When it comes to pizza are you a thin or thick crust kinda person? This is the question that stirs conversation most about pizza and whichever side you choose follows conversation on why the different side doesn’t cut it i.e. “thick crusts are way too bready” or “thin crusts hazishibishi”. Im a thin crust girl, but whatever side you are on it doesn’t matter, just eat whatever pizza that makes you happy! (
even if its Pizza Inn)
All this talk about pizza is attributed to the fact that it was #pizzafest this past week. If social media is any indication of how popular the festival was, Nairobi was popping with all things pizza. I jumped on the band wagon and visited two restaurants that are a bit under the radar when it comes to pizza. It’s with this I selected to go to Thorn Tree located at the Stanley Hotel and Spring Valley Oven. I was excited to give the two a try because their pizzas appear to be on the fancier side than what I’m used to, which is Debonairs barbecue chicken – The epitome of no frills commercial pizza!
Below is a run-down of the two places.
Spring Valley Oven
Located in the Spring Valley Shopping Centre this place has a nice informal vibe and I suspect is a favourite spot amongst the fine/monied residents of Spring Valley. The restaurant is located right by the road side and is simply decorated to have a bistro feel. Service here was good with the waiter’s pleasant and knowledgeable of the menu items. SVO has an extensive menu which includes a good pizza selection where we ordered the Italian Sausage and the SVO Supreme Pizza.
Italian Sausage Pizza
This comprised of house made Italian sausage and caramelized onions. I loved this pizza especially the caramelized onions that were perfectly sweet. The combination of the sweet onions and salty sausage merged superbly together. This is worth a try!
SVO Supreme Pizza
This pizza was loaded with A LOT that included pepperoni, beef, ham, peppers and mushrooms. I don’t like my pizzas with too many toppings because often times I feel like the ingredients don’t mesh well together. The peppers uplifted the pizza and I liked that the crust held up well to the topping overload. This was better than what I have experienced at other places but I honestly wouldn’t order it again. Ill admit that this was a poor menu selection on my part but if you like your pizza with the works I’m sure you will enjoy this.
I have a follower who swears by the Chicken and Bacon pizza which I had a glimpse of at a neighbouring table and it looked really good – so maybe order this when you visit.
Thorn Tree Restaurant
From the polite welcome at the door from the security to the attentive and warm wait staff; the service at Thorn Tree was EXCEPTIONAL. Thorn tree is one of the restaurants located within Stanley Hotel. When seated at the restaurant you can easily forget that you are situated right in the heart of the CBD, as the ambience is tranquil with potted greenery all over and a glass roof that lets in plenty of natural light. The pizza selection here is more classic – you won’t find barbeque or peri peri chicken options but more traditional Italian pizzas. We had the prosciutto & rucola pizza and the seafood pizza.
Prosciutto and Rucola Pizza
The beauty of this pizza was in its simplicity where you were able to taste each of the toppings distinctly. The artichokes had the mildest of flavour amongst the ham and fresh peppercorns that together complemented each other well. I especially loved how thin the crust was giving the pizza a perfect bite. I really enjoyed this and highly recommend it.
This was my first time eating a seafood pizza. I always steered away from them because I couldn’t imagine the combination of fish and cheese going well together. The seafood pizza at thorn tree had loads of seafood that included squid, fish, octopus and prawns. The pizza tasted better than I imagined it would but I still find seafood on pizza a bit odd. My companion who is a connoisseur in seafood pizzas stated that this was the best one he ever had. With this, if seafood pizzas are your portion, definitely give this a go.
Check out all that seafood!
I really enjoyed my experience at both places. At SVO you will get the crowd favourites i.e. barbecue chicken only that the ingredients and method of preparation used is better, providing you with an enhanced pizza experience. Thorn tree really is an oasis within the hustle and bustle of the city, and I’d recommend this place for more traditional pizzas but mostly if you want an immediate escape from the stresses of the city. The pizzas at both places average around Kshs 1,000 which isn’t a bad price for what you’re getting. Despite me having visited the places over pizza week I’d recommend them on a normal day.
I would equally rate the two in terms of their pizza offerings but thorn tree gets an extra half point because of their amazing service.
SVO – 7.5/10
Thorn Tree – 8/10
SVO – Lower Kabete Road
Thorn Tree – 12, Standard Street CBD