When you go dining at the Safari Restaurant at Nairobi Safari Club and you get the option of dining by the Poolside on a hot Sunday afternoon, please take that option and run with it!! Pro TIP. (Oh, and you can then come back and thank me later, yes?)
I have been to Nairobi Safari Club a couple of times before, for pizzas at the Sundeck Pizzeria and Grill (there’s Buy 1 get 1 FREE on Thursdays AND Friday 🙂 ) , and Dinner at the Safari Terrace Bar, which has intimate seating on one part, a living room setting with couches facing a TV on one end, and high stools by a bar on the other. Each of those experiences are worth writing home about, but this most recent one by the poolside with friends reminded us that Sunday afternoons should be spent over great meals and amazing desserts, outside in the sun, by a poolside – definitely not indoors.
Speaking of DESSERTS – The four choices of desserts that we sampled were unanimously the best of all our meals. We expected something great, from the trend set with the other meals, but we were honestly mind blown. Those desserts looked so beautiful we didn’t even want to dig in. And when we finally did, they tasted so incredibly amazing we wanted more, and more.
The presentation was picture perfect and we couldn’t stop ourselves from taking photos either. If the ice cream wasn’t melting and we didn’t already need to leave, we would probably still be taking photos. Man, we even contemplated just coming back to order four different desserts, as four separate courses. True story 😀
“Sir, Would you like some soup?” – “Could I please have the Pave of Dark Chocolate Fondant?”
“Ma’am, How about some appetizers?” – “The 3 scoops of Ice Cream, topped with strawberries sound really good. Could I have that?”
“Ma’am, could I take your order for the main course?” – “A Banana Split, with vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, whipped cream and almond sounds please?”
“Okay Sir, which OTHER Dessert would you like?” – “How about the Delice Vanilla and Strawberry? And then maybe the Chocolate Mousse and Crème Caramel on the next course please? ”
We did wait quite a bit to have them served but in retrospect, they were well worth the wait. Oh, and because I was low-key celebrating a milestone and a friend surprised me with cake, we got to have picture perfect sweetness! (If you’d like cake btw, talk to me, I know a Guy).
Honey Glazed Pork spare ribs – if you love pork and you are like us, then you love it even better if it is served hot and dripping with wild honey and looks this!
Honey glazed pork spare ribs should be eaten directly off the bone, especially when the meat is as tender and juicy as this was. Leave the cutlery for the accompaniment, fold up your shirt if you need to and then close your eyes and bite away! We could hardly taste the spice in the meat if there was any, but the pork spare ribs tasted amazing, owing to the blend between the honey and the well cooked meat. We reckon that the ribs would be so much better with additional flavour, or if the meat itself was mildly spiced.
Grilled Beef Fillet – Beef usually is not my first choice when eating out for obvious reasons, but I have a soft spot for sizzling steak or beef fillet that is tender, just a bit spicy and well done.
I ordered this with roast potatoes, and loved the taste, flavour and quantity, although it could be better. It was served medium done so they had to grill it further. You should request to have it well done, or however else you like it. Half of us agreed that this was a meal we would order again. I am usually low-key on the hunt for unbelievably good steak so you can point me to good places if you know any in the comments section below.
Spicy Pork Chops – The meat was very tender and juicy as well, but it had more flavour, thanks to the sweet and mild chilli marinade.
My friend ordered this with fries, and asked to have it extra hot. The spice on the meat was mild, but the pineapple and sweet pepper salsa that it was served with was made hot – which made a great blend of hot and spicy. The French fries were nothing to write home about though.
Roast Molo Lamb Chops – The lamb chops were tender as well but there was not much flavour that could be felt besides the taste of lamb. They tasted like they had been roasted on an open fire, like nyama choma, but I reckon they would be much better with additional flavour.
The main course menu also included grilled fillet of Red Snapper and Tilapia, Lobster, Chicken Breast and Boneless chicken, Whole Tilapia, Beef Stew and Chicken Mshikaki. There are In house specials on the menu, which include more meat dishes and at least 4 vegetarian dishes, so there’s decent variety.
We coincidentally all chose potato based accompaniments (Fries, Mashed potatoes, roast potatoes) and all were just plain. It would have been nice if they had additional flavour. There were other choices so, fret not if potatoes are not your favourite.
Sweet and Sour Chicken Wings – Chicken has been my favourite for a long time, but I have developed a very deep, inexplicable longing and loving for sweet and sour (or barbecue) chicken wings this year. I don’t understand how or when it hit me – and I get so emotional when I think about it, it’s not even funny :-D. (Let me know other places that have unbelievably good ones btw)
Understandably, I had to have these chicken wings, so I could add to the list of my go to places to satiate this longing. The wings were sweet and spicy, just hot enough, very tender and well done. They make a good snack if you love chicken.
The Chicken samosas were alright; minced well done chicken, not spicy or fatty, and generally good. Other hot appetizer choices included Prawns, lobster and fresh salmon and roast mushroom while the cold appetizers included farm fresh salad, cucumber and prawns, chicken avocado and roast vegetable salad
Chicken soup – who likes chicken and doesn’t love chicken soup? Well, I mostly just stick to thin soups – beef broth, lamb broth, the likes – but we surprisingly enjoyed this chicken soup, even though it was thickened and had a touch of double cream.
One of my friends who had the mushroom soup liked it but I don’t like mushroom so it was not my cup of tea (soup 😉 ?) to be honest.
Traditional Tomato soup was also really good, very smooth for a thick soup, and I would have chosen it over the chicken soup (despite my love for chicken) which was almost too salty, and the mushroom soup which was not as smooth.
For drinks, 3 of us had the fruit Cocktail (which has fruit juices, whole fruits and Grenadine syrup) which I absolutely love, while the other had the Screw Driver (orange, lemon and vodka) . The staff were welcoming and the service was good, albeit a bit slow; they could do better by shortening the time between the courses.
When I asked my friends about their first impression of the hotel days later, I was not surprised that it was as good as mine. One of them said the ambiance was very calm and relaxing, and from the couches and amenities, it was overall very warm and homely. The other loved the patterned red carpeting, which made it quite exquisite, and felt that the overall experience made him feel valued; executive. I love that it is cosy, in the restaurant or lounge it is, and the tranquility that makes you forget you’re in Nairobi’s CBD, renowned for the flurry of activity.
It’s true what they say, you may forget about a place or person, but never how they made you feel.
Photography by the very talented @OdariGerald (IG, Twitter)
I will be hosting a Giveaway – lunch or Dinner for 2 at the Safari Restaurant in the next post, so if you can think of you and a friend enjoying this experience, be sure to head there and post your entry! Link to Giveaway
Location: Lilian Towers, at the junction of University Way and Koinange Street, opposite University of Nairobi in Nairobi, Kenya
Price range ( Kenya shillings): Desserts – Ksh. 250 -550 ; Main course : Ksh 600 -650 (Vegetaran), Meat based – Ksh 900 -1450 (except Lobster), Appetizers – Ksh 350 – 900 (Except Lobster) and Soup – Ksh 320 – 390. Much cheaper than most restaurants of its standard in Nairobi.
Offers – Sundeck Pizzeria and Grill – Buy 1 get 1 FREE on Thursdays AND Friday :-), Sunday Brunch
Amenities – Health Club and Gym, Swimming pool, Conference facilities, Safari Restaurant (A la carte), Safari Terrace Bar and Sundeck Pizzeria and Grill. Accommodation in Kenya’s only All Suite Hotel
Crowd: Both young and Mature