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THE DISH: A hearty breakfast at Pallet Café

Friday April 12 2019

The Eggs Benedict and the Norwegian Breakfast served with a basket of bread. PHOTO | KAREN MURIUKI

The Eggs Benedict and the Norwegian Breakfast served with a basket of bread. PHOTO | KAREN MURIUKI 

KAREN MBUYA MURIUKI
By KAREN MBUYA MURIUKI
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I’m big on breakfasts and brunch, probably because that’s how it’s always been with our family. Mum used to do the most when it came to making both, especially on Sundays.

She would go out of her way to make samosas, sausages, burgers, soup, beef stir-fry, hot dogs, caramelised onions and all that charade. Of course, there had to be the usual tea, bread and juice. It was all up to us to pick our poison. So, breakfasts and brunch are etched in my heart.

GREAT AMBIENCE AND SERVICE

My friend and I recently came up with this list of cafes on our bucket list, Pallet Café being the first. Mostly because of its rustic aesthetic.

It’s located along James Gichuru Road, right opposite Lavington Mall. Having been opened for the past one and a half months, it’s slowly gaining popularity and becoming a fixture for food and coffee lovers.

Great ambience at Pallet Café. PHOTO | KAREN MURIUKI

Great ambience at Pallet Café. PHOTO | KAREN MURIUKI

Pallet Café is an outdoor café, set in a garden of one of the huge bungalows in the suburb; some of the other bungalows have been turned into offices or workplaces. My dentist’s office is actually around the same location.

There are a number of trees in the garden which provided shade and the much needed breeze, considering the heat we have been experiencing since last year.

The café was so peaceful and relaxing; I bet it’s why many customers were there working away on their laptops while others were just enjoying some time alone.

Part of the café also sits under a translucent roof, on which a number of modern bulbs and wind chimes hang, making it a soothing environment perfect for a catch-up.

The kitchen is on a make-shift container right next to the sitting area. The container is divided into a number of rooms – a music school and an art workshop. Yoga and art lessons are offered in the bungalow itself.

As soon as we got to the café, we were welcomed through sign language and shown to a table by one of the very friendly wait staff. Most of those who work here are deaf.

The iced latte and iced tea at Pallet Café. PHOTO | KAREN MURIUKI

The iced latte and iced tea at Pallet Café. PHOTO | KAREN MURIUKI

We were then offered the menu as soon as we had our seats. The front page has basic sign language on it which customers can use to order items, mostly drinks.

As it usually happens, I asked for an iced latte, while my friend went for iced tea. I was amazed at the swift service – our orders came in less than five minutes.

SATISFIED

When a customer finally decides on what they would like, they can signal to a waiter to take their order, which we did. The customer can point on what they would like on the menu using codes assigned to each meal or drink. Alternatively, they can write their order down on a pad of paper, which the waiter constantly carries together with a pen.

My indecisive self settled on the Eggs Benedict, which I have truly wanted to try for the longest time, thanks to James Oliver. It’s a traditional American dish that consists of two halves of an English muffin topped with a poached egg, bacon or ham, and hollandaise sauce.

My friend opted for the Norwegian Breakfast, which consisted of an English muffin, scrambled eggs and bacon.

The food took about 10 minutes to be prepared, which is pretty fair in my opinion.

Pallet Café is set in a garden. PHOTO | KAREN MURIUKI

Pallet Café is set in a garden. PHOTO | KAREN MURIUKI

The Eggs Benedict was as perfect as I had imagined it. The portions were really big and the meal was cooked well. They were out of ham, so the only option was bacon, which I didn’t mind.

Each of our meals came with a side of avocado salsa, hummus and caramel. I cannot stand foods that are too sweet so the caramel had to go.

They also served a basket of bread on the side, together with butter and fruit jam.

The service was excellent. The waiter serving us kept checking on us to find out if everything was well.

The food here is quite affordable, and nothing on their menu exceeds Sh1,500.

I’d definitely visit again, especially following the great reviews about their burgers.

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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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