PUB REVIEW: Blend of Music, Food and Tuborg

PUB REVIEW: Blend of Music, Food and Tuborg
Reading Time: 4 minutes

The Blend is not one of those hidden parchments of Nairobi’s nightlife that a seasoned Nairobian would cherish. In fact, the only thing hidden about blend is the sitting space.  Especially if you go there on a weekend.

This club decorates a side of Mombasa Road, sitting inside the ground floor Next Gen Mall. Now, having lived in Nairobi you come to love to hate Mombasa Road. The snarl-ups are descendants of Beelzebub’s daughters and the stagnant heat on a Thursday afternoon feels like you are hugging a steam locomotive. So, Blend should feel like a welcome oasis.

But, on the surface; the heavy traffic, marked up drinks and a seat treasure hunt doesn’t seem worth the hustle. But, as the name suggests Blend is a cocktail of fun, music, and food. The crowd finds a neat balance between the energetic and the polite. Which means if you are there to dance the night away or nest away in a corner mulling over your phone – Blend will not let you feel out of place either way.

So, I am here to review a beer. Tuborg.

Even side chicks are starting to look the same. They all fit a particular bill: long weaves, ripped jeans, manicured fingers, fancy heels and a taste for whiskey (a cracked phone screen might or might not be a thing too).

I have seen a lot about it on social media. They launched and came in hard. Then vanished, typical market storms. Even one of Kenya’s richest men boasts of the drink – him having investment interests there might be a big part of it. But, if a billionaire drinks it I might as well too (something about the law of attraction, no?) But this is purely on the premise that it does not dent my wallet. Not that I even carry one, this writer thinks men should split their money into different pockets, spread the risk out, this is Nairobi. Not conveniently put all your valuables in one care package for a hoodlum somewhere on Tom Mboya Street.

So, I arrive at blend circa 6 p.m., it is a Wednesday. The place is empty save for a few chaps in checked shirts and khakis. They are having Heinekens. They reek of young success. They probably rolled into a good deal a few months back and are still cashing in. Something tells me that one of them drives a legacy – a Nairobi cliché. But Nairobians love their clichés. From clubs to dress codes to markers of success. See one and you’ve seen them all. Heck, even side chicks are starting to look the same. They all fit a particular bill: long weaves, ripped jeans, manicured fingers, fancy heels and a taste for whiskey (a cracked phone screen might or might not be a thing too).

Since the sun is still half eyed when I get there, the music playing is some old school hip-hop and R&B. There’s no deejay on the decks and most likely the manager put in a mix. I make my way to the counter where I perch myself, groggy from the previous night and wait as the waitress gingerly maneuvers behind the counter to where I am.

The way those guys open their beers is just sexy in a non-sexual way. Like ripping off a Velcro bra.

Do you ever meet someone and immediately forget what they look like even before they leave? You must stop yourself from introducing yourself every two minutes. They just have those faces like wet bread. This waitress was the exact opposite.

She looked exotic. She had an Ethiopian face (and hair – hers) and a hard to place the accent. Turns out, she’s from the land of milk and potatoes. I could have sworn she was smuggled in an Ethiopian Airline cargo held together with contraband charcoal but oh well. She’s one of those people that seem happy with their jobs. She serves with a smile and tries to crack a joke occasionally. It sucks that I am not a flirt because that was one number I would’ve loved to get away with.

Anyway, she gets my Tuborg. It comes cold. Sweating and the glimmering from the dying rays of the sun bouncing off its green body (I am lying but what the hell, right? A little poetry never hurt no one).

The first thing I liked about it is how it broke the monotony of beer. I am a Tusker guy, but Tusker just looks like a fat possum. There’s nothing inspiring about its body. They just stuck with a design and hoped that we would love it for years. Tuborg makes you want to stay with the bottle, hold it, kiss it and then marry it. Hehe. It also bridges the gap between the imported green bottles and the local beers.

So, if you were looking to switch beers (which you should never do) Tuborg is a worthy try.

The other thing that I really liked about it is the fact that I do not need an opener for it. I finally feel like I am on the set of an America movie. The way those guys open their beers is just sexy in a non-sexual way. Like ripping off a Velcro bra. Tuborg does not need you to chase down a waiter asking to have your beer opened. It also spares your teeth agonizing chipping if you choose to beaver your way into the bottle. And no ghetto, crass heroism of opening a beer with another beer. Men who do it think that is a testament of their masculinity. Mostly bullshit.

But finally, what you’ve been waiting for, the taste. I mean there’s really not much to write about the taste of beer. For most people, you either like it or hate it. To some people, they compare beer to adulterated cat piss. Others call it honeydew of the gods. For Turborg, the taste is mild. A seasoned beer drinker might feel a little bit let down. But for a starter, they will love the subtleness of the flavors. It also does not have those lingering aftertastes that most beers have. Those ones that stay in your mouth like an uninvited guest. Once it goes down, it goes down and stays down.

It is a beer that fits in any social event. Especially for people that are peer conscious. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a cold Balozi at Koroga festival but hey, a Tuborg fits in much better.

Oh, and for those that have significant others that might be irritated by their drinking habits – Tuborg does not have an extreme odor. It has a rich person’s beer scent. Not a drop dead drunk, rolling in a sewer 35 shilling a cup keg stench.

So, if you were looking to switch beers (which you should never do) Tuborg is a worthy try. 

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