Planet Yogurt rocks!!

If you fancy something sweet, cool and refreshing on a hot day without the extra calories then make sure you head to Planet Yogurt for frozen yogurt.

I had heard rave reviews of from friends about ‘Planet Yo’ as we like to call it and so this weekend I made sure I checked out what the fuss was all about.

Before we even knew where to locate it we saw people of all ages, sizes and ethnicities with cups of frozen yogurt in their hands looking blissful. So we followed the throng of customers and ended up at the well lit, buzzing ‘Planet Yogurt’.

I loved that it was self service as it saves you the hassle of dealing with irate servers and you can decide what you want and how much for yourself.

You are spoilt for choice with flavours ranging from coconut, chocolate, passion fruit, avocado, orange, melon to grapefruit and strawberry. Customers squish out the yogurt themselves by dispensing off levers attached to machines thats look like icecream dispensers attached to walls.

It takes a while getting used to and at first we looked like dummies yanking and pulling until we watched the regulars perform the task like pros.

Once you have dispensed the yogurt into your cup- which you can chose from small, medium to large- you are spoilt with a variety of fruits to place on top like strawberries, raspberries, sweet melon, mango etc. Then come the naughty addidtions like chocolate, brownie bites, sprinkles, gummy bears etc.

Once you have customised your yogurt cup, there’s a cashier who weighs your cup and charges you accordingly.

Truly a memorable experience with delicious frozen yogurt and without the extra calories.

 

Nuri’s pies at Chandarana!!!

YAY!!!

You know how Harold and Kumar spent a whole night trying to get to White Castle coz they were craving it so bad?? Well i’d do the same for Nuri’s pies.

Ever since I was a young un, I remember her bringing her pies to Khane (mosque) and my siblings and I would make sure we’d score ourselves a couple as they were to die for.

Crispy, scrumptious and a piece of heaven is how i’d describe them…slurp. Now I have no idea what she calls herself or her awesome baked goodies but I do know you can get them at The Chandarana in Highridge.

She just opened there and they are as delicious as I remember, sigh!

She now stocks pizzas, croissants and other goodies and man the chicken tikka pie and mocha cake is divine!

Nuri also makes the most delicious cakes!! she made my bestfriend Aliya’s wedding cake back in 2008 and I promise you there was not a crumb left!

We didn’t even have a tier left to freeze that’s how delicious her baked yums are!!

Do your tummy a favour and check out her decadent delights at The Chandarana in Diamond Plaza Westlands!!

Mercury Bar and Lounge makes a comeback!!

If you are looking for a place that’s hip, happening, swanky, with great bar food and eclectic music, then head to Mercury Bar and Lounge.

The Décor is urban chic with ultraviolet lighting, gorgeous fabric covered walls, comfortable elegant booths and LCDs on the walls, used by the waiters to place orders and keep track of bills. Through the years this is one bar that has suffered at the hands of new bars popping in and out of the city but it always makes an unintentional comeback.

It’s ideal for watching that Soccer game on Saturdays and Sundays and the Tapas menu is delicious. My favorite is their Cheese fingers that are cheesy chips oozing decadence. Other honorable mentions are the Chicken fingers and the mini bacon and chicken pizzas.

Mercury is also popular for their cocktails which they have thankfully mastered after previous disastrous instances. Check out their Mojito specials on Saturdays where you buy 2 and get 1 free- I loved their Strawberry mojito. Jagger bombs, Daiquiris, Cosmopolitans, Long Island Ice Teas are also all available and while the price is a wee bit steep the alcohol content in the drinks makes up for them.

Service has greatly improved, with smiling, efficient servers courteously dolling out what you request for. And the music (which I learnt constantly changes) ranges from trance and house to RnB and Hip Hop. My favorite nights there are when Dj Kuzi and DJ Amar spin their tracks.

In the end for a great afternoon or evening out, check out Mercury Bar and Lounge as once again it has made an unintentional comeback and with its excellent Tapas Menu, swanky décor, good service and great music it’s a welcome change from the tired bars we head to every weekend.

 

 

Doctor’s plaza sandwiches delicious as is cuisine from Taza Cafe!

So this week I have spent more hours in the hospital and as much as I have loved thewonderful doctors and nurses who have taken care of a loved one, man I hope to not see the inside of a hospital corner for a while.

But apart from the gorgeous garden  at the Aga Khan Hospital(so peaceful), I discovered great food!

You have to try the delicious chicken sandwiches at the restaurant in The Doctors plaza.

Thick, large, full of flavour and tons of salad (i.e. nutrients lol) they are so delicious and for 260/- your tummy will thank you for that treat.

Also check out Taza cafe in Medi Plaza. It’s nice to hang out there for a breather from the hospital and food is yum and affordable. For instance you can buy a chicken dfor 220/-, chicken wings for 250/-, a full chicken poussin with chips for 650/- and pies,cake, biriyani etc at even better prices!

August Moon-delicious Indian and Chinese cuisine

Friday night and my friend and I faced a dilemma. We were starving (nothing unusual for the pigs that we are) but he was craving Chinese while I was thinking of Indian. What to do? We decided to head for August Moon as it serves both.

Located on Mwanzi road, opposite Nakumatt Ukay, it was close to us as we were already in Westlands.

From the moment we walked in, courteous and gracious staff greeted us and seated us briskly at our cosy table, handing us menus and efficiently filling our glasses with water.

Torn between Indian and Chinese I opted to taste the Chinese cuisine as a table next to us had appetizing looking spring rolls which I greedily coveted and ordered hungrily.

What a delight they were! Crispy on the outside, and completely filled with chicken. I have been to many a restaurant that touts meat spring-rolls only to be filled with tons of tasteless, soggy vegetables. There is nothing like biting into one anticipating chunks of meat and all you get is copious amounts of ‘grass’ instead. Thank God August Moon delivers on every tasteful promise they make. I have to say these were the best spring-rolls I have had in a long time.

Regular Chinese dishes they offer include your soups, Chowmein, seafood, meat and chicken cooked in various styles. Plus their vegetarian selection on both Indian and Chinese menus are bound to trigger salivation mode. On the extravagant side you can opt for the Peking duck which I eyed but my wallet denied.

We opted for a stir-fried lamb with spring onions that was scrumptiously prepared with just the precise amount of spices, thoroughly flavoured, the spring onions were crunchy and the exact amount so that they didn’t overpower the dish. The lamb was also tender and literally melted into our mouths.

We also went for a chicken chowmein on the side that was not overcooked and made you feel like you were eating soggy pulp. It was just the right kind of chewy you want for your noodles but not for your red meat.

To quench our thirst we de decided to go the Indian route and ordered the lassi which was refreshing and creamy with just the correct amount of spices blended together tantalizingly. If you aren’t a fan of this drink as it is made of curd, then try their juices, not bad either.

Portions are generous and between the two of us we were completely satisfied with a lot left over for lunch the next day.

Special touches include the menu where on the front page you get a detailed description of why the restaurant is named August Moon (head there for yourself to find out why)

Although small and weirdly structured,( I’m assuming it was a house re-designed into a restaurant) the décor is tasteful mixing Asian and Indian style. Yes the lighting does need help and it did turn me off a wee bit  but the food is the most important and that delighted me beyond belief.

Prices are very reasonable especially for the generous amount you are served and we ended up parting with 1,945/- for a starter, 2 main courses and drinks.

A humorous bit was receiving the bill where it said “Thank you for your custom, please come again”. I don’t know if it was spelling mistake or part of their style in keeping with the culture, but it was hilarious and was a great way to end the meal.

It’s definitely a restaurant I won’t visit once in an ‘August Moon’ as it’s is darn right delicious and I can’t wait till payday where I’ll definitely be spending my hard earned shilling for food that truly comforts the heart and pampered my Buddha belly.

For reservations call: 0725 555 888 or emal: augustmoon@wananchi.com

Divine sushi to float your boat at the Phoenician restaurant

Location: Westlands

 

Birthdays are to be celebrated, and when the birthday boy loves Lebanese and Japanese food then the only option is to go to a restaurant that serves both. So off we went to Phoenician.

Walking up a flight of stairs-that tend to be steep for women in stilettos-you can’t help but anticipate what you will be having for dinner.

As soon as you reach the top of the stairs you are welcomed by the sushi bar that is elegantly designed with a sushi master who really looks like he knows what he is doing. The general dining area itself is somewhat outdoorsy but with a rain-proof roof  letting guests enjoy the fresh air and mosquitoes Nairobi offers so generously.

Now I have been to Phoenician many times and while I love the sushi, I usually dislike going there as the service leaves much to be desired. Waiters are often forgetful, cold, quite grumpy and have a rather negative attitude towards customers. Plus the owner tends to be rather frightening as well sitting at his corner table like a King on a throne barely greeting customers.

But the food always reels me back in.   Surprisingly this time, the staff were rather light-footed and more courteous than usual and when I actually got a smile/grimace from the owner I realized things were definitely looking up.

We began by ordering hummus for the benefit of our vegetarian friends who were there only for the starters. While the hummus itself left much to be desired, the garlic sauce that accompanied it was creamy, thick and unbelievably delicious. It was so good I had to suppress my robbery streak of slipping into my bag! The Pita bread that came with it was light and just the right texture.

Then came my starter that I had been craving for days. Tuna and avocado salad in wasabi. Delicious!

Since there were four sushi lovers we opted to go for the sushi boat that cost 6500/=Yes I let out a silent scream at the cost but it was a birthday and who knew when I would have sushi next. I was ready to sacrifice my new shoes for the sushi. Onward bound we went ready to indulge and get broke!

But before that we sampled the Agadashi Tofu. Grimace all you like but I adore this soupy, saucy style tofu at the restaurant. The tofu was fried in the perfect way, being crispy on the outside and soft on the inside but the flavouring of the soup was overdone with too much salt (methinks the chef got carried away with the soysauce).

But my spirits lifted as I watched the sushi boat sail onto our table. What a feast! The Salmon and tuna sashimi were to die for as were all the nigiri and maki! It honestly was like dying and going to sushi heaven. Even my dearest who usually wrinkles his nose when I so much as suggest sushi sampled a few and did me proud.

All of it was fresh and exquisitely prepared with generous samples of all the sashimi, sushi and wasabi. This is one boat I would recommend as the sushi is sinfully sublime.

For non sushi lovers there are plenty of Lebanese styled dishes as well as pizzas (yes my non adventurous friend Robert ordered one and he loved it), so don’t let the sushi bar deter you.

Despite our stomachs being filled to capacity we had to order the date pancakes and icecream as we had heard rave reviews about them. TNot bad I have to say.

I recommend the Phonecian to anyone who is an avid sushi fan.

However service needs to be greatly improved, the owner needs to be a tad bit more cheerful (considering how much money he is making off us) and the prices are unbelievably exorbitant!! We forked out 3000/=Kshs. for our meal and very few alcoholic drinks but for a less extravagant dinner you can easily shell out between 1500/= to 2000/= Kshs.

Pub in the Star in 2010 Jan.

Mediterraneo a true taste of Italy

 

I truly believe Italian Cuisine is the best comfort food for a sore, tired and sad heart.  And while the Cheese, cream and wine that goes into these dishes could speed up your chances of getting a heart attack -if eaten in moderation, Italian cuisine can be the best thing to make your tummy happy.

 

Mediterraneo Restaurant offers that joy for your stomach and while The Junction branch is charmingly furnished and cuisine is delicious, The Westlands branch is still my favourite. It might have to do with the authentic Italiano setting with wine bottles, Italian windows, pictures of the Italian countryside, the murals and paintings on the wall, the gorgeous dim lighting and tiny Italian touches here and there that truly make me feel like I am in Tuscany or Sicily.

Service varies. Many times I have been treated with warmth, efficiency and decorum (thank you George) but there have been occasions where waiters have been absent minded and annoyingly slow. This is the same for The Junction branch and I couldn’t understand why the hostess there was so patronising and condescending whilst seating us.

But what has always won me over is the food from their famous Chicken Kiev, to the penne in pink sauce, to their carpaccio to their risotto’s, tiramisu, pizzas and pastas. My favourite has always been the Filletto di manzo in salsa Bruna al pepe nero– the grilled beef fillet in creamy pepper sauce. But for some reason whenever I ask for medium rare I get my beef rarer than rare and that is a true disappointment as that never used to happen. The chef seemed peeved when I sent it back to be charred a little and despite the pepper sauce being delicious I had a sour taste in my mouth after that.

Despite my poor experience that time I have to say their pasta’s are sinfully delicious. Their home made Tagliatelle with pesto sauce, ravioli filled with ricotta cheese and spinach, farfalle pasta with prawns and baby marrow, fusilli pasta with chicken and asparagus pasta and their home baked lasagne with meat sauce have been favourites. Try their cream of tomato with fresh basil and garlic croutons soup as well- I always have it when I am ill and it makes a delicious starter.

Pizza’s are exceptional as well, try their Margherita, Gamberi (with prawns), Romana and Diavola (for chilli lovers) as they are always delicious.

For meat lovers I have to say my latest favourite is the roasted leg of lamb (but I had that at the Junction branch and it was beyond delicious with aromatic gravy and juices oozing out of the meat), the chicken with mushroom sauce and their red snapper with puttanesca sauce is another treat for the tastebuds.

For a taste of Italy I would definitely recommend Mediterraneo Ristorante as food is delicious, exquisite and truly comforting.

 

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