A Taste of Nairobi – Nairobi Restaurant Week

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As a certified wannabe foodie…(wannabe because I like to eat the stuff more than talking and writing about it) …..I love the Nairobi Restaurant Week. In its second year the Restaurant Week is firmly ingrained into Nairobi’s social calendar.

Last year, I only sampled one restaurant, The Artisan at Sankara. This year I was tad more greedy and wanted more.
I sampled three restaurants.

Thursday Dinner; Dusit Soko (Dusit2)
14, Riverside Drive

Dusit Experience : 8/10
This place is a total class act from the get go, Valet Parking, very friendly and courteous security personnel and concierge. The hostess was a tad arrogant, we got there before our 7pm reservation and instead of politely suggesting we have a drink at the bar, she just flung her hands and said we have to wait. Well, we went to the Zing Bar, the set up is Ah-mazing, and had a drink as we waited to be sitted. The staff at the bar were great, very friendly and easy.
When our hostess came to sit us, we were shown to the wrong table, I had reserved an outdoor table, and we were shown to one inside. When the other hostess figured this we were rudely displaced, but she kinda made up for it by seating us next to an electric heater and we were good to go.
The waiters/waitress (coz they kept changing ) were lethargic and boring…like they were being forced to wait on us. However what they lacked in enthusiasm , they made up for in professionalism….serving from the correct side, kept the glasses re-filled etc. etc.

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Food:8/10
The food gets an 8/10 only because the salad starter was horirible…..other than the parmesean crisps, I didn’t like it. The Pork belly and apple purée was to die for, super cool presentation too. The pork was so soft it just fell of the knife, succulent on the inside and perfectly crisped on the outside. Dessert was heavenly melt in your mouth white chocolate mousse…heaven!
I had a delightful Cranberry Juice. I can’t remember the wine I ordered but it was a bit too heavy for my palate….I suck at wine choices….best to stick with the house wine.

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Decor: 10/10
If I could give them 20/10 I would. The decor and ambience of this place is out of this world, it transports you out of the hustle and bustle of this city, wraps you up, makes you feel like royalty. Love, love, love it.

Friday Dinner: Pampa Churrascaria
Lavington

Disclaimer: This restaurant was chosen for me.

Pampa Experience: 7/10
My review of this place was definitely going to be flawed, Dusit2 was going to be a tough act to follow. The staff were excellent, very friendly and enthusiastic and fast. Considering we had reservations we had a really crappy location, but I guess since the place is geared towards large parties, small groups take whatever is left.

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Food: 6/10
The food here was a grand buffet with a selection of soup and bread rolls, every salad you can possibly imagine….(I saw all the usual Nairobi buffet salad suspects), cheese and crackers. I think there was also some rice,pasta and beef bolognaise.
Sadly, for me, there was nothing memorable or imaginative…..I’m sorry, but if I have made it or had it before….it means as a chef you are not out to blow my mind with your food.
Then came the all you can eat meat…fish,chicken, seared beef, garlic beef, pork ribs, camel, crocodile. Hmmmm….the only thing that I loved was the camel, it was perfectly medium rare…yuuuum! The chicken was good. The fish too salty. Everything else was too dry, cooked to a crisp and all tasted the same.
For dessert, was pineapple with caramelized sugar and cinnamon…..now, I’ve had this dish before and this one was grossly underwhelming…..too much cinnamon and not enough time on the grill or broiler.
I had a simple Red House wine, after my mistake the night before, it was perfect, Red, Sweet, Cheap…which is just how I love my wines.
All that being said the food here is more than value for money, and the enthusiastic waiter who kept bringing more crocodile aka “Nyang” kinda made it all worthwhile.

Decor: 4/10
White damask table linen….are you freaking kidding me, my lunch kibanda is better. And the small metal platters are so tacky….their only saving grace is very cool knives and forks, and the little charming wishing well outside the restaurant.

 

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Sunday Lunch: Caramel
ABC Place, Waiyaki Way

Caramel Experience : 10/10
I was flying solo for this one, so when I told the hostess that I would be dining alone, she asked if she could show me to a smaller table, I said yes….but on seeing the table/ location…I was like na-ah, I’ll just have my original table. I was shown to my table, great location; view of the city and perfect panorama of the entire restaurant and lounge, just like I had requested when reserving.
The wait staff were excellent, my waitress was wonderful, asked all the right questions, made the perfect recommendation for a cocktail, explained each dish, was always just there without being annoying.
After lunch, they asked for my contacts to send me a thank you card for dining there…..and I received a complimentary pen…
That, is how to do experience…!!! Go Caramel.

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Food: 9/10
My starter, oh my starter, Seared Beef Carpaccio, light and flagrant and oh, so flavorful this must be the best thing I’ve eaten all year…..the presentation, perfect blend of flavors, my favorite vegetable arugula aka rucula aka rocket…this was Gourmet Perfection.
The main dish was a tad disappointing….good presentation, the chicken was moist and juicy but royally bland….meh, meh, meh…the chicken was served with a parnsip purée which was very tasty. I liked it so much I bought parsnips to try re-reate at home.
The Raspberry Cheesecake was divine…..every little morsel was a taste of heaven. I jokingly asked the waitress for seconds.
The waitress recommended a strawberry fizz cocktail which was sooooo good….so very good….did I say good. I can still taste it.

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Decor: 9/10
The decor is very contemporary chic and urban which I absolutely loved.

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Parsnips for my Home made puree

 

Three days of great food and company, NRW should come twice a year….:-)

 

 

Wigging It!

 

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I love wigs. There I said it!

For some naturalistas wearing extensions is the devil, for some Natural Nazis wearing hair extensions is a sign of self hatred and being a slave to euro-centric definitions of beauty and attractiveness. I have a more than average doze of self confidence and self love, combined with good ol’ vanity, if wigs are the devil….. then so be it. My hair, My choice.

Last year my hair goals were to wear my natural hair out as often as I could. It was an important event or occasion, My hair had to be out…..This year I am just going to do it all ….Natural hair out, wigs, cornrows and everything in-between….If it’s on my head, I’m going to rock it with pride.

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Wigs are an excellent protective style for me, here’s why;

  1. I can change my look every week without any manipulation to my own hair
  2. My natural hair is all protected under the wig
  3. I can throw off the wig along with my bra at the end of the day
  4. I can easily access my entire head for daily moisturizing and scalp massages when I remember.

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My tips for wearing wigs successfully…..

  1. Always wear a wig cap to protect your hair from friction from the wig
  2. Take care of the hair underneath by moisturizing, cleansing etc. as needed
  3. Make sure the hair underneath the wig is neat and tidy…wigs are no excuse for unsightly hair.
  4. Baby your hairline by massaging it often with castor oil or preferred product.
  5. Wear the wig slightly behind your natural hairline, this gives a false illusion that it could be your hair.
  6. If you choose to wear a wig, wear it with confidence. You bought it or made it so rock it with pride!
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I call this wig Ivanka Because she reminds me of my Russian alter ego

 

I make my own wigs, some I like more than others….These are a couple I have made and worn between November and today.

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Model Model

Njeri

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love, Peace and Fake Fros! :-)

Gasp! I cut my Hair!

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It has been forever since my last post. There has been a huge change on my hair front.
I woke up on the morning (read 6am before work) of 25th November, just a couple of days before my 3rd Nappyversary, driven to the edge by my hairs’ breakage, I grabbed my Kitchen Scissors….Kitchen scissors , pulled my hair into a bun and cut off my hair.
And just like that I was back at the beginning.

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    Before

 

That evening I went to my local hairdresser who shaped up the hair into some type of tapered cut.

After

After

For a self acclaimed length chaser, the experience was very liberating, kinda like when I did my Big Chop. I am freed from the bonds of chasing length and now I can just enjoy my hair for what it is…..Natural and free.

I am totally loving the short hair and looking forward to finding creative ways of wearing short hair

 

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I love my Natural

Feeling Blue…

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Feeling Blue….
Some days you just want to do different….
I took down twists I’ve been wearing all week and had a gorgeous twist-out. I decided to test ran a tube of hair mascara that has been sitting pretty in my product basket.

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Color application
I first attempted to put it on using the mascara wand, however, I felt that this may snag in the fro causing damage. I then used my fingers to lift color from the wand and smooth it on the hair in a downward motion. It was pretty easy especially because I was not going for perfectly even color.

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Love, Peace and Blue Fros

Hairscapades

Sometimes my overactive creativity needs an outlet and this weekend my brain was telling me I needed to make a wig…

First was the search for the right hair…that is a long story including getting lost downtown , a trio of trannies, splendid customer service and the loss of a friends’ innocence. I got two bags of Marley hair and a wig cap.

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Using a regular crochet needle and a standard wig cap and lots of elbow grease the wig was done in two hours and 45 minutes. This was an achievement considering this was the first time I was using bulk hair to make a wig.
This was the result. At this point I did not know whether to just cut and shape this baby…or curl her up.

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I finally decided to curl her up, using 2 bags of flexi rods and 12 perm rods and a kettle of boiling water. This was way easier than I had anticipated and the results were stunning to say the least (if I say so myself).

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I wore this out to ran errands and later to a concert and night out. I think it looked real nice but somehow I was not feeling her anymore…the allure of just making it wore off as the night progressed and at some point I was so tempted to throw her off and let my hair breathe (maybe that was the vodka talking and not the natural hair gods)…Have I become that girl, a weave/wig hater…gasp! I hope not…

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Fun times with my gal Charlotte

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Winyo my favourite Kenyan artiste on stage at the go-down….(I know its a crappy pic but it is all I had…)
So after just one day of rocking the wig, the fro is back!! I saturated the hair overnight with Coconut Oil. In the morning I co-washed with Aussie Moist 3 Minute Miracle Deep Conditioner and did a green tea rinse to try and combat my breakage.
I used the same Aussie moist as my leave in and followed up with TGIN Butter Cream Daily Moisturizer. Styled it into a puff. Cleaned up the edges (im a stickler for sleek edges…does that make me a bad natural …lol) with TGIN Twist and Define Cream. Scarf and voila….. Cute High Puff.

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Love, Peace and Fros!

7 WAYS TO WEAR LOOSE TWISTS

7 WAYS TO WEAR LOOSE TWISTS

Monday

Pinned Up Updo with Pompadour. I colored the Pompadour blonde using eye shadow.

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Tuesday

I wore this big puff-esque do for my Doctors Appointment. My tummy has been giving me hell for over a month now, and causing break-outs on my forehead…:(

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Wednesday

By Wednesday the loose twists were packing some serious volume; so I ventured into some dread-lock inspired style. and in turned out beautifully. I call this the Barrel Bun. I was feeling all weird from the meds so no face shots.

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Thursday

I wore the same look as Wednesday just switched up accessories

Friday

I was feeling all bright and chipper but had zero energy to change up the hair
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Saturday

I cleansed my scalp with ACV and moisturized the hair with AS I AM Double Butter Cream then styled the hair this way to allow it to air dry sufficiently.

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 Sunday

The Kiss

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Monday Again

My scalp was missing the feel of water on it, so I rinsed the hair under a stream of water, applied my oil mix and sealed with Awali Avocado Butter. I first styled it into an updo with some loose hair but I wasn’t quite feeling it, so I switched it into a tucked bun…which I totally love. By now, the hair does not look anything like twisted hair so I think i’m going to take it down today.

 

First Attempt…

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Twists? Which Twists?

Style for the day…

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I have totally enjoyed this look.  Feeds my fix for my Hands In Hair Syndrome all the while my hair is protected.

Inspired by Celestine Mustiso and MsTanish

https://www.youtube.com/user/mstanish1

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