- There was the garden, of course, but the house has its own attractions. Downstairs, she has the main dining room, and there are two smaller rooms for private dining.
- Upstairs, a great feature, there is the bar with a broad veranda overlooking the garden. There are three other rooms, too, that Cheryl will convert as meeting rooms, ideal for brainstorming in a quiet place away from the noise and bustle of the city. Yes, the traffic along nearby Waiyaki Way is just a faint hum, if you strain your ears to hear it.
- Cheryl has recruited an experienced staff. As soon as I sat at a table in the garden, big Kwame approached me with the broad grin that never seems to leave his face.
A lady came to the office looking for you,” my son said.
I was wondering what ghost from my past had visited, until Jan went on: “She’s the lady who ran out to kiss the Pope’s hand. But it was not about that — she wanted to tell you about the Steak Out restaurant her daughter has opened in Lavington.”
After two weeks in Darfur and Khartoum, surviving mainly on yoghurt, cheese, fried chicken and rice — and, of course, no alcohol — I felt like indulging myself with a glass of red wine, and a plate of steak and chips. So I went along last Saturday lunchtime.
The Steak Out is on Manyani Road, the last on the left along James Gichuru Road before you reach Waiyaki Way. The first thing that struck me was the beauty of the garden.
I wish I knew more about the names of trees, so I could describe it better. But there are tall ones, round ones and spreading ones. It’s a very mature garden, and there are tables set out on the lawn.
I was greeted by the daughter, Cheryl Barretto, and we quickly got into chatting about her ideas for the place, as she showed me round. Like many before her, she nursed a dream of having a restaurant — and she has now breathed on the dream.
It was not so much about a love of cooking but about the enjoyment of eating out — which she did very often, travelling around in her previous career in the corporate world.
Cheryl told me that it was in an Argentinean restaurant in Amsterdam that the idea crystallised of making steaks the focus. I can well understand that, having enjoyed steaks in Buenos Airies, on my only visit to Latin America. They were big; they were succulent — and they were very memorable!
Cheryl took her time looking for her place. But as soon as she saw the available 102 Manyani Road, she had no hesitation. There was the garden, of course, but the house has its own attractions. Downstairs, she has the main dining room, and there are two smaller rooms for private dining.