Cadbury), devised a method to extract cocoa butter to use to make more edible chocolate, and seeking a market for his product, started to package chocolates in small boxes to sell. At the time, Valentine’s was rapidly growing in popularity across the European continent and Cardbury took advantage of this and sold his candies in heart-shaped boxes, fitting them perfectly into the romantic rituals that have persisted to this day. Something to keep in mind as you indulge in your chocolate this year, it it is estimated that in the week preceding Valentine’s Day this year, 58 million pounds of chocolate will pass between lovers’ hands (that’s 26 million kilograms for all ye metric folk!), which speaks as much to the success of Cadbury’s marketing campaign as to the decadent deliciousness of chocolate. As for roses: one estimate puts it at 250 million fresh roses being cut a year during this one day!
Was it love at first sight? “Yes,” he confesses, “It happened very fast. People were laughing at me.”
TEXT WANJIKU MUNGAI IMAGES TATIANA KARANJA
TWICE SMITTEN Picazzo Restaurant’s Hector Boo talked to us about how a set of serendipitous events brought him to Nairobi from his hometown of Galicia, Spain. Hector Boo never intended to be a chef. Yet here he is, draped on a barstool, right leg touching the ground. It is almost lunch time and the staff at Picazzo Restaurant are busying themselves setting up the space. Two bar attendants drop a huge tub of crushed ice onto a table, droplets of water splashing across the entire surface. Chef Hector remains unfazed, continuing to talk about his love of food while always keeping an eye on the surrounding activities. Later, as the photographer snaps photographs of him, he will joke that she should “photoshop a smile on him”, in reference to the fact that the affable chef maintains more or less the same facial expression throughout the interview. Born in 1985 in Galicia, Spain, Hector Boo grew up in a family of gastronomes, including a father who has always been “very passionate about food-- very particular” and a grandmother who worked as a personal chef. As an adolescent, young Hector enjoyed helping his grandmother cook but ultimately planned on going to medical school. The summer before he was due to start university he interned at his brother’s restaurant as a way to make money. Three months later he was so smitten with the kitchen that plans changed, “And I never went back [to school].” Soon after failing to begin his studies, Hector started to work, rising through the ranks at Bellavista, a vegetarian restaurant on the Majorca Islands. However, he soon hit a bit of a snag: his lack of English meant he
struggled to communicate with many of the tourists who visited the island and his restaurant. Realizing that English language skills would open up a wider range of opportunities, he made the decision to move to London. In what he describes as the lowest point in his career, Hector found that he had to start from the bottom all over again until he was more fluent, taking on internships and working on improving his English language skills. By the time Soho House & Co had an open call for interested chefs in London, he was proficient enough that he successfully made it through the selection process. With Soho, he worked in various clubs across London, before moving to Amsterdam and then on to Berlin. In Berlin, at a music festival attended by the Jamaican musician Lutan Fyah, Chef Hector met a woman on holiday, a social worker from Kenya who was at the time working in Europe. Was it love at first sight? “Yes,” he confesses, “It happened very fast. People were laughing at me.” When the woman, Nelly, decided to return to Kenya because she wanted to work with her community back home, Hector decided to join her. The transition, however, was not seamless: “It was my first time in Kenya and in Africa... I didn’t understand the culture properly,” he says looking back at that time. Chef Hector was however lucky to find a community at his workplace, Brew Bistro, whose managers he describes as being “like [his] family”. He also got linked to the Spanish
Embassy, who in turn connected him to a group of investors that were looking for an Executive Chef to set up Picazzo Restaurant. For months, Chef Hector worked to conceptualize the restaurant and the menu from scratch. Picazzo’s Nairobi Restaurant Week menu paid homage to this Spanish-Kenyan connection, with dishes such as the ‘Chocolate Samosa’ and the ‘Mursik Salad’, the latter which was made using squid ink colored cassava, edible charcoal, a topping of soft cheese and a balsamic seasoning containing ground simsim. The textures, colors and tastes were inspired by the traditional sour milk delicacy, he explains, adding that he finds Kenyan and Spanish cuisines to be very similar. As an example, he cites morcilla, a Spanish blood sausage which is a salty cured version of our mutura.
When it comes to culture, however, some things are not quite the same, as he found out the first time he visited his now wife’s home, close to the border of Kenya and Tanzania: “When I went to the rural area-- “my ushago’, I wanted to see what they were doing in the kitchen, what was happening and they were like, ‘no you shouldn’t be here’. But I wanted to help. The first day I kept a bit quiet but from there they began to understand that this is who I am.” Outside of his work at Picazzo, Chef Hector is in the middle of designing a line of afro-inspired chef’s uniforms and is, in fact, wearing one of his designs during the interview. In his free time, he likes “to cook, to go out and see different places, to see what is coming up, [and] how the country is changing.”
HEARTBREAK FARE Susan Wong returns to the site of a past breakup and finds that The Arbor is still brimming with love and comfort food.
eople move on, sometimes without you. Time changes everything and dictates the paths that we will all eventually take. For a few years, Derek’s path and mine intertwined like a beautiful woven lattice pie crust. But intertwining was
not enough anymore. In fact, it was never enough to begin with. On his next visit to Nairobi, I knew I needed to start thinking about a “breakup restaurant.” Derek called to set up our imminent breakup date. “Wong, you were always better at
this food thing. You choose.” “How about The Arbor, Saturday at 1pm?” Set in a tranquil garden, The Arbor is an eco-friendly cafe with an eclectic selection of food and also home to a marketplace of organic growers, local fashion brands, a luxury
skin and bodycare company, and handmade furniture specialists. This charming garden eatery is also my breakup restaurant of choice because I know regardless of how terribly a date may go, I will still enjoy it because of the food and restaurant experience.
IMAGES SUSAN WONG
There’s a lot of love at The Arbor. And it’s this love that makes overcoming heartbreak, bearable.
The food is abundant, comforting and bound to make you forget your sorrows (well, at least the Deep Fried Wontons will). The familiar staff welcomes regulars, such as myself, like family; and they’re also willing to leave you alone. Deep conversations or even arguments will be easily absorbed into the animated crowd’s buzz. The gentle rustling of leaves in the trees and the sun’s rays descend to remind you that it’s a better day than you think. I often return to this spot and remember that day when I felt absolutely and unequivocally gutted. The finality of the conversation happened as I was mid-bite. Biting into a golf ball-sized Deep Fried Wonton was hard enough when I was emotionally stable. Heartbroken? I was lucky that it didn’t fall on my lap drenched in that delicious homemade fresh Bullet Chilli and Sesame Oil sauce. This weekend I returned with another companion. We first started with stellar his and hers Strawberry
and Cucumber Lemonades, colourful tall glasses of refreshing goodness that easily quenched Nairobi’s heat. Then, a familiar whiff of golden crispy parcels of minced chicken and prawn, and finely diced carrots and mushrooms drifted my way from the 20 foot shipping container turned kitchen - the Deep Fried Asian Wontons still looked as sumptuous as ever! Both of us wanted to sample the popular Avocado Toast with Smoked Salmon and Feta but with one of us being vegetarian, the staff were kind enough to indulge us with a compromise - half with salmon and the other without. Compromises are not an act of weakness; they’re as much an inherent part of great service as they are of relationships! A hot bowl of Vegetarian Laksa Noodles soon followed, but its special broth tasted less entrancing than the last time I revelled in Malaysian comfort food at The Arbor. This time round, the Laksa broth didn’t resonate in authenticity, lacking in fragrance
and creaminess – it was watery. If you have a beautiful and flavourful cut of meat grilled to your liking, sometimes simple seasoning is best; so don’t let a gravy boat filled with glistening peppercorn sauce tempt you. In this case, I really wished I had left the elegant porcelain alone because its contents were strangely sweet. An honest mishap in the kitchen I imagine. Finally a dense slice of Chocolate Zucchini Cake arrived moist, soft and rich. Who thought this was a good idea? This is a rhetorical question. Almost invisible when combined with chocolate, the zucchini lends moisture and in some recipes, also replaces some of the fat from your ingredients. Guilt is definitely not something you have to worry about with this dessert. The Arbor just celebrated its second anniversary and from its days as a modest garden cafe that closed at 5 o’clock every afternoon, the eatery now offers dinner service Tuesdays to Saturdays too, thanks to public demand
Its charm is unassuming and undeniable. Every time I visit, at least on the weekends, this Lavington neighbourhood favourite is packed to the brim If you plan on dining there during peak hours, call in advance to make a reservation. If it’s your first time, wandering through the garden aimlessly is quite normal. Without an actual welcoming area or “Please Wait To Be Seated” signage, guests usually end-up strolling around in search of a table before the busy staff assist them. Perhaps that’s all part of a strategy because you’ll often find yourself in one of the great shops swiping your bank card. From the eco-friendly vibes, to all of the furniture made from reclaimed wood, the candles with sprigs of rosemary, delicious classics, and the recycled glass bottles hanging from a pergola; there’s a lot of love at The Arbor, and it’s this love that makes overcoming heartbreak, bearable.
THE FOOD LIFE
BELLA NOTTE Charity Keita weaves fact with fiction while on a romantic date out on the cobbled alleyways of the center of Rome. The perfect scene: Valentine’s Day and the cute American guy you met a few months back takes you out on a date in one of the old trattorias in the center of Rome. Above you, hanging laundry crisscrosses the alleyway. In front of you a candle burns from a bottle of wine and a basket of breadsticks sits picturesquely on the chequered tablecloth. You order a shared plate of spaghetti with meatballs. The restaurant staff play romantic music with an accordion and as you suck in a piece of saucy spaghetti you realise too late you’ve accidentally picked up the same one as your companion and inadvertently share a kiss. The moon hangs heavily above you and the stars twinkle in approval. Nice try. As much as Disney’s much loved romantic cartoon Lady and the Tramp remains to many the epitome of the romantic Italian restaurant
scene, the truth on the ground is slightly different. You meet for a Campari spritz in one of the many bars in the heart of Rome. After a couple of drinks you feel light headed and realise neither of you booked a restaurant. That’s fine, you say, it’s the center of Rome, there’s hundreds of restaurants! You round a corner and a jolly looking Eastern European guy hands you a menu. You look up and read that it’s an “Antica Trattoria Romana”-- “Ye Oldie Romanian Tavern”. You shrug, why not? You sit under one of those heat giving mushrooms that allow people to dine outside despite the cold. As you wait for your bread basket, an old man with a dyed orange beard of the Afghani persuasion approaches you with a huge bunch of roses. Your date refuses but you know better and buy one for him. He looks at you puzzled but you explain that if you get one them the other rose
sellers will leave you alone. As you await your food, a steady procession of vendors approaches your table. A Chinese man selling electronic trinkets and dancing Gam Gam style dolls is followed by a Bangladeshi man selling flashing rubber toy catapults who is then followed by a Senegalese man selling bracelets who beams “Hakuna Matata” at you when you politely decline. Your food arrives and it turns out to be quite mediocre (later on back at home you will google the restaurant only to discover that the “antica” tavern has in fact been open for less than a year). You decide to skip dessert and brave the cold to get a gelato. On the way you stop and admire a hilarious magic show performed by an Indian man dressed in a black suit and tie. Gelato in hand you head to Ponte Sisto, a beautiful romantic bridge over the Tiber. But by this time you’ve been slightly disappointed in your
American date, mainly because it turns out that in the year and a half he’s been studying in Rome he hasn’t bothered to learn two words of Italian and you feel his whole interest in the place goes little beyond drinking, going out, drinking some more and picking up other American chicks. You realise you were his exotic date for the night and that he will eventually go home to date midwestern blondes much unlike yourself. You politely say goodbye, moving away as he leans in to kiss you. Then you head off home but drop into your favourite speakeasy for a nightcap before calling it a night. Thank god you didn’t tell him about this place, you muse to yourself over a perfectly made Manhattan, he’d have brought all his annoying jockey friends around next time! You smile and say “buonanotte” to the lovely Sri Lankan mixologist, handing her a five euro tip as you get up to leave.
YUMMY PRODUCER TO PLATE
NUTS FOR COCONUTS In recent years the coconut has gained prominence as a “superfood” for its versatility and numerous health benefits. We take a trip down to the Kentaste offices to learn more about the Kenyan company producing unprocessed coconut products.
ecently, it seems that everyone is raving about the magical properties of coconut. A quick Google search brings you testimonials by everyone from beauty bloggers to health enthusiasts, of
the cosmetic and medical benefits of coconut oil. Hollywood stars and natural hair bloggers much closer home will swear by coconut oil as a way to keep your skin supple, teeth sparkly white and hair moisturized. Health bloggers detail how coconut
products in their different forms can improve blood cholesterol levels, and gesture to the role that coconut oil plays in treatment of brain ailments such as epilepsy and Alzheimers. It seems that there is no end to the abilities of this “superfood”,
whose potency is often ascribed to the presence of Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs), medium chain fatty acids which, when metabolized, go straight to the liver and serve as a source of energy. This may explain the recent success
TEXT SONI ADRIANCE IMAGES NEHA SHAH
of Kentaste, a Kenyan company producing a range of coconut-based products including coconut oil, milk, cream and desiccated coconuts. We spoke to Faustina Ning’a, the Sales and Marketing Associate at the Kentaste offices in Nairobi, in order to learn more about coconut oil and it’s benefits as well as to discover more about the history of Kentaste in Kenya. Kentaste was founded in Mombasa in 2011 as a way to promote farmers in the coastal region and give Kenyans a taste of true Kenyan coconut flavour. Currently, the factory in Malindi works with 200 farmers all along the Kenyan coastline to manufacture their goods. Once harvested, the process of extracting nutrition and oil from coconuts is relatively simple: the shell is separated from the white flesh of the coconut then cold pressed to ensure the health benefits of are preserved. Throughout, no additives, deodorants or additional processes are used to ensure the final product is in it’s purest form. When producing
Fun fact: a single litre jar of coconut oil can contain upwards of 20 coconuts! coconut oil, the oil extraction is simply packaged in glass jars and sold. Fun fact: a single litre jar of coconut oil can contain upwards of 20 coconuts! The same cold press technique is used for both coconut milk and cream. Thereafter, based on consistency, the milk is separated from the cream. The main difference between the two is fat content, with coconut milk containing less fat than cream. The overall process of extraction lends to the ‘virgin’ labeling on Kentaste products, signifying the use of a
cold press, natural technique and designating the least refined coconut oil in the market. As consumption of their products grew, in 2013 Kentaste conducted market research to learn more about how Kenyans were consuming their products. They found that the coconut oil that currently sits on the shelf with other cooking oil products was being used for cooking and eating raw. However, they also discovered that a good amount was being used for cosmetic purposes which included enhancing hair growth, as skin lotion and ‘oil pulling’, meaning to swish a spoonful of coconut around in one’s mouth in order to clean and whiten one’s teeth. In the near future, Kentaste plans to use this market research to diversify their product offering on coconut value edition to put cosmetic products on shelves too. Although the coconut oil in the market can be used for the afore-mentioned cosmetic
purposes, consumers new to the product may be unaware of its beauty benefits if placed on shelves next to other cooking oils. Kentaste attributes their success to the natural benefits of coconut products. As consumers continue to be more experimental with this diverse product, the demand continues to grow. This Valentine’s day, why not rely on trusty coconut oil to give your partner a massage or whip up a delicious meal?
CLASSIC EGGS BENEDICT FROM FARMER’S CHOICE This February, why not indulge you and your love’s tastebuds with this sumptuous recipe for breakfast in bed, created by Farmer’s Choice Chef John Muriithi? Ingredients 4 eggs 2 tbsp white wine vinegar 2 English muffins, halved OR toasted brown bread A little butter, for spreading 8 slices Farmer’s Choice smoked streaky bacon Chopped chives, to serve For the hollandaise sauce: 2 tsp lemon juice 2 tsp white wine vinegar 3 egg yolks 125g unsalted butter, diced Method First make the Hollandaise sauce. Put the lemon juice and vinegar in a small bowl, add the egg yolks and whisk with a balloon whisk until light and frothy. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk until mixture thickens. Gradually add the butter, whisking constantly until thick – if it looks like it might be splitting, then whisk off the heat for a few minutes. Season and keep warm. To poach the eggs, bring a large pan of water to the boil and add the vinegar. Lower the heat so that the water is simmering gently. Stir the water so you have a slight whirlpool, then slide in the eggs one by one. Cook each for about 4 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon. Lightly toast and butter the muffins, then put a few slices of Farmer’s Choice streaky bacon on each half. Top each with an egg, spoon over some Hollandaise and garnish with chopped chives.
Products available from Farmer’s Choice: 0722204228/ 0734699110 or at your favorite supermarket. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
DECADENT CHOCOLATE POTS Make your own melting chocolate pots and get a handful of strawberries and marshmallows for dipping. Perfect for sharing with your date! Ingredients 1 bar of Bournville chocolate, 100 grams butter, 50 grams sugar 2 eggs , Fresh cream and strawberries to serve Method Break the chocolate into pieces in a glass bowl that fits on top of a saucepan (double boiling method) and then add the butter and sugar. Place the saucepan on low heat with water and once it starts simmering, place the glass bowl on top of the saucepan. Gently stir while the butter, chocolate and sugar start to melt. In the meantime, whisk together the 2 whole eggs and leave aside. Once the chocolate, sugar and butter has melted, remove the bowl from the saucepan and whisk through the beaten eggs. Pour the mixture into ramekins. You can keep them in the fridge until you are ready to serve. To serve, place the ramekins in a preheated oven 180C and let the pots warm through for roughly 10 min. Serve with a drizzle of fresh cream and strawberries, blueberries, marshmallows etc as desire
RED HOT VELVET CAKE Try some velvet cake but with a slight twist, with the same old sweetness and a little spice. Ingredients 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1 and 1/2 cups sugar, 2 eggs, 1 cup buttermilk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon salt, 4 tablespoons red food coloring, 2 tablespoons cocoa, cayenne pepper to taste, 1 cup Buttermilk Method Pre-heat oven to 175 degrees celsius, mix oil and sugar until fluffy, then beat in the eggs. Add in food coloring, chocolate and salt, and then alternate the flour and the buttermilk, adding in small portions while mixing all the while. Add in the cayenne pepper as per your taste. Finally, mix the baking powder and vinegar separately and fold gently into the batter. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 175 degrees celsius until a toothpick comes out of the cake dry. FOR THE ICING Ingredients 1 cup sugar, 1 cup butter, 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract, 1 cup milk, 5 cups flour Method Mix the sugar, vanilla essence and butter in a bowl and beat the mixture until it is fluffy. Separately, warm the flour and milk in a saucepan over low heat till thick. Leave this flour-milk mixture to cool and then mix in with the rest before spreading your icing over the cake. If you want, you may add pepper to the icing, too.
This Valentine’s Day Avoid the Obvious and Seek the Marvellous Hendrick’s Gin
PLEASE ENJOY THE UNUSUAL RESPONSIBLY NOT FOR SALE TO PERSONS UNDER THE AGE OF 18
MAN ABOUT TOWN
ART MOVIN WERE
MANHATTAN LADY Jackson Biko remembers a past lover this Valentine’s season, haunted by the last question that she asked him. There was a girl I got on with once. A brown girl. Skin like roasted cashew nuts. Legs that went on and on and on like a 80’s Kinshasa song. You should have seen her in warm morning light, lying there naked in her own pool of hair. Shivers. She drunk nothing but Manhattans. She liked to say, “a manhattan isn’t even about the whisky, it’s the vermouth,” which was absolute poppycock but there was a way the twin bones at the base of her neck jutted out sexily when she was talking about something passionately, that I loved. She could have said, “pumpkins are fruits,” and I would have raised a glass to that. She was the kind of girl who made you say foolish things like, “Let me light a candle, I want to stare at your shadow.” This one time we had a massive fight, I don’t remember what about
exactly, but I remember that we were in this garden restaurant in Lavington on a sunny Saturday afternoon and she was loyally having her Manhattan and wearing this extravagantly colourful african print dress. The fight was pretty heated because I’m rather temperamental for a man. All the women I have lost was because of my temperamental nature, never because of my large forehead. I must have said something foolish and low during the fight because she sighed, stood up and reached for her phone to leave. I remember grabbing her brittle wrist firmly- something Omar Epps would have done- and saying, “Stay...sit... breathe, baby.” She stared at me, blocking the sun with her lean length, her chin set in defiance, her lovely eyes melting with anger. She slowly sat down and turned her
head away, controlling her breathing. At that moment she looked like a small girl again: affronted, wronged, righteous, passionate and somehow worn out by my eternal idiocy. We sat like that, the silence filled by a lady at the microphone singing something jazzy from the two-man band that was playing that afternoon. I wanted to reach out and hold the area behind her arm, the part that the sun never reached, but I was scared I would find her body cold. It was towards the end of that relationship, you know that time gentlemen, when she’s had it up to her chin with you and you know she is on her way out. When she finally turned to me, she said in a small voice that was almost swept by the slight breeze at that garden, “Do you even know how to love me?” The question was weighty and
strung. It made my heart bleed. Bereaved of words, I swallowed hard and stared at the area between the twin bones at the base of her neck from which her heart thud. I always think back to that moment whenever February comes around because isn’t that the question we all struggle with as men; do we really know how to love our women? Is the way we loved them in December the same as how we should love them in April? Who even knows the answer to this question? Is he alive? If you know who they are, can you write in and let me know who they are? And while you’re at it, find out what it is that they drink. Because that’s what I want to do this and every Valentine’s: to buy them a bottle and sit by their feet with a notepad and pen and learn the answer to this question.
WINE YUMMY CHIC(K)
LOVE, POETRY AND WINE Charity Keita stands in for Wine Chick this month with an interview on wine, poetry and love with Lapo Bartalesi, General Manager and sommelier at Ganzo a student-run restaurant in Florence, Italy.
Does wine represent who we are or what we want to be, is it “bottled poetry” or is it just an alcoholic drink you buy to keep your date happy? While visiting Florence just before Valentine’s day, I decide to visit Ganzo the Apicius School of Hospitality restaurant, to interview the general manager and sommelier Lapo Bartalesi, on what makes wine such an enduring emotional muse. It’s six thirty pm at the kitchen of Ganzo, a student-run restaurant in the centre of Florence. On the menu tonight is a gastromolecular meal, and the pressure to deliver is high. Wearing denim jeans and a black shirt, the bearded general manager Lapo Bartalesi choreographs the student staff members as they make special foams and artistically arrange the servings. I wait for a lull in the activity to catch Lapo’s attention. “Two minutes!” he calls over his shoulder as he brushes by me and ducks behind the bar.
“Ok” Lapo says, as moments later we seat ourselves in a corner of the the small white restaurant dining room. “What did you say the interview was about? Wine and love?” The chatter of the students surrounding us quietens, Lapo not only runs the restaurant but is also a senior staff member at the Apicius School; these are his students and I can see they are interested in where this is going. I decide to lead with a question on what the best wines to drink on Valentine’s Day are. In a dull voice he goes on to list a predictable lineup of a fizzy dry wine, followed by something white and aromatic for the ladies and finally a full bodied dessert wine to keep things sweet. I decide to switch up to something more creative for my next question. “Right,” I dive in: “Where does poetry end and wine begin?” After a pause in which he lifts an imaginary glass to eye level, Lapo
says: “For me I feel the poetry is all in the gestures. It’s the way that I smell and that I swirl a glass of wine, I find this all very romantic.” I decide to skip a few of the more mundane questions and go straight to the bone: “In heaven are the French the lovers and the Italians the winemakers? Or is it vice-versa?” Lapo shakes his head a couple of times before letting out a deep laugh: “Italians definitely make better lovers in hell!” Around us the students erupt in laughter. “It’s a good question,” he continues, adding however that in heaven the winemakers have to be French. “I think that Italians show much more passion when it comes to appreciating wine and that wine is the real expression of what they have [...] The French on the other hand make more emotional wines that are a product of what they desire to be.” “So if wines can be emotional is it right to say that red wine has male
attributes and white wine female??” “Never,” Lapo answers shaking his head. “I don’t think you can ever make such a statement. There are reds that are strong like women, think of a Pinot Noir which is soft but lacks ruggedness and whites that have been aged in oak that are bold like men.” One of the new students are hovering behind us trying to get Lapo’s attention. I sense the window for my interview is closing so decide to tap into his romantic streak by asking him if there is anything about the connection of wine and love he would like to add. “Sure!” he responds brightly, as he stands up: “Tell your readers that Sangiovese [grape variety, ed.] is my wife but Pinot noir is my lover! I like Sangiovese everyday but sometimes I like to have an exotic tasting of Pinot Noir” Well I’m glad we got that cleared up, can I have a glass of rosé now please?
Win A Valentines Hamper From The Wine Shop. Celebrate the sweet poetry of wine and your sweet tooth this Valentine’s with chocolate truffles, macaroons and a bottle of Sparkling Nectar Rose courtesy of The Wine Shop. To win, write to us on email@example.com letting us know how and with whom you would enjoy this hamper over Valentine’s.
THE COLOR OF LOVE Here are some wines that are perfect to enjoy not just on the 14th but also for the rest of the year. Cheers!
TRUMPETER SPARKLING MALBEC Argentina
NEDERBURG MANOR HOUSE SHIRAZ South Africa
Well balanced, round and persistent. An extremely distinctive and intense wine with delicate aromas of cherries and strawberries combined with subtle and toasty notes and delicious sweet tannins.
Nose: Ripe berries enhanced by spicy notes of cinnamon and clove. Palate: Dense ripe black fruit and wood spice with a firm structure and a long finish.
Food pairing: salads, shellfish, pink salmon or fruity desserts. Available at all leading restaurants, bars and retail outlets
Food pairing: Steak au poivre, Boeuf Bourguignon, richly flavoured casseroles, grilled beef, roast lamb, duck and quail. Available: The Wine Shop, Chandarana, Nakumatt, Vintage Cigars Ltd, Haven, Mega Wines and Spirits Ltd
CATENA MALBEC Argentina
ALAMOS MALBEC Argentina
Nose: Aromas of blackberries, violets, and vanilla
Nose: Black cherry aromas with a light floral nose and a touch of toast.
Palate: Black and red fruit flavours alongside lavender, wood and minerals. Remarkable concentration and finely-grained tannins stand with great acidity.
Palate: Concentrated cassis and black raspberry fruit interwoven with a touch of chocolate and sweet spice from light oak aging.
Food pairing: Braised lamb shanks, boneless club steak.
Food pairing: Beef burger, spicy chicken, mature cheese.
Available from WOW Beverages, Kileleshwa.
Available from WOW Beverages, Kileleshwa
DARLING CELLARS SHIRAZ South Africa
VILLIERA DOWN TO EARTH RED South Africa
Nose: Spice, dark plums and bramble berries
Nose: Cinnamon, clove and cassis
Palate: Flavours follow on the palate and combined with a fine tannin profile and integrated oaking give the wine great length Food pairing: A great match with most barbequed meat.
Palate: An explosion of spice and dark berry flavours with a long, lingering finish.
Available from MIA Wines & Spirits
Food pairing: Goatâ€™smilk cheeses, biltong salad, bacon quiche, sausages, lamb stew, mushroom pate, salmon, spaghetti bolognaise and souvlaki. Available from MIA Wines & Spirits
RESTAURANTS YUMMY YUMMY
GIGIRI, MUTHAIGA, UN AVENUE, VILLAGE MARKET YUMMY
La Dolce Vita
The Village Market Cafe 0712143839 An elegant and simple style gives Artcaffe 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.
Muthaiga Shopping Centre, Limuru Rd Italian 0722 624 100 Nairobi’s La Dolce Vita Restaurant has a bright interior filled with artwork, creating a stylish but unpretentious space for lunch or dinner.
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.
The Oval Burger, Casual Dining 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!
Warwick Centre Bakery & Juice Bar 0715 991 879 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.
UN Avenue, Gigiri Italian, Sea Food 0705 269 841 Evocative of an Italian Villa capturing Italian love for dining from their A la Carte & Chefs Special menu reflecting traditional specialties of Sea food, Pasta, Meat Pizzas.
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, Parklands Italian and Continental 0709 466 444 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 Burger, Casual Dining 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.
Two Rivers Steak House 0715 764 261 Olpul steak house and grill brings to life this exotic Kenyan culture in a 21st century setting, serving fine steaks that are as delicious and authentic as the culture that inspired it.
The Oval Café 0717 193 895 Distinctly chic style with creative décor in cluding 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.
The Village Market 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.
Westgate Mall Café 0725 202 020 A warm and inviting space filled with freshly baked breads and patisserie, the heartwarming scent of fresh coffee and relaxing music; Artcaffe Grand is a haven from hectic city life.
Nakumatt Ukay Ground Floor Cafe 0708 877 811 Open for 24hrs,we have an authentic,sophisticated and rustic ambience. Famous for the legendary Dr. Oetker Pizzas,glorious breakfast selection,soups and love-filled desserts.
Cafe VILLA ROSA
United Nations Crescent 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.
Golden Tulip, Muthithi rd Westlands Indian, Chinese 0733 888 068 Nestled at the top of the Hotel the restaurant offers an exotic blend of the best Indian and Chinese Cuisine.
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!
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.
Tribe Hotel 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.
Diamond Plaza Bakery & Juice Bar 0701 671 891 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.
List your restaurant for only Ksh 5,000 per month. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
LOWER KABETE, PARKLANDS, SPRING VALLEY, WESTLANDS YUMMY
Next to Soin Arcade, Westlands rd Bakery & Juice Bar 0709 729 000 This spot uses traditional recipes to make delicious treats with a homebaked feel. Cake City delivers carefully created cakes and pasteries made as desired.
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.
Woodvale Grove Continental 0729 864 511 The restaurant at Havana is taking ‘bar food’ to the next level with a latin inspired menu featuring fresh local ingredients with weekly chef’s specials.
Villa Rosa Kempinski, Westlands 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.
Jade Tea House
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.
Lotos Suites, Next to Oshwal Centre Chinese 0702 874 571 Enjoy authentic Chinese Cuisine at the roof top in the heart of Westlands with a magnificent view of Nairobi Skyline.
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.
Inside the Alchemist Bar Food Truck 0705 801 230 Enjoy African-inspired gourmet burgers and sides. With a range of gourmet burgers, wings, fries, milkshakes and artisan ice creams this fun food truck will satisfy your craving.
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!
Southern Sun Hotel, Parklands Rd Steak House 0724 253 804 Offers delicious specialty steaks, burgers and a wide range of exciting salads. This classic family restaurant also has an activity area for children, with a kiddy menu and playground.
Woodvale Groove Fast Food 0708 515 168 KFC is the largest international chicken franchise serving the world famous Colonel Sanders secret recipe for over 60 years. Enjoy dining-in or order-in through the delivery service.
9 West, Westlands Italian, Sea Food 0725 547 800 A new modern drop back to the very best Italian fine dining experience; from their Mosaic Pizza Oven to Mediterranean Seafood dishes and Handmade genuine Italian Ice creams.
Grab & Go Coffee
Clarence House, School Lane Continental 0725 894 477 A hidden Gem, in the heart of leafy Westlands. Enjoy rooftop experience, with a fusion of cuisines & artistically prepared Mocktails & Cocktails.
Tune Hotels, 155 Raphta Road Cafe 020 5147500 The place to enjoy a unique selection of gourmet coffee, sandwiches, salads, freshly baked pastries and a wide variety of juices, smoothies and milkshakes.
Westgate Mall Fast Food 0722 532 532 KFC will cater to all taste buds, from the little ones to the oldest in the group, there’s something for everyone. Friendly staff will ensure your order is out in a few minutes.
The Oval, Westlands 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.
Concord Hotel, Parklands Indian 0709 466 700 The restaurant offers an authentic Indian cuisine with an eclectic mix of rich Indian dishes expertly prepared, plated and presented with the contemporary modern flavors.
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.
Limuru Road Fast Food 070 8515 168 Situated on Limuru road, with ample parking and quick service, KFC will cater to all your chicken cravings with a wide range of menu offerings. You can dine-in, take away or get delivery.
Off School Lane, Westlands Japanese, Lebanese, Sushi 0716 161 011 The Phoenician is a fabulous restaurant which serves sushi, Lebanese and Teppanyaki courses, in an al fresco atmosphere at the Junction.
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.
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
The Mall, Westlands Cafe 0700 592 028
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.
Kafe Afrikana is an authentic Kenyan brand, serving Premium Kenyan Coffee brewed to perfection and accompanied by great tasting snacks.
Fantastic discounts at your favourite restaurants. eatout.co.ke/yummycard
JUNCTION, HURLINGHAM, KILELESHWA, LAVINGTON YUMMY
Spring Valley Oven
Sankara Hotel, Woodvale Grove The Mirage, Chiromo Road 0726 848 444 A rustic but modern Pub with an Irish flair offering a vibrant experience with tastefully executed meals and an array of local and international beverages.
Lower Kabete Road, Spring Valley Continental 0711 557 272 Located in the leafy suburbs of Spring Valley, this restaurant serves as a great place to catch your morning coffee or grab lunch with some mates.
The Concord Hotel, Parklands Pan Asian 0709 466 400 The restaurant's name means 'deliciousness', It signifies an induced meaty and savory taste sensation originating from our delectable Pan Asian inspired fusion restaurant.
The Junction Mall, Ngong Rd Café 0708 906 504 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.
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.
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.
The Alchemist Pizza 0728 451 383 Upendo Pizza is where you can enjoy the original oven baked Italian Pizza and a lots more... Make pizza, not war!
Lavington Green Mall Café, Continental 0700 037 059 Artcaffe ensures a warm and welcoming environment. Enjoy freshly brewed coffee, delicious pastries, cocktails and a full menu. Enjoy great happy hour offers and delicious food.
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.
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.
PWC Towers, Westlands Multi Cuisine 0709 815 000 Offering an energized atmosphere in the heart of Nairobi,consisting of four different kitchens; a frozen yogurt counter and a signature bar.
Yaya Centre Café, Continental 0719 269 477 Artcaffe ensures a warm and welcoming environment. Enjoy freshly brewed coffee, delicious pastries, cocktails and a full menu. Enjoy great happy hour offers and delicious food.
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.
Golden Tulip Hotel Multi Cuisine 020 403 4200 Tulip Restaurant serves multi-cuisine fine dining delicacies. Be it lunch or dinner with family, friends or business colleagues there is a cozy ambience and warm service.
Tune Hotels, 155 Raphta Road Continental 020 514 7500 Utamu provides a young, vibrant and informal setting. They serve a fusion of international cuisines and daily specials at a pocket friendly price with high service levels.
The Junction Mall, Ngong Rd Burger, Casual Dining 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.
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.
Tune Hotels, 155 Raphta Road Bar 020 5147500 A classic sports bar designed for watching the latest game and enjoying sporting events with stunning and unobstructed panoramic views across the Nairobi skyline.
Junction of Karunda Rd Multi Cuisine 0737 555999 From whitewashed mahogany tables and brass candle lanterns, to our signature black-lit stained glass window, Ventana’s ambiance is second to none.
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.
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.
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.
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.
101 Manyani East Road Japanese 0717 700 666 The only Japanese restaurant actually owned by Japanese in kenya. Try authentic meals including sushi, noodles, a variety of seafood specials and imported sake from Japan.
Fantastic discounts at your favourite restaurants. eatout.co.ke/yummycard
KAREN, NGONG ROAD, LANGATA YUMMY
The Wine Shop
The Junction Mall, Ngong Rd 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.
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.
The Hub, Karen Spanish 0714 653355 Specializing in Fine Dining, Gourmet Tapas and Cocktails, we are changing the gastronomy experience in Kenya . Our passion for great wine is evident from our extensive wine menu.
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.
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.
Royal Tulip Hotel, Tigoni Road International 0709 464000 A contemporary restaurant with a world cuisine setup that provides a personalized service and memorable experience to its esteemed clients.
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!
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.
Eastlands Hotel, Ngong Rd 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.
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.
Nyama Mama Xpress
The Steak Out
Lavington Green Centre Continental 0719 142560 We are a Bistro and Bar located on James Gichuru road. Live Music, Live Sports, Open Mic Wednesdays, Networking Evenings , our Yummy BBQ bites & alot more new vibes.
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.
102 Manyani Rd. Off James Gichuru Multi Cuisine 0726 211 443 The Steak Out is an elegant and urban steakhouse serving creative foods for all palates in a comfortable ambiance ensuring a memorable dining experience.
Karen Crossroads Shopping Centre Café, Continental 0703 216 579 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 Junction Mall, Ngong Rd Italian, Sea Food 0728 855 100 For an Unforgettable taste of true Italian dining set in its family like atmosphere with a variety of traditional Mediterranean Seafood, Home made Pastas and Sicilian Icecream.
BEST WESTERN PREMIER, Hurlingham 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!
912, James Gichuru Road Turkish & Persian 0795 800 800 Three worlds in one, Toranj serves Persian, Turkish and Italian dishes. Toranj offers a relaxing environment suitable for families, friends, meetings and events.
The Hub, Karen Café, Continental 0790 124 892 Artcaffe ensures a warm and welcoming environment. Enjoy freshly brewed coffee, delicious pastries, cocktails and a full menu. Enjoy great happy hour offers and delicious food.
MEZZE on the deck
BEST WESTERN PREMIER, Hurlingham 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.
Junction Mall, Ngong Rd Japanese, Lebanese, Sushi 0717 522 374 Come and get our amazing offer, buy 1 sushi roll get half free, Buy 2 glasses of wine and get 1 free. Get the offer when its still happening!
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.
Galleria Mall Cafe 020 233 0772 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.
List your restaurant for only Ksh 5,000 per month. Email email@example.com
CBD, INDUSTRIAL AREA, MOMBASA ROAD YUMMY
Black Gold Cafe
Karen Square, Ngong Rd Burger, Casual Dining 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.
Galleria Mall 1st Flr, Karen Fast Food 0715 980 085 For Burgers carrying the Mackee effect, reflected in the distinctive flavour in each of the burgers which are vibrant and Tasty; from cheesy Mackee to Spicy Mackee.
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.
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.
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 Hub Seafood, Sushi 0786 227 538 At every Ocean Basket you’ll find people who share a love for delicious seafood. Great dining spot for a seafood lovers with a home-from-home feeling and great value.
Biashara Street, CBD Continental 0710 500 377 Well known for the international cuisine with emphasis on use of organic and locally sourced ingredients; ensures that every meal prepared is both nutritious and healthy.
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.
Js Fresh Bar
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.
61 Marula lane, Karen Continental 0712 007001 Family friendly british inspired sports bar, restaurant bed and breakfast establishment that beautifully blends quirky with classy menu of continental indian and pizza.
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.
Radisson Blu Hotel, Upperhill Formal Dining 0704 810 000 Specialising in a holistic dining experience that highlights modern African flare, dining at Chop House is a theatrical event in itself.
Cin Cin Bar
The Hub, Karen Fast Food 0708 515 168 KFC is a great place to bring family and friends. From burgers to buckets, KFC will cater to all your needs; be it a meal for one or a group, enjoy Colonel Sanders’ famous recipes.
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.
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.
Fairmont The Norfolk, Harry Thuku Rd Bar and Lounge 020 226 5000 A classic yet modern upscale exclusive lounge bar with a garden view, personalized service and an exclusive G.H. Mumm Champagne Bar with tapas, canapes and signature drinks.
Junction Mall, Ngong Rd Fast Food 0722 532 532 One of the first KFC outlets to open in Nairobi, this conveniently situated location is a great place to enjoy some of your favourite Colonel Sanders recipes.
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.
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.
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.
Galleria Shopping Mall, Karen Fast Food 0700 324 945 Walk in and enjoy a meal in minutes freshly prepared to ensure great quality always. The Colonel Sanders secret recipe will always satisfy every chicken craving.
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.
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
Mama Ngina Street Fast Food 0722 532 532 This KFC will cater to a quick lunch. Freshly made meals, great quality and finger licking good chicken recipes will leave you coming back over and over again.
Fantastic discounts at your favourite restaurants. eatout.co.ke/yummycard
THIKA ROAD, TRM MALL, GARDEN CITY YUMMY
Kimathi Street Fast Food 0708 515 168 Situated in the CBD, this KFC is a great spot to enjoy a quick lunch or bring your friends and family to treat them to some great offers.
Fairview Hotel, Upperhill Cafe 020 288 1000 The Mukutan Garden Café overlooks a beautiful water feature and is known for coffees and light meals such as gourmet sandwiches and pizzas.
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. A small piece of Thailand in Nairobi.
Garden City Mall, Thika Rd Cafe 0722 532 532 KFC’s secret Colonel Sanders recipe is finger licking good. Located at Garden City Mall, you can now enjoy great meals at a great price.
KFC Drive Through
Mombasa Road Fast Food 0705 505 050 Want to grab a quick meal on your way to work or on your road trip? Visit this KFC drive through to enjoy quick service without stepping out of your car.
Fairview Hotel, Upperhill 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.
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 Mall, Thika Rd 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.
Road House Grill
Thorn Tree Cafe
Radisson Blu Hotel, Upperhill Casual Dining 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.
Menengai rd, Upperhill Continetal 0720 523000 Enjoy ROAD HOUSE GRILL nyama choma, drink specials and DJ. The perfect spot in Upper Hill to unwind, watch the game, catch up with friends or beat the traffic.
The Sarova Stanley, Kimathi St, CBD Continental 020 275 7000 This is a legendary open-air, 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.
Garden City Mall, Thika Rd 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.
Makuti Bar & Grill
Sikia Fine Dining
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.
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.
Garden City Mall, Thika Rd Cafe 0707 175 574 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 Mall - 1st Flr, Thika Rd 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.
Soaring Eagle Spur
Nairobi Serena Hotel, CBD 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.
Eka Hotel, Mombasa Rd Steakhouse 0786101102 Our restaurant offers delicious specialty steaks, burgers, chicken, seafood and Tex- Mex dishes. We are very popular for our ribs and buffalo wings.
TRM Mall, Thika Rd Cafe
Garden City Mall - 1st Flr, Thika Rd 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!
Heron Portico, Milimani Rd International 020 272 0740 Mdalasini is a bright new concept for Nairobi featuring a serene dining hall, airy balcony and sunny patio.
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.
0708906505 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.
Cake City TRM Mall, Thika Rd Cafe 0709 729 000 Cake City uses traditional recipes to make delicious treats that feel home baked. Delivers are available and include carefully created, personalised cakes and pastries.
List your restaurant for only Ksh 5,000 per month. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Lamu has a little something for everyone, whether itâ€™s the shabby chic of Shela village, or the vibrant intensity of Lamu Town, a warren of narrow alleyways and historic Arab architecture. Manda Bay, developed only in the last couple of decades, is increasingly luring tourists to the other side of the bay where the focus is on sun, sand and sea. With Jambojet flying in daily at very affordable rates, take the opportunity to explore this sweet coastal town.
YUMMY YUMMY TRAVEL
TEXT CATRINA STEWART PHOTOS ABDALLA BARGASH
Once you’ve arrived at Sweet Sweet Lamu, here’s a few places you should add to your bucket list- whether you’re looking for food, a place to rest your head, fun adventures or sights to see.
If there’s a “must-do” on anyone’s list, it’s the obligatory sunset dhow cruise, a mellow meander through Lamu’s mangrove channels with a glass of wine in one hand, a lime-splashed samosa in the other. Finish up facing Shela and the setting sun.
On the south side of Manda Island are the Takwa Ruins, the impressively well-preserved remains of a town abandoned around 1700. The mosque is particularly striking, but it’s enough just to pick your way through the ruins in this shaded and tranquil spot.
Slow cooking has its fans even in Lamu. At Subira House in Lamu Town, Christine and Paul Aarts serve up fresh seafood in the spirit of slow cooking with a focus on simple, healthy and ethically-sourced ingredients. Dinners must be booked in advance.
If yoga’s your thing, Lamu has something for you. Settle into your tree pose at Shela’s Banana House, or twist yourself into a revolved triangle pose at Fatuma’s Tower. The African Yoga Project has put Lamu on the map, and the archipelago hosts an annual yoga festival with aficionados dropping in from all over the world.
For shopping, swing by Aman, perhaps the most stylish shop in Shela, which sells a selection of kaftan-style linen and cotton clothing, sandals and beaded ware. Any selfrespecting Shela resident owns a slice of Aman.
On the edge of miles of deserted beach is Peponi in Shela village, the island’s most celebrated hotel. Legendary hotelier Lars Korschen, who died in 2014, transformed a small guesthouse into a fashionable boutique hotel. Kick off with a sundowner on the verandah and move to the restaurant for sumptuous seafood fare. Try the hand-made truffles for pudding. We liked salted caramel.
Many visitors prefer to stay in the quieter Shela village, but if you fancy a bit more of a vibe, try Lamu House Hotel in Lamu Town. This gorgeous dwelling on the corniche is an oasis away from the bustle of the town. A hotel of layers, guests pass under a series of arches to reach the open courtyard with both plunge and swimming pools. Its restaurant is a well-placed spot for watching Lamu life pass by its door, while guests seeking a seaside experience can enjoy the use of the hotel’s own beach bar on Manda Bay.
Not far from Subira is Whispers, a quiet garden retreat from the hustle of the town. This is the place for breakfast, with a full English fry-up to tempt, although beef is substituted for pork in this Muslim archipelago. Too late for breakfast? Head here to find tea and home-baked cake after a hard morning haggling with shopkeepers. In Shela, the small café at Sea Suq is a low-key place that appeals to both a local and expatriate crowd. Although many never go there for anything more than coffee of their freshlysqueezed juices, this little place offers surprisingly good local Swahili fare, including tasty grilled seafood. Friday nights at Diamond Beach is something of a Lamu fixture, except technically it’s not Lamu. Take a boat to Manda Bay, and grab a pizza in front of a movie. It’s a popular gathering place, and the resident bartenders shake up a fine selection of cocktails.
Many visitors prefer to stay in the quieter Shela village, but if you fancy a bit more of a vibe, try Lamu House Hotel in Lamu Town. This gorgeous dwelling on the corniche is an oasis away from the bustle of the town. A hotel of layers, guests pass under a series of arches to reach the open courtyard with both plunge and swimming pools. Its restaurant is a well-placed spot for watching Lamu life pass by its door. For something a little more pocketfriendly, head to Jannat in the heart of the old town, a hotel with bags of charm. Rooms are simple, but airy, and food is served up in a quiet courtyard. There’s a small pool to cool off in after the intensity of the town. For beach bliss, head round the point towards Kizongoni Beach, which has opulent two-storey Kabanas overlooking a stunning stretch of beach, or go a bit further to Kizingo, a chilled-out beachside camp run by Zimbabweans that is the antithesis to everything Lamu. For top-dollar luxury, stay at Majlis on Manda Bay.
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