La Marina has been a little up and down over the years but the last couple of times I have been it has been on the up and the food and the service were good. We were there on Valentine's Day, given its romantic location and setting, not surprisingly it was very busy, as it was getting on for 9.30 when we arrived we had to do a bit of creative parking outside of the car park.
Having been given a table for two with a clear view of the stars above and the lights reflecting on the water between the boats bobbing on the Creek, the evening didn't get off to the best start as no-one came near us for quite a while. At first it seemed there might not be enough staff on for the number of customers and we had to ask a passing waiter for drinks and menu. It transpired that there were plenty of staff on and we must have arrived at a bad time when they were all at the bar getting drinks orders or in the kitchens getting food, there were several quite large parties in. From the moment we waylaid that first waiter, the service was quick, attentive and very pleasant.
The bread basket, which arrived soon after the drinks and the wine menu, contained slightly over-moist garlic bread, which we nevertheless disposed of rapidly, and a refill soon appeared without us needing to ask for it. Wor Lass had her favourite, prawn cocktail which was nice, but not the best she has had in Mtwapa, I had the Chicken and Mushroom spicy soup which was very nice. We both had the Steak Diane, the steak was a decent sized portion, very good quality, cooked exactly as we each asked for, and well covered with a very tasty sauce. We had a very good bottle of South African Pinotage at a reasonable price.
They had made an effort and added some tasteful Valentine touches without over doing it, all in all its was the perfect spot for a Valentine's Day (or any other romantic) dinner.
The Tamarind Restaurant is probably the most popular restaurant for tourists who come to Mombasa. Overlooking the Indian Ocean and with a wonderful view of the town, Tamarind is the ultimate in fine dining in Mombasa and where if you wish, you can choose live crab or lobster from the tank.
An additional option of this restaurant is its Dhow trip, an enchanting evening of exotic seafood blended with a romantic cruise aboard an authentic Arab Dhow around the old port of Mombasa, with a live music band on board, which provides non-stop entertainment for the entire ride. With two sailings a day, you may choose lunch, shaded from the midday sun by a canvas awning, or maybe a romantic candle-lit dinner under a star filled sky.
With attentive service to match the cuisine, your meal draws to a close while the waiters serve coffee from a traditional Arab brass coffee service. By now the band is in full swing, playing a variety of popular rhythms which soon have the majority of guests dancing on the main deck.
The original Tamarind dhow "Nawalilkher" was built in 1977 for trading. At 23 metres, she is the largest dhow on the coast. Purchased in 1986, she was converted for restaurant use by her original builder Fundi Bini on Lamu Island, under the watchful eye of Mohammed Shalle, who is still her captain today.
Some years later Nawalilkher was joined by a second dhow the Babulkheri. Just slightly smaller at 16 metres overall. The two dhows together can seat up to 135 guests in spacious comfort, making them ideal for an extra-special outing, wedding celebration or grand dinner.
Favorite Dish: Lobster of course, but most seafood is really great and is caught fresh daily.
Booking is essential in high season
Yul's is a funny place, it has a small balcony type terrace, that gets some shade from the restaurant building, overlooking the beach, the main, crazy paved, terrace is split into two by the slipway for the water sports. The main part of the terrace is across the slipway from the main restaurant building, it has a makuti roofed 'island' bar with tables around, there are a few tables in a smaller terrace area on the other side of the slipway in front of the covered restaurant area.
Being on this stretch of Bamburi beach anyone sat in the front rank of tables on the terrace may be considered fair game by beach gymnasts, jugglers, key ring and bracelet sellers. general touts, etc.
I have been several times over the years, the ice cream is consistently good, and is probably what I have been for most. I've found the grilled meats such as chops and steaks good but the pasta a little disappointing, and there are better places on the North Coast for pizzas. On my recent visit I found the pasta a little chewy rather than al dente (though it was a large portion) and the sauce a bit thin and runny,
The service is attentive and pleasant and prices are reasonable for a beach side eatery. I tend to use it if I am in the vicinity and feel like lunch, but the environment and general ambience means it is not somewhere I've ever considered going out to dinner to, (there are far better environments / locations for dinner with similarly priced or slightly cheaper dishes). It has a large menu of burgers and that coupled with the number of people going for just ice cream always puts me in mind of a British beach cafe.
A friend did recommend the prawns piri piri, but they are a little expensive for a spare of the moment lunch, maybe we'll go one evening to give them a try
Favorite Dish: Ice Cream
I didn't often write reviews, I prefer the Tripadvisor forums, (VT's sister site) in fact I'm a bit of an addict for them, as regulars on the Kenyan forums will know, they will also know that I'm also a bit of an addict for Monsoons as I go at least 3 times a week. I regularly recommend this restaurant (I do also recommend others). I recommend it because I love it, the food is freshly prepared, most of the seafood is fresh from the sea in front of the restaurant, you regularly see local fishermen bring fish, octopus (the only octopus I have ever had that actually tastes of something) or seafood that they have caught by wading in the sea off the beach to the kitchen to be weighed and a price agreed. If it doesn't come from the Jumba beach it comes in fresh from up the coast from Kilifi, or Malindi (eg the crabs arriving live or the fantastic king prawns). It's seafood platter must be one of the most photograped dishes in Kenya. The fillet steaks are excellent, the J.B. Cairato Fillet Steak (in red wine sauce) is a particular favourite and on the fish side so is the Old Town Fillet (red snapper in Swahili spicy coconut sauce). The pasta dishes are authentically Bolognaise and I love the warm olives with chilli, garlic and spices.
The location is beautiful, right on a quiet little beach between the historic ruins and the sea, and there is always a cooling breeze from the sea
The purpose of me writing this review now, after being a regular for around two years, is that people choosing this restaurant purely from the reviews may miss the fact that this is essentially a lunchtime, afternoon and early evening restaurant. On the forums we (it has lots of other fans on the forums) always suggest to go early, explore the ruins, chill on the beach or have a swim before having a long leisurely lunch and spending time chilling and chatting ('sobremesa' as the Spanish call it) and being entertained and amused by Attilio, the ultimate 'Mein Host'. the atmosphere is more family gathering or friends party than restaurant.
The restaurant's website makes it clear that the restaurant is only open in the evenings by prior arrangement, as it is a small family business, If there are no customers in the restaurant and they do not have an evening group arranged they will start to close up around 5.30, so don't drop by on the off chance at night. They will stay open at night for a pre-arranged group, but even then because Aziza, husband Attilio and daughter Nahya want to keep the personal, family feel to the restaurant they and the few staff will have been working since around 8 or 9 am, they ask that the orders are in the kitchens around 6.30. In fact if you get there after dark you miss a big chunk of the charm of the place. If you can't get there earlier it is great to get there around 5 or 5.30 have a drink on the beach as the sun goes down (no sunset unfortunately) whilst you read the menu and decide your order.
Favorite Dish: The Seafood Platter is legendary, it must be the most photographed dish in Kenya.
Most of the seafood comes from the sea directly off the quiet little beach the restaurant is located on, so all seafood is fresh and delicious, the octopus, actually tastes of something.
The pasta and Italian dishes are authentic recipe3s fromk Bologna.
The sauces are traditional Swahili, the Chicken Curry is not hot but deliciously spcy, as is the Old Town sauce of the Snapper.
We visited this restaurant which belongs to same group as the Carnivore. Fish and sea food live from the Indian Ocean is prepared in European, Eastern and Swahili fashion.
It is situated on a cliff overlooking Old Mombasa Harbour.
It is open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner,but reservations are essential.
This place has a super location and does super cocktails and shooters but if you do take a risk of going there, be sober enough to check the bill because chances are you will see additional items on the bill 3 out of 5 times. I have been there lots of times and seen drinks I never had on the bill. When you complain they will simply say its a mistake and life goes on.
Don't make the mistake of asking to see the manager because the owner will turn up. he is rude and nearly always drunk.
He will first accuse you of not having enough to pay the bill and if you do insist you have more than enough he will start talking in a loud voice to attract attention and cause a scene and thus try and embarass you into paying the bill.He will also brag how its the most expensive bar in the country.Its easier to tell the waiter or the barman that there is a mistake unless you are willing to ask for undue attention.
I suggest they change the name to Just Thieves instead.
If you do go there have the shooters. they are quite good but you have been warned to stay sober lest you get conned.
Favorite Dish: flaming lamborghini is nice shooter
Big Tree is a restaurant and bar located in the middle of bamburi beach. It's a popular place with a European owner (I guess he was Italian, but I'm not sure). Big Tree is a kind of African hut/house build around a tree. You can play pool there, eat and drink. It's also a meetingpoint at Bamburi beach. Everybody knows about it. The prices for eating and drinking are higher than average. This place is also a place where you can change your money into Kenyan Shilling.
First of all, it's not a touristic place so the prices are on Kenyan standarts. Also, the food is perfect. They serve Kenyan and Indian foods, besides they have European fast food. You can also enjoy delicious fresh juices. Try this place, you will not be regret
Husseini BBQ-roadside seating,good spicy food,good value, clean.Also catering services done. servive poor at times.Open after 7pm
Dilawers BBQ-Restuarant serving BBQ and fresh seafood.Also streetside selling of BBQ "SURURU"(small pcs of tender meat)-Good value,clean.Also offers catering services.Open all day/late night
Burhani cafe-BBQ dishes,other dishes available.open from morn till late night.
Favorite Dish: BBQ chicken,pepper steak,boneless chicken,.......
This place has been here for years, first time I walked through its doors it was called Ethiopia bar, it had a juke box and no TVs. Several years later it became New Ethiopia bar and in the last few years it has changed its name again to Itiopia Bar, but at 65ksh a bottle who gives a toss what its called.
The reason I was told for the name change was that a lot of tourisits used to enter the place expecting to find Ethiopian food so now they will have to look elsewhere to find Njiraa and wat as this place only sells nyama choma and ugali.
Favorite Dish: Beer