The appeal of About Thyme Restaurant is three parts ambiance, two parts food and if you happen to live around Westlands, equal parts convenience. Set on the junction of Peponi Road and Eldama Ravine, this spot has always been a favourite and the mere thought of going back always elicits pangs of joy coupled with a sort of gluttonous anticipation for all the sumptuous food set to hit my palate with just the right amount of aplomb.Hence, with a table booked out in the garden this past weekend, I met up with a group of friends and family for what turned out to be quite the pleasant afternoon. Just so you know, on Saturdays, they open from noon till late and on Sundays for brunch and lunch only.
I do so love a good garden restaurant. It is just the stuff that idle Sunday afternoons that would otherwise be spent binge-watching whatever shows or movies aren’t being repeated for the upteenth time on DSTV are made of. One vibrant flower and gently falling leaf at a time. Plus, if you are at About Thyme, there is always the chance that a cheeky monkey might clamour down one of those beautifully upholstered gazebos and with the patrons oohing and aaahing at this ever so limber and oddly human-like creature that we apparently evolved from, and kids laughing and clapping their pudgy little hands in glee, it is all quite the welcome spectacle, I might add.
The average cost of a main meal is Ksh 1,500, and one of my favourites from the charcoal grill section of the menu is the paprika and lemon chicken breast. Picture a tender and juicy chicken breast marinated in a mixture of paprika, cumin and lemon with Ajo Verde which is a Peruvian style green chilli sauce, culminating in just the perfect level of zing with a spicy kick , and served with sauteed new potatoes and a medley of grilled seasonal vegetables. Really the menu is so extensive that you will simply be spoilt for choice. A breakfast fry up, stuffed barbequed pork chops with apple sauce, premium aged beef so tender it will come apart like butter, salads, vegetarian options, a dessert menu that will temporarily knockout your no-sugar diet (there’s even a Kenyan cheeseboard, for all you cheese lovers out there), digestifs, boozy coffee or hot chocolate and much more.
If you fancy a nice fine dining experience with friends, family or business mates, About Thyme dishes it out just like I like it. But then again, I’ve never quite been a fan of flamboyant culinary expressions such as molecular gastronomy because I am a firm believer that foam, for instance, should only be in soap, beer or hair products, and I would much rather a dish be pleasantly palatable than overtly artistically elaborate. What use is it if you spent 28 days making it if the end results tastes like Ryegrass with a Ksh 10,000 price tag per menu item? Besides, if you are looking for a family friendly restaurant, kids just want ice cream, cookies, chocolate brownies and all that other delicious stuff that’s bad for their teeth.
About Thyme is quite popular with big groups, regularly hosting celebrations such as birthdays, bridal showers, graduations and other get-togethers. The space feels intimate but can hold 50 people; you won’t realize that it’s actually that big because seating is spread out indoors, on the terrace and in the garden. If you reserve the entire space, you can comfortably host up to 100 people.
Opened in 2005, this restaurant is the culmination of a lifelong dream for Deborah Swai who worked as a pastry chef in restaurants in the UK, hence, as she aptly puts it, it was about time. In the 13 years it has been running, she has attracted regular patrons who have been returning for the great food, consistency and good service. They also just won the Tripadvisor 2017 certificate of excellence. On Wednesdays you can find the saxophone being played by a fantastic band and on Thursdays you get a complimentary Mojito with dinner. Because, let’s face it…Thursday always calls for a Mojito.
You will love this spot because it is relaxed, laid back and peaceful. As I took the first bite out of the decadent dessert trio (it’s about Ksh 650 and is great if you can’t quite decide which dessert to order. The platter comes with three of the house signatures: chocolate brownie, strawberry cheesecake and banoffee pie), I couldn’t help but be reminded why I always enjoy my dining experiences here.