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THE DISH: The most hipster brunch I've ever been to

Thursday June 13 2019

Spicy chicken salad.

Spicy chicken salad served at The Goat Cafe, off Kiambu Road, in Nairobi. PHOTO | ABIGAIL ARUNGA 

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For those of you who are new here, I love brunch.

I love everything to do with breakfast, and when you add non-traditional breakfast foods to it, plus alcohol if that's your flavour, I love it even more (ironically, I rarely have mimosas outside of brunch, and rarely do alcohol where brunch is involved in the first place). For those of you who are not new here – I went to another brunch!

A comfortable and inviting seating area.

A comfortable and inviting seating area. PHOTO | ABIGAIL ARUNGA

Initially my brunching friends and I were supposed to check out the Shamba Cafe, which is located, as I understand, somewhere in the middle of Loresho. But fate turned our hand – we made a reservation, for sitting outside, but then it started to rain.

And so the cafe closed down the outside seating area, which meant the inside area was doubly full – which meant, according to the person answering the phone, that there was going to be no space for us to sit, reservation or no, until 2pm.


It was too cold for alcohol so I opted for a mocha. PHOTO | ABIGAIL ARUNGA


We were not at all willing to wait that long, and so we decided to go to the secondary option that was decided during our monthly brunch planning meeting. That sounds a lot fancier than it actually is – it's usually decided upon during a loose happy hour, and it sticks.

The second joint was a spot off Kiambu Road called The Goat Cafe – alternately known, on social media, as The Goat Social Club. Which I decided was a bit of an exaggeration when we got there, but we went nonetheless.

A pool of water and bougainvillea at the entrance of the outside seating area.

A pool of water and bougainvillea at the entrance of the outside seating area. PHOTO | ABIGAIL ARUNGA

The Google Maps pin will take you a little past the actual joint, so you should just stop on Mushroom Road when you see the sign and turn in as opposed to following the location. It's right next to Adele Dejak's place, so look out for either of those.

Art on a wall.

The wall behind our table. PHOTO | ABIGAIL ARUNGA

The word I would use to describe the décor would be a combination of three: rustic shabby chic. Think the Alchemist but smaller and with more kitschy things.

They're not too focused on whether or not the fixtures are modern or the seats are brand new – a contrast to most Nairobian restaurants, which I suppose is what they were going for. They're into the unfinished walls and stuffing puffing out seats type of layout, which I was not crazy about, but I really wanted to try the food, so in we went.

Interior seating of the Goat Cafe in Nairobi.

The first look at the interior of the Goat Cafe in Nairobi. PHOTO | ABIGAIL ARUNGA

They have a widely varied assortment of wall hangings, from classic paintings to the rudimentary, to random eccentric chandeliers hanging above the main service counter. The area extends into an outside seating area, but I was far too cold to give this any attention.

We sat down and were brought the menu. The menu is small, and additions or sides are not necessarily an option, so don't go expecting to be able to add bacon to anything, really.

Beef burger.

Such a tasty beef burger. They add a salsa in it that adds a fantastic spiciness to the patty. PHOTO | ABIGAIL ARUNGA

The brunch menu consisted of one choice of (goat, seafood or veg) taco, a crepe, and a hot drink, for Sh1,850. Though the taco was sizeable, and tasty, to me, it didn't feel very much like a brunch meal that was particularly special.

I had the burger, done medium rare, from the original menu, which was very tasty and took me all of seven minutes to finish. I also added a salad, because I thought the burger would be too small, but my eyes were much bigger than my stomach, and I ended up taking it away.

A telephone and gramaphone.

Old school kitsch was the look of the day. PHOTO | ABIGAIL ARUNGA

But also, I wasn't extra motivated about the salad for some reason – it was a spicy chicken salad with sweet potatoes in it as well, but I think it was the beets addition that turned me off. I'm not a big fan of beets.

A beautiful reminder.

A beautiful reminder. PHOTO | ABIGAIL ARUNGA

Would I go back to the Goat Cafe? Probably not, but I understand it's appeal in a back-of-the-woods hidden spot kind of way. The food was good, which is what this column is about, isn't it?