Life in the city can be quite draining, and sometimes we all need a break from the busy 8-5 schedule that most of us have become accustomed to. Sometimes, the much needed break could be in form of a random dinner after work, or a cuppa after 5 especially in between the week.
I took the liberty to look for some hidden gems around Westlands and Karen. If you are averse to overcrowded and very loud places like I am, you’ll find this article helpful. The few things I look for before settling on an eatery is the location, ambience, food, customer service and the type of crowd in no particular order.
- About Thyme Restaurant
If you love green, privacy, great wine, cocktails and good food, this is the place to make your reservation. It’s one of the perfect places to take him or her for that random date. I don’t like restaurants that make you feel like you have to try so hard to fit in, and that’s why About Thyme is easily one of my favorite places to escape to when I need some tranquility. You just have to be you. If you also love solo dates like I do, this place can work for you. They do offer business brunches as well.
The restaurant is located along Eldama Ravine road and they offer international dishes. If you’re looking to expand your palate, please pay this amazing, green place a visit. Their prices are quite pocket friendly and range between ksh. 1,200 to ksh 2,500 for main dishes.
2. Tin Roof Cafe
This is a boutique outdoor cafe, located in House of Treasure on a quite garden in 70 Dagoretti Road, Karen. Despite the cafe aura, this place serves amazing juices, healthy salads, pizza, sandwiches, coffee and food. The general setting is that of a traditional living room. The meals range between ksh. 750 to 1,800.
In addition to the great food, another upside of dining at the cafe is that it’s located at House of Treasures Emporium. The Emporium is a shopping gallery that houses hidden treasures. They sell unique architectural pieces, house hold decor, clothes, toys etc. When I say unique, I mean unique. Their merchandise is sourced from all over the world. This makes it a perfect place to enjoy lunch and a bit of retail therapy.
3. Amaica The Restaurant
This is one of my favorite places. I’m sure by now you’ve noticed my choice of eateries have a flair of green. I relish nature…and this is one of the perfect places to listen to the sounds of nature and let its tranquility calm your mind as you enjoy your meal.
Amaica is located at Getathuru Garden, along Peponi Road, Westlands. Dining at this place lets you enjoy the traditional African ambience, while giving you a view into the lush Karura forest. You also get to enjoy a stellar menu of indigenous African dishes. The main meals range between ksh. 1,000, to ksh. 2,500 and they are open from 9.00 a.m to 11.00 p.m.
4. Mediterraneo Ristorante
I was there for lunch on a Saturday….actually I was waiting for someone and decided to pass time by dining there. I was there for about two hours and not a single soul walked in (apart from the staff of course). This is not to say that the food is terrible hence fewer people, but I’m just saying if you enjoy a bit of solitude you might like this place.
It’s located at 9 West, just opposite the bus stop. Of course there is noise from the street, but fortunately it is drowned by the calm music inside. Their tables are set for 4, but they have some for as many as 8 pax. ‘Are you alone?’ the waiter asked. ‘Yes, table for one please…” I said. You can always take a table for 4 or even 8 if the spot makes you happy…who cares? After all you are paying for it.
I ordered lamb chops, fried rice, mushroom sauce and a latte (don’t judge, it was freezing outside). Man….I have so much to say about this place. Maybe it’s because I had to wait for someone for a while….what a clown moment. Anyway, bottom line is, I sat there and enjoyed my mushroom and pretended that it wasn’t the first time I was having mushroom. I didn’t even try guys…I looked the part….like a natural mushroom eater, because that sauce was delicious. It didn’t even taste like it looks. If you’ve never tasted mushroom, just pretend that the tiny kidney looking pieces drowned in thick sauce are chicken kidneys.
My lamb chop was well done (bad mistake). I toyed with the idea of asking for medium rare but the waiter assured me the well done piece would be tender. Well, I did more chewing than I had subscribed for, so your guess is as good as mine. What I’m saying in so many words is, if you want to order fillet steak or lamb chops, your best bet is to ask for medium rare.
I generally enjoyed my solo date and dining experience, albeit numerous stares from the staff. Probably wondering what in the loneliness was I doing there, but if you are like me you’ll just shrug it off and enjoy your meal. It’s a thing guys, solo dates are empowering.
Their prices range from ksh. 1,650 and above for main dishes.
My concern though is that I didn’t see female staff. Where are the ladies Mediterraneo? Or do they come at night?