What you need to know:
Laughing Buddha Lounge & Café, Kenrail Towers, Ring Road Parklands
It was a hard pass when I got an invitation from my friend for a dinner date at Laughing Buddha Lounge & Café located at Kenrail Towers, Ring Road Parklands. Our reservation was at 6pm but being the African that I am and the fact that Nairobi traffic is unpredictable and chaotic, I arrived at 6.30pm but to an almost empty restaurant. My friends had not arrived yet despite the persistent reminders to keep time. It gave me time to walk around and have a look at this dessert fairytale restaurant.
From the entrance, there is a huge “Laughing Buddha” sculpture with a background of stunning hand-painted murals creating a pleasant, bespoke and chic mood. The pink interior with a floral background, hanging ornaments, green and pink seats, and the outstanding huge pink velvet sofas are perfect and make you feel like you are in a photoshoot session. The fully-stocked bar and the dessert counter are located in the same vicinity away from the grey-themed outdoor sitting area.
I ordered a dawa (hot water, honey, lemon, and ginger with a dash of mint –leaves) for Sh300 as I waited for my African-timer friends to arrive. The menu is fairly priced but what surprised me was that they had no meat options! My friends were shocked when they learned this on arrival. It is a vegetarian restaurant. But, since we had already arrived, we decided to try out the desserts and some cocktails. They have a tempting collection of homemade signature bakes giving sweet tooth and dessert lovers a dessert fairytale.
We tried the Ras Malai Tres Leches which is a creative mash-up of cardamom sponge cake and Ras Malai in a pool of three types of milk and beautifully garnished with rose & pistachio for Sh700. It was one of the sweetest things I have ever had. The pink mojito cocktail made with rum, grenadine syrup, lime, mixed berries, and muddled with mint leaves costed Sh750. It came exquisitely presented in a tall glass and was highly potent.
The highlight of our dessert fairytale night was the sizzling brownie which was a generous amount of melted chocolate drizzled on a chocolate brownie, toasted cashew nuts, and vanilla ice cream on a hot plate. It cost Sh750 and was like eating ice cream cake from a chocolate fountain. The service was great, an Instagrammable ambiance, and the prices were fair. I would recommend the restaurant for dessert lovers and vegetarians.
The Laughing Buddha symbolises happiness, taking away any problem, and is a symbol of good fortune.