Category: International Media, Press

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By BON VIVANT

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IN SUMMARY

  • It has a combination of homemade lasagna, veal, beef meatballs, cheese, peas, eggs, spinach, lamb and homemade meat and tomato sauce (ragu). Such a hearty meal seems fit for hardworking farmers or for a celebration.
  • If you are in the mood for something light, an appealing snack was the Italian gelato sandwich.
  • There is also a sports bar with a huge array of drinks from Italy, starting at Sh300 for draft beers. Since last month coincided with the Pope’s visit, they had an offer to taste the Pope’s favourite wine free.

Philadelphia is a Greek word meaning brotherly love and when we visited Gran Caffe L’Aquila, we found a warm and hospitable Italian spirit. Located in the central business district, this establishment is a hip and modern rendition of the street cafés you would traditionally find in Italy. It prides itself on representing Italian coffee and gelato culture.

Gran Caffe L’Aquila is similar in some ways to Kenya’s Mambo Italia and resembles more upmarket Italian cafes in Malindi and Mombasa.

They offer fresh gourmet coffee, and the usual Mediterranean delicacies (pastries) to accompany your beverage.

The difference is that Gran Caffe boasts a stronger connection to the motherland of Italy, taking their patrons on a culinary journey to a different region of Italy each week. They emphasise the diversity of Italy, a country that has several different communities with differing staple foods and dialects.

The dishes from their home country menu range from light to very filling. For instance, they recently featured a special lasagna from Teramo.

It has a combination of homemade lasagna, veal, beef meatballs, cheese, peas, eggs, spinach, lamb and homemade meat and tomato sauce (ragu). Such a hearty meal seems fit for hardworking farmers or for a celebration.

If you are in the mood for something light, an appealing snack was the Italian gelato sandwich. There is also a sports bar with a huge array of drinks from Italy, starting at Sh300 for draft beers. Since last month coincided with the Pope’s visit, they had an offer to taste the Pope’s favourite wine free.

My host spoke fluent Italian, which broke the ice with our server who had come directly from Italy. He offered us the opportunity to taste as many flavours of gelato as we wanted.

In Kenya, they only allow a maximum of two or three tastes for some reason. Our host also recommended specific combinations he had created – eggnog with dark chocolate and pistachio with hazelnut. Seasonal flavours included pumpkin spice gelato. Patrons who are dairy-free due to health reasons could choose from the four different sorbet flavours available.

I tasted these and they were similar to the ones I have had at Yul’s in Nyali, Mombasa and Arlecchino at the Village Market in Nairobi. It gratified me to note that Kenyan establishments offering Italian food are also trying to maintain some authenticity.

The prices in Gran Caffe are at the same range as those in Kenyan establishments, with an ice-cream cone of two scoops going for Sh500.

RATINGS

Ambiance – 4.5/5

Service – 4.5/5

Food – 4/5

Hygiene – 4.5/5

Value – 4/5

Original Article Here 

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