The unique restaurant of Kikuyu town
For any refined foodie, ambience, just like garnish on food, plays a critical role in the overall eat out experience.
And this is why the nondescript façade of Crave Kitchen takes the trophy at not preparing you for what you find once inside.
Standing hidden away between mtaa shops, clay pots stand guard at the entrance while a black notice board artistically inscribed on in coloured chalk announces the day’s special.
This catches my attention, but nothing blows my mind away than the welcoming rustic feel and the wafting of food aroma emanating from the kitchen behind.
“Welcome to Crave Kitchen,” the waiter welcomes us, but we hardly hear what he says next as we are consumed in admiring the colourful makonge and reed kiondos displayed on the wall, the painting embellishing the wall, as well as the raw wood furniture exuding a simplicity and charm considered typical of the countryside.
My tag-along foodie and designated photoman decided to accompany me as he had been envying my Instagram restaurant reviews.
I had planned to leave home at around noon and dash back before 4pm just to catch a glimpse of my newfound sport—Formula One sports on TV.
However, my plans started with a hitch after my fellow foodie lover over-indulged the previous night, which made it impossible for him to wake up before midday.
Well, we ended up arriving at the eatery at 2pm, two hours late. Fortunately, the lateness whetted my appetite more.
You might get lost because of the on-going road constructions, but I believe once it’s done, it will be easy to locate it.
The paintings here go on sale every month. Old newspapers were arranged in one corner.
The colours of wooden tables and chairs go hand-in hand with the wall décor, giving a rustic ambience. Inside the restaurant was too packed, so we were directed to the garden, a new addition to the eatery known as Crave 902.
They reorganised the parking and garage to create this green space where you can enjoy slow-roasted meat, clay oven pizza and a glass of wine.
At the garden, another board displays a pizza menu including the sausage and avo pizza (a combination of pizza sauce, boerewors, onion and avocado), Margarita, veggie supreme and Hawaiian and also grilled chicken and pork pizzas.
Tom Ng’ang’a, the owner and a chef at the eatery and who was aware we were coming, was unfortunately not around. However, he had already arranged for a meal that we could enjoy.
We all kicked off with a glass of red wine as we waited for the barbecue chicken pizza with the grilled pork served with sauté potatoes.
In 10 minutes the pizza was ready. It was fresh, juicy and smiley. A combination of pizza sauce, cheese, barbecue chicken and onions. What I loved most was how they were quite generous with their cheese.
It was followed by the roast grill pork served with sauté potatoes and avocado toppings. The waiter said the pork was roasted for seven hours, so we asked how that works.
Well, when the clay oven is closed tightly after the initial fire dies down, they add the inexpensive cuts of meat, which are cooked slowly for several hours to bring out the natural flavours and tenderise the meat.
It was hot when served and full of flavour. It was my first time trying meat cooked in a clay oven and it was remarkable.
The sauté potatoes on the other hand were not one of my favourites, but still worked well with the meat.
I wanted more, but my stomach could not allow me. Surprisingly, we spent Sh2,000, which was affordable for the three meals we shared. Well, this is what I needed and it is what you need. So go ahead and try their meals. You won’t regret.