Changing Times AKA Ageing

I passed outside Hurlingham Shopping Center and I saw that the store that was Chopstix restaurant for years is now a liquor store.

I know that Chopstix closed years ago and the space had lay vacant for a while but seeing all the lights and the change made me nostalgic.

There was a dining culture when I was growing up in Nairobi that I remember so fondly and I do not know if I can even write about it well. Back then (the late 80s and 90s), fast food was basically Kenchic/Mcfrys style shops and Wimpy. And growing up as a middle class child in Nairobi, my mother took us out to eat every so often. It was mostly because she felt we needed the exposure that she lacked when she first moved to Nairobi. For example she was adamant that we learn as kids how to use fork and knife and how to order for yourself etc. Yes, she made us order what we wanted as opposed to ordering for us (there is an oft referred tale in my family of how she took us to Toona Tree and I ordered a steak done medium and when I cut into it and saw the red I started crying).

Back to Chopstix – It was one of our favourite restaurants. We would randomly decide to go there for lunch, for dinner and we were assured that the food would not disappoint. And mind you, it was a drive because we would be coming from Thika Road. If we were meeting relatives for lunch, we would somehow end up there. It was the first place/time I saw a Lazy Susan. The sweet and sour sauce was excellent – I remember the waiters being so attentive but also I was child so this could be a skewed view. It is one of those places, even as Nairobi changes and I grow older, I will always remember.

PS: Toona Tree was located at International Casino at Museum Hill (RIP)

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