What you need to know:
- One of the latest entrants into Nairobi’s food scene having opened in mid-December, thereabout, is Shokupan Japanese Bakery, located in Sarit Center, Westlands
- The menu is generally vegetarian and the breakfast section averages Sh1,000
One of the latest entrants into Nairobi’s food scene having opened in mid-December, thereabout, is Shokupan Japanese Bakery, located in Sarit Center, Westlands. I had a friend, an avid foodie, visiting from London having been away from Kenya for three years, and my goal was to curate the perfect experience for them to get a true taste for Kenya, and we therefore ended up checking out numerous restaurants around the country.
Shokupan is actually an umbrella term for a Japanese-style bread, and the word loosely translates to “eating bread” in English. The restaurant (it’s more like a cafe, actually) at Sarit itself is not strictly Japanese, if the menu is anything to go by. They do have a very bold and vibrant pink cherry blossom tree smack in the middle of the restaurant, the perfect backdrop for a date, brunch with a friend and endless social media photos. For such a small space, the ambiance is very charming.
At the bakery, which is a little removed from the indoor dining space, you can find items like four varieties of swiss rolls (they even have a matcha one which I’m dying to try next time), three varieties of croffles which are a hybrid of a croissant and a waffle, some tiramisu, milo mille crepe cake, strawberry shortcakes and more.
The menu is generally vegetarian and the breakfast section averages Sh1,000. I was quite torn between the souffle pancakes (served with strawberries, butter and maple syrup…my mouth is watering just daydreaming about it, but I'm trying to slow down on the carbs) and the acai bowl, eventually settling on the latter. It was a thing of beauty, that acai bowl- a frozen coconut smoothie bowl loaded with berries, banana, chia seeds, coconut shavings and roasted nuts. There’s a time before the pandemic when Instagram was flooded with images of acai bowls so delightfully pretty you wondered how one could even bear to eat them, and I may have just found my new go-to spot in the city. My friend went for the avocado on toast which came served with scrambled tofu and sautéed asparagus. The plating at Shokupan is certainly enhanced by the elegant cutlery.
You can also get soups, salads, sando, dumplings and mains which range from udon noodles and pad thai to teriyaki, for an average of Sh1200.
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