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THE DISH: Great food but a disappointing welcome

Saturday April 13 2019

Tasty chicken tacos served at Boho Eatery. PHOTO | ABIGAIL ARUNGA

Tasty chicken tacos served at Boho Eatery. PHOTO | ABIGAIL ARUNGA 

ABIGAIL ARUNGA
By ABIGAIL ARUNGA
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So my friend is an adherent of Lent, and for this particular Lent season, she decided to give up meat and social media, two of literally my favourite things (this is the part where we break into song).

And so in consideration of her, and because of a standing order brunch date, we decided to (finally) check out Boho Eatery, widely touted by veggie loving vegans as the place for their stomachs to be seen and heard.

A mountain of salad. PHOTO | ABIGAIL ARUNGA

A mountain of salad. PHOTO | ABIGAIL ARUNGA

I was apprehensive, of course – I love vegetables as much as the next guy, which is honestly not too much, and I do enjoy a good salad, but I need a little bit of sausage on my plate ... Healthy eating is that nice guy who we all know we should date, but steak once a week is too fulfilling a regimen to really settle down from.

Spicy bean tacos.

Spicy bean tacos that were indeed, spicy. PHOTO | ABIGAIL ARUNGA

That being said, we made it to Boho Eatery with an efficient Google Maps directory – under normal circumstances, I'm not a fan of Google Maps, but I wasn't the one driving, so I didn't care. I tend to feel more lost with Google Maps, and so I do the Kenyan thing of relying on landmarks (the big green building? Pass it. No va.).

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You're looking for Ngong House, which is where Boho Eatery is, and you pass a barrier that feels as if you are entering a residential area to get to it. The parking lot is a bit small and dusty, but that makes sense because it is quite a small establishment, and so the parking is enough for it.

Mushroom flowers. They sound weird, but taste so good...

Mushroom flowers. They sound weird, but taste so good... PHOTO | ABIGAIL ARUNGA

I was not feeling as apprehensive as I had been the whole morning about eating only green things but then when we got to the entrance of the place, I felt a wave of confusion and disgust. There's a statue at the front, of a black man wearing traditional colonial uniform – you know, the beige khaki shirt and shorts that are directly reminiscent of Africa and supposed African explorers pre-independence.

I was really wondering what the point of that statue was, and why it is still there – at the entrance of a vegan eatery, no less. What purpose does it serve? What is it supposed to be reminding us of? That statue put a terrible taste in my mouth, and the mouths of the others with me. Nonetheless, we proceeded inside.

The statue at the entrance of Boho Eatery that left a bad taste in my mouth. PHOTO | ABIGAIL ARUNGA

The statue at the entrance of Boho Eatery that left a bad taste in my mouth. PHOTO | ABIGAIL ARUNGA

NOT BAD...

The place was packed. It was a Sunday afternoon at 1pm, after all, and we couldn't even find seating – so the host arranged for chairs to the side, next to a small table, as we waited for something to open up. Which it did, luckily, quite soon. My party of four sat at the table and a waitress brought us menus.

I love how the menu sounded. I like to read about ingredients and such, it gets me hyped for the meal. I was starving, after a bit of a debauched night out, and so I decided to have a starter and a main course, and water, for the purposes of rehydration.

The very tasty plantains. PHOTO | ABIGAIL ARUNGA

The very tasty plantains. PHOTO | ABIGAIL ARUNGA

I had the smoked salmon on toast, which came on an avocado mousse and rye bread. One of my friends had mushroom flowers, served with a sweet chilli sauce (I thought it was more chilli than sweet), and another had tostones, which are plantain, that came with guacamole and a chili sauce (real chili, this time. I could barely put it in my mouth). That made us temporarily forget the rude welcome we received at the door.

For my main course, I had the spicy black bean tacos – which came with guacamole, pickle, sheeze and pepitas – and shared them with my friend who had the crispy chicken tacos, because we both couldn't decide what exactly we wanted to eat. This is why you should go to restaurants with your friends, so you can taste everything and be spoiled for choice.

Salmon on rye bread with avocado and toast thing. PHOTO | ABIGAIL ARUNGA

Salmon on rye bread with avocado and toast thing. PHOTO | ABIGAIL ARUNGA

The Lent keeper in question had a super healthy rainbow bowl, which consisted of tempeh, broccoli, sugar snaps, carrot, cabbage, sweetcorn, cucumber, fresh herbs, cashews, and coconut and peanut dressing (Whew). She had marinated tuna in there as well, and her insides must have felt like they were spanking brand new.

An honourable shout out goes to the hibiscus flavoured gin cocktail also on the menu, and service that I expected to be bad (going by the internets), but was not. All the food I tasted was delicious, and I loved the ambience – except for that large décor problem at the door, which I will ignore when I eventually go back...

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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.

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