Local and vegan food
Kenyan produce is incredible! In London I’m always amazed at how much of the fresh produce in the supermarkets aisles is Kenyan. As a result I wanted to celebrate all we have available at our doorstep! Paired with the desire to change peoples perceptions about vegan and vegetarian food and beginning to think about social change through food, as dining out is so much a part of today’s social fabric, Boho Eatery was born.
Boho is short for Bohemian: a socially unconventional person, especially one who is involved in the arts. Food is art, and when we opened with our 80% vegan menu, we dare say we were certainly avant-garde in the Nairobi food scene.
Conscious and sustainable living
Boho was based on a set of ethos. First of all we focus on conscious and sustainable living. As a result, our menu is predominantly vegan & vegetarian and 80% of our produce is sourced locally. This way we want to offer healthy food to our customers while supporting local farmers and small businesses. Grow local, buy local, eat local.
There are several reasons why we naturally gravitate toward vegan and vegetarian cuisine. Firstly, we all know that eating more fruit an veg is good for us. That’s why we offer dishes that are equally healthy and flavorful and leave the diner satisfied. Our vegan and plant based options range from providing milk substitutes – almond, soy, oat or our own house made cashew and coconut milks, through to plant based mains and vegan cheesecakes!
Second, it is an interesting time to talk about climate change in East Africa. Since moving to Kenya I 2012, I have seen the seasons shift each year from sever drought to unprecedented rains in 70 years! It is something everyone talks about and we want to raise awareness to things like the role large scale cattle farms and deforestation for plan oil plantations have on the environment. While one may argue these are not directly relevant in the Kenyan context, we are a global community after all and all of our decisions and choices impact the rest of the world.
Finally, and we know this isn’t for everyone, it is simply because of the inhumane way in which animals in today’s farming practices are reared and slaughtered; similarly in the dairy industry how cows are repetitively impregnated to produce milk while calves are dragged away from their mothers at 3 days old. As the global economy has grown, so has the demand for meat and dairy products and they are highly regarded as indicators of socio-economic status. Our intention is never to force anyone to changes their dietary choices or make them feel guilty but strongly believe that knowledge enables us to make more responsible choices. We live in such a fast paced world! How many times have we bought steak at the weekend and then chucked it out mid-week having been too busy to make that nice meal? Or bought a liter of milk only for a splash in our tea and then poured the rest down the drain when it’s gone off? By knowing what the process to get these products on our tables entails, we can choose to be more conscious consumers whatever our choices are.
Consistency and quality
Our second set of key ethos are consistency and quality. We started with a small menu because we wanted you to consistently have the same experience every time you came and ate the same dish. What was important was that it looked at tasted the same each time, even if there was little choice on the menu. Only when we felt were able to achieve this did we decide it was time to expand our culinary offerings.
With a focus on vegan and vegetarian cuisine, 80% of our menu is plant based and we use the freshest, locally grown seasonal produce available. Each plate of food is designed and created to ensure that you are getting your 5-a-day in, #eattherainbow, without compromising on flavour. This may have gotten us a reputation as being a #healthyeating spot; we certainly aren’t complaining as it’s our thing!
With people increasingly being more conscious of what they eat and food allergies becoming more common, our menu is largely gluten free and most of it being sugar free as well (of course desserts don’t count, right?). We do not add any preservatives or nasties to our food and it is prepped daily to ensure freshness and 90% of what we serve is made in house; including all our sauces and breads.
Our food is inspired by our travels, how / what we like to eat and the bounty of ingredients grown in Kenya. We believe food is art, both on the plate and the palate! We strive to achieve a harmonious balance with our food but also our curated drinks list, a lot of which is house made as well as our bespoke cocktail list.
We were very conscious in how we designed the space to ensure it spoke to who we are. Having looked at many spaces before finally settling on our current location, we were keen to be as close to nature as possible and bringing it I to our dining spaces. Having engaged four designers and failing to find someone who was able to capture our vision, we ended up doing the interiors ourselves. We had all our furniture built onsite in locally farmed soft wood, staying away from the illegally logged hardwood smuggled across from the DRC.
We have four distinct seating areas from which diners can choose to sit, as well as the lounge and bar. The main indoor greenhouse / orangery area, the garden, the terrace with our iconic swing chairs, and the newer terrace extension with additional indoor seating. While distinct in their own right, they all come together to into a cohesive and seamless space.