You might just miss the charmingly furnished yet compellingly hidden gem that is the Grand Cafe and Indian Cuisine, because of the forbidding nature of the glass building that is Lenana Towers 843, overlooking the leafy Kilimani suburbs, and the core arterial avenue that is Lenana Road. I’d been dimissing the diminutive red sign for years, but one sunny Saturday afternoon in March, I chose to prance down there after a church service, and give my palette a new challenge.
The building has been open since 2014/2015, and the restaurant opened its doors shortly thereafter. Quite popular with Asian community, I was curious to find out for myself whether the great reviews were worth it. I can confidently confirm that they are! While there’s scarcely anything that’s immediately architecturally defining as Indian in the enclosure, there’s a brilliant play of beige, reds, whites and browns, against a backdrop of elegant seats, couches and booths that give the Grand Cafe an inside-outside feel that’s very homely yet elegant.
The menu of this reserved yet recherché establishment draws inspiration from North American and European tables, in as much over half of what’s available on the menu enables it to keep its Indian cuisine tag. Mouthwatering items on the Grand Cafe list include a turkey, cheese and avocado wrap, the jalapeno cheese burger, coconut beef curry, grilled lamb chops with garden salad, prawn soup and peri peri chips. It may sound like your regular cafe, in some cases it is, but the items are finger licking-ly scrumptious.
If you’ve gone to people-watch, or to catch up on some work or reading, you will be pleased to note that the clientele can include celebrities, politicians, creatives or simply families or couples looking for a good location with good vibes. You can choose to go in a large group – though it’s advisable to make a reservation in such cases in order to avoid disappointment – and in this case the best way to approach the menu would be ordering a wide selection of dishes and share them.
Some of my recommendations for you to try at the Grand Cafe would be the tandoori paneer tikka, the non-vegetarian kebab platter, chicken makhanwalla and the fish pattarani from the Indian cuisine section, as well as the more ‘mainstream’ offerings as outlined above.
No serving would be complete without having a go at the delectable desserts – brownie fudge and the triple scoops will have you filled to the brim.
Grand Cafe is open 7.00am to 9.00pm daily