The Exquisite Shamba Cafe & Shop is among the very few barn-style restaurants in Nairobi and adds a whole new level of modern barn-inspired setting. Tucked away in Loresho, the establishment offers an ideal location for family, group and date night outings.
Shamba Cafe is located along Loresho Ridge, before VetLab Sports Club and the Upper Kabete Campus of the University of Nairobi.
The establishment organically grew into a “farm to table’’ restaurant, farm shop and garden centre and has since been hailed by many as one of the best wine and dine locations in Nairobi.
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In this article, WoK takes a look at the cafe’s history, ownership, and exquisite menu.
According to the establishment’s official website, the idea of Shamba Café & Shop started in 2016 when Paul and Squeaks Simkin took Michelle Gilardi to a plot in Loresho. Michelle was looking for a location for her next venture in Kenya.
In setting up the restaurant, Michelle reached out to Chris Wahome who came up with the design and Gakuo Ndirangu, a squash friend and structural engineer who made it all happen.
They broke ground in July 2018 and officially opened on March 8, 2019. Much of the wood from the plot was used in lighting designs, tables, bao boards, picture frames and in construction.
According to the company website, Michelle’s friends often got together to see the building progress, and as the cafe took shape, they were there to witness it all.
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“We hosted Christmas Carols, our first ‘event’ on Dec 23rd before KPLC switched on the lights,” Michelle stated.
The farm-to-table restaurant rests on a 2-acre plot, which is part of a 500-acre farm at the University of Nairobi, College of Agriculture and Veterinary Science. Shamba is open from Tuesday to Sunday for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The restaurant is cosy and airy with high ceilings and a rustic interior that transforms into a romantic dining space as the fairy lights come in the night.
It is a peaceful retreat from the bustling Nairobi traffic, with plenty of fresh air and an incredible diversity of trees and birds. There is plenty of room for kids to play and run around and dogs are welcome. There is seating both indoors and out and tables in the garden.
Shamba serves globally inspired healthy cuisine with weekly specials and pizza from our wood-fired pizza oven. It is open from 9 am daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Saturday and Sunday brunch and early dinner Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.
The wine list is extensive, catering to all tastes, the bar is fully stocked and we have a creative cocktail list. The shop promotes delicacies and products grown, made and produced in Kenya and a selection from the University. Some of the last coffee grown in Nairobi is specially roasted and sold in the shop. The garden centre setup is complete. The eatery currently has a limited selection of herb, plant and tree seedlings, succulents and pots.
Shamba hosts a farmer’s market every Saturday, which offers locally grown and hand-made products. Organic vegetables are available on Wednesdays from EcoScapes located in Naivasha.
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