THE DISH: Beautiful eating location where food matches the décor

Wednesday August 07 2019

The view from the stairs upstairs looking down. PHOTO| ABIGAIL ARUNGA


In my opinion, there aren’t a lot of places to go in town that you can chill and hangout, have a drink, not have to watch your bag consistently, and get good service.

Then again, it’s been a bit of a while since the CBD has been a haunt of mine. That being said, when The Collective opened up in town, I couldn’t resist going to take a peek.

The Collective is a restaurant at View Park Towers, where Secrets used to be (look at me, showing my age). It’s now been made into a state of the art art gallery and eatery that delights all the senses, particularly your sight and your tongue.

It’s beautiful, and it’s clean. You walk in after the sign announcing its presence through the clear door, where a lovely security guard waits to welcome you, followed by the hostess.

You can either sit downstairs, in which case you will walk straight into the place, or go upstairs, up the stairs directly after the hostess station, and onwards.


The entrance to The Collective. PHOTO| ABIGAIL ARUNGA


There is a second set of stairs as well that lead to the same area, from the middle of the downstairs seating area, a bit like CJ’s in town but better planned and not as intrusive on someone wearing a skirt.

I generally sit upstairs, for varied reasons – I like the vibe of the upstairs area; I am usually there for their weekday performances, when there’s a songstress singing or DJ Frankie is playing.

I like the privacy it intimates when you’re far from the eyes of a crowd outside (which is anywhere in the restaurant, really, I am just being dramatic); and I like the private dining section that is upstairs as well. I enjoy The Collective generally, because it is a beautiful eating location, but I also love that the food matches the décor.

The day I was in town at this particular restaurant, I was distracted and hampered by the fact that I was hungry, and so I made the mistake of ordering far too much food.

Our waiter was kind with us and waited on our deliberations for almost 20 minutes as we decided on what to have. I wanted the spicy butternut soup and a medium done burger; my companion had the Norwegian salmon (which weighed in at a whopping 1950 a pop, probably one of the more expensive things on the menu).


Scrumptious butternut soup. PHOTO| ABIGAIL ARUNGA

The thing with The Collective is that you think the food is going to come in small baby fine dining portions. It doesn’t. Don’t make the same mistake I did. The food comes in hearty sizes, unapologetically so.

The spicy butternut soup was not even that spicy, but it was so good I wanted to lick my bowl – you know, the way we used to lick yoghurt cups when we were younger, including the cover? That is what I wanted to do with that soup.


My burger that I only ate half of...PHOTO| ABIGAIL ARUNGA

By the time the burger and fries came, I only had space for half of that burger, and a few fries.

I don’t know why I thought I was so hungry – I was, but the soup was a lot. I had the rest packed for a later date.

Did I like how the burger tasted, though? Yes, I did – I just had no space for it. The salmon was pricy, but, it was very good salmon at the same time.

We were both very happy with our meal choices and decisions, as well as cocktails and such like, and excellent service.

If you haven’t been to The Collective, go soon. It’s in a convenient location, and it’s a perfect demonstration of what happens when two kinds of art – food, and canvas – merge together into perfection.


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.