THE DISH: Late night eats

Wednesday March 18 2020

The Tru Berries juice at Cafe Vienna. PHOTO| ABIGAIL ARUNGA


Ah, mid week madness. About that time when you start thinking of everywhere you're going to go and all the stuff you're going to do when the weekend gets here, and how you're going to forget about your boss who's nagging you over deadlines that aren't even your fault because you handed in all the stuff you needed to last week but it's just one guy who is taking long...anyway.

If you're anything like me, you have already planned what new restaurant you're going to visit (I'm personally eyeing the new Pan Asian Yao brunch, and Afghan House's new branch, which I, surprisingly, have never been to. Let me know in the comments if you have) and thinking of which bank you need to beg or borrow or steal from (probably KCB) to fund your habit.

But also, if you're anything like me, you know that the best laid plans often come to naught, because as soon as you and your bed reconnect on Saturday morning, getting you out of there is going to be like trying to get MPs to not increase their salaries – well near impossible and quite frankly only existing in an ideal Rwanda or Canada-like country.

This is the point you start looking for the nearest thing to make anything from in your empty freezer, and then go to the next plan – looking for take-out, and more specifically, take-out that delivers.

Kenya isn't really at the point where it is accepting a 24-hour economy, unfortunately, and this goes for food, as opposed to bars. Sure, there's always Sonford and its subsequent branches (Imbiss, Nevada, Tennessee, and so on, and so forth) which stay open pretty late, but greasy food is a fortune of the frolickers, and more often than not, kuku porno doesn't always look as good in the daytime or not post-rave. Plus, obviously, they don't deliver.

What's the next option? Pizza, particularly Pizza Inn and its affiliates. I don't call Pizza Inn pizza pizza, because I'm mildly biased about what a pizza should be, and bread with layers of hoho ( capsicum) is not it.


It has always confused me that their pizza pies are so much better, and more filling, than their title product. They have branches on Ngong Road and on Langata Road that open quite late, though the delivery doesn't last as long as their opening times.

Same for Dominos, who generally close delivery at about 9:30. Dominos can be a bit of a hit or miss. I've had amazing Dominos pizza, and I've had the type of pizza that made everyone question why they let me pick the place we're eating. I haven't tried Debonairs since they changed the recipe for their thin crust years ago and fell completely off my radar.

If you are willing to leave your house – and more power to you – and you live around Langata Road, there's a nice joint at Magharibi Place called Maritas, which every bhajia lover sings about, especially because of their quantities. I've seen few grown men who can finish a full packet of the stuff, and even then they're sweating with regret towards the end.

They deliver, as does a place in Nairobi West called Dial A Koroga. You can get a quarter chicken, two chapos and a soda to your doorstep. Around Nairobi West and its environs, actually, there are a number of eateries if you're avoiding T Mall, as you should (now that Psys is closed, there's really no point looking for food in there unless you're going home to make it) – such as The Shack, which I discovered the other day when the McFrys in the same building was closed.

They do burgers, wings, fries, milkshakes and coleslaw – that type of fast food that is made better by two things – one, that they leave the skins of the potatoes on, which I love, and two, that they make everything fresh, meaning that you will have to wait for your food, but at least you will know it wasn't as mass processed as hoho bread pizza.

And, if you're already out of bed and figure to hell with it, there are two vestiges left of late night eating in Nairobi after Nakumatt closed down their branches and we could still go to Sherlock's/Avanti's – Cafe Vienna, at Nakumatt Ukay, which is open 24/7 all day every day and has delectable thick fresh berry juice, and Art Caffe at The Oval, which is open all day and night on Fridays and Saturdays.

Alternately, just go to hungry and rue your good intentions and lack of planning, like I do much too often...


Wondering where to get the 411 on what's happening in 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.