Africa calling

The flow of investment into Africa from the GCC, in the past, has been largely aid-based. But this is slowly changing.

When Las Vegas’ Light Group signed a partnership deal in 2008 with financial tycoon Mohammed Al-Hashimi to open Caramel Restaurant and Lounge in Dubai, it signalled the Middle East city’s arrival on the international cuisine and entertainment scene. The same can now be said for Nairobi as the Caramel Group finalises construction on its first restaurant in Africa.

Published in bq, June 2014

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Nairobi restaurants, the best in Africa?

When Nairobi hosted its inaugural Restaurant Week in early February, it joined the ranks of the world’s top culinary cities and marked its arrival on the international stage of gourmet cuisine.

Fifty high-end restaurants opened their doors for eight days, and slashed their rates to three courses for between Sh1,250 and Sh1,750 ($14-$20). The event attracted overwhelming numbers. Some venues did five times the volume they normally do, and the top-booked customer ate at 13 restaurants in eight days.

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Published in African Business, April 2014

Nairobi joins world’s top culinary cities

Fifty restaurants will participate in Nairobi’s inaugural Restaurant Week as Kenya’s capital joins a global phenomenon that counts among its ranks New York City, Cape Town, London, Amsterdam, Chicago and Los Angeles.

The event will consolidate Nairobi’s position as the gastronomy capital of the region.
Mr Mikul Shah, Director of EatOut and event partner said, “I got the idea when I went to Restaurant Week in New York a few years back. I had just started EatOut and last year I felt that Nairobi was ready for its own Restaurant Week. And with the 50 years Golden Jubilee, the timing was perfect to launch the first Nairobi Restaurant Week (NRW) with 50 establishments.”

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Published in Nairobi Business Monthly, February 2014

The food chain in the restaurants business

Upon completing his Masters degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Nairobi, James Muriithi Kinoti travelled to Dubai to work as a sales engineer. But even as he was absorbed into the cosmopolitan workforce of the Middle East desert city, his eyes strayed to the small restaurants that dotted its urban landscape and in this most infertile of landscapes, an idea began to germinate.

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Published in Nairobi Business Monthly, November 2012