I don’t want to reduce this lovely restaurant at Maua Close in Westlands, Nairobi to anything so innocuous. I don’t want to diminish the lovely security guys outside with hats ordering you to park against the fence.
Or the butler waiting for you at the small gated entrance that leads you into a large romantic patio or further into the main restaurant.
I don’t want to overlook the sheer elegance of the decor; the books, the antiques, the paintings, the beautiful patterned chairs, the high iron beams painted the color of the wood, the festive and seductive and celebratory atmosphere.
I don’t want to overlook the cuisine they call ‘high African cuisine’. I’m not trying to take away from Suji, a former footballer turned bartender who served me a new whiskey I had never heard of.
Forgive me for not having looked into all this but I would like to talk about the men’s toilets in beit é selam.
You will be in a hurry to see more amazing bathroom. Or something more visually striking. It’s the flower-patterned walls, the black chevron-patterned tiles, and the light that shines perfectly.
These are the wooden doors with white shutters. Music streaming against the walls. This is the most gorgeous bathroom I’ve seen in a while. These are the Oscars of toilets. All toilets gather there for benchmarking. It’s a shame that men don’t take selfies in the toilet.
I recently stood there and thought it was a perfect place to propose to a woman. You leave your phone on the table, leak and stay there. After 30 minutes, she will have to pick you up, worried that you fell in the toilet bowl.
She’s going to open the door a crack, and you’ll be there, one knee, the box in your hand, one hand against your heart, the lights illuminating your love. She’ll scream, “Oh my God, Tom, are you seriously proposing to me in the men’s room!?” The best dinner conversation for years to come.
And so you know, beit é selam means ‘house of peace’ and what a peaceful way to start a marriage?
Whatever you do while visiting Beit é Selam, please visit the men’s toilets.