Food & Drinks

Pork Basket, mixed bag of great chops and magical Nairobi


If you like pork, great pork, Pork Basket is the place for you. PHOTO | POOL

There was a Chinese eatery at the corner of Gitanga and Ole Odume roads then there was no Chinese eatery. It was called For You. That’s the magic of Nairobi, now you see it, now you don’t.

Someone built a small arcade called Kikao Place. It’s got the usual Nairobi fare — carwash, liquor store, butchery, bars, small kiosk-like eateries and The Pork Basket, which was a pork butchery that was so famous it built a restaurant for sitting guests.

First, parking is a fool’s errand. Pray someone doesn’t park behind you and runs off home to switch off the gas. The main square is busy and hectic, teeming with young-uns drinking from cars and from bars and men on grills doing what men on grills do.

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But once you wade through this, what shall I say, a miasma of debauchery and push the door you will get into a completely different world into Pork Basket.

First, there will be immense calmness. You will blink, disoriented by the completely new world you have just entered. Very high ceilings, minimalist decor featuring beams and big screen televisions and a fireplace with a small board written, Fireside Chat.

If it’s raining there might be girls seated having a tête-a-tête over tea.

If you like pork, great pork, this is the place for you to sit at. I don’t care for pork so I will sit at the bar at the end of the room.

It’s a very small bar, an afterthought bar, which is the best kind of bar because it means they aren’t trying too hard. Bars that try too hard end up failing too hard.

You can light up a cigarette here and order a single malt. [They will work on their house wine selection, won’t they?]. A television set hangs over the bar. There are only a handful of seats at the counter which means it’s an intimate space.

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You will introduce yourself to your neighbour if you are new but the good news is that if you aren’t crass if you can handle your liquor, hold a decent conversation and not talk with a toothpick in your mouth, you will be accepted.

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