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Kenya’s gastronomy vibrantly shows signs of various cultures and ethnicities. Up until the arrival of Portuguese, the Kenyans were mostly dependent on cattle for food. The Portuguese brought in maize, bananas, pineapples, chilies, peppers, sweet potatoes and cassava which all then became staple. The British brought in white potatoes, cucumbers and tomatoes. The Indians then brought more vegetables and their style of cooking. In present day Kenya, the cuisine is varied and has adopted nuances of all the different cultures that have visited this beautiful land.

The staple food consists of Ugali which is a porridge made out of maize which is eaten with a stew or cooked meat or vegetables. The national dish of Kenya is Nyama Choma which means roasted or grilled meat, usually goat. The meat is grilled plain, sliced into bite sized pieces and served with mashed vegetables.

The present scenario of the Kenyan gastronomy is much more interesting than what it would have been a few decades ago. The capital city, Nairobi, houses cuisine ranging from Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Lebanese, Ethiopian, and Indian to name a few. Nairobi, being the seat for UNʼs headquarters for Africa, has a multi racial and multi cultural population. This has had an immense impact on especially Nairobi’s gastronomical map.

Nidhee Datta our person in Kenya names some of the must visit restaurants of Nairobi and its surrounding area’s. Nidhee  as all our readers know will take us to the best and you can trust her choice ,eyes closed.


One of my personal favorites has been a restaurant called China Plate. Although they have a chain but my recommendation is the one on Chancery Road. It’s renowned for its Szechwan Chinese Cuisine and is extremely popular with the business community for their lunchtime menu and for its deep red but soft ambience. Their menu has a splendid variety for vegetarians; especially their cashews in chili garlic sauce are a hit with the vegetarians.FOODWISE KENYA 1


Zen Garden
 which is a two and half acre
property housing three restaurants 
serving Chinese, Japanese and Thai


Bamboo restaurant is a 
aesthetically adorned fine dining
 experience serving Pan-Asian
 cuisine. The Jade Coffee and Tea
House is an all day Cafe serving
 breakfast and lunch. Situated in
 the heart of Spring Valley, a suburb 
of Nairobi, it overlooks a lush Asian
 garden and is an extremely popular
 venue for wedding functions.

Zen Square is a set of four conference rooms designed for corporate functions. All the restaurants offer a beautiful variety for vegetarians, and health conscious patrons besides the usual meat and sea food.



Furusato is frequented not only by the growing Japanese population, but also by entire expat community to satisfy their cravings for sushi, sashimi and tepanyaki cuisine. Here the rice wine, sake flows like water and the sushi bar is enormous.  Coupled with this is the stunning ambience makes dining a rich and satisfying experience. Japanese cuisine although is mainly marine based, but at Furusato, the vegetarians are enthralled by the vegetarian tepanyaki spread and thus is frequently visited by all range of foodies.



‘The” restaurant that is known as ʻ Africaʼs Greatest Eating Experienceʼ is situated in Nairobi or shall we say that Nairobi is synonymous with the name of this restaurant for most of the food writers or foodies in the world. It’s a paradise for the meat lovers. Every kind of meat imaginable from the national parks of Nairobi is served with lot of special sauces. As much as its sounds exciting, the meat being served on the plate is not hunted in the bush, but is specially bred in the breeding farms. Their menu consists of beef, ostrich, camel, gazelle, and behold crocodile! This hub for meat lovers is sure to be a destination for the foodies who would love to explore extreme cuisine!



On the coast of Kenya, Mombasa is one of the most famous coastlines in the world. With its pristine beaches and splendid multi star hotels, it has an extremely varied spread of watering holes. What Carnivore is to Nairobi, Tamarind is to Mombasa. Both are owned by the same family and thus the level of quality is similar although the cuisine is different.


Situated at the coast, Tamarind offers the best of sea food in whole of Kenya. For the seafood lovers, it serves fresh and succulent of lobsters, prawns, crabs and fish. Situated on the creek of Mombasa, the ambience is that of the native Arab architecture and the cuisine is a blend of French, Asian and African. This restaurant has earned worldwide fame and rave reviews from food columnists worldwide.

Mt. Kenya Safari Club.


About  three hours drive from Nairobi, in the beautiful countryside of Nanyuki is tucked this mesmerising resort offering stunning views of Mt. Kenya from every room, it 
is for those who love colonial feel
 and an extremely peaceful and serene surroundings.  One can find  one of the most delicious meals that are served in an aesthetically decorated ambience- be it Tusks,Zebar or the William Holden Dining . Serving upto 7 course meals, their menu is a culinary delight and has thus helped the hotel to have its mention in the World’s top 50 hotels.

Encompassing the racial and religious diversity, this land of the Masai has a lot to offer to every palate and taste. The beauty of this land is that on one hand Kenya has an ability to absorb the varied ethnicity that enters it and thus the presence of a variety of restaurants serving all types of cuisine and on the other hand, one finds on the street, a milieu of the fresh produce of the land in the form of ʻmadafuʼ (tender coconut), raw mangoes sprinkled with salt and chili powder, roasted corn and ʻmogoʼ (cassava), or simple plain boiled eggs with a bit of ʻkachumbariʼ salad made out of chopped onions, tomatoes and chilies. It’s a nation, which assimilates numerous cultures in the same way as milk would absorb sugar and thus making itself yummy



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About Nidhee Datta

Nidhee Datta
Nidhee Datta, a graduate in Bachelors of Home Science, has been actively involved with her school and college magazines. She is an ardent reader and has been in Africa for more than a decade. She has been a part of organisations that promote Indian music and dance and has a keen interest in sharing the rich heritage of her country with people at large.

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