Food & Drinks

A daddy- daughter date, burger and whisky

CULTIVAFARMl

Cultiva Kenya. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Cultiva is a culinary magic trick.
  • Apart from the open bohemian greenhouse concept, it has a wine bar, a pizza shop, a dessert bar, and a concept called the Aya Lab, a fine dining food laboratory.
  • Food sustainability and crop conservation are the drivers behind their farm-sourced philosophy.

My daughter just turned 14; very mysterious, quiet and more and more exhibiting a faraway, secretive look. In short, I’m losing her. So I took her for dinner at Cultiva Kenya in Nairobi’s Karen to, you know, connect.

Cultiva is a culinary magic trick. Apart from the open bohemian greenhouse concept, it has a wine bar, a pizza shop, a dessert bar, and a concept called the Aya Lab, a fine dining food laboratory.

Food sustainability and crop conservation are the drivers behind their farm-sourced philosophy. If you happen to get one of those high tables you will see the culinary jamboree transpiring in the open kitchen.

The staff are hip and they look like they listen to Dababy— well except the sommelier [nice charismatic fellow, regardless] who looked like he listens to Luambo Makiadi. He leaned on his big smile and asked if we would be ordering one of their wines?

“I don’t drink wine,” I said. “But she will have a glass of your favourite Sauvignon Blanc.” I winked at her. She grinned accommodatingly, quite tired of my corny jokes. I ordered a finger of whisky for me and some juice for her, then we both ordered burger that I had raved about. She is also a burger person. That’s all the DNA I need.

A number of restaurants claim to do the farm-fork concept but Cultiva seems to be at the top. It’s the brainchild of two chaps; Ariel Moscardi, from Ecuador and Peter Silvester, a second-generation Kenyan in the safari business. They met on a yacht while catering for Silvester’s client in Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands.

The rest is not important, what is important is that I’m telling my daughter about individuality, about not shying from being different because it’s the different duck that makes waves.

She loved the burger. She gave it a three-star, which hurt my feelings a little because I thought it was a four-star. You know the best burger I ever ate? I asked her. The Cannibale Royale in Amsterdam. But that is a story for another day.