ROAD HOUSE GRILL, KILIMANI
If you’re looking for a chilled out after-work or weekend establishment to unwind, have a nice grill dinner accompanied with drinks and grown-up conversations, then this is the place for you.
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Located strategically in the tranquil and lush suburbs of Nairobi’s Kilimani/Hurlingham estates; meet Road House Grill Kilimani, sister to Road House Grill Upperhill. Whether coming from Ring Road Kilimani, State House Road or other feeder roads, the joint is situated adjacent to Dennis Pritt Road and is hard to miss. If coming from Ring Road Kilimani, it’ll be on your left. If from State House road and its environs, it’ll be on your right just after Rose Avenue.
Depending on what time you arrive, parking space here might be a bit difficult. When I was there on a Saturday, the parking was so packed which I guess is the weekend norm starting from around 6PM. The numerous motis (due to locale of course) and limited parking space is most likely the main cause. However there were friendly gate guards who act as parking attendants who do their work well and will help you park your car, or help out when someone has double-parked near your ride when you need to leave early.
People seem to keep flocking here anyway so I guess that’s a non-issue. You can also take a cab, no worries. No parking fees but you can tip the guards as you leave. It’s also quite secure.
It was an okay environment as I entered. There were huge trees surrounding the joint and a cool breeze too. The building is a bungalow and lies next to some businesses which operate during the day. The joint itself had a relatively medium setting for such a huge crowd where seats can be an issue if you arrive too late. This again depending on your timing, it could be worth it because of the warm mood people are usually in here.
Road House Grill has a pool table for the gamers, but I noticed that it has limited screens for the huge sports fans. There were a few designated smoking zones too but I don’t think Kenyan adhere to such confinements.
PS: I didn’t spot a kids’ zone.
The crowd was mature, 30+ and well, judging by the cars here, you’ll see for yourself. When you get there, you’ll be greeted by loud conversations and laughs since the music has limited volume. Road House Grill had no DJ, because again, this mature crowd has its priorities. People seem to come here to unwind as friends, family, couples, colleagues or foodies. The mood is hakuna matata and you won’t find rowdy or ratchet youth here. The local has its own specific type of clientèle; call them regulars if you may.
Maybe it was the limited service attendants or the large numbers; service can be a bit disappointing, especially from the waiters/waitresses. It’s better for you if you identify an individual, even form a small bond so that they are quick to serve you and serve you well. Ever had that feeling in your gut when you already sent a waiter for drinks, it’s been more than 15 minutes and now you can’t remember what they look like? Yeah, definitely not their strongest suit, but I’m sure the locals have adapted. However, this varies because some attendants are actually okay.
The food (meat) is great. Whether it’s Nyamachoma, tumbukiza or fry, the preparation is great. The guys in the kitchen know their stuff and you won’t regret it, I did not. The accompaniments were also good and will leave you wanting to come back again for more.
However, there can be quite a wait time especially during the rush-hours that I mentioned. The good thing is that you can call them up and order in advance. They will reserve your order and you will have it ready by the time you arrive. That comes in pretty handy.
At the Road House Grill counter, the bartender and the waiters/waitresses will keep the drinks flowing. Drinks come in all forms; the usual products for the lovers of beer, whisky, gin, vodka, liqueur etc. I don’t think they serve cocktails though.
Road House Grill has quite friendly prices even despite the locale. It pretty much serves as a decent local since everything is fairly priced from the drinks, to the food, to the pool games. There’s really nothing to complain about there. Most folk flock there for the good nyamachoma and other meaty delicacies and it serves as an ideal place you can have fun, mature uninterrupted conversations with your friends. It’s a definite recommendation if you live close to the vicinity. I guess it can also serve as a stopover for some; you know, just before you’re about to hit the club. You can also hang here during the day and just kick it.
Have you been to Road House Grill? Let me hear your own experiences below.