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Great meals at great prices @Circles

Circles – Next to the Kobil on Koinange Street

The last time I was at Circles was to drink; Circles is an eatery cum bar divided into two parts – to the right is an eatery and to the left is the bar. The bar doesn’t have a particularly surprising ambience – I mean, a bar is a bar, and this one is a tad crowded, in fact.

However, when you visit the eatery during the day, it is a different story. My friends and I went on a Sunday afternoon at about 2; for 45 minutes, we were the only ones there before another group of diners joined us. It would seem business is slow on Sundays.

Circles (the restaurant) is also quite small, but not nearly as crowded as the bar. It can seat about 30 people, and has the usual booth or table setup. They keep it clean, though the upholstery desperately needs to be redone; some of the booths have their foam slipping out, and it does not look appealing at all.

The prices are very reasonable. A meal, on average, is 500 KES, and a drink is 200 KES. They serve traditional dishes; chicken, meat, rice, done in varied ways with accompaniments.

Most meals come with a choice of potato wedges, fries (the wedges are just a fatter version of the fries, really), ugali, steamed vegetables and rice.

I decided to have the Chicken Curry Swahili Style on recommendation with wedges. Others on my table had the beef teriyaki and the chicken teriyaki; we also sampled their fresh juices and milkshakes.

In my opinion, milkshakes cannot be done well by just any Tom Dick or Harry. There is an art that goes into it that does not simply involve putting in a scoop of ice cream and blending it with milk.

How much ice cream? How much milk? To what consistency (I like my milkshakes to try and resist me drinking them, i.e. thick and creamy)? Which ice cream? Not everyone can get it right – and I don’t think Circles does. But, their fresh mango juice is delicious (so much so that I had 2 glasses).

My chicken curry was also delicious. I admit, from the fact that it was curry made Swahili style, I should have deduced that it was going to be just a tad spicy, which it was.

For my chili-adverse tongue, this was not the best option, though, the chili was mild. So for those who like a dash of chili as opposed to an overwhelming wave, that is the dish for you. The steamed vegetables on the side (spinach, mostly) were very tasty as well.

When coupled with rice, however, the dish was suddenly too salty, which I found strange. Maybe the chef didn’t notice how much salt he was putting in? I did not particularly enjoy the beef teriyaki, through no fault of the chef’s, though.

My meal cost 480 KES, with a mango juice at 200 KES, which I thought was very good value for money. I was satisfied with my meal at Circles.