- Lava Latte feels like a family's backyard that just happens to sell bomb paninis and a mean coconut cupcake.
- The menu is extensive, and fun – you can tell that the people who made it have a personality.
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There's a little property right on State House Road that is the Beyoncé of location reinventions – in that, it consistently manages to stay open and productive by taking on different costumes every so often. Staying in the game. Crossing over from the 90s into the 2000s, like our child of destiny, which is no mean feat.
My first job, as a scriptwriter for Spielworks Media, was on this very lot at 209 State House Road – we shot “Higher Learning” there, before we moved on to other shows like “Lies that Bind”. But that was the genesis of my career, funnily enough, and now it is the genesis for a brand new entrant in Nairobi's food market – Lava Latte.
Lava Latte feels like a family's backyard that just happens to sell bomb paninis and a mean coconut cupcake. The décor is freewheeling Nairobian hippie with a touch of whimsy – and you can immediately tell from the iron-wrought chairs and tables, painted blue, the touches of ankara fabric, the bench seat that makes for an intimate nook to the side of the main seating area, and, of course, the cute graphics of a personified Lava Latte teabag all over the walls.
And what would a hippie cafe be without a chalkboard decorated daily with a quote involving liquor? I kid. But they do have a liquor licence, which makes it easier for the typical Nairobian to enjoy a night there.
When I finally get a chance to visit, I appreciate the smaller area it occupies, as opposed to being one of those places that you know is trying to turn into a money making franchise with six branches smack dab in the middle of town. Not that money isn't important, but not at the expense of the quality of food.