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Carnivore

Carnivore Restaurant - Nairobi Restaurant - Nairobi Kenya - top Nairobi restaurant

As anyone who has read our travel blogs knows, we love to try new exciting places to eat whenever we travel.

Cautions about streetfood somewhat restricted our adventurous side, so we decided to limit ourselves to anything on the tours or go straight for some unique local restaurants.

Carnivore was right at the top of our list, similar to a Brazilian churrascaria, Carnivore is all about grilled meats brought straight to your table on large swords. The twist here is the prominent East African flavors and some unique meats.

The restaurant is a short drive, usually 25 minutes and about 2,500 Kenyan Shillings. But in rush-hour traffic, it took us just under an hour. {roundabouts are not their friend!}

We were greeted by these guys right next to my car door. Our driver said that on occasion, animals make their way into the restaurant are, especially these warthogs, as they burrow under the fences. I couldn’t get out the word warthog, all I could think of was Pumbaa….lol

The restaurant is sandwiched between a large small craft airfield and the Nairobi National Park. Yes, Nairobi actually has a MAJOR game preserve within the city limits.

The restaurant is made of local wood and is covered by lush gardens with dining both inside and out.

We were seated at an outdoor courtyard space, and as we had a 6:00PM reservation, we were one of just a few tables dining.

Chuck started with a Dawa Cocktail, vodka, lime, sugar, and honey on a Dawa stick (sort of a Kenyan caipirinha), and I started with a Tusker, a Kenyan Lager.

Much like the Brazilian restaurants, you flip up a tiny flag, and the food feast begins. Our servers brought us roasted corn, a bowl of a carrot beetroot soup, fresh-baked bread, and butter.

One of my favorite features of the restaurant is the serviceware, the butter, salt, and pepper were served in hand-carved wood cellars, and our main entree plates were screaming hot iron plates to keep the food warm. But everything utilized local materials.

After our starters, they brought out a two-tiered lazy susan, the bottom tier with a tossed salad with tomato, cucumber, lettuce, and avocado, a cinnamon-scented couscous, tomato relish, and a shredded red cabbage salad.

The top tier had a variety of sauces to accompany the meats, mint, tomato chutney, chili, fruit compote, garlic, and wild berry, each designed to complement different meat. The servers did a wonderful job of reminding us which sauce went with the specific meat they were carving.

Then the carving began. Inside they had a giant chalkboard that displayed the evening’s menu, including the exotic features. Tonight’s meats included rump steak, two kinds of chicken, leg of lamb, leg of pork, pork sausages, turkey beef sausages, and beef ribs.

The exotic meats were ostrich, crocodile, and ox balls. The two items we had heard of that we did not see were rabbits and camels. The ostrich was tender and delicious, the crocodile was flavorful and less tough than an alligator, which we see a lot in Florida.

The ox balls were ‘different,’ neither of us will rush to have them again. They were cut in 1/2″ thick slices and had the texture of undercooked liver, a little soft and mushy.

Inside, you could see a huge round wood-fired pit stacked with skewers of meat with the cooks basting them, rotating them around the fire and sending them out with carvers. Sorry for the red tint, the lighting was all red.

Once we had our fill of meat, we lowered our flag, servers cleared the table, and we still had a dessert to follow.

I had the Pineapple Pie, a buttery tart crust filled with caramelized pineapple and raisins. Chuck selected the Chocolate Chip Blondie and Kenyan tea. The perfect light finish to a quite heavy meal.

The meal, service, and environment were really pretty awesome, and everything included in the cost was about $85.00 US.

We would absolutely recommend this when traveling to Nairobi!

Up Next: A day with the Maasai. We booked an all-day private tour.

4 Responses to “Carnivore”

  1. Kathy Shulby

    What a wonderful experience. That was certainly alot of meat. Loved the pictures of everything. Your travels are so fun to be a part of. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  2. Laurin Fegley

    It was a favorite for our group! Fun and reasonable too.

    Reply
  3. Douglas Templeman Sr

    Great read… The food looked amazing. What an adventure!

    Reply

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