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Let’s Stop Pretending: Sonford Fish & Chips Is Terrible

It’s almost impossible to be in Nairobi as a resident for any length of time without visiting Sonford, despite the social classes and all. Everyone seems to love it because it’s relatable, supposedly cheap, and even a meme at one point. Despite the food being terrible, people continue to speak highly of it and keep coming back. Their business model is highly inconvenient and traditional compared to other establishments, yet the place is always crowded.

In this post, we’ll explore what makes Sonford “supposedly so special” and everything wrong with it.

Just to be clear, Sonford Fish & Chips is not terrible as an establishment, their food is.

Getting Food at Sonford

For first-timers, Sonford Fish & Chips is along Moi Avenue almost directly across the Fire station which is on Tom Mboya Street (but on the other side)

This is a self-serve restaurant, just like any fast food joint, so you order for yourself and collect your food from different counters. For instance, the cashier is at the back of the restaurant you pay to get your chips from the other end of the counter and if your order has chicken then you have to walk again to the entrance where there is a rotisserie turnspit to get your chicken from there and finally find a place to sit and eat.

The cashier can be quite unfriendly if you’re taking your time to order, everything moves fast here and it’s that way so that you don’t hold the line, so come prepared.

The place doesn’t accept any digital form of payment, just cash, this is by far the only place in Nairobi that doesn’t accept M-PESA which is widely adopted in everything, in contrast, some places don’t accept cash, and its M-PESA only for instance any government place like a park or museum, and private establishments like Century Cinemax.

Menu & Prices

Sonford is one of the places in Nairobi where you can eat for dirt cheap, well there has been a price increase lately and chips that used to be KSh 100 are now KSh 120, still super affordable or on par with other establishments of its kind, infact some are way cheaper.

Quarter-piece chicken is currently KSh 175, if you need tomato sauce that is provided as an additional purchase, other menu options include samosas, bhajias, fruit juices, and soda but ironically no fish, the fish and chips locations in Nairobi CBD don’t actually serve fish which is amusing, or maybe they used to back in the day and they don’t anymore.


Sonford Chips

Now for the food perhaps the entire reason everyone goes to Sonford, starting with the chips it is mediocre to describe it in a single word. I don’t get the “Chipo za Sonford” craze, there’s nothing special to them, they are not even average let alone iconic, they are pale and not cooked all the way through.

The outsides are okayish, with a little crunch then the inside is a waxy filling that is undercooked you can actually taste the potato that made the fries, except that they are boiled.

The serving portion is good and even on the generous side but I still can’t stress how bad these fries are, surprisingly they’re on par with Big Square fries which is supposedly a more elegant fast-food restaurant, so yes as much as Sonford chips are bad I wouldn’t term them the worst, but they’re down there.

Read on Big Square Fries Review: BIG Square Menu, Photos & Restaurant Review


Sonford Chicken

Just when you thought chips were bad, the chicken was worse, first off it is visibly burnt, and this is not an isolated incident; Sonford chicken is always charred all the time like they’re making charcoal from the chicken, it is not even flame-grilled to make this a possibility, it is rotisserie chicken so that burning is a big deal, and that always burning is a bigger deal, it’s like the restaurant’s policy to make sure the chicken is always burned

Part of the chicken is burnt, then it’s not surprising that the chicken itself is dry, this was just expected. after all when all moisture is drained, burning starts, and the chicken is dry and chewy and just not okay.


Sonford Fish & Chicken
Sonford Fish & Chicken

Of course, you don’t expect Sonford Fish & Chips to be good like big fast food chains or restaurants, it should be just average or above average at the normal and local joints, but it falls below that line for me.

Also Read: The 20 Popular Fast Food Chains in Kenya Ranked.

So still, I don’t get what is so special about Sonford, since the food is so bad even for the money you can get better food elsewhere, as for me maybe it is because it is the oldest thing out here, or because they are open 24 hours?

So by elsewhere what do I mean?

My best recommendation is the Kenchic outlet just at the foot of the UoN bridge, one of the best roast chickens I have ever had in Nairobi CBD, and if you are on the other end of town near Afya Centre, consider checking Bakers Inn:

Read : Baker’s Inn: The Perfect Fries and Rotisserie Chicken!

Yes, they are a bakery but have the best fries you can get in town and great roast chicken, but if you want really good chicken then go to the Kenchic place in Muindi Mbigu Street near Big Knife UoN footbridge.

These places cost considerably more than Sonford but it. is worth it, the price difference won’t exceed KSh 100 for the chips and chicken combo but the quality difference is everything.

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