THE DISH: Rediscovering Que Pasa

Wednesday March 18 2020

The giant tequila shots at Que Pasa which come in unironic Jagermeister shot glasses. PHOTO| ABIGAIL ARUNGA


I'm not a big fan of Que Pasa. I'm not a fan of their constant texts from wherever they got my number from – I always feel bombarded and opting out of anything rarely works, because I still get the texts.

I don't like their incredibly low service either – every time I have been there, something goes wrong.

One of the more recent times had underwhelming food, made more underwhelming by the fact that I had a chicken pizza with no chicken on it (of course I ordered pizza because of the wonderful kiln they have at the back of the establishment in the inner seating area, who can resist?).

There was another time I went their with a partner whose order they kept forgetting – three different waitresses, three different times. Then of course there was a media excursion during which you would think that they would be pulling out all the stops to impress the people who will be reviewing their joint, right? Wrong. All the food fell flat, unfortunately.

But, since I think everywhere needs to be given a fair chance and I was once again outvoted by a different group of friends (the other choice was Bao Box and I quite frankly had to put my foot down), I ended up at Que Pasa at the beginning of the year.


Que Pasa has a lot of things going for it – a hip location, limited but adequate parking, a cool little interior design shtick, and a tasty looking menu, so at least aesthetically, I felt, even though I was being dragged there, it wouldn't be too hard a sell for me.

When we went over, they were still serving their season's specials, which is the menu I ordered from.

I had a butternut soup which was very tasty, even though I felt they fried the croutons to within an inch of their lives, unnecessarily so.

And because I was won over by the soup, I decided to try everyone else's food on the table, just in case this was one of those eating out incident where I was going to be proven wrong. Fifth time lucky, I guess?

My friends' drinks were quite good.

One had an apple cooler, which was tasty enough without compromising sweetness for the taste of actual alcohol – what I'm saying is, it didn't just taste like juice.

Another friend' whisky sour wasn't the greatest I had ever tasted, but for that price point it worked for me, particularly in terms of alcohol quantity.

I find that so many eateries nowadays are skimping on or watering down their cocktails, to the point that it feels pointless going for Happy Hour or having a drink that doesn't come in a bottle – I'm looking at you, News Cafe. Que Pasa, at this point, does not suffer from that.

Aside from that, my health conscious friend – you know, the one who makes you feel bad for drinking, eating meat and never exercising – ordered a salad that I didn't think was going to be tasty, but it was.

It consisted of arugula, one of my favourite leaves to eat of all time, a goat cheese patty and a drizzle of blue cheese dressing.

Then there was the pasta carbonara, which didn't impress'a me much, and the 4 Fromaggio pizza, which had four types of cheeses – mozzarella, parmesan, Gouda and goat's cheese – which I very much enjoyed, and which you should only order if cheese is very much your thing.

I liked the brownie, even though I am not a big fan of brownies – too sweet for me, generally, and not nearly enough balance for a good dessert.

Desserts don't and shouldn't be killing you with diabetes in the process of giving in to your sweet tooth, amirite? And to round off the dinner, we had giant shots of tequila that came in little Jagermeister glasses that overwhelmed us with quantity once again.

My complaints are significantly less this time round, which I appreciate, because I actually enjoyed my meal(s). But why is it, I wonder, that there is no menu on their website?


Wondering where to get the 411 on what's happening in and around Nairobi's foodie scene? There's a lot of places you could go, but here's where we want you to be – getting the dish on the dish. Get it? We knew you would.