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Mama’s fine French patisserie

ABC Place, Westlands

It is not as easy as one would think to find a place that does good cake. The Mug used to be my preferred choice, until they stopped understanding the concept of service. Which left me aimless, hopeless and worst of all cakeless.

Then I found Mama’s – or rather, Mama’s found me, one fine day when sweetness is the only thing on the agenda.

When you enter, the first thing you see is the modest but colorful and diverse array of pastry heaven.

The choices range from mousses to tarts to croissants to ice cream to cupcakes to even sandwiches and drinks on the actual menu.

A tentative pricing: milk and dark chocolate mousse at 450, Pistachio chocolate mousse at 450. Vanilla eclairs and Raspberry tarts at 350. Mama’s croissant at 200; Roulle du chocolate, 250.

A high-inducing Chocolate ganache at 300. Full tarts (apricot and pear) at 1500 and 1800 respectively, and  red velvet ccakes for 150 each, and 2 chocolate chip cookies for a 100 bob.

How can one resist?

The establishment itself is done with background theme colours of shocking pink and black, almost a fight between outrageously feminine and unabashedly masculine.

Even the candleholders have butterflies on them. The seats are done up in an eye-poppingly pink damask, and if your man doesn’t want to sit on them, there are 6 or seven individual tables where you can still have a pretty tasty date.

Because it is French, the walls, of course, are adorned with posters of Moulin Rouge and Theatre du Chat Noir – and charcoal sketches, a charming contrast against the semi-minimalist atmosphere.

I say semi, because there is an intricate mid-sized chandelier dangling from the centre of the room. On top of that,there is no front wall – just windows, letting some great lighting in.

The food menu includes sandwiches from about 650 to 900 – sandwiches like the chicken croque monsieur and the turkey croque madame.

For a pastry place they do offer quite a bit more than just pastry – creperie and sweet creperie, salads ,soups,specials – steak and penne pasta, coffee, juice, smoothies and mocktails. The average price for a meal is 700.

I had a little bit of everything on my table except actual food- cupcakes, passion juice (which is the real sugar-free deal), ganache, ice cream (which comes in an interestingly asymetrical cup) and tiramisu.

The tiramisu was for the win here – hands down, that was the best tiramisu I have ever tasted in Nairobi.

The bill came in a quaint little wicker basket – a homage to the location, perhaps? Mama’s is trying to make my clothes small – and I’m ok with that.