Healthy dining in heart of the city
Whether grabbing lunch over a business meeting or spending quality time with your significant other over a date lunch, Nairobi city centre can be a hectic food jungle when finding a restaurant to grab a healthy meal. However, fret not, our writer Njeri Maina just discovered the perfect spot for health-conscious foodies.
I have recently been on the lookout for healthy food restaurants. The Covid-19 situation has highlighted my love for fast food, which had a lot to do with the fact that all my favourite restaurants had closed down for close to five months.
I will not mention the Covid kilos, but they have also contributed to my health drive.
That healthy foods boost immunity on top of being on the minimal side of the calorie scale is an added boon.
So it should be no surprise that I will be talking about healthy foods, and this time that is actually the name of the diner in question, or in prose as the case is here.
Along Kimathi street at Kenwood House on the first floor, is an unpretentious diner, which serves fresh food on order.
I happened to know about the diner purely by chance when I overheard some two ladies talk about a place they go for smoothies and healthy foods.
The things I have overheard as girls shop, I could write several books to rival Shakespeare’s innumerable one!
I would later go to Kimathi street, armed with my new pair of shoes and locate Healthy Foods.
The place has colourful seats in neon green and orange. There is also a show kitchen where one’s food is made on order.
I have since made a habit of taking a smoothie here whenever I’m hungry, but in no mood to eat.
My favourite is the berry smoothie, a smoothie made with banana and berries that is both tasty and filling.
I once ordered a litre of the smoothie hoping to go on a smoothie cleanse, and taking smoothies alone as meals.
I finished it in one seating and decided that a smoothie cleanse was designed for people with stronger discipline than I do.
On another occasion, I have taken their green smoothie, which has a dash of spirulina and kale.
Other than smoothies, they also have juices on offer. And if you are a chronic undecided eater as I am, you are in good hands.
The waiters and waitresses here are attentive and wait patiently as you make up your mind.
If you ask more questions than a toddler who just learnt how to talk, which is basically me in my element, they will answer and will be courteous enough to not comment when you zero in on the first thing you almost picked before taking them on a game of 21 questions.
Plenty of healthy food options are also on offer here with options ranging from njahi and chapati, githeri also referred to as irio, pumpkins, salads both vegetable and fruit, and fresh fish and ugali.
You can get brown rice or brown ugali if you are particularly enamoured with healthy foods rich in fibre.
They also have functional menu names, which tell you exactly what you are getting, such as the rejuvenation meal or the blood cleansing meal.
That the eatery has stood the test of time since it was established in 2004, is a testament to their great menu, fresh ingredients and quick service.
It has been my lunch spot since early last year and I was glad to visit again once the Ministry of Health eased restrictions on restaurants and work beckoned.
Healthy Foods is still operational, albeit with a less lunchtime crowd and with masked crowds and servicemen.
Still standing, 16 years later
The meals are still as tasty; I took fish dry fry with salad and no ugali as I was trying the keto diet.
You guessed it, I lasted just that lunch time. After all, no carbs will put me and my trustee carbs asunder.
I have been back for a smoothie once or twice in the spirit of supporting local businesses and the good health of my body.
I will definitely be popping in a few more times in the near future, probably for the smoothies and their to-die-for salads.