Restaurant Review: Lunch at Carnivore in Nairobi, Kenya

Restaurant Review: Lunch at Carnivore in Nairobi, Kenya

Carnivore Restaurant topped Jayanta’s list of must-visits in Nairobi. We had reached in the morning (Read: How is the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport) and would leave Nairobi for Naivasha early next day. That meant, we had scope for only one lunch and one dinner in Nairobi. And Jayanta was almost jumping around in excitement – Lunch at Carnivore, he said.

They were back from the tour of the David Sheldrick Elephant Centre and the Giraffe Centre, and I was done with my 2 hour nap at the hotel. So off we went to Carnivore, about a 30-minute drive from the Serena Hotel. Reaching around 2pm, Carnivore was packed to the brim.

A sprawling restaurant, Carnivore can apparently seat close to 500 guests. As we walked in, we were amused by its size and spread. Smoke-filled massive barbeques with a line of chefs busy marinating meat of all types, skewers the size of tree branches being used to barbeque the meat, aroma that made Jayanta jump even more.

By now, we were starving, since we had eaten nothing since breakfast, and the sight and smell of food all around us made it worse. Jayanta didn’t lose seconds to request for the famous buffet meal at Carnivore – Meat all you can eat at KES 3100 per person. Despite my hunger, I knew I couldn’t do justice to the buffet. And so, settled for a Mutton with Breads meal, which was, umm, not very great. Guess, not many people order ala carte at Carnivore…

Jayanta, though, had a different story to tell. Tall African staff welcomed him with broad smiles and came over to serve salad, soup and breads, to which Jayanta said a polite ‘No’ and requested, Only meat for me. The staff looked happy and eager and soon came back with skewers of meats of every type. In no particular order, the meats are served one after the other — after a few minutes you lose count completely. The large skewers from which they cut portions smell as heavenly as they look. It is difficult for some to distinguish the meats — the Pork, Turkey & Beef Roasts, Pork Chops and Sausages are to die for. The exotic meats are a must have! Jayanta toppled over for the Ostricth’s Mince Meat Balls – had seconds & thirds; the Ox Balls, Roast Rabbit & Alligator Meat were just okay, he said. Will strongly recommend meat lovers to skip chicken and regular stuffs and go in first for the specials. A problem is that since you don’t remember the exhaustive menu, you will be full even before every item is served. Towards the end, Jayanta could not remember having 3-4 items from their list – a couple of them his favorites.

Our daughter’s meal was free and she picked pieces of meat from Jayanta’s plate, had a bowl of soup and some bread from me.

The meal at Carnivore took us a good 2 hours, and when it got over, we were sure that dinner wouldn’t be necessary that evening. It’s just too much to eat … take your time and drown it a little with local beer.

If you are a meat lover, and in Nairobi even for half a day, pay a visit to Carnivore. Awesome food is obvious. It’s an awesome experience. One that you wouldn’t forget in a long long time.

We went for a 5-day trip to Kenya one Christmas, of which, we spent one day in Nairobi, one day in Naivasha, three days in Maasai Mara. We have written exhaustively about our explorations and experiences — In order to make it easy for you to locate all the information, should you be planning a similar trip, this post will give you a snap-shot of all the ‘must-dos and must-sees’ — Itinerary for Nairobi, Naivasha & Maasai Mara in Kenya