Food. Not just any food, but really good food, is amazing. Reina has been slowly turning me into a foodie and I’m loving it. But there’s something else that’s been happening to me and her. We’ve been at this feud for a few days now. You know how it is, right? How both of you disagree about something and neither of you wants to give in to the other’s opinion because somehow, you’re either proud or you simply feel misunderstood. That has been us.

Yesterday I figured, why not meet Reina for lunch and try and smoothen things out, over a meal. (Good food works magic). I texted her and she was game. We met along Muindi Mbingu street, opposite Jeevanjee Gardens around lunch hour. This girl really knows how to disarm my defences. I could be all sulky wearing a lemon face just to prove how mad I am at her but the moment she gives me that smile and a spark with her beautiful eyes, my strategy becomes bootless. When I saw her, I ended up with a big smile on my face.

We walked down Muindi Mbingu street debating what to have for lunch. I was totally famished. She suggested we grab some shawarmas and I wasn’t feeling that vibe. We then settled for Birimo. Something heavy for a hungry man but still light enough for lunch.

Off we went to City Star Restaurant.

This joint rubs shoulders with the Nation Media centre along Kimathi Street. It’s hard to miss it. It’s a Somali owned restaurant. There’s something about Somali delicacies; really tasty and well done. I especially like the spices and aroma in the food. Just splendid.

We walked up the stairs and went to the right wing of the restaurant to look for a spot. A lady attendant saw us and pointed towards a corner for our consideration. The thing with Reina, she makes friends easily. She has a few of them at City Star. Some waiters who are normally at her beck and call when she’s ready to order. She’s a celebrity of sorts around there, haha! Maybe, it’s because she lends them an ear through the small talk or probably it’s the tips she leaves them occasionally. Reina couldn’t seem to spot any of ‘her waiters’ and we shifted towards the balcony on the left-wing side.

There we met a guy called Brian. A cool chap. Reina made the order and we sat at table 45, with me telling her about how my morning was. I’d earlier on had a meeting with Minnie (cool name huh?), from Kilimall Online Shopping about reviewing some of their products. So, as I was telling all this to Reina, our food was served. We noted it was in less than five minutes. That’s impeccable timing for a place that was almost full house. This joint is packed around this time of the day. Reina took a snap before we dug in.

Birimo: spaghetti, minced meat, rice, veggies, greens and two potato soups with small chunks of meat.

She’d ordered for two potato soups to go with the food. I asked Brian to bring me the in-house pilipili (pepper). Listen, if you’re anything like me – a serious pilipili aficionado – you should try that stuff at City Star. It’s devilishly good, and hot too. I also like how the food is served in single big platters. A connotation to just how a shared meal should literally be.

The spaghetti was a little bit cold though, but I didn’t get to raise it with Brian. He kept coming to spill us with small talk as we ate. Too much for bursting his bubble, eh? But he’s a good sport nonetheless.

Here’s another thing that Reina does when she’s savouring her food. She wears the Chef pants. You’ll hear her comment;

‘I’d like to know how they make this soup.’

‘This was made from, such and such’

‘That’s cardamoms, I can taste it. Can you?’

And I’ll sit there thinking, really, we are all gifted differently. Normally, that’s her passion to cook getting the best of her. You’d marvel at how well she breaks down the food’s ingredients. To her, it’s a science. She’s always eager to learn a new cooking tip. And that’s to my benefit because she’s cooks just as well.

At some point, Reina ordered for tomatoe soup and deserted it after taking a sip. She concluded the potato soup was her best. She also fancied the veggies they served more over the greens.

In a couple of minutes, we’d cleared our plate. We sat there full, randomly staring outside and inside at people in the restaurant until it was time for us to talk. To smoothen things up.

Brian’s shift was up. We paid him before he checked out. Then later on, we also checked out.

Try out City Star Restaurant when you’re craving for some Somali delicacies. They also serve camel meat. The place is spacious, decent and not too noisy. A perfect place to have a lunch meeting. Don’t forget to fire your taste buds with their pilipili, it’s not for the faint hearted though.

You can thank me later.


Cover photo credit: My amateur photography skills.

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