THE DISH: A gem at Argenti

Thursday May 16 2019

I wonder who first discovered that frying the squiggly things that swim in large water bodies is a great idea? Calamari, anyone?  PHOTO| ABIGAIL ARUNGA

I wonder who first discovered that frying the squiggly things that swim in large water bodies is a great idea? Calamari, anyone?  PHOTO| ABIGAIL ARUNGA 

ABIGAIL ARUNGA
By ABIGAIL ARUNGA
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Sometimes you're stuck in the rain and you don't feel like sitting through it.

The place nearest to you is closed. You don't want to go to a petrol station. What do you do in the Riverside area? You have a couple of options.

It's rainy season and we thank God for an excuse to constantly be imbibing hot chocolate instead of beer. Or, and beer, depending on how Kenyan you are.

I've been thinking a bit about Dusit – the hotel that the terrorist attack happened in – and what this has meant for the fabric of our society, once more, to be ripped apart.

I've also been thinking about how Kenyans have gone back to what we were before the attack – you know. Forgetful and impatient.

So many people who work in that complex have had to go back to work. Even Westgate doesn't feel like it has fully recovered. And Kenyans have forgotten enough to carry on as usual, but to never go back.

And so I decided to see if I could go to Dusit, one rainy day, because I was in the area, and because, why not? Sure, a terrorist attack happened there.

But are they supposed to close down completely? What happens to the people who had jobs there, the guards, the office staff? Are they supposed to shut down too?

What if they have no choice but to work there? It almost feels as if w punish the survivors for surviving, by not supporting their lives after the fact, you know? Because what do we expect them to do, really?

My intentions went bust, however. Unbeknownst to me, Dusit was still closed. I heard that they are advertising for positions, however, and when they open, I will go to the hotel. I will sit in the rain and have the hot chocolate I was craving that day.

We cannot only be one as a country right when the attack happens, and not after.

Because Dusit was closed, I ended up at Argenti, which I do enjoy, for a couple of reasons.

Argenti is the restaurant at Gem Suites, which ha three complexes – one in Muthaiga, one on State House Crescent and one in Riverside on Riverside Lane, which is where I was.

I love the rooms at Gem Suites – they are the definition of plush, particularly the soft, sinkable carpets, and the décor.

The penthouse suite is, quite simply, decadence in itself, spanning across staircases and lounges within the penthouse itself and decorated by a class act, clearly.

The restaurant, for me, is unassuming without lacking spirit, and private, if you're looking for a space away from the inherent loudness that is Nairobi.

I love the tasteful couches and the simple, straightforward menu that isn't so big that it is overwhelming, but so small that it is boring.

I wish it felt a little more homey, though, which is a touch they get exactly right in the rooms. The tile almost feels acerbic, to a certain extent.

I wanted to go check out the cigar lounge, but unfortunately, entry into the cigar lounge, if you're not a guest at the residencies, is 100 dollar fee.

I was looking for hot chocolate, not a cigar, and definitely not a cigar with that price tag, so into Argenti I went.

As soon as I looked at the menu, I decided against my hot chocolate and, because I wasn't driving, went for a classic Cuba Libre – rum, coke and a slice of lime. Eventually I switched to the Bacardi version of that drink.

The delicious Cuba Libre. Viva Havana! PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP

The delicious Cuba Libre. Viva Havana! PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP

I wasn't overly impressed by the cocktails, but the balancing was good, even though they had no effect, ha. My companion had very tasty calamari, crisp and not at all chewy, with a chilli sauce that we both promised we would be going back for.

I had a risotto for my main course, which was delectable – the plate looks small, but actually, the portions were so big that neither of us could take advantage of the free dessert on offer.

I'm a big fan of risotto, and I'm a big fan of this risotto in particular. And. Add chicken. Trust me. PHOTO| ABIGAIL ARUNGA

I'm a big fan of risotto, and I'm a big fan of this risotto in particular. And. Add chicken. Trust me. PHOTO| ABIGAIL ARUNGA

I've confirmed that I'm still happily a fan of Argenti and yes, I will be going back for dessert...

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