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Many restaurants in Nairobi have a reputation that precedes them. You know the ones – the ones that are recommended by everyone every time you ask where you should take your mother for Mother’s Day or your significant other for their birthday or someone you’re trying to impress.

On these lists, Seven Seafood and Grill always features – for great service, good food and fantastically fresh seafood. One of my good friend’s birthday party was a couple of weeks ago, and to celebrate, we decided to go to Seven at ABC Place. I, for one, was happy with the suggestion, because I strangely have never been, and as we know, I like to confirm or deny the hype.

The duck starter served at Seven restaurant, Nairobi.

The duck starter served at Seven restaurant, Nairobi. PHOTO | ABIGAIL ARUNGA

My bank was looking slim at the time, but I suppose if you’re going to spend your last coins on something, it may as well be a good memory you’re using to see you through the next two weeks before pay day when you’re staring at the walls of your house receiving texts from your Mshwari loan reminders.

My first impression of Seven was that the interiors are beautiful. The lighting is almost excessively romantic – I’m lying, there’s no such thing, it’s actually perfect, and I love their fixtures as well.

The waiters are present without being unctuous and unnecessary, and the food comes in quite the timely manner, with no negative post-meal effects. (I say this because I had the misfortune to go to a hotel over Christmas that hadn’t paid attention to the hygiene of their staff. Needless to say, the Christmas season was not a pleasant one for me. Now, when I leave a restaurant unscathed, it is a matter to rejoice over.)

My friend's perfectly spiced fish dish.

My friend’s perfectly spiced fish dish, with a perfect presentation to boot. PHOTO | ABIGAIL ARUNGA

My friends had wine, and I had a brandy-infused hot toddy, in a sorry attempt to beat off a cold that had quite frankly, already landed. I was already feeling terrible, but I felt like I had committed to this plan, and not showing up would have been one of those effects, ha, that I was not willing to deal with. The hot toddy was a good one, even though it didn’t help my situation.

I had a vegetable risotto and it did not disappoint.

I’ve recently acquired quite a taste for well done risotto, so I had a vegetable risotto and it did not disappoint. PHOTO | ABIGAIL ARUNGA


We had starters – calamari in taco creation that I was not a big fan of, for one. I think the doughy feel of the taco coupled with the fried flavour of the calamari was a pairing that just did not work for me. The duck starter was all right, but for me the stars of the night were the main courses.

My friend had a grilled fish that came impaled personably before her – very delightfully caveman-like, as if she had just speared the thing herself – and the spicing on it was perfect. She likes a good amount of chili – I don’t, but I could still taste that it was great fish.

I had a brandy-infused hot toddy as I was nursing a cold.

I had a brandy-infused hot toddy as I was nursing a cold. PHOTO | ABIGAIL ARUNGA

I had a vegetarian risotto that was delightful – I’ve recently acquired quite a taste for well-done risotto, and it seems to be following me around (except for the one I had in Malindi last week – more on that next week). The mushrooms and the creaminess were done to perfection, and still maintained a bit of the tang required to ensure that the risotto wasn’t just boring.

Actually, it would appear the items that were most disappointing for me where Seven’s menu is concerned were the starters and the finishers – or rather, the desserts. We saw someone else’s cheesecake going to another table, and because it looked so tasty, we decided that we wanted to try it. That wasn’t our finest moment, nor was it theirs.

The interior seating area at Seven.

The interior seating area at Seven. PHOTO | ABIGAIL ARUNGA

In short, I would definitely and I am definitely going to go back to Seven for another visit, but trying a different course to begin with and a different one to conclude with.

I am curious about their platters, but I will have to break someone else’s budget for the next time I go – I’m still recovering from that last excursion. For context, my hot toddy was about Sh700, and my risotto was Sh1,400, and those were some of the cheapest things on the menu – why do you think I was so actively trying everyone else’s food? Hehe…

Wondering where to get the 411 on what’s happening in and around Nairobi’s foodie scene? There’s a lot of places you could go, but here’s where we want you to be – getting the dish on the dish. Get it? We knew you would.