In Summary

  • Stuff like left over rocket from the day’s salads and so on.
  • Encouraged by the Tuscan architecture of the hotel, four well awarded restaurants including the famed Lucca which is actually headed by a real Italian chef, I decided to take my chances and ordered the pesto spaghetti anyway. I could not have expected a better reward.

Every so often depending on the health of my bank account, I like to abandon myself to my own desire for a little decadence and self-pampering. Times like these, I will check myself into a nice city hotel far enough from home that I have to cross a major highway, but close enough that I can rush back to pick up a book, phone charger, underwear or an item of great importance that I might have forgotten to pack. During these staycations, I turn off all my devices and loll about watching movies in bed all day wearing my dressing gown and leaving the room only to go to the spa or casino. This often means that I have dinner in my room alone which is almost always a miserable experience because after a certain hour, many hotels will only send up meals from their In-Room Dining menus which generally tend to be modelled after a bad kids’ menu with club sandwiches, burgers and uninspired variations of potato covering everything from roast to lyonnaise. I recently discovered however, that the Villa Rosa Kempinski along Nairobi’s Waiyaki Way has a rather fabulous selection of late night room service options, my most memorable from my two night staycation being a simple pesto spaghetti.

Pesto, this hallmark of Genoese culinary aptitude is among my favourite dressings for pasta, salads and sandwiches but I have long since given up on expecting a decent blend anywhere in Nairobi. More often than not, it is too salty or vinegary to ingest and other times the substitutes for fresh basil are just plain insipid. Stuff like left over rocket from the day’s salads and so on. Encouraged by the Tuscan architecture of the hotel, four well awarded restaurants including the famed Lucca which is actually headed by a real Italian chef, I decided to take my chances and ordered the pesto spaghetti anyway. I could not have expected a better reward.

The pasta was top quality and cooked al dente so it was springy and chewy without sticking in my teeth. I couldn’t remember the last time I tasted pesto sauce so fresh with a green that was just as lush. The herbs and seasoning were a perfect balance and I even forgot that I was actually eating a meat without meat in it. Happily, I noted the effort in presentation even after 11pm. The dish, which was garnished with healthy tomato quarters and a sprig of fresh coriander, was rolled into my suite with thorough fanfare atop a well-dressed foldable table complete with flower arrangement, sterling cutlery and condiments (which I certainly did