Nairobi notebook

Jackson Biko is our man about town

NotebookAfter 37 years Tamarind Nairobi, located along Haile Selassie Avenue in Nairobi’s CBD, is moving to the leafy ‘burbs of Karen. Tamarind Nairobi has been a vital culinary feature of Nairobi’s foodscape. Way before seafood became a fad, a culinary statement, Tamarind Nairobi, the first seafood restaurant in Nairobi, was already flying in giant prawns, sweet young crabs, juicy lobsters, squid, octopus and oysters fresh from the coast daily. Then the 1998 bomb blast that took off half of the American Embassy happened and most corporates that frequented the fine-dining establishment moved out from the CBD. Traffic also became a mess. And then there was a little problem with their lease agreement. By the time you read this they will have opened their new shop at Karen Blixen’s Coffee Garden.

Talking of restaurants… are you looking for a very quiet and quaint dinner in a laid- back bistro with a nice garden and some grill on the spit? Try Corner Affair Bistro on the corner of Rhapta and Mvuli Road in Westlands. It’s the perfect place to have a sundowner and something from the grill or oven. Plus they have a saucy wine menu. (

However if you are looking for something bubbly on a Saturday in Nairobi, Café Maghreb at Nairobi Serena will be your best bet. Every Saturday is Swahili night and it consists of a live band playing bongo, taarab as well as Swahili tunes. This tune goes well with the cafe’s elegant Moroccan interior and the authentic Swahili dishes on offer that night. (Tel: 254 20 2822467)

If you are a lover of whisky, this is for you. Block a date on 7 June for Chivas Regal night at the Explorer Tavern. How this shindig goes down is that a CEO is invited to come with his playlist of music, which the deejay plays for the revellers. Sometimes, if a particular CEO can handle a deejay deck, he is given the freehand to work up the crowd. Those nights are riotous. Oh, and if you buy a bottle of Chivas, they will throw one extra bottle for free. (Tel: 0722858787)

As more Malls are sprouting up in the city, The Village Market recently announced a Ksh5 billion investment that will go into a multi-stage redevelop-ment. This comes after a recent structural redesign of the food court as well as an introduction of 150 more parking spaces and over 20 retail outlets, not to mention modernised facilities such as elevators. This new investment will include a further 75 retail outlets and a 187-room hotel with conference facilities for 500 people. These new developments are the sign of an imminent entry of several luxury brands to open shop at the mall such as Mille Collines, which is being opened by Martini.