Nestled in the quiet Lavington neighbourhood along James Gichuru Road, this garden restaurant depicts a cozy atmosphere. Its homely aura is ideal when you want to escape into a serene location where you can unwind. Various meals are available at the Arbor, from cafe and brunch options such as sandwiches, salads and breakfast dishes to heartier meals for lunch and dinner including burgers, pasta, vegetarian dishes and delicious Malaysian staples such as the laksa noodles and nassi pattaya.
I recently took a break from our fast-paced city for a laidback evening at this charming establishment with a friend. The enchanted nature-inspired décor and the neatly paved pathways ushered me into the intimate ambiance. The mellow jazz music playing in the background and the soft bursts of laughter from diners set the mood for what was going to be a beautiful night.
The Arbor has a simple menu with a few good meal options which makes selecting your meal easy. Their options are enough to have you salivating over choices. To start, we had the Arbor signature grilled chicken wings made with soy sauce, chilli, honey, sesame seeds, deep fried shallots and spring onions. The wings came with crispy herb potato wedges. The term finger-licking doesn’t even begin to describe how tasty the chicken wings were. I would have them every day if I could.
A bowlful of laksa noodles was my choice for the main course. This is a dish perfect for the current cold Nairobi weather. Its spicy nature is guaranteed to gradually warm you up. The noodles were served in a soup base of rich blended spices including fresh chili, ginger, lemongrass, garlic, a mixture of Asian herbs and spices and coconut milk. As much as this is a dish where chilli is a prominent ingredient, if you are not a fan of spicy food the chef can add more coconut milk to the dish to balance out the chilli to a mild level. My friend had the Arbor beef burger, the patty is freshly made and marinated overnight, grilled and served with onions, tomatoes, lettuce and their signature cheese dressing with a side of potato chips.
Dessert was a special selection by the chef. The crème caramel cake was soft and velvety with a sweet caramel sauce. I highly recommend this dessert to those with a sweet tooth. The cheesecake was rich, creamy and grated with orange which gave the dessert a sharp zest.
Should you visit this tranquil restaurant during the day, be sure to visit their mini market. They sell locally crafted jewels, clothes, furniture, herbs and spices as well as seedlings which you can plant in your home garden.
At night the Arbor transforms into a beautifully lit space. They bring out charcoal heaters in the evenings which are strategically placed at different locations to keep you warm as you dine. This restaurant is a perfect escape plan when looking for peace, quiet and savoury meals.