Secret Garden Cafe: The healthy ‘secret’ is out

Secret Garden Cafe Restaurant in Nairobi, Kenya (Susan Wong 2012)

Health-conscious office dwellers in Nairobi’s busy Central Business District (CBD) have long been searching for healthy meal options.  Aside from fresh tilapia, sukuma wiki and githeri, options in the CBD are limited and often doused with heart-stopping condiments or partnered with huge portions of starch.

Just one-month-young, Secret Garden, conveniently located in the new office blocks at 14 Riverside Dr., only a couple of kilometers outside of the CBD, is one of Nairobi’s latest must-try healthy restaurants.

Wearing pressed sage-coloured cotton uniforms with big smiles, the staff warmly welcomes you at Secret Garden.  Yellow Stone sourced from one of Kenya’s quarries cover the façade, projecting a soft and warm Mediterranean feel.  Comfortable yellow cushions complement the outdoor furniture, and sage-coloured upholstered microfiber dining chairs and wooden tables create an intimate interior dining space.

Nestled in one of the compound’s courtyards, shielded from the noise from the main road, the well-manicured green lawns of Secret Garden ensures diners can enjoy some peace  once the construction of the last phase of the compound completes in a few weeks time.

By keeping food simple, fresh and natural, you can eat to your heart’s content without wondering if you’re clogging your arteries at Secret Garden.  And, that’s really the “secret” behind Secret Garden and also, to living a healthy lifestyle. It’s this philosophical approach that inspired Secret Garden’s salad bar concept and light menu.

A diverse selection of house salads and fresh ingredients, picked fresh from Secret Garden’s Nakuru farm early every morning, adorn the salad bar.  Whether it’s à la carte or creating your own, Secret Garden’s salad selection will make any aspirational health junkie happy.  The salad bar conveniently transforms into a tapas bar filled with cold cuts, olives and cheeses to accompany a soothing glass of wine in the evening.

Capital Lifestyle Magazine swears by the Spicy Chicken and Coconut Soup. Tender chicken cubes, lemongrass, coconut milk and a dash of chilli – this soup is literally an explosion of flavours that will awake anyone’s palette.

The Calamari Maridadi, literally “Light Calamari,” is lightly grilled until tender and is served on top of a bed of green leafy salad.

Finally, like the period of every sentence, the perfect dessert finishes off a delicious meal.  Wafer thin pancakes served with an orange sauce make Crepes Mt. Kenya the perfect conclusion to Capital Lifestyle’s visit.

Sandwiches and soups begin at Sh 450 and salads start at Sh 500.  For location details, and prices – make sure you check out and

Well the “secret” is out now.  Fresh juices, healthy and hearty soups, pastries, waffles, pancakes, desserts, sandwiches and a tasty selection of salads makes Secret Garden a great place to visit.  And, with its central location and more than 1,000 parking spaces, giving Secret Garden a try is really a no-brainer.

Secret Garden Cafe Restaurant in Nairobi, Kenya (Susan Wong 2012)

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