Sanaa Mughal, our managing editor, explores new experiences that Nairobi has to offer.
Nairobi has been so incredible with the people it churns out. Everywhere I look, there’s a new person I am meeting who intrigues me and teaches me something new. This month, I ventured out into the universe and there I ate great food and learnt how to brew coffee at home and ate way too much cheese AND finally watched Avengers Endgame. Relax, I am not going to review Avengers (Because no spoilers and I am way too emotional) but here are a few spots and activities I fell in love with. I hope you will too.
I am not sure about French cuisine. All the stereotypes and name dropping frogs has scared me into wary curiosity. When I heard about 5 senses, I wasn’t sure how it would go down. I grabbed a friend to join me and off we went. If you know me, you know that I don’t dress up a lot. Jeans and a t-shirt, that’s my sweet spot. But when someone says Fine Dining, I have to at least try. I shouldn’t have worried so much. As soon as we walked into 5 senses, the atmosphere calmed me down. Simple but elegant with a rustic feel to it. I was welcomed into the restaurant by the owners Sharon and Kim who were friendly and smiling so wide you would think we were their favourite people.
Sharon and Kim both studied in Switzerland and that’s where they met and fell in love. They came back home and from what they said, conversations about someday- maybe- you never know opening a restaurant finally became a reality. We asked the owners to join us and through the meal, they told us stories about themselves. Kim, after studying in Switzerland, worked in France and that’s where he met his mentors and fell in love with the cuisine. He brought back this love with him and that is what led him to create this unique menu. The menu is small and will soon be revamped, but from what we had, it doesn’t need revamping. I started my meal with French Onion Soup which is a personal favourite then moved to Mushroom Ravioli in squid ink- Squid Ink! I was worried it might be too overwhelming but it was perfect. Calling it a whisper of that seafood taste would not be an exaggeration. The main meal consisted of salmon with a beetroot and avocado puree which was a delight. The dinner wasn’t what you would expect- we didn’t each have own separate meals. The four of us traded plates all through the night and shared everything that came on the table. The wine kept coming (Picked by Sharon herself) and by the end of the night, we fell in love with 5 senses and I made new friends. Dinner at 5 senses made me miss restaurants like this. Restaurants where the owners become friends and the chef takes you through each dish, how it’s made and why you’ll love it. The restaurant really does touch all your 5 senses, but the people make it even better.
Chez Sonia is a wine house that started a few months ago but before we could really enjoy it, they closed due to an issue. They came back stronger than ever and have set up a beautiful wine bar that looks more like a gallery than a restaurant. With bright colours of blue, yellow and red, Chez Sonia is something out of a movie. Way before you even look at the menu, the space will take your breath away. As my staff writer and I visited Chez Sonia, we were welcomed by its owner and namesake Sonia who took us through the place, the future gallery that will be coming up and introduced us to the chef. As is tradition, we didn’t pick from the menu but allowed Sonia to pick everything she wanted us to have from the wine to the cheese. We started with the Burrata and finished off with a Sweet Camembert that was served in a beautiful ceramic cheese baker and bread. Light, comforting and delicious. If it wasn’t for work, I think we would have spent all day there, reading and lazily dreaming about Christmas.
If you’re looking for a place to enjoy wine at different price ranges, cheese and perhaps read a book, this is it. Stay tuned to pop up menus coming soon!
The Coffee Course at Safari Lounge
My love of coffee started with work and a worrying need for caffeine to get through the day. It started with just back coffee, no matter the brand. And after beautiful coffee tastings and Movenpicks Chocolate on the Salty Side coffee dessert, I found something I wanted to know more about. Brewing the perfect coffee at home would not only make me happy but would also give my friends who call me a douche more amo, and I like to make them happy… sometimes. Back to coffee. My good friend Juju from Greenspoon told me about Safari Lounge’s home brewing coffee course and together we attended. My first thought while the class started was how cool Régine is. Régine works with Safari Lounge and is a certified SCA (Speciality Coffee Association) trainer. She is basically a ball of energy and speaks about coffee with a passion bordering on obsession. She was a great teacher and when I drink any coffee these days, I hear her voice in my head. Here are a few things I learned from Régine:
- Remember the 3 T’s of coffee making: Temperature, Turbulence and Time.
- Water isn’t just water. The quality of water changes the taste of your coffee.
- The sweet spot PH of water for coffee is 7
- Coffee is like a disco, it’s all about the VIBE
- When using paper filters, make sure you rinse the filter paper with hot water to remove the chlorine.
- Coffee stales easily- You need to cover it and keep it at room temperature.
Bbrood launched a new sourdough bread called Mtama bread and I was one of the first people to try it! The bread has a sweet potato twist to it and has a rich taste that adds a bit of adventure to your breakfast. I sliced it and toasted it slightly then had it with marmalade and butter. As someone who has been working her way through their selection, this one is a keeper. Get this bread and others at their new outlet in Junction Mall.