THE DISH: The perfect Italian spot- PHOTOS

Friday March 15 2019

The chicken and mushroom pizza at Caffè Concerto. Delectable. PHOTO| ABIGAIL ARUNGA


I've done it guys. I know you didn't think I could, that I was being too picky, but I wasn't. It has all come to pass at last.

I've done all the hard work for you and found the perfect Italian spot that has actual Italian food that remains uncompromised by microwaves and/or flavourless cuisine. You're going to love it.

It's this little joint in Kilimani called Caffe Concerto. If you enter just that in Google Maps, it should come right up.

The parking is very minimal, unfortunately, but the bounty of their harvest is not, and for that I am thankful.


The outer seating at Caffe Concerto. PHOTO| ABIGAIL ARUNGA

You'd miss it, if you didn't know what you were looking for, or mistake it for another shop in a string of a line of shops.


Luckily for you, you know what you're looking for.

The space in itself is very light, very airy, and on the hot days that Nairobi has been having plenty of, the sun's rays filter perfectly into the outer seating area, and you can almost pretend you're in a cafe in Milan, sans being in the actual cafe. The service is quick as well.

A waiter came to my side immediately, and he had the menu down as well.

Because it was one of those hot day I've spoken about, I decided it was a good idea to have a mojito on top of my food order.


The mojito was well balanced, which I know I keep saying, but is so important where cocktails are concerned.

Too wishy washy and they just taste like juice with no effect. You know the type – if I wanted Quencher, I would have had asked for badly diluted juice.


It was the perfect day for a mojito. PHOTO| ABIGAIL ARUNGA

If I wanted the type of alcohol that burns my throat going down, I would have asked for chang'aa.

It's a delicate balance, that cocktail life, between making sure alcohol is drinkable, but doesn't necessarily taste as bad as alcohol does.

Caffe Concerto gets this balance right. In fact, there isn't a lot they don't get right over there.

The pizza I had was the perfect size (i.e. big enough to share but enough for one hungry person. I was hungry and I still didn't finish it).

The crust was a skinny crisp one, straight from an oven and made with love – well, love for good pizza, at least. The carbonara, though, may have been the piece de resistance – or thepezzo di resistenza, if you're being pedantic about it.


The carbonara served at Caffè Concerto. Delectable. PHOTO| ABIGAIL ARUNGA

The creaminess of the white sauce complimented the pasta and the bacon so well – although I mean, bacon really needs no compliment, and can happily stand alone, as we all know.

Since I didn't finish the pizza, of course I had no space for a dessert, but I really must go back and try their desserts.

I hope I won't be disappointed – and not just because I've been looking for the best Italian place for so long, but because it can also be a bit disheartening when you have such an excellent food experience throughout the whole meal, and then they drop the ball at the end.

I do wish they could do something about the parking, though.

During the day, more than two cars will find it difficult to park outside, and as it is a thin road in the middle of Kilimani, the chances that City Council could pop up and clamp your car for you while you're enjoying bruschetta inside is still a fear.


The bruscheta served at Caffè Concerto. It isn't a place setting if it doesn't have olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Do you even Italy? PHOTO| ABIGAIL ARUNGA

And when you taste their bruschetta, you'll understand why you wouldn't want to be parted from it. Bruschetta is actually a genius meal, if you think about it – simply slices of toasted bread topped with cubed tomatoes.

I like it best when you add both the balsamic vinegar and the olive oil to give it a bit of a Mediterranean tang. It's like a teaser, really, for the pizza coming, isn't it? Don't worry, the calories are 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.