Anghiti, Westlands: Stupendous food and a sublime experience!
Oh my, if you like Indian food, then you're going to love Anghiti!
I would like to thank both suet and sphynxxxs for this recommendation - you're clearly both ladies of great taste and discernment, and I (quite literally) applaud your taste!
Kenya - and indeed most of East Africa- has a long history of Indian settlement, so it stands to reason that there should be some good Indian restaurants. I have a passion for Indian food - initially nurtured as a student in London - and after nearly three decades of self-sacrificing market research, I can honestly say that Anghiti is up there with the very best of them.
More about the food below, but firstly, some other important considerations. Firstly, for the security-minded, the restaurant has good secure parking. Secondly the decor and ambience is low key, tasteful and very pleasant: no flock wallpaper or lime green paint from the discount bin here!
Importantly, the service is attentive but not overpowering. The price is not overly cheap, but excellent value for money when you consider the quality of what you get, and it's worth noting that it is listed on the Eat Out website which offers 10% off your bill when you book online at a whole range of Kenyan restaurants (see www.eatout.ke and my travel tip above). We used this and it worked like a charm.
Anghiti has two branches in Nairobi - the one we visited in Westlands, and one in the Muthaiga Shopping Centre (and there is also a branch in Dar es Salaam).
Lastly, the restaurant does a takeaway service, which could be useful if your hotel doesn't have a restaurant or if you want a little variety from what your hotel has to offer but don't want to venture out at night. Call +254 20 266 4584 for the delivery service.
Favorite Dish: Now onto the main event.
Anghiti has a varied menu, mostly based on Northern Indian cuisine (a range of tandoori dishes for example) and everything we had was superbly cooked, with well balanced spicing and just enough heat. We were a group of five, which allowed us to experience Indian food as it should be eaten: a selection of dishes to be shared by the whole group.
The only thing that I can't comment on are the desserts, as by that time, we were too full to fit in another morsel!
Pizza Inn, Ngong Road: OK Pizza, and Greasy
Outdoor seating in a tropical climate is usually a good thing. However, Ngong Road is quite busy, and thankfully the outdoor seating here is fairly far away from the road - though the noise from the traffic is still somewhat loud.
There really are a wide variety of pizza served here, and our group got several. They were reasonably good, but they were also very greasy.
Aside of the outdoor seating, the restaurant also has an inflatable (and thus easily removed) play structure. It is hard to know if this is a permanent fixture or if it is something that will only be there a short time.
There are several Pizza Inn restaurants around Nairobi, and only one of those is the Ngong Road one we ate at. Therefore, your experience may be quite different at a different establishment run by different management.
Photos 3 and 4 are from Cindy L.
Favorite Dish: There really are a wide variety of pizza available here, and our group ordered several and split the various types. Their pineapple and ham is extremely good (but it is key to have good pineapple, which you can get in Nairobi!).
Nairobi Java House: Various Coffee with American Style Food
While the name implies that this restaurant chain is best known for its coffee, and the environment tries to be a Starbucks (right down to the free WiFi service), the fact is that Africans love meat. You would not be able to get by very far in any sort of restaurant that doesn't serve some sort of cooked meat.
Thus, it should be no surprise that Nairobi Java also serves quite an assortment of burgers, chips (fries to us Americans), milk shakes, and various other American "fast food" style meals. However, it should be noted that this isn't American style fast food, but instead is one cut above this. Perhaps it is most comparable to the type of food served in higher class bars in the USA, rather than the greasy mess you would sometimes get at a fast food restaurant.
Most of the facilities seem to have outdoor seating similar to what you would expect in Africa.
The chain is apparently jointly owned by an American and a Kenyan, and this may explain the assortment and style of food and services.
Favorite Dish: I don't care at all about coffee. Get me some of those delicious fresh fruit milk shakes any day! Mango is particularly good!
Panafric Hotel Restaurant: A great meal
The food was excellent with a wide choice of local and internation menu. Very friendly and attentive staff too.
Favorite Dish: We ate Chateaubriand, which is one of our favourite meals the first night we stayed here. It was absolutely excellent, so when we returned to the same hotel again after the safari, we decided to have it again.
They brought a little trolley to our table, and the slab of meat is cooked in front of your eyes, then flameéd at the table. The trolley had collapsible leaves at the sides, upon which the steak was placed once it was cooked and the chef was finishing off the acompanying sauce. Unfortunately, the leaf did collapse, sending the precious meat to the floor. The cheaf was terribly embarrassed and apologetic. Sorry,sorry. Sorry, sorry. Sorry, sorry. We both had a hard time keeping a straight face.
Later, a waiter brought us a new piece of meat, which had been cooked in the safety of the kitchen. Unfortunately, the polished wooden floor was still covered in grease from the first accident. Yes, you guessed it! The waiter went flying, and the steak ended up on the floor! This time we were unable to contain our mirth!
A very memorable meal indeed.
- Food and Dining
This is just one of hundreds of chip shops in Nairobi. It is really hard to spend any time in Nairobi without ending up at some time of the day or night in one of Nairobi's chippies. There is a gaggle of good ones in Luthuli Ave, huge queues at lunchtime.
On more than one occasion I ended up in Munyiri's for breakfast after staggering out of Florida or Sabina joy. I remember one time in the early hours of the morning a rather drunk young chappie drinking vinegar out of the plastic bottle
Expect to pay anything from 35 bob up then help yourself to ketchup, chilli sauce and salt.
Favorite Dish: As well as chips a lot of places also sell
Bhajia (slices of potato dipped in spiced gram flour and fried),
Chicken (usually sold either full, half, quarter)
Sausages (usually beef not pork)
Vegetable spring roll (only saw these in Ali's on Tsavo Rd)
By The Way Garden Cafe: Rarely do I go to the same restaurant twice.
But I went to this place two days in a row - and it was even better the second time I went. It's great to wander and find your gems. I stumbled onto it by accident on my way to something else that visually caught my eye. The design and decor just sucked me right in, so I had to have lunch. The owner came right up to me and introduced herself. She also informed me that they had been open only a few days. Well hopefully she does very well because the place deserves to be a hot spot. First off the restaurant is really on the back porch of a home...that is painted very bright orange. The kitchen is visible from where you sit, so it is kind of homey and relaxing. Plus the way it is lightly, but tastefully, decorated helps too. Overall the place is just plain good. The food is good. The way it is designed and the decor is good. The service is good. Everything is good. I think it'd be an especially good place to take your wife or girlfriend to.
Favorite Dish: chicken kofta
General: Book online to get 10% off your meal!!!
Eat Out is a website which offers 10% off your bill when you book online at a whole range of Kenyan restaurants.
This deal is only valid if you pay with cash or by card.
With that saving, you can afford to have dessert!!!
Update (July 2011): We used this website to book at the superb Angithi Indian restaurant in Westlands last weekend (see my restaurant review), and it worked like a charm. My only complaint? Indeed we could have afforded dessert with the saving, but unfortunately the food was so amazing that by this time, we were so full that we didn't have any space left!
Sun Sweet Centre: The only Indian left in Town
Sun Sweet Centre seems to have been around since the year dot serving up no nonsense good value vegetarian meals. The set lunch is a real bargain with a range of curries bhagia and lassi. It could well be the only Indian restaurant left in the centre of Nairobi.
UPDATE NOV 2010. On my most recent trip I had a very poor meal here and it no longer is good value for money. Looks like I'll have to go to westlands for an Indian
The first time I arrived in Nairobi the city was brim full of Indian restaurants. All the best Indian restaurants used to be located in the centre of Nairobi, Satkar, Mayur, Dhaba, Three New Bells, Supreme, Minar (2 branches). They have all fled to Westlands or packed up completely.
It is a pain having to go to Westlands for a Curry. I’ve been a frequent visitor to Nairobi since 1990 and had never had to venture up to Westlands till a few years ago. If I do bother going up there I’d eat at Chowpatty, I’ve never been to Haandi in Nairobi but Haandi is my favourite in Kampala. There is also a Haandi in London as well that is I think part of the same group?
Favorite Dish: The daily lunch is a good deal and for a veggie you can't go wrong.
Café Maghreb: Hooray for buffets!!
The decor of this restaurant (and the hotel in general) is very good and the food matches the scenery pretty well, even though it is just a buffet style. The quality and style of the food is very very good. This is no buffet of junk.
Java Coffee House: Wonderful Coffee
For delicious espressos and other coffee drinks in Nairobi, try the Java Coffee House. They also serve fresh fruits juices and Kenyan tea in case you're not a coffee drinker. If you're feeling peckish, they also sell food like sandwiches and hotdogs. However, the coffee is the best!
Favorite Dish: A nice hot latte
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Carnivore: Carnivore - so where is the exotic meat?
A special restaurant - famous for kenya.
It was on our tour list and since I like to try exotic meat, I was looking forward to this one.
Well - I got a little bit disappointed.
Not that the food was bad - it was good: the different meats were well grilled, the choice wide, the side dishes good and they also accommodated our Junior who just wanted fries for once (which isn't on the menu).
But ... there is hardly any exotic meat anymore.
Obviously it is forbidden in Kenya since some years to serve game! So: NO antelope, oryx, impala, kudu etc (which I had plenty in Namibia and which is very good meat).
"Just" lamb, pork, beef, chicken, turkey and several sausages.
The most exotic they had was: crocodile and ostrich.
It goes like that: you get your side dishes and sauces - on top of that turning tower is a flag. As long as the flag is standing, servers will come by and offer your the meat (on grill-blades) for you to sample and try. If you lie the flag down that means: I need a pause (to eat). If you take the flag of you are finished.
Favorite Dish: The pork chops and the turkey.
- Food and Dining
The Carnivore: Mmmm. Meat!
First off, if you are going to go to Carnovire in the hopes of checking out and experiencing a local place, be prepared to be disappointed. There are SO many white people here to dine. It is very much a tourist's joint, and the only reason I didn't put this in the tourists trap section is because it does have good qualities. I love ostrich, so any chance I get to try it out I am down for. Beyond that, you have other oddities like camel and crocodile. Ever since the Kenyan government changed the rules and laws about wildlife, you don't get the unqiue selection you used to, but you still get to try several unique items. So if you want to try ostrich and crocodile and camel, then go for it. But if being surrounded by 150 whites and 15 locals won't suit you, seek your game meat elsewhere.
Favorite Dish: ostrich
“The Kahuana Coffee House”: Best Lunching In Nairobi
Indian owned, good daily specials, excellent filtered coffee (rare to find), friendly staff. It has great ambiance with nautical theme inside and airy courtyard outside. Mains $2.50 - $5.00US
Favorite Dish: I like the vegiburgers and frys. It is hard to find a descent vegiburger in East Africa.
Serengeti Inn: Cheap local food
Next to the Greton Hotel where I was staying in Nairobi there is a geat little no messing cafe restaurant. This is where I would go for my breakfast as it was a fraction of the cost of what they charged for the breakfast in The Greton. On my first evening as soon as i arrived in Nairobi I also ate here and had a rael decent plate of Njahi and rice. I new it was a decent place as soonas I put my head around the door and was surprised to see it full at evening time.
New Sunset Grill: Bar with a great street side view
Nice little boozer cum restaurant at the northern end of Tom Mboya Street on the first floor so it gives a great view of the street below. There is a nice airy outside terrace so you can watch the world go by as you slowly down a few cold beers.
Favorite Dish: A lot of the food on the menu here is from Western Kenya, Nyanza to be precise which makes a welcome change from the usual Nairobian fare.
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