Category Archives: Eating Out

Eateries I have visited

Mumm’s the word!


It’s always such a pleasure to receive an invitation to try out Nairobi’s finest food and drink, handpicked by EatOut Kenya and SHK Consulting. An invitation to a private champagne brunch was a welcome sight in the inbox and I promptly accepted. 

The brunch was being hosted at the lush and serene Zen Gardens on Lower Kabete Road. Cyrus Ndegwa, the supervisor, warmly welcomed us and led us to our reserved table and talked us through what to expect. We were served by Patrick for the rest of the afternoon and were introduced to Charles, who is the head barman at Zen Gardens. 

I always like to ask at restaurants what food can be paired with what I’m drinking and since we were going to indulge in Mumm Champagne, Cyrus recommended steamed foods. We chose the Zen Dimsum platter and the Maki Sushi Set which are for sharing. I also requested the prawn cigar rolls which happen to be my most favourite item on their menu! 

Top Left: Prawn Cigar Rolls. Top Right: Mixed Dimsum sharing platter. Bottom: Maki Sushi Set

Charles then invited us to the bar, on request, to watch the cocktails being made. The first cocktail we tried was a Mummosa. This is your regular mimosa given an extra oomph with Mumm Cordon Rouge Champagne

Mummosa

This was followed by, what I feel was a personal favourite, Strawberry Mummy. I’m a fan of strawberries and when cocktails include decadent bubbles AND strawberries, it’s a win-win situation. 

Strawberry Mummy

By now we had finished our meal and decided to order dessert. My kids always say that food goes to the tummy and dessert goes to the soul. I strongly agree with that and Patrick suggested we try the passion cheesecake. 

Good choice because the next cocktail was The Passionate Mumm. As the name suggests, the passion was definitely derived from the fresh passion fruit pulp topped with Mumm champagne. 

The Passionate Mummy

You can never go wrong with the food, ambience and service at Zen Gardens, and if I didn’t have another commitment to honour, I would have stayed there all day sipping away delicately these lovely champagne cocktails and Instagramming them on @kamz26. I did manage to put a few pictures up so do check out Instagram too. 

Coming up shortly, I’ll share the cocktail recipes of all three drinks we had. 🍾🍹 

Getting high on tea…

 

Having lived in the United Kingdom for a short while, I did get used to a few of the practices there, afternoon high tea being one of them. You didn’t have to travel far to look for a quaint restaurant or café to indulge in a pot of Earl Grey tea, served in pretty bone china cups (not commercially produced mugs) accompanied by scones and jam with clotted cream.

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So this week when I checked my mail one morning and I found an invitation to a revival to this quaint practice, I jumped at the chance and accepted immediately. Sankara Hotel in Nairobi were excellent hosts. I went with Riya Shah from East FM and decked in our appropriate afternoon tea dresses and heels we made our way to the venue. We did leave out the fancy hats and kid gloves for another time. I reckon it’s always best to check out what you’re up against first! We didn’t want a fashion faux pas!

We were greeted at the Gallery and were told by our host Roma about the revival of the High Tea. I was very happy with this, honestly speaking. You see, my daughter and I have started a little ritual. We go out for a mother-daughter meal or coffee morning at least once a month without her little brother. I love these moments with her and get to catch up with her life without her ‘annoying little brother’ as she likes to call him.

Riya and I were served up some amazing treats and teas from a huge selection – honestly we were spoilt for choice. The macaroons were divine and we even indulged in a bit of chit-chat with their head pastry chef Pascal. First of all, his French accent had both of us thinking we are listening to something very musical. Pascal explained pastries and cakes and desserts to us very passionately and this passion was evident in the result in front of us.

You know, I like these quaint little things in life. They are a great deviation from the hustle and bustle of our daily lives where we stop loving ourselves and just keep slogging on, working hard and not stopping to pamper ourselves.

Slow down in life once in a while, gift yourself some time and allow yourself to indulge in enjoying life. Ever since Westgate happened, I promised myself I would love myself more and do all the things I always wanted to. Facing death changes your perception to life for sure and I do hope you never have to face such atrocity to realize how precious life really is.

Give yourself a treat next time you are at the Sankara and look out for Paul, the smiley guy who served us our tea. I loved being spoilt and pampered and indulged. From smoked salmon, apple and cucumber sandwiches to strawberry tarts, scones with jam and cream and macaroons… our palettes were in heaven!

Sankara

Zizzi in Windsor, UK

A touristy day was spent in Windsor looking at the castle, shopping, buying fresh fudge and also indulging in other forms of retail therapy. The day was brilliant and despite British weather having an awful reputation, the sun was out the whole day with a slight wind so the weather conditions were quite pleasant. Walking along Thames Street, my friend and I passed by Zizzi and decided to come back in the evening for dinner and I’m glad we did.

Zizzi is a chain of restaurants and I was really amazed at the way it has been maintained. It felt like a family-owned restaurant, with an open plan kitchen and lovely wooden floors.  It wasn’t a very big place and exuded warmth and cosiness. We were swiftly attended to by a courteous waiter who discreetly hovered in the background as we wined and dined. By the way, he earned his large tip when he ran after me after we’d left the restaurant to give me my iPhone which I’d forgotten on the table!

My friend had a pasta dish while I had a calzone that was really very nice indeed. Both dishes were served with a lovely fresh salad and washed down with a huge glass of wine. I don’t think I did too badly! The dessert was a tiramisu that was simply divine but this was shared because the main course helpings were large and I must say good value for money.

Delicious tiramisu at Zizzi

The entire menu was vast and catered for vegetarians too. I know when I ever go back to Windsor, I will definitely want to go to this restaurant again.

Zizzi at Windsor

 

You can find Zizzi in Windsor at the following address:

24 Thames Street
Windsor, Windsor and Maidenhead SL4 1PL,United Kingdom

Tel: 01753 842 909

Day Out At The Windsor Golf & Country Club Poolside

Birthday week had to be crowned off in style! It was my son’s birthday last week and it’s been celebrations galore with a cake in school and then a party at home with all his friends going high on sugar and bouncing literally off the walls and off the bouncing castle on Saturday. Sunday came and we decided to go to Windsor for swimming. It’s been really very hot for the past three weeks and Nairobi temperatures have been relentless all this time so of course a day out swimming was a fabulous idea.

Off we went to Windsor and on the way just near the entrance I realised that the construction of the new super highway has reached this side of the neighbourhood too.  Having ooh-aahed over that we drove in and the kids made a beeline towards the pool area. Being a hot day I didn’t really expect us to get a decent table but the lovely waiters managed to find me an excellent table at the poolside while the kids scampered to get changed and plunge into the pool.

I had my book with me and while they swam I enjoyed the atmosphere. Hunger was bound to strike so I ordered the kids their favourite chicken nuggets and chips and I thought I’d indulge in a pizza. I ordered the ‘Windsor Special’ and enjoyed it thoroughly. I will highly recommend this delicious pizza. My friend who was with us ordered the chicken burger with the cheese topping and thoroughly enjoyed washing it down with a banana milkshake.

Excellent food, excellent atmosphere and the kids just didn’t want to get out of the water because the pool is heated even when it was such a hot day. I did gasp a bit at the bill though but I suppose when you want to enjoy a day out with the kids, every penny is worth it for them.

Celebrating Sam’s Birthday at Bamboo, Zen Gardens

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My very good friend Sam is a Christmas baby. The first time when he told me his birthday was on Christmas Day I afforded him the same disbelief as one initially gives someone who claims their birthday is on Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day and also 1st April. You’re not supposed to be born on these days! Well, that’s what my kids think anyway, and they were proper jazzed to know that Uncle Sam is a Christmas baby. So on the Eve Sam’s lovely wife ‘D’ organised for a bunch of close friends to get together at the Zen Gardens. I’ve been here a few times before and have quite enjoyed the dining experience. The only thing is that it’s too far from my home so I don’t venture towards this side that often but when I do I take proper advantage of it.

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We started off with drinks and a very exciting cocktail menu was offered to us and from the array that was ordered by everyone they really did look and taste excellent. We were actually in the private room known as Bamboo and this was great as we could laugh and talk all we wanted without upsetting other patrons. Kudos on a private dining room, I say!

Eventually we were all hungry so we ordered the starters and leaned mostly towards sushi, sashimi, tempura, prawn rolls, veggie spring rolls, veggie sushi, dim sum and the like. By the time we were supposed to order the main meal most of us were too full so we ordered a basic chicken dish (I think it was teriyaki) and some rice, which went down well.

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There’s always room for dessert and I indulged in chocolate mousse and there was a chocolate cheesecake that I noticed and was told they have the most amazing sachertorte  but I didn’t feel like indulging.

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All in all, it was great dining experience and Sam… wishing you many happy returns of the day too!

Taste of China

I quite like Chinese cuisine, especially the Kenyan Chinese which is actually full of flavour and exciting to the palette. Yes, I know, many feel Chinese food should be bland but you haven’t been to Taste of China (TOC) to revise your opinion.

First of all, I must say that I rarely write to put someone’s efforts down so this is not an attempt to tell you if there’s anything wrong with TOC; not that you will find anything wrong. Jitesh and Aarty are good friends and they run this restaurant which is almost two and a half years old. Tucked in a cosy corner of the Prime Apartments on Raphta Road, TOC offers a lovely ambience both indoors and outdoors. There’s a swimming pool that you sit beside while you enjoy your culinary feast and you will be loathe to get off your comfortable seat while enjoying the breeze and the sun.



You cannot fault the service and the food is sumptuous. And if you’re a busy individual who prefers to eat at the desk they deliver your food to you. Be it a party or an intimate dinner for two, you’re well looked after. The hospitality is awesome and you actually feel quite at home. I like the evening ambience too. Looks lovely when all lit up with the moon smiling down on you.

The menu is pretty extensive and I feel you can always tell the quality of the food being served from the vegetarian selection. It is very easy to cater for meat-eaters but the true test is if your vegetarian clientele feels well looked after. I’m not a vegetarian but I do like my veggies so it’s a great pleasure to be able to order from more than just three generic dishes that many restaurants tend to order. For the desserts, the kids and I simply adore the date pancakes. I tried making them at home and gave up. I just can’t match the taste at TOC! In a nutshell, at Taste of China you get good value for your money, the portions are excellent and the food is delicious.

Their full menu and services can be found on http://www.tasteofchina.biz and I actually enjoy going to the site and ordering just to drag the choices into the wok. Try it!

And this is especially for fans of Kamal’s Korner… Taste of China has promised a free meal to any two random people who will comment on this write up so get talking on Kamal’s Korner!!