Posts Tagged ‘Nairobi’


In Restaurants on 3 November 2011 at 1:44 am

At the end of a long narrow surban road in Nairobi lies the Divino’s Wine Bar. As you walk in, it feels like someone has tried to create a Mediterranean experience in the tropics. I was new to Nairobi and this was place was perfect, it was half way between Africa and Europe. The food is excellent and the wine very reasonable. We had a seafood platter, which was freshly done. The service was excellent. I remember leaving with a satisfied grin on my face.

Argwings Kodhek Road | Kilimani, Nairobi, Kenya | +254 20 2376361

Royal Kitchen, Prideinn

In Restaurants on 23 October 2011 at 1:06 am

I am finicky about Indian food and why shouldn’t I be. I rarely like eating Indian food in a restaurant. Imagine my surprise when I found myself eating a fantastic Indian meal and that too in a relatively unknown Indian restaurant in Nairobi.

Royal Kitchen looks less like a restaurant and more like a cafe run in a safari tent when you walk in at first. At the end of the tent are some really nice intimate corners created by leather couches. Even after we had sunk into these couches, we could see the football on the telly out of the corner of our eyes. Prideinn is a residential hotel and it is a shame that the Royal Kitchen doubles up as a coffee shop. There were the usual boisterous expats downing beers in the background and reliving their African exploits, which frankly sounded more fantasy than reality. Nairobi, for all its charm, would be a far better place without the swarming crowd of pretentious self styled Livingstones.

The menu was intriguing. It was an eclectic menu largely drawn from the Mughalai cuisine. It was also reminiscent of the food I used to eat at my grandfathers as a teenager. Finding Murg Mussalam on the menu left me very nostalgic. Unfortunately, as traditional Mughalai cooking is slowly giving way to modern India cuisine with regional influences, traditional dishes like Murg Mussalam are more and more difficult to find, even in India. To my utter amazement, the Murg Mussalam was perfect. Creamy and mild, yet delightfully moorish. We ordered some kebab, a Paneer Pasanda and a lamb biryani. The only disappointment was the biryani. A proper Biryani is a very laborious to cook and almost impossible to get right in a restaurant.

The evening turned out to be a memorable one. We left the restaurant smacking our lips and feeling extremely satisfied. What matters in a restaurant is the food. If the food is done right, I can forgive almost anything. Even football and boisterous expats!


In Restaurants on 23 October 2011 at 12:35 am

Very rarely you walk into a restuarant and everything feels right. Onami is just that place.

The music is loud enough to get you in the mood yet allow you to whisper to your date. The lighting is subtle enough to retain your privacy, yet not force you to grope in the dark. The food is fresh and with enough twist to intrigue you yet not so radical that you have to scratch your head. The service efficient yet unobtrusive. Onami is the my perfect go to place. Too bad it is million miles away from where I live.

I was in Nairobi for about a week in September 2011. Onami drew me back twice. We had seviche salad and tuna salad liberally sprinkled with mango. The Chef’s sashimi platter that followed was impeccable. The range of cocktails were bewildering. We experimented with one called “Nairobi to Tokyo.” Even though “Nairobi to Tokyo” did not disappoint, we preferred the conventional cocktails. On a latter visit we had a bottle of Lambrusco, which was chilled to perfection.

Nairobi may feel like a outrageously long way to go for a good outing, but somehow, going all the way for Onami does not feel that outrageous.

Westgate Mall, Mwanzi Rd, Westlands, Nairobi, Kenya | +254 713 328 688