I always look forward to the beginning of the year.
Not so that I can make new resolutions or grow older but all because of my anticipation for the annual Nairobi Restaurant Week.
Ten days of nothing but gourmet dishes in over 60 restaurants in Nairobi is a fantastic way to start the year. I not only plan to visit new restaurants but also to try out different cuisines and to visit some favourites.
This year in particular, the menu prices are lower than previous years and the offerings also include a cocktail on the dinner menu. Thanks to this annual event, I get to start the year on a food-filled note.
My first restaurant visit for NRW was Purdy Arms at 61 Marula Lane, Karen. It lives up to Karen’s leafy green reputation with its wide open lawns that are perfect for children to run around. I walked in at around 7.30 p.m with my three companions to a relatively full restaurant.
Families with kids and couples were spread out across the outside seating area. Karen gets quite chilly in the evenings and each table had three to four warmers to curb the cold. Soft music playing at the bar added on to the relaxing ambiance.
During the weekends, Purdy Arms has a hive of activity with children playing and shoppers in the market located in the lawn. If there happens to be a football match, fans visit to watch the game live on the big screens. In the evening, it transforms into a tranquil space perfect for date night or a quiet evening with your loved ones.
Their Nairobi Restaurant Week menu features a variety of options from salads to seafood and meat dishes as well as delicious vegetarian dishes in both the starter and the main course options.
I went for the calamari rings seared with black olives and a generous helping of tartar dip for the starter. The rings were cooked just right and the tartar dip gave it an extra punch. These ended up being the table’s favourite meal.
My companions for the evening enjoyed chicken tikka salad and the bacon and falafel fattoush (with tomato, red onion, cucumber, parsley and alight hummus dressing.) The salads were balanced, fresh and colourful.
We had the well hung medium rare 250 gm steak, 450 gm rare T-bone steak and pan fried mustard and rosemary pork chops with apple chutney, each with a side of fries for the main course.
The tender pork chops came in generous portions and the apple chutney gave the dish more flavour. However, a little more salt and more of the rosemary flavour would have resulted in a more delicious meal.
The rare T-bone steak, though a bit too tough for my liking, was cooked to perfection with delicious seasoning.
If you are looking for a family friendly restaurant with lots of space for the little ones to run around, this is the place to be. Between their giant colourful jumping castles, jungle gym, sand-pit and a small soccer pitch, your afternoon will melt away to the sound of gleeful giggles.
Nairobi Restaurant Week is running until Sunday at over 60 restaurants in Nairobi. You have two more days to enjoy culinary delights at affordable prices.
To see the list of participating restaurants, visit eatout.co.ke/nairobi-restaurant-week.