South African hotel chain displays a variety of cuisines

Thursday, August 1st, 2019 00:00 |
Chef Juma shows what’s cooking for brunch at City Lodge. Photo/RODGERS NDEGWA
Chebet Korir @PeopleDailyKe

A short walk inside Two Rivers Mall at Ruaka on Limuru Road, 15km from Nairobi in Kiambu county, you cannot miss the large City Lodge sign.  

This was my third visit to the establishment, having earlier indulged in one of their wine tasting sessions. I confess I barely remembered details of meals we partook then as I had one-too-many glasses, but the taste of their chicken wings and meatballs still linger in my mind to date. 

This time round, brunch was on my mind. I planned to tag along my little one but I figured it would be quite hectic with all the fuss of terrible twos and still enjoy a meal. So, it was with a friend who enjoys his meals as much as I do that we made our way up Limuru road from the city centre. 

We walked in at around 12 pm, probably too late for brunch, but surprisingly it runs until 3pm. The facility screamed glamour,  with the décor reflecting Kenya’s lush vegetation during the rains.   The light washes over the main sitting area in the restaurant through the large, French windows where you can also enjoy a meal besides the poolside. 

A helpful staff, who I must say warmly greeted us, won my heart.  He directed us to the poolside, saying; “The sun is out, why not have your meals by the poolside?” Turned out he is the lodge’s assistant manager, Wycliffe. 

We made ourselves comfortable and I was ready to enjoy a sumptuous meal. For those who are not aware of the word brunch, it’s a late morning meal eaten instead of breakfast and lunch. 

I ordered a cold mango cocktail just to cool off from the abrupt heat.  My guest ordered a glass of red wine, probably too early for some, but then, it’s what he preferred. 

Shortly after, the waiter served some bread with mushroom soup. I found the bread soft and fresh, with a crunch to the crust.  The mushroom soup was surprisingly good too. Not too salty and thick, just how I like it. 

For starters, I opted for bhajia, diced beef curry, deep-fried fish, fried rice and some chicken. The bhajia did not stand out, but the deep-fried fish was quite tasty, a little sweeter than I had anticipated. 

The fried rice, as usual, was flavourful while the diced beef curry carried me away to another world. It was a combination of the beef, yellow bell pepper, carrots, garlic, ginger, a lot of onion and the right amount of pepper and I loved it. 

Did I not tell you I like to eat? I struggled to choose my second serving as everything looked too inviting, but I was in the mood for something fairly light. I tried pieces of deep-fried chicken, matoke, more fries and some cauliflower. 

I found the chicken tender and slight chargrilled edges. As for the matoke, it felt homely as it was dipped in peanut sauce.  My guest opted for the fried fish with well-seasoned tartar sauce, with a strong flavour and texture.  As for the dessert I went for the mixed fruit salad with cake on the side. 

I noticed they did not offer much for breakfast meals, but they are slowly picking up as they plan to introduce more breakfast meals in their brunch. 

I was so comfortable I did not even notice how late it was and I managed to resist the temptation to ask if I could serve more. It was a superb day and for Sh2,500 you will be able to enjoy as I did. 

City Lodge hotel group is a chain of hotels based in South Africa spread throughout Southern and recently Eastern Africa. The Two Rivers Mall branch is the group’s third hotel in Kenya and its 59th hotel in Southern and East Africa.It  has 171 rooms and charges between Sh12,000 and Sh16,000 a night. 

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