One of the biggest dilemmas that people face around lunch time, is what and where to eat. Most folks have their routine set. Most women carry their lunch, mostly leftovers of the previous night and the office microwave come in handy. Men can't afford to do this, lest they become the subject of office gossip.
For those who look down upon women who carry lunch, but can’t afford a decent meal, they make do with some bad fries and a greasy piece of chicken. Or if the middle-aged woman who sells fruit salad comes by, they make do with fruits off the plastic container. But eating fruit salad is very judgmental. It is the height of snobbery especially if it is a fellow poor person eating them.
Humble folk walk up to the stalls beside the Lunar Park inside Uhuru Park, near the Railways Club. There, with Sh 100-200, you can have some nice, fresh lunch, topped up with nice maziwa mala. Behind Kenya Polytechnical (us, old folk will always call the Technical University of Kenya, as Kenya Poly), there equally some nice stalls that sell good goat fry and kienyeji, you will never know the source.
But what if you earn a decent salary, you are watching your diet, but still can use some decent light lunch, within the CBD? Or you are a man and you want to treat your 20-something with some decent meal. Most young women are notoriously indecisive, and you can come in handy if you recommend the Café Deli Chicken Curry.
I have tasted boneless chicken curry in as many CBD restaurants as possible and many do try, but I recently stumbled upon the Café Deli chicken curry by accident and man, that thing is decadent. While I am in that phase of life where doctors recommend that you go down on spices, I still could not resist the temptation.
When I go to Café Deli, I am price-sensitive, because they are on the higher lane. So, I always stick to their tea (which is five-stars on our Cool Index) and their Samosas (which go down well with their Ukwaju sauce). Even so, I recently discovered their brown fermented uji, served in a calabash, and I will be gobbling that in the days to come.
But, last week, my Ugandan friend was in town, and he is a Café Deli person wherever he is in Nairobi. I joined him. And then we were joined by his ex. It was the ex who ordered chapati and the chicken curry. I regretted my choice immediately. You know that thing where you go as a group to a restaurant and everyone picks what they want to have and when the foods arrive, you start envying what the other folk ordered? Yeah, there was something totally scintillating with that curry. made a mental note to try it.
Early in the week, I did just that. I am in that age where attracting female company is impossible, I am mostly treating myself to these things. Which is wasteful, good food, like wine or whiskey, needs good company. Anyway, on Monday, I sat in Café Deli, Kenyatta Avenue, which has picked pretty well and summoned the curry. The boneless cubed chicken cooked in rich curry sauce, garnished with cilantro (just a fancy name for coriander), which adds some soapy feel to the curry. There is a nice coconut flavour to the mix, that gives the curry a respectable taste. For accompaniment, you can get ugali, rice or fries or chapati. Rice may be ideal, but I think if you love chapati, it would make for the best accompaniment.
For Sh 850, it may come as a rip-off, especially if you think a kuku kienyeji at Kosewe or Branch, goes for much less and will offer quantitively more, but sometimes it helps to try something different. It is worth trying. It is not something to fill your stomach, but it is a different taste that can light up your lunch, and if with a date, she will most likely remember it in many days to come.
I didn’t like the portion too but maybe we should not eat too much. Besides, we are too old for heavy lunches.