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New experience at Moniko’s Bistro

The first time I went to Moniko’s I was rather underwhelmed. I had a mushroom pasta – whose name I cannot remember – that I thought was watery and uninspiring – and as you can see, forgettable.

My, how nice it is when things change!

They must have fired the chef; either that or my taste buds were on leave and I had no idea, because this time when I went back, it was a whole different experience.

Moniko’s Bistro is located just behind the Java at valley Arcade; a tented nook hidden from the road that you won’t see if you don’t walk through. Parking is ample on a weekday, not so much on the weekend, especially when the nearby club (Ozone) is full house.

As I did last time, I sat under one of the tents with a group of friends. The service is very nice, and efficient too; we were served promptly throughout the time we were there.

You have the option for asking for separate bills, of course, but what was special about our waiter is that he remembered exactly what everyone on the table had and in what quantity, including drinks. No mean feat for a table of 11.

Also, they allow corkage! At 1500 a bottle (it would seem that the rates differ for different drinks, however, so make sure you ask what it is for your bottle of happy), I was pleased to note. I thought that was relatively reasonable for whisky.

In addition, the longer you stay, the colder it gets, obviously. Our waiter had the foresight to bring us a clay jiko to warm us, as well as a Maasai blanket for the little one we were with, which I thought was quite nice (if you haven’t noticed, I was very pleased with the service).

The menu ranges from bar bitings, starters mains/specials and desserts – small and user friendly. A main meal averages at 1200 shillings.

Grilled chicken with mushroom sauce, mashed potatoes and fresh veggies.
Grilled chicken with mushroom sauce, mashed potatoes and fresh veggies.

The house wine is 400. I had the grilled chicken with mashed potatoes, mushroom sauce and fresh vegetables (1200) – a huge portion that I did not even manage to finish! I also sampled someone else’s potato gratin (that came with their chicken breast – delicious) the calamari and the samosas.

The samosas were not excellent, but everything else was.

Because we were having such a good time, we stayed much longer than we were supposed to, well after closing hours. Regardless, they were very nice, kicking us out gently numerous times until we left.

I had no space for dessert, but I am definitely going back for the berry tiramisu – tiramisu is my weakness. I will let you know how that goes…

p.s. Speaking of customer service, I was feeling lazy in the house the other day and decided to order in from Steers.

Though I do not think much of their food, their service savvy is very impressive – they check and recheck your order, keep you in the system like a devoted lover once you have ordered from them before and pleasantly wish you a good/day/night when you are done, making you feel like you’re the only customer in the world and they are genuinely interested in your food choices. I love it.