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Best Restaurants in Mombasa - Here you go...

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Best Restaurants in Mombasa - Here you go...

Food in Mombasa independent restaurants is outstanding. You will wish you could find the same back home.

Most of the vegetables and fruits in Kenya are picked when ripe, highly unlike the rubbish we get in European supermarkets. Most of the produce is organic or grown in small holdings and tastes absolutely brilliant. Better produce makes much better food. Simples...

YUL'S AQUADROM is a must. It serves the best pizzas as well as great grilled meats and a few Indian dishes which are very good. I adore their pizzas. They are real traditional wood fired oven baked thin crispy Napolitan pizzas. You will definitely not go wrong here. It's right on the beach and the service is attentive. They have their own home made chili sauce that is to die for. They also make the best ice creams in Mombasa. They have perfected the art of Gelati. Try them out. It is located in North Coast right at the beach next to Bamburi Beach & Travellers.

LA MARINA - for seafood and romance. Located at Mtwapa Creek, 15 minutes cab ride from North Coast. Really very nice. It used to be called Aqua Marine but has since changed it's name. It also does dhow excursions, which are a boat ride in a traditional Arab sailing vessel at sunset. Magical. You must go here if you love seafood and grilled meats. I would have told you to go to the Tamarind for seafood, but their quality has since gone down.

HUNTER'S Steak House. A traditional European steakhouse serving house aged Kenyan beef in a cosy little garden. It is owned and run by Mr. Riegger, a Swiss German, who used to be a wildlife hunter, but now is a restauranteur. Best Steaks in Mombasa without a doubt. Excellent oysters too. This place is so good, I eat the Chateaubriand for 2, by myself. And I'm relatively slim. Located in Mkomani, 15 minutes cab ride from North Coast.

Chicken Tika - there is a dish called Chicken Tika. It is similar to Indian tandoori chicken but has a unique taste. It is one of my favourtie foods in Mombasa. I think the recipe was created by bohra muslims and it's now become a Kenyan favourite. You have to try this. In my point of view, it is 100 times better than tandoori chicken. You will find it at many places in Mombasa such as ABASSI, HASHMI, DILAWHAR'S, RECODA, or ROCKWALL. Dilawhars, Recoda or Rockwall are my preferred places. They're not fancy places as they are like roadside eateries, but excellent food and very quick service. You should not miss the Chicken tika, it's the best grilled chicken in the world. If there 1 local thing you eat in Mombasa, it has to be this.

SINGH Restaurant - This is a legendary restaurant on the island located right next to the Sikh temple. If you want a simple curry, this is the place. You will not get the typical buttery creamy curries, rather less rich home made authentic curries with hot hot fresh chapatis. It has been there since the 50's and is an institution in it's own right. You must go here. I always do.

GALAXY Restaurant - Chinese. Don't laugh, this is one of the best Chinese restaurants I have ever been to in my life. I regularly go there when I'm in Mombasa. It's located on the island, run by a real Chinese family and serves amazing food. It is based on Hainanese recipes. You must try the fish in garlic sauce, sticky ribs, fried rice, and black pepper crab. Brilliant.

LA VERANDAH, the place to go for Italian food. I bet you the food here will rival restaurants in Roma. Outstanding dishes served by properly trained chefs, good service, relaxed setting. Simply brilliant. Their wide range of home made pastas are excellent as are their starters, minstrone or seafood salad. The owners are Italian and know hospitality. 5 mins from North Coast hotels.

Lastly, you must go to a place called JUST DRINKS (JD's). The owner is called Sunny, a polished bald Asian bloke, who is a gem of a guy. This place is located at the mkomani creek, near to the Tamarind restaurant and has beautiful views of the Creek. The sundowners are to die for. The quality is outstanding so it can be a bit pricey, but well worth it. The location is amazing, the food outstanding and the service is simply brilliant (thank you Juma). When I'm in Mombasa, I'm a regular. He makes amazing cocktails and is often featured in travel and dining magazines. The food is fusion European with Asian and Kenyan hints. Outstanding. I believe the menu is a creation of his lovely wife Nisha, who is a Cordon Bleu qualified chef. They do a fantastic lobster. Also try the Chicken Maryland for bites while having a cold Pilsner beer. Yum.

NYAMA CHOMA - is the most popular traditional Kenyan grilled meat. Served with a kachumbari salad and a variety of carbs. You can get either goat, pork, beef or chicken and I absolutely love this dish. The goat and the beef can tend to be a little chewy, but this is how the locals like it. I love the goat, and the more chewy the better. There is no one restaurant I can suggest to eat this, ask the friendliest local, and they will advise you where to go. I either go to BOBS, TEMBO or KAHAMA.

There are several other restaurants in Mombasa of all cuisines. If you have anny questions, feel free to ask.

I hope these suggestions help. I'm actually a former resident of Mombasa and have just named my favorite haunts. These are the places where the locals go.

Mtwapa, Kenya
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1. Re: Best Restaurants in Mombasa - Here you go...

Hi Smoke trees,

Many of the places you mention are already in the ' FAQ - are there any decent restaurants in the North Coast area?'

Obviously personal taste and opinion but you have missed out what in my view (and many others as it is No 1 on Tripadvisor) is the best food on the North Coast, and in a fantastic setting, where you can have the beach to yourself - Monsoons.

Yul's is OK especially if you are staying on Bamburi Beach, but personally I would only recommend the steak, chops and ice cream

La Verandah, since the management changed, the food is not as good as it used to be though the verandah and garden area are still nice, it seems to be morphing into an Indo-italian, lime pickle with the bread basket?

La Marina's setting has always been spectacular, but the food had slipped a little, however the food has improved recently probably because of the competition from Monsoons, it would be my number 2, (as I think it is on TA).

By the way, most locals don't go to Bob's, or Kahama and certainly not Tembo to eat Nyama Choma, though they may eat it if they are hungry while they are there, the places they go for Nyama Choma are much scruffier and less tourist friendly

Chicken Tikka needs no explanation to Brits, Chicken Tikka Masala is officially Britain's favourite dish (btw Tikka just means 'bits' or 'pieces', meaning it is filleted and cubed rather than on the bone). it has been named Britain's National Dish

plymouth england
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2. Re: Best Restaurants in Mombasa - Here you go...

Interesting enough the owner of Hunters Mr Riegger and his wife eat in Monsoons -now that is a good advertisment

.

Mtwapa, Kenya
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3. Re: Best Restaurants in Mombasa - Here you go...

Seen the owners of several other restaurants there as well, some leave their flyers, Monsoons is the only restaurant I know that has publicity material for other restaurants on its info table

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4. Re: Best Restaurants in Mombasa - Here you go...

Hi Doffcocker,

Thanks for the response. You lucky person, you're in Mtwapa !!! How I wish I could trade places with you.

Do you go to Moorings? We used to go there for sundowners almost every Sunday.

About the restaurants: Just as you mentioned, I suppose it comes down to personal tastes.

I like Yul's busy beach location and his pizzas.

I go to La Verandah with an Italian friend of mine who lives in Mombasa. He is from Roma. According to him, this is homestyle cooking and this is his local Italian joint. I quite like the variety of dips and spreads with the bread basket as it caters to the regulars (Indians). They also have a brilliant chili dip. Lots of Indians in Kenya, why not cater to their tastes. I wouldn't call the food Indo at all. The other good Italian is the one at Mamba Village, Arturos is the name, really nice. My favorite though would be Aniellos in Diani. I love his food, especially his Crab Linguini.

Doff, the Chicken Tika in Kenya that I am talking about is a totally different dish from the Chicken Tika Masala that Brits eat or that Indians eat. I see from your comments that you are referring to the Indian Tika, boneless marinated grilled chicken cubes. The Chicken Tika in Kenya is a different thing. It is a quarter Chicken, not boned, marinated and grilled over charcoal. It is not cooked in a sauce. It is in no way anything similar to Chicken Tika Masala. Go to any of the Tika places I mentioned earlier and try it out. I'm sure you'll love it.

I agree, Nyama Choma is, as you say, eaten by most locals in 'scruffier' road side eateries. However, it depends what income bracket you are referring to. Middle class and above go to more comfortable places. There are many many people who go to Bobs, Kahama and Tembo for Nyama. Go to any of them on a Friday night and check it out.

Monsoon is a new name for me. I'll definitely come and check it out when I'm back in December.

It's great to converse with soemone about Mombasa, I miss it dearly.

Best Wishes

Edited: 22 July 2011, 13:39
Mtwapa, Kenya
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5. Re: Best Restaurants in Mombasa - Here you go...

Hi,

Yes I go Moorings, my Kenyan partner actually prefers it to La Marina, but I think that is because it is more casual and informal. I did take someone there who had just been to Hunter's and they thought that Moorings steak was better, but generally I would recommend it more as a lunchtime or drinks place.

I know several Italians here who used to go to La Verandah who no longer go, they feel the new owners are starting to cater to their customers who are primarily Indian these days. We felt the food was not as good as it used to be so we haven't been for some time.

My point about Chicken Tikka was that you didn't need to explain it to Brits, Chicken Tikka just means pieces of marinated chicken, Chicken Tikka Masala is the most popular dish, but any Indian Restaurant in the UK will have dozens of Chicken Tikka dishes, both dry and with sauces. The version you describe doesn't really appeal because together with many Brits, I prefer my chicken off the bone.

I used to be a regular at Cheers, Tembo, Kendas, Casuarina's, etc and occasionally Bob's on a Friday night and other nights (I wrote the original version of the FAQ on bars) but I'm getting old and more into domesticity these days but I stopped going to Tembo before the others when it went down hill around three years ago. I know they have spent a lot of money on it and the main disco is now only open at the weekends, but I've not felt the need to go back. I do go to Kahama (I've been recommending it on TA for a couple of years) on Friday nights to meet up with other TA friends, and sometimes on Wednesdays, Saturdays or Sundays to watch football. I would still contend that the locals there go for a night out and the Nyama Choma is incidental, even the affluent ones still go elsewhere if their prime purpose is Nyama Choma (to be honest the food is not why I recommend Kahama)

Cheers,

PS When you go to Monsoons as well as the best, freshest seafood, you can also get authentic Italian pasta dishes, the owner is from Bologna

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6. Re: Best Restaurants in Mombasa - Here you go...

You forgot to mention TARBOUSH CAFE in Old Town. Great BBQ.

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7. Re: Best Restaurants in Mombasa - Here you go...

Cheers Doff.

Looking forward to coming back soon.

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8. Re: Best Restaurants in Mombasa - Here you go...

Singh! Bugger, how did I miss that!!!

For Punjabi (Sikh), which is the typical style of curry/food people are mostly served/used to here in the UK, food, I would also recommend the Sher-E-Punjab at the Travellers Hotel, Bamburi.

Anyone know of anything similar in Nairobi? Sorry to go off topic, feel free to pm me please if you'd rather not go off on a tangent.

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9. Re: Best Restaurants in Mombasa - Here you go...

thanks for the listing and recommendations. Can you give us an idea of prices for some of the dishes? pizzas, curry etc.

thanks

Mtwapa, Kenya
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10. Re: Best Restaurants in Mombasa - Here you go...

Hi,

A beer in a bar will cost 130- 200 shillings (just under £1 to £1.55) depending on the bar, a soda around 50/-, you can get a decent bar meal for 350-600 /-, (£2.50 - £4.20) a main course such as steak in a decent restaurant will cost between 800 to 1,300/-, (£5.60 - £9) a pizza around 500-950 /- (£3.50 - £6.60 the higher price being the Il Covo price)