I am really looking forward to the day when we have more than one place to eat in the middle of the night in Nairobi.
In Kenya, really, but I guess I'm more inclined to wish that on the place I live.
You see, the thing is, the city just isn't safe enough, in my opinion, to have enough places that open late enough for fellow night owls.
If it isn't safe for people to be out, obviously, then nothing is trying to open late enough to cater to a market that isn't leaving their houses, outside of fries joints and the various Chickens and Pizza Inns, which eve during the day, I don't want to eat – no offense to pizza pie lovers.
Which is why I think it's great that there are some restaurants that do offer late night eats, like the Artcaffe at The Oval every Friday and Saturday. I wonder why people don't imitate this restaurant, considering the fact that it is almost always packed on these nights, and is in a prime location to do so?
Every time I've gone over, it's packed to the brim. You would think people want business, no? Anyway. I'm not a restaurant owner, just a wishful customer.
Nakumatt Ukay used to have that all night restaurant too, with some tasty berry fruit juices, but we all know how that went – wait for it – down.
That being said, I'm always excited to find a place loosely open in the evening and serving food late into the night. Granted, this place is a club, and that was why it was open and serving food at 1 am on a Thursday, but maybe more clubs doing this is what is going to bring us into the era of more late night living.
Kenyans like to drink. They go to bars to do it, on many days of the week. And people get hungry when they're doing it.
So it would only make sense to offer bitings – nay, full meals – so that the entire night's drinking experience can be concluded in one location, and the establishments can get all the money from the customers, instead of letting them leak out and have another stop before they get home.
To be fair, going to Sonford's for some greasy goodness is a climax of a club experience in itself, but to be honest as well, sometimes, that's just not a path that you're willing to go down with your Uber at 4 in the morning.
40Forty Lounge (which, I'm assuming, is an homage to Jay Z's club of the same name or is being ironic, like those barber shops in town that have Ludacris on the outside of a spot he's never been to) is in Westlands, across the road from where the former Skylux used to be (what is it now again?), at the top of a building called Crossroads Plaza.
The parking is minimal and slightly dingy, but all the times I've been there, my car has been safe – probably because people will see the Ranges and the Bentleys (yes. An actual Bentley.) before they see my car.
Because I'm Kenyan and paranoid, I notice the squeezedness of the place as we go to the elevator, looking for some whisky at 2 am in the morning, but when we get to the floor, the club widens into a less claustrophobic place.
I was confused at the pricing of their whisky menu, which seems like it was done by someone whose not particularly well versed in whisky? Nor am I, but surely a Glenfiddich 15 should cost more than a Caol Ila? You tell me.
The service was still prompt at that late hour, which I always appreciate (we all know those places that lose their heads past midnight and it becomes a free for all to find a waiter or a bill), and we were offered a food menu, which I was pleasantly surprised to peruse.
I ordered fries, and as a big fan of presentation, I was delighted when they came in a serving basket with condiments on the side.
Is it strange that I didn't expect that of a bar? Because...well...it's a bar. Typical bar fare is slapped together half-heartedly and everyone moves on.
Are my standards low or am I just used to my food standards being ignored? I may have to go back to try something else and confirm...
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.