I was contacted by Ki.Chen to write a review of their delivery services however, all opinions are my own. I also want to let you know that Jacquie who photographs for this blog was unavailable so I took these photos myself. But she’ll be back for the next post! Don’t you worry. 🙂
According to Susan, the Managing Director of Ki.Chen, the company was founded out of frustration. Frustration that they were unable to find a decently priced, delicious meal in Nairobi for lunch. When Ki.Chen began, they tested the market for three months which allowed them to adapt and grow their menu to a collection of ‘crowd favorites’. Although the menu is small, Susan says they look to grow the Ki.Chen menu by one item a month. Ki.Chen specializes in lunches and only provides delivery services Monday – Friday.
I had heard of Ki.Chen before from foodie Facebook groups and friends who worked in offices where there were no lunch options available in their neighborhood. When Ki.Chen wrote to me and offered to send a variety of their dishes for lunch, of course I said yes and I told them to “surprise me” with what they sent. I asked for the food to arrive at 1PM and it promptly did.
After meeting the delivery guy, I walked into the office with a large, sealed, paper bag and heads turned as people smelled the wafts of spices emanating from my lunch. I unwrapped the brown lunch bag in the communal lunch area pulling out three large containers of food. People jested asking if I was going to finish it all or saying “Is that one for me?”. I offered to share my lunch with the few people who were standing around me as I could already tell the portions were more than enough. Plus, everyone loves food but there’s little better than free food.
I unpacked three lunches: the Swahili Coconut Chicken Curry with cumin and coriander rice, The Ultimate BLT sandwich and Spicy Chinese Chicken Wings with Stir Fried Vegetables.
Each dish came in a sturdy Tupperware container, the kind your parents insist you hold on to and take home in case you ever want to pack food for another day.
I started with the Ultimate BLT sandwich. When unpacked, it looked like a “double decker” sandwich, four slices of bread and double the fillings. At first, I wondered what it was about my luck with extra large sandwiches that were hard to eat. However, upon further examination, the Ultimate BLT sandwich is actually two sandwiches in one.
The sandwich was good, the bread was clearly artisanal and fresh, the bacon was crispy and the tomatoes added a juiciness to the sandwich. The sandwich came with mayo spread on each slice of bread but I kind of wish I had gotten a packet of ketchup and mustard in my brown bag. (As you probably know by now) I LOVE dips and sauces and I especially like spicy mustard on my sandwiches.
Next I tried the Coconut Chicken Curry with cumin and coriander rice.
The curry was aromatic and there was plenty of chicken thrown in. However, chicken is the only solid ingredient you’ll find in your curry. I would have loved to have some carrots or potatoes but for the price point (ksh 500), it’s not so bad. For those looking for an Indian curry with heat, note that the chicken curry is very one-note in that it is sweet clearly from the coconut milk. The coriander cumin rice was also aromatic and fresh, it had good flavor but only order it if you enjoy the taste of cumin as there are a lot of seeds in the rice.
Last but most certainly not least, I tried the Spicy Chinese Chicken Wings and Stir Fried Vegetables.
In my opinion, the Spicy Chinese Chicken wings weren’t spicy (I like extremely spicy food, make me sweat or I won’t think it’s spicy) however they had distinct Chinese flavors. They were tossed in spring onions and tasted of soy and hoisin plus, the wings and drumettes were meaty. This was definitely my favorite dish of the afternoon (closely followed by the BLT). The veggies were an array of peppers and carrots tossed in soy… They were less well seasoned than the chicken wings and a little to crunchy (undercooked) for my liking.
The three meals I tried were fresh and tasty. I think the concept of Ki.Chen is unique and I would definitely order from there again (in fact, as I write this I’m waiting for my Chicken Caesar Salad to be delivered). The price point for a meal from Ki.Chen is… Well… It’s on point. The portions are big enough to share so one meal and a few sides or “snacks” can fill two people. Take a look at their full menu here. I would also like to add that whoever writes for their menu needs a promotion, every description I read made my mouth water and makes me think “THIS is what I’m going to try next”.
Ki.Chen offers healthy, fresh, tasty, and affordable meals to your doorstep (seriously, they’ll deliver anywhere in Nairobi) for a delivery fee of ksh 150. Plus, you can order from Ki.Chen for office deliveries for office meetings or lunches, so get your boss to foot the bill and enjoy some yummy food! 😉
My overall impression of Ki.Chen was good! I converted a handful of acquaintances in my office to people who would smile and strike up a conversation when they saw me. Aside from making new friends, I also enjoyed a huge lunch. Hopefully I’ll soon find my favorite sandwich or wrap to order from them and be one of those regulars who calls and they immediately know my order and address.
Have you tried Ki.Chen’s food before? Let me know what you think/what’s your favorite dish in the comments below!