This is my attempt to kill the Java and Dorman’s culture that has become so boring and predictable. People need to get more creative, explore new options, and I am here to help you with that 🙂
If a coffee shop is what you are looking for, you can try out The Mug which is on the same lane as Lonrho House (Forgive me, I do not know street names in town, I identify locations via the nearest famous building. Always remember you can never get lost if you spot The Hilton when you look up in the sky and find your way there.)
The Mug has 2 floors, ample space and fairly priced items on sale. They have the ice creamiest milkshakes that go for Kshs. 250 which I absolutely love. I think meals go for between 300 – 1000 Shillings. For the sweet tooths out there, a slice of cake goes for 250 Kshs which is just about the same price as other coffee shops.
You can also check out Tea Spot on Koinange Street, I have only been there once so I do not remember their prices but it has ample space, and their menu comprises of cool recipes made from tea.
The first thing that pops into someone’s head when you mention Ethiopian is Habeesha. It’s time to broaden your thinking. Just before Chaka Place from town there is an estate with a grey gate called Metropolitan Court written in pink. The third house inside there is an Ethiopian Restaurant, it may not really look a restaurant at the entrance, but just have an open mind while you enter, and leave your uppitiness behind. The backyard for the verandah has been converted to seating areas. Each meal costs between Kshs 250 and Kshs 400 and is accompanied by salad and anjeera. My personal favourite is shiro and kitfo (minced meat and thick soup with chunks of meat) each of which goes for Kshs. 300 and can feed 3 people.
Now that we are expanding our palettes, the next cuisine you should indulge in is Indian. I went to Handi’s last week at Capital Centre for lunch. Handi’s is a subsidiary of the Haveli’s ‘Franchise’ if I may call it that. The ambience is lovely, the food is delectable and the prices are kind of fair considering the restaurant and its reputation. The price range is between 400 – 1000 Kshs thereabouts. Food items are priced separately for example a curry may go for 600 Kshs Nan is 110 Kshs and rice like 200 Kshs (These are not the exact prices, but a pretty accurate estimate). So in total a full meal can be priced at about Kshs 1200.
If you are brave enough to eat raw food, then Japanese is just the thing for you. Everybody keeps raving about sushi, and the most talked about place that serves up the best sushi is Onami Grill and Sushi Bar at The Westgate Mall. I finally went there a fortnight ago and the place most definitely lives up to the hype. The interior is superb with oriental paintings and décor. There is a huge sushi bar where you can watch the chef prepare your meals as you seat and wait. If you are going to Onami please come armed with a credit/debit card or enough money because it is on the pricey side so you need to be financially ready. A sushi meal goes for about Kshs 1200 (being the cheapskate that I am I still haven’t tried it) and this is basically the general price of meals there, 1200 Kshs and above. Their cocktails go for the usual price of between 450 – 600 Kshs and they taste sooo good, I’d love a mojito right about now or a cosmo. They serve you complimentary salad which is really yummy especially if you have gone there with a drinks budget alone 😉 Gentlemen if you really want to impress a lady, take them to Onami. I just might consider marrying any man who would wine and dine me there *jumping into the box*.
Photo and great date ideas from here
To explore various cuisines at a pocket friendly price, you can go to various malls which have Food Courts offering everything from Tunisian to Chinese. The food court at Village Market has the widest variety of cuisines plus the added advantage of selling kegs if you are into that sort of thing. I am sure you have all been to The Junction, Prestige, Sarit Centre just but to mention a few.
Cake Plaza is a quaint place located opposite Prestige Plaza that is a bakery come restaurant. They have all sorts of pastries on display like cookies, muffins, bread sticks all retailing at affordable prices from Kshs 40 to I am guessing at most Kshs 300. They have amazing cakes on display as well from Tiramisu to white forest which cost Kshs 250 per slice, plus they also bake cakes for different occasions, wish I had the prices for you 😦
Their prices are wonderful, ranging from Kshs 60 to Kshs 600 at most. Their most expensive burger costs Kshs 350. French Fries are Kshs 60, Masala Fries are Kshs 80. There is this mushroomed chicken dish they make that goes for Kshs 300, so does the chicken curry and you can choose between rice, chips, masala fries or roast potatoes for free accompaniments. It is a wonderful pocket friendly place with great ambience, so now that I have told you about Nairobi’s best kept secret, please do not go filling the place up 😉
I discovered Que Pasa courtesy of my friend, which is a bistro located inside Karen Shopping Centre. Majority of the clientele consists of white people whom I expected to be racist but they let you be and focus on their own agendas. There is a bar at the entrance, and the décor consists of mostly wooden furnishings. They make use of a lot of candle light and there are amazing photographic wall hangings which contribute to the lovely ambience. They do not have a drinks menu, but meals are priced between Kshs 550 to slightly above Kshs 1000.
Tamambo Tapas Bar at The Village Market is also a swanky place to visit. It has 2 seating areas, a terrace outside and the bar is situated inside. Drinks are reasonably priced and if you talk to the waiters they can hook you up with shisha for Kshs 500 from the shisha shop. It is a nice place to just chill out with friends.
If you are in Mombasa, be sure to check out the Moorings floating restaurant in Mtwapa. Just like the name suggests it floats on water. If you make an early reservation you can sit on the terrace which can be detached from the main restaurant and float away. The drinks are reasonable priced, the ambience is magnificent as you over look the ocean and watch boats pass you by, it is definitely a place you must visit!
So those were just a few examples of the cool places I have been to that I thought I would share with you.
I would really love to go to Sankara, The Tribe, Sierra Lounge, Divinos, Meditarraneo, and Karen Country Lodge. Feel free to take me there 😉
Check out the first installment of Nairobi Dating Scene here.