I love to eat. It’s one of my favorite past times. Sometimes I just sit down and think about how wonderful food is. I was recently deep in one of my delicious food fantasies when I started to consider all of my favorite restaurants in Nairobi.
It was downright impossible to form a complete list with so many glorious food places to choose from! In the end, I came to the conclusion that I could only pick out my favorite restaurants in Nairobi for specific types of food.
So, here’s my first attempt at a top 5 list:
1. Bhajia – Maru’s Bhajia
Maru’s Bhajia in Diamond Plaza is the holy grail of bhajias. And who doesn’t like bhajias? Or holy grails? Bhajias are proof that God wants us to have nice things. As soon as you get through those Diamond Plaza gates though, about 1 million men will descend upon you, appealing that you pick their particular bhajia stall over the rest. It can be overwhelming. Keep calm though, once you survive the hawker onslaught, a glorious world of greasiness awaits.
Coupled with chutney, the deep fried crunchy goodness of those bhajias will have you addicted. I once devoured an entire packet and a half of bhajia during a 10 minute ride to my office. Once you start eating them, you literally just can’t stop!
2. Buffalo Wings – Slims Restaurant
The next time you’re at Slims, look no further than the Starters & Soups section of the menu for your next culinary orgasm. There you will find Slims’ signature dish: spicy, sticky buffalo wings that are finger-licking awesome! Pro Tip: Don’t go there on a first date unless your date is into watching you constantly lick your fingers. (If your date is into that, you have bigger problems on your hands. Or not, depending on what you’re into. But I digress…)
If you’re into authentic American style buffalo wings served complete with blue cheese dip, Slims is the place to go. The ambiance at Slims is great too – relaxed with a jazzy, modern feel. It was even voted Nairobi’s “Best Sundowner” once. Go there after work TODAY and thank me later!
3. Sushi – The Phoenician
Confession: I’ve been known to take myself out on dates. When I do, I put on a cute outfit, some killer heels, slap on my favorite shade of lippie and head straight for my favorite sushi place – The Phoenician. I love sushi. And since not many other people share that love, I opt for solo sushi dates whenever I can. Ahhhh, how I love my sushi dates! I usually strut right up to the sushi bar and sit front and center where I can talk to the Sushi chefs and be entertained by their mastery of all things sushi.
Because I love variety and also because I suffer from indecision, I usually go for the platter options. The Phoenician’s sushi platters are great – they offer a wide variety of yummy and filling rolls to choose from. Oh, how I enjoy my evenings there! I place one roll after the other in my mouth (in slow, almost seductive succession) as I listen to the chitter chatter of the chefs and enjoy each delightful mouthful.
4. Burgers – Urban Gourmet Burgers
The story goes that ArtCaffe started a new chain of restaurants called Urban Gourmet Burgers in Westgate Mall. When the tragedy there took place, they moved the Urban Gourmet Burger menu into the regular ArtCaffe menu. Honestly, I don’t know if that’s the real story. Honestly, I don’t care. All I know is that hidden within the ArtCaffe menu is something called the Urban Gourmet Burger menu. And that, my dear ladies and gentlemen, is the most wonderful menu mine eyes have ever seen.
The minute my teeth sunk into the juicy Texas Burger, I knew that I had seen the light. The second my tongue experienced the ecstasy of the flavorful Santa Fe Burger, I knew that my life would never be the same. More than anything else, I knew that I could NEVER have a burger anywhere else. To do so would be an affront to my entire gustatory system. Urban Gourmet Burgers are savory, tender and mind-blowingly succulent.
5. Ethiopian Cuisine – Habesha
Mmmhhhhhh…Habesha. Even just typing that name triggers my craving for Ethiopian food. There’s something enchanting about Ethiopian food, isn’t there? Maybe it’s the fact that there’s no cutlery involved. Or maybe it’s the fact that you eat off of one giant platter in the middle of the table. Or maybe it’s simply the fact that the food is freaking spicy and delicious. Whatever it is, I love it. And when I need my Ethiopian fix, Habesha is the place for me.
Mixed platters of injera with veg/non-veg sauce selections are popular there and for good reasons: you get to try out a little bit of everything at great value for money and, everyone at the table can pick out at least one must have for the platter. Habesha has a very pleasant and relaxed atmosphere; It’s perfect for easy, foodie afternoons with a fun group of friends.
That’s my attempt at a top 5. What did I leave out? Where do you guys go for specific types of food?