Falafel, Pizza & A SALAD.
Hey there! Welcome to this post and thank you so much for stopping by!
Before we get into today’s post, I want to thank each and every one of you for your support. Kulanini is about to turn one (April 6th) and I just wanted to express my gratitude to you all. You have helped me come this far, and for that I appreciate you all. Today’s post is all bout vegetarian dishes. Vegetarian followers are you there?
My family decided to visit Artcaffe for the first time ever a few weeks ago. We had come from my sisters swimming gala and were all pretty hungry after the cheering! Fridays during lent are more or less vegetarian days for us Catholics. Therefore, we needed to eat non-meat dishes. Artcaffe has quite the selection of vegetarian dishes.
This experience was at the Artcaffe in Galleria shopping Mall on Langata Road.
Paul, had a grilled halloumi salad @ 950/= and a side of home fries @ 590/=. The salad had lettuce, beetroot, cherry tomatoes, roasted egpplant, roasted butternut all bathed in a mint vinaigrette. The salad was topped with roasted almonds. Halloumi is a type of cheese made from goat and sheep milk. For this Artcaffe salad, the halloumi is lightly grilled to make it softer and more enjoyable. The taste is firm and a bit rubbery (not off-putting). The taste can’t really be placed. It is just halloumi cheese. The other items in the salad were fresh and crunchy. The mint vinaigrette (salad dressing made from vinegar, oil and in this case mint), gave a unique twist and made the salad taste even fresher.
I think this salad is for those who like cooked vegetables and light dressings. Before you crucify me and say all salads have vegetables, hear me out. I prefer raw vegetables, creamy dressings and cooked meats in salads . For example butternut and beetroot can be cooked (that’s why they were roasted) but lettuce and cucumber cannot. Creamy salad dressings are also way better than vinaigrette for me. What is your salad preference?
Artcaffe home fries receive so much praise but I believe the Java ones are way better. Java sells a certain dish called Home Fry Heaven in their breakfast section at 490/=. It is cheaper and the portion is way bigger than this. Plus, you get guacamole, cheese and salsa (kachumbari)!
The home fries at Artcaffe are diced, boiled and then lightly fried with onions and chilli. I felt the salt in them was on the lower side. Potatoes that aren’t well salted all the way on the inside are never enjoyable. The dish was good but I wish the potatoes were crunchier. As much as the chilli in them made them taste amazing, I will stick to their normal fries for now.
Mum had falafel @ 1090/=. The falafel balls came with yoghurt sauce, lentil rice, and a side salsa of onion, tomato and coriander. I usually feel like coriander needs to be finely chopped for it to be enjoyable. It looks better whole but tastes better when chopped and mixed in with tomatoes and onions (that have also been finely chopped). Look at me bringing my ‘smokie-pasua-kachumbari’ habits to Artcaffe. Literally speaking though, it’s like your smokie-pasua guy giving you a large piece of tomato, onion and dhania on top of the smokie, instead of dicing it. I think you see my point now. That not withstanding, the salsa was fresh and tasty.
Falafel is a deep-fried cake-ball made of chick peas (cream in colour and are round). These balls are sooo delicious. I can confidently swap these for meat balls any day! Did you know that bhajias are made with chickpea flour (gram flour)? No wonder those balls tasted like large bhajias! Well done Artcaffe! The lemon yoghurt sauce was equally delicious. It had a thick consistency, and had a few herbs that complemented the spicy falafels to give a unique, tasty flavour.
I used to think gram flour is green gram (ndengu) flour. In case I have ever said that, I apologise. Gram flour is chickpea flour.
The lentil rice was also pretty amazing. Lentils are actually very different from green-grams. They are flatter and come in different colours. I think you need to do is stop what you’re doing, go to Artcaffe, enjoy this meal then come continue reading this post. It may not look like the most beautiful plate but it packs a load of flavour!
P.S: Rice and Ndengu is my favourite meal ever.
The swimming gala queen had a Margherita Basilico pizza with extra pineapples @ 1150/=. Apart from the pineapples she added on top, the pizza had a tomato sauce that didn’t taste like it was from a can, fresh basil and mozarella cheese. Only four ingredients and it tasted divine! Basil is one of the herbs that go well with most if not all Italian dishes. It is a strong-flavoured herb that manages to complement, but not, overpower the flavour of the food.
The crust wasn’t too thick or thin and the cheese was perfectly spread. This must be one of the most simple yet delicious dishes I have ever had the pleasure of eating. Let me know if Artcaffe non-vegetarian pizzas are just as good!
I had Veg moroccan Cigars with a side of smoked paprika aioli @490/= and a plate of french fries on the side @ 300/=. I thought the vegetarian moroccan cigars would come shaped as cigars but they didn’t. Instead, they had the samosa shape we are all too familiar with.
They are filled with lentils, carrots and other vegetables and are spicy & flavourful (imagine an indian spice veg. curry). I think they rank just as high as the falafels. The aioli (creamy, garlic oil sauce), truly completed the flavour. It was slightly hot (chilli) and had a thick consistency. The french fries also came with a herby aioli sauce.
Artcaffe french fries are long, not too fat and crunchy. I enjoyed them so much. I think the twist of serving them with a sauce on the side made them more enjoyable. Make sure you get the aioli sauce to dip your frys in or drizzle all over your plate. One thing that is worth mentioning is that all their side sauces were amazing, & went with nearly all other dishes. Bravo!
Anyway, that’s all I had for you today. Let me know in the comment section below, what your vegetarian experience at Artcaffe has been. You could even recommend something that I should try out.
Thank you so much for stopping by!
BUT FIRST!…. A GIVEAWAY.
There is a giveaway I want you all to participate in. Before I even tell you what it’s about, do the following:
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Now that you’ve done all that, (Thank you for participating), I am ready to tell you what you could win.
Two people who do all the above, will get a chance to come to Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi Hurlingham Hotel with me, to do a food review at Pablo’s Restaurant. Come see what happens behind the scenes, and get to eat some amazing food!