In 2019, restaurants stepped up their game and showcased new concepts that exposed a whole new side of Kenya’s gastronomic scene. There are a couple of trends we noticed over the course of the year and we’re hoping they are carried over into 2020. Here is our short and sweet list of the good and great ideas we love. We can’t wait to see which trends crop up as the year goes on.
The restaurant scene in Nairobi is growing and this means more places for foodies to check out. Look out for restaurants with open kitchen concepts which offer guests transparency and a chance to see how their perfectly plated meal (or drink) is made! Our favourite open concept kitchens so far are DJC Kitchen and The Local Grill.
More Wood, Less Industry
A lot of restaurants in 2019 moved away from serving food on a traditional white plate and experimented with using wooden boards. Well we don’t see this trend disappearing any time soon with restaurants getting more creative and using different materials. Nyama Mama’s cocktail tins have always been a favourite but Grill Shack and K1 Klubhouse have our hearts with their wooden boards.
The plant craze has hit Nairobi! Beyond the plants on your plate, succulents and other leafy greenery can be spotted in some of our favourite restaurants. We’re hoping this trend continues because who doesn’t love a little nature inside? Visit The Daily Cafe and Kez Kitchen for your dose of green.
Here’s another trend that popped up in 2019 and isn’t going anywhere. Restaurants are trying and nailing different types of fusion that combines Kenyan food with international cuisine. We loved INTI’s Peruvian and Japanese fusion food, The Chophouse’s eclectic new menu and The Food Movement’s ever-changing dishes. Here’s hoping to more in 2020.
The craft drinks sector saw a huge boom in 2019 with craft cocktails very much becoming the new thing bars and restaurants added to their menus. The momentum will not be slowing down in 2020 starting with an iconic craft cocktail made using Barcadi rum as well as new craft gins such as Generous Gin being introduced into the market.
You might have noticed that restaurants have started changing their packaging and straws. Gone are the plastic containers that would pile up in your bin. Some restaurants have gone green and are using sustainable takeaway boxes as well as cutlery. Gone are the plastic straws and instead paper straws are now sitting comfortably in cocktails. We’re hoping to see more of this in 2020. Support the movement by and visit these green restaurants: Tin Roof Cafe, Hob House, The Alchemist, Coffee & Bagels, Mugg & Bean, Ibis Styles, Fonda NBO.