Who didn’t love Slim’s Bar and Restaurant on Nairobi’s Ralph Bunche road? It was intimate; Shadrack serving from the sunken bar, a band on Tuesdays and killer buffalo wings. You could even smoke inside.
When you took a woman there for a date the universe conspired with you to have a triumphant evening. My very first date was there; she did not stand a chance.
But because bars were built to break your heart, one day Slims closed. For a long time after they succumbed, I’d drive outside Ralph Bunch road and feel like I was driving outside a cemetery of young men who had died in a senseless war. The restless soul of Slim’s moaned.
Then another business opened at the same place; Cheche Steakhouse. (And a bar). They brought down walls, opened it up, and bright paintings on walls. The place completely transformed.
I recently sat on the barside, perching on the high stool of nostalgia. My woman said, “It’s changed so much.” I adjusted my philosophical hat and said, “we all have. Change is good.” Because a man can’t just make a statement without it being overanalysed she asked a little aggressively, “what does that mean?!”
I’m happy to introduce you to a phrase young folk use a lot nowadays. They say, “it’s a vibe” when they love something. For instance, they could say, “you should try snorkelling naked, it's a vibe.”
If they ever ended up at Cheche (long shot) they would say Cheche is a vibe. The mood is grown; mostly people are in their late 30s, 40s and early 50s—or anybody who knows who Ralph Tresvant is. They play soul and New Jack Swing. DJ Nijo was on the decks that day, killing it.
The food is four-star strong. I ate the mega signature beef burger [300 grammes] served with roasted cassavas instead. [Also try the Moroccan Highland beef kofta]. We sang along to old jams.