So with the company of a few like-minded people, I had the pleasure of dining at Eighty-eight. The pleasure being both the company and the food leaving a lot to be desired on the décor front. The restaurant is located deep inside the Kempinski villa Rosa hotel and took us about 20 minutes to find, with all the stairs, elevators and miscommunication. We arrived at the restaurant to find they were having a full moon party of sorts with about 5 guests seated in the lounge area to the right as we sauntered in to the dining area which at first sight resembles a cheap motel conference room. Ok, I may be exaggerating a little but I suppose I expected more from a 5 star hotel. The service was prompt and the staff friendly with the hostess offering us a complimentary drink if we attended the full moon party. We politely declined and asked for the menu, as by this time we were famished. The simplicity of the light brown and seamlessly varnished wooden chairs with basic red and textured upholstery, reminded me of a dining area in a 3 star Naivasha restaurant that offers conference facilities. The similar concept tables were covered in quite possibly the same fabric table runners and on those were placed these mini cactus looking centrepieces. Ours in particular was very phallic. Need I describe it more? Well since you insist, it looked exactly like a man’s tool had stood to its full attention. If nothing, it made for good conversation. We proceeded to order 2 bottles of wine, one malbec and a second pino noir, a combination of a heavy and light red to compliment our cocktails. Don’t judge! Besides, did I mention we were celebrating a birthday? We started with with an array of tapas including the Tom Kha soup, a suan la Tang chicken soup and I vaguely remember some prawns. By this time, either the cocktails or the wine had begun to take effect. The soup was perfectly spiced and was a great compliment to the conversation which included love, sex and politics.
For our main courses we had one vegetable Thai green curry and a few other meat dishes, which I probably, looking back, should’ve paid more attention to. I could tell my friends were enjoying their meals by the sounds that came out their mouths. I completely loved my green curry. I have said before to anyone who will listen, I compare Thai food (outside of Thailand) with Thai food from Thailand. Eighty eight is one of the places that comes close. There is a hand full of places in Nairobi that I approve of, this being one of them. If you can overlook the décor, which like I mentioned before probably isn’t really that bad, then grab a few friends or a lover or even yourself (also known as masturdating) and enjoy some good Asian cuisine. After dinner we moved our shenanigans from the restaurant to the cigar lounge to enjoy a quiet single malt, cigar and hoity toity uppity British laughter, as one would in such an environment. At 3 am, we casually (read drunkenly) strolled out the hotel and headed home in preparation for what would possibly the epicest (self invented word) hangover in the history books.