I visited Juniper – a bar and restaurant located in the Westlands suburb of Nairobi on a weekday evening . I had visited the place before on a Friday night at around 10PM and being a very popular nightlife spot it was way more packed. I wanted something to bite, and had to call the waitress to confirm if the kitchen was still open.
I waited patiently for around 10 minutes , until I saw her serving the surrounding tables and totally ignoring me. I had to call her a second time and give her a piece of my mind and despite being apologetic she just went off without asking if there was anything I wanted to order.
I eventually decided to go up to the bar and order a drink instead of relying on the staff . I didn’t end up staying long that night. I left unimpressed.
I don’t make it a habit of going out after work (I’d much rather curl up on the couch and watch YouTube or Netflix) but my friend was going to Juniper and since it’s not far from my way home I decided to give Juniper a second chance.
This time, we got there at around 6pm and it was predictably less busy than it had been during my previous visit.
Service was prompt, the waiter attended to us as soon as we sat down. My order came in good time.
The décor is hobo chic personified. When I think of the décor the words that come to mind are rustic, tumblr and hobo. The outside seating is comprised of wooden crates and benches. Some of the benches are made out of tyres. The centerpieces are mason jars with flowers.
At night the place looks amazing thanks to the fairy lights – an elegant touch, that really transforms the place.
Soon it got too chilly outdoors so I moved inside.
The indoor is full of photos. There is the bar area, a larger section with barrels for tables where one can have their drinks and on the side there is a cosy lounge area
I had a barbecue chicken with twice cooked potato wedges accompanied with some guacamole, dipping sauce and salsa on the side. I’m not sure about the price but it was either Kshs 650 or Kshs 750.
If you’re planning to dine in Juniper, you’ll need to wait a bit. Their kitchen is currently undergoing renovations so it’s not operational. You can however drop by for a drink or order food from outside.
On this particular day (5th May) they were having a Cinco de Mayo offer (yeah I know, this blog post is long overdue) The bar was filled with sounds of Latin music. The offer was 2 margaritas for Ksh 1000 and 6 shots of tequila for Ksh 1500.
I don’t know if this is an issue other bloggers encounter, but don’t you just hate it when an establishment won’t let you take photos? I wanted to take some photos for the blog so I approached a waiter and asked if they had any problems with my taking photos. He said no but later on, I was approached by the same waiter and directed to the manager.
I went ahead and spoke to the acting manager who didn’t seem to have a problem initially , up until an hour or so later when she requested me to stop taking the pictures because they were for my blog.
I obliged but was never given a proper reason as to why I was stopped from taking any pictures. This is one thing I find very frustrating when it comes to taking photos for the blog in Nairobi. I was not intruding on the staff or patrons and would not have done so without permission.
How to get there
Juniper Kitchen is off Waiyaki Way on Muthangari Drive. The turn into Muthangari Drive is right after the Shell opp the Safaricom HQ. I’m not too sure if there is a sign but if you’re not careful you might miss it. The gate is nondescript.
Update: Juniper closed down and re-opened as J’s Fresh Kitchen.