THE DISH: Guilty pleasures and a spotless car to boot

Wednesday April 10 2019

My companion's fresh and tasty fish fingers with potato skin fries. PHOTO | ABIGAIL ARUNGA


There's nothing I like better than good service.

Okay, that isn't strictly true. I also like, winning the lottery, being given free things (this includes money), nice landlords, a quick cuddle...all of those things. But really high up there on the list, is how much I like good service.

You see, the thing is, I leave my house to spend money at an establishment that sells food, not because I can't make that food in my house (okay, I can only cook three things in a kitchen, but that's beside the point) … If I wanted to eat on my couch, I could order in and be done with it.


A woody welcome to Coffee Bistro. PHOTO | ABIGAIL ARUNGA

But by the time I wake up, shower, put on typical human clothing, to go interact with other humans – it takes a degree of effort and desire that I don't have on many given days. Which is why, when it does happen, I definitely want to be treated as if the effort I put in was worth it.


As soon as I saw the books, I was sold. You can read them, and you can buy them. PHOTO | ABIGAIL ARUNGA



When I walk into a place, I want to feel welcomed, like they want me there, and like they're contributing to my good time, because they're actively invested in it. Because truly, the level of service you receive at a restaurant indubitably influences your entire experience, in a large way, and it will also obviously influence whether or not you come back.


The outer seating area at Coffee Bistro. PHOTO | ABIGAIL ARUNGA

The guava tree drops fruit on cars that look like a bird having violent diarrhoea all over it. This happened to my car last week, and so I decided to take it to Geco Car Wash. I've heard good things about the place, and they have a little cafe I've been angling to try.


Hanging knitted decos supporting potted plants inside Coffee Bistro. PHOTO | ABIGAIL ARUNGA

As soon as we drove in, I was greeted by the proprietor who immediately put me at ease concerning my car, even the pseudo bird poop stains. I'm a bit particular about my car, and who touches it, and what they use to touch it, but I immediately relaxed after his third joke.

They give you a card to stamp every time you come to the car wash, by the way, and the 10th time is free. We got out of the car, handed over the keys and walked over to the little cafe, called Coffee Bistro.


Reasonably priced items on the menu. PHOTO | ABIGAIL ARUNGA

I wasn't expecting much, to be honest, just something cute with basic bitings to sit at as we whiled the time away – which is more than I get at my previous spot. But when we entered and were greeted by a smiling waitress who was always ready to be of assistance, and adorable bits of décor, I was quickly sold on what is now my new carwash joint.


The adorable inside seating area at Coffee Bistro. PHOTO | ABIGAIL ARUNGA


They have a quaint menu that is limited but tasty, and the alcohol section is almost longer than the food one, ha.

I wanted to have an iced tea, because I had eaten breakfast an hour and a half ago, unwisely, and so I was still a bit full. They have the option of the iced tea that comes in a bottle, or the one that is home-made – of course I picked the home-made one. My companion had the fish fingers and a soda.


Cool, refreshing homemade iced tea. PHOTO | ABIGAIL ARUNGA

It took me about three minutes to down half of my iced tea. What can I say, it was a hot day. The fish fingers took a bit of time to get to us, but when they did, they were worth the wait. Freshly made and freshly crumbed with a tangy tartar sauce to boot and potato skin fries, which are some of my favourite type of potato. The food is simple and comforting, nothing too complicated or extravagant, but still oh so good.


Coffee Bistro has all sorts of random bits and pieces, including music sheets and song lyrics, that take up a little nook in the back. PHOTO | ABIGAIL ARUNGA

What really blew me away, though, were the bookshelves that lined one side of the restaurant wall. They have books that you can read there, as well as books that you can buy.

I spent way more than I should have that day, considering it's basically mid-month, but the guilty pleasure and spotless car were worth it.


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.