THE DISH: The glitziest New Year's party in town

Wednesday March 18 2020

Mombasa crab marinated with lime, ginger, green onion and cilantro, one of the delicacies at Radisson Blu. PHOTO | ABIGAIL ARUNGA


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.
If you are anything like a typical Nairobian, you have no plans to do anything or go anywhere for Christmas Day. That is, if you haven’t been planning to go somewhere from the beginning of the year. If you're those planners, this isn’t for you.

This is for the people who are just as disorganised as me. The people who thought they didn’t want to do anything, but are now getting caught up in the drama and excitement of the holiday season.

Those people who thought they would be fine sitting at home, but are now looking longingly at pictures of people on Instagram.

I can tell you how to make people look at your pictures longingly on Christmas or New Year’s Eve, too. Not that the point is social media – but green is a great colour on someone else, when it isn’t on you.

And I guarantee this method works! I would know, I tried it out last week, when I went to Radisson Blu in Upper Hill to sample a few of the delicacies they’re going to have on offer on New Year’s Eve.

So let me start with the price tag, which you’ll need to pay ASAP, seeing as the places are filling up fast (it’s Radisson. Of course spaces are filling up fast. Call 0791427917, like, yesterday).

The cost is Sh12,000 a head. Now, let me break it down for you – going out on NYE is hectic at best, chaotic at its worst and everything in between.

It’s going to cost you at least Sh2,000 to cab anywhere, if you only go to one place, that is; everywhere is going to charge you entry of about Sh4,000 to squeeze with people who also paid cab fare to rush to a joint to come and squeeze; and you most definitely will be shelling out a few bucks for drinks all through the night – at about what, 3 to 4,000, 6 if you get to the champagne round when the year turns?

I mean…is it worth it?


Here’s my pitch – isn’t it infinitely easier to just pay, one time, for drinks, dancing, food and fireworks that you’ll be able to actually see and catch, resplendent against a night sky that isn’t populated by arms in your face and the sweat you sprung as you rushed to get in before the display?

Radisson is offering all this and more. Here’s what you get for 12k. Bottomless drinks all night: beers, cocktails, teas, waters, and juices – and obviously, the champagne to pop open at the cusp of 2020, because it isn’t a new year with no bubbly.

Samplings that run all night from all of Radisson’s restaurants, which include but are not limited to: 40-day dry-aged meats, live shucked rock oysters, tapas, Carpaccio, sushi, cheese and wine platters served with Italian Cold Cuts, authentic Swahili and Creole cuisine, nyama choma (a must), salad bars, traditional bone soup…I could go on and on but I have a word count that will only allow me to add, a decadent selection of gourmet chocolates.

The summary is, you’ll get to taste everything that Radisson has under its roof to offer, plus the stylings of the Simo Band to count it all down with.

The theme for the night is an enchanted garden – you know, from a Midsummer Night’s Dream – and so I am imagining hanging trellises and fairy lights – and fairies! – everywhere.

What do I recommend you beeline for? Anything that says ‘aged steak’ on it will be more than a treat, because nothing says 'new year, same great taste' like a juicy hunk of – um, cut of meat.

See you there?