Nairobi News


Alexandre’s sandwiches are to die for


Yaya Centre, Ground floor

If you read this column often enough (even as recently as last week), you know that I am constantly and consistently on the hunt for good old-fashioned moist well-made delicious cake.

I had an unfortunate experience with tiramisu at Carnivore last week, and I learnt my lesson; Carnivore is for meat, not for cake.

Anyway, while still in perfect of a creamy utopia, I decided to try somewhere I have always meant to try: Alexandre at Yaya Centre.

For some reason, every time I want to go, I always get derailed, or my money is committed elsewhere, or, or…there is always an excuse for me.

But this time I made a specific date and a specific budget allocation for something most worthy of my budget: tiramisu.

There is an upstairs and a downstairs at Alexandre. The downstairs is the part that is most visible to the public, right next to the lift, and consists of about 5 tables next to the glass display case.

The setup looks clean as well. I have never passed Alexandre and there is no one sitting at these tables. Perhaps they should expand into the area that Dormans just left vacant in front of the Yaya Centre help desk?

The glass display is something to write home about. It inspires feelings of deep covetousness and possibly theft because you want to break the glass and steal everything behind it.

They have an attractive spread of cakes, tarts, eclairs, and several things creamy, in addition to a small corner dedicated to their sandwich/salad spread (olives, lettuce, sun dried tomatoes, the like).

They have a second display which holds full cakes, as if you needed any more temptation.

The first impression, however, is a downer; when the friendly waiter gives you their menu, the first thing you notice is that it looks like a puppy was chewing on it.

It is a very shabby menu, old, dog-eared and tattered, and does not at all match the display case. To top that off, the majority of the prices (or at least, enough to be noticeable) are written in pen by hand. I find that ridiculous.

I decided to sit upstairs (which is where most people go when they want to smoke, it would appear). The upstairs area is more airy, as it is divided into an open terrace-like area, and a closed roofed area further in.

The menu at Alexandre offers a good variation of cakes (from 500 KES) and assorted desserts, coffees, quiches, juices (from 150 KES), sandwiches (from 400 KES) and salads – there was something on the menu for 40 bob which I assumed must be a single strawberry, but because the menu was so tattered, I could not see.

The most expensive thing on the menu, I saw, was a sandwich at about 1,000 KES.

I elected to be decadent and have a mocha – which was ok – a strawberry tartlet (195 KES) and a slice of tiramisu (500 KES).

Honestly, the tartlet was the best thing I had – the cream was perfect and the crust was precisely perfect as well.

The tiramisu was delectably moist, but there was something I did not like about how the ingredients came together.

It was fluffy and delicious though. Then after biding my time, I decided to go ahead and have a chicken mayo sandwich (520 KES).

It was filling, though I found the crust slightly too hard and had to separate it to eat in in two parts. The filling was excellent. It is appalling though that they charge you for the vegetables they put in the sandwich – an extra 70 bob for 2 slices of cucumber and a slice of tomato.

Regardless, I think I have found a new sandwich place.