Nairobi News


Savanna has turned over a new leaf

Loita Street, CBD 

The last time I went to Savanna (the one on Loita Street) I was disheartened by their proportionate rise in prices and stagnation of food quality.

There were a lot of people there, the seats were uncomfortable, the service was slow and the food was lacking for that price tag.

This made me avoid all future experiences with this eatery and all its branches.

It did take quite a bit (read: free lunch) to make me be dragged back there again.

The ambience is still the same – an outside seating area, close to the road, an inner area with nice big windows looking out onto the street and an enclosed space with slightly uncomfortable couches far from the tables.

We sat in the inner area and the service was quick to attend – the first sign that indicated that perhaps Savanna has turned a new leaf.

The tables are still the same, as is most of the décor – black with flames of brown, to give it a Savanna-y feel?

The interior of Savanna located Loita street. PHOTO | FOODPHILE
The interior of Savanna located Loita street. PHOTO | FOODPHILE

Clientele ranges mostly between middle class and a few slightly older middle class guests.

Instead of AC, they had a fan in a corner – hopefully that is a one-time occurrence. My phone did not pick up any free wireless, either, which really, cafes need to start doing.

The menus are smaller and more manageable – I was glad to see they have not cut out my favourite mocktail (Big Pants). After that delight, however, I was then informed that it was not available that day.

The food came quickly – impressive, because we were a table of seven and that was unexpected.

I had a gigantic chicken wrap that I could barely finish and was pretty good, flavoured with a little mayonnaise.

I have always appreciated Savanna’s presentation, of both the wrap and the chocolate milkshake I ordered after the mocktail disappointment. The wrap came with fries, chili sauce and guacamole.

The milkshakes are good (though apparently nothing in comparison to the Orange Julius smoothie) – just the right amount of chocolate with a whisper of coffee in the background.

What made the milkshakes tastier, though, is that they look interesting to eat. Everyone knows half a meal is how it looks.

I think the portions are fair, for the price they are going for. The food is above average – my wrap cost about 650 – sandwiches, salads, quick eats, wraps, burgers, and a mean spaghetti bolognaise – , which is the average price for a meal, unless you are planning on having the specials. A drink starts at about 200 to 400 shillings.

Another thing I liked about Savanna is that at lunchtime, it is not overbearingly full – perhaps because it is not smack dab in the middle of town?

Anyway, there is breathing room a-plenty, and leg room as well, and it is possible to hear the conversations of the other people at your table well enough without having to shout.

All in all, I would say my return to Savanna was a pleasant experience, and when I am in that part of town again, a repeat visit has a good chance.