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Jun 13, 2011 01:56 AM

Foodie dining partner in Nairobi June/July 2011?

Any foodies in Nairobi June 27-July 11 interested in coming along with me to dine at Carnivore? I'm dying to go but my travelling companion unfortunately is a vegetarian, and I don't want to force him along with me. :)

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  1. Hey there

    I was just wondering if there is a particular reason you are going there? Bearing in mind that they no longer do the wild game meat that they used to

    8 Replies
    1. re: waytob

      Well apparently it is one of the best restaurants in Kenya... of course I'd love to have tried the wild game but I hear they still do have ostrich, crocodile, and camel. Do you have any opinions about it? Any idea how much it costs to eat there? Any other recommendations? I'd appreciate any advice you have to give. Thanks!

      1. re: ajwoo

        It used to be fantastic, but I'll be honest the last time I ate there was over 3 years ago, just before they put the game meat ban on. The place as a whole is a long way from what it used to be when it was on the top 50 list, and is more of a tourist gimmick now than anything else, hence the personal avoidance.

        I think the average cost will be about $40, again prices may have gone up since I was last there, but the Kenya shilling is very weak against the USD, so you will benefit from the exchange rate.

        It's a unique experience eating there, but in my opinion the lack of the real game meat makes it a rather pricey option for a grilled meat experience, at present the only exotic meats they serve are crocodile and ostrich, both of which are farmed. Occassionally they have gazelle from a farm up in Nanyuki.

        Regarding other recommendations, its again very dependant on what sort of food you enjoy, you can get anything from a dingy ethiopian cafe, to a high priced amazing cellar experience. Perhaps if you could give me some boundaries or guidance tracks I would be better able to help.

        Also it depends on where you are staying as well, to factor in the traffic etc.

        1. re: waytob

          Thank you, I very much appreciate the advice. Reading through some of the other posts on Carnivore, I will likely decide to skip it after all. I believe I will be staying in the Lavington area, as I will be taking some Swahili lessons there for two weeks. Generally I eat simple, low-budget things though I am willing to splurge once in a while. I really do like eating what the locals do, as they really do tend to know what's best in their area! (I must say, thoughl that I am a west-coast Canadian girl so I have been especially missing good Japanese and Chinese food after a year away from home.) As I had mentioned, I am travelling with a vegetarian so veggie-friendly menu options are always appreciated too. :)

          1. re: ajwoo

            From Lavington there are plenty of options in both ranges:

            Habesha (hurlingham) and abyssinia (brookside) are both good Ethiopian low cost options and veg friendly, I find Abyssinia much better in quality and service.

            You shoud go to Chowpatty for a full Indian veg meal, its cheap and does some great south Indian dishes.

            Another place I think you'll enjoy is Diamond Plaza, set up by the new influx of Indians into Kenya, its a range of food stalls set around a central eating area and you can get anything from fresh sugar cane juice to a whole deep fried chicken with a spicy chilli sauce.

            Local food tends towards Nyama choma, not very veg friendly - from lavington there's a place called Njuguna's thats a local haven.

            If you're likely to be out and about at night there are some bars that are very tourist friendly - Gipsy, Black Diamond and Bacchus (on thursday's)

            Our Japanese restaurants are run by Koreans (go figure) and in my opinion the best one is Furusato - love their sushi and they do a nice spicy vegetarian bibimbap

            There's a new non-alcoholic place that is quite good for lebanese food, its called cafe habibi....in westlands.

            Your average meal for the above places will be between $5 and $30, although Diamond plaza and abyssinia are very cheap. Furusato is probably the higher end of your eating experience, and we pay on average $30 per head (including wine or sake)

            I hope this helps you, please let me know if you want anymore info

            1. re: waytob

              Great info waytob, but can you recommend a lunch spot in the Karen area? We'll be by the Elephant Orphanage in the AM next month and will likely go to the Giraffe Center afterwards, and looking for a good meal in between. We were thinking of Tamambo at Karen Blixen Coffee Garden but reviews seem to say it's way overpriced.

              Diamond Plaza sounds fun, like the hawker stalls in Singapore, but it's out of the way and we're going to Blanco's for dinner. How late are the stalls at Diamond Plaza open, in case we want a casual late night snack the evening we fly in? Or are there better options for that closer to our hotel, the Hilton?

              1. re: PekoePeony

                Hi PP

                My apologies for the late reply, I have been travelling for the last 2 weeks and haven't had any access to the net unfortunately.

                I am not sure if you have already made your trip, so will give recommendations either way:

                Karen - there is the Talisman which is great for lunch or alternatively Que pasa which is also really nice

                The Junction is a huge mall that is not too far away and has lots of options, including a great frozen yogurt place.

                Diamond plaza is open till midnight, but some stalls close at 10, although this month they will stay open later because of Ramadhan.

                The Hilton is in town so DP will be a bit out of the way, there are plenty of late night cafes open in the area, but I would recommend you don't walk around once it is dark.

                I am not sure how long you will be in Nairobio for, but Blanco's will definitely be a treat for you, and there is a great karoga place round the corner from there called Azalea, where you can probably get a snack at after 10.00pm

                Hope this helps

                1. re: waytob

                  waytob: thanks for your response! There's still a week before our trip so your feedback is very timely. We're only in Nairobi for a bit over a day so unfortunately not much time to explore.

                  Do you have African restaurants to recommend in the Karen area or a casual late night one near our hotel? Talisman & Que Pasa sound great but the food is more European, and I figure while in Africa, we should try that out! It would be really wonderful to try cuisines that aren't popular here in the San Francisco area -- we have lots of Indian & Ethopian restaurants, but not much of other African cuisines.

                  1. re: PekoePeony

                    Hi PP

                    In Karen, unless you find a local Nyama Choma place, not really. In town there are plenty, however from a safety aspect I would hesitate to recommend you walking to any of them late night.

                    The best places are the cafe's you will see along the sidewalk, often spilling over onto the road.

                    Biashara street has several such cafe's and a couple fo bar's.

                    There is also Tamarind, in town, part of our famous carnivore group.

                    If you fancy some spice but not typical formal north indian food then I would really recommend you make your way to Stavrose...this is an old very fanous restaurant in the CBD that is very popular with the local Indian community who don't like the heavy cream laden North Indian food

                    Hope that helps