We had the misfortune of visiting this place for lunch on a one day safari to Tsavo East. We later found out that our driver/guide was given a budget for lunch and we should have dined elsewhere but it seems he opted for a cheaper option without informing the office so that he could pocket the difference which sadly is not uncommon among drivers/guides in many locally based the safari businesses.
Where do I start - well how about location?
The Silent Resort Hotel is located in Voi Town on an unmade road just of the main highway. The place has on street parking but you require a 'watchman' to ensure your vehicle isn't robbed.
The restaurant has a small outside terrace as well as an indoor area. Unfortunately we were unable to use the terrace given that building works were taking place next door and piles of sand, cement and stones had been dumped in the street and were being hand balled to the with the resulting dust ruling out any possibility of using the terrace.
When we arrived we were told that there would be a buffet but it had not been set up yet. After a wait of around 30 minutes the ‘buffet’ was open!
The ‘buffet’ consisted of cream of tomato soup which tasted absolutely disgusting. It had no flavour whatsoever and resembled something more like used dishwasher water - a sort of insipid orange colour with what appeared to bits of curdled milk mixed in to it.
Next came the ‘salads’. This consisted of a bowl of mayonnaise, red onions in water and some grated carrot!
On to the main dishes. Firstly the beef stew beef stew with rice (which to be fair was edible although I had my doubts about the source of the water used to boil the rice given its grey colouring). Then came plain spaghetti with a bland tomato sauce (minus any meat or veg) followed by fried chicken which was totally inedible and would not have been out of place in a Formula 1 pit lane during a tyre stop!
Now for the dessert. This consisted of fresh pineapple and watermelon and was by far the only bit of the lunch that we enjoyed.
And finally the drinks! My wife opted for black tea (apparently it was included in the buffet) which was served out of a flask and tasted vile. I later established that non bottled water had been used to make it. I opted for 2 ‘optional’ diet cokes and was shocked by the price when I asked for the bill. They had charged 400 Kenyan Shillings (KSH) for 2 x 120ml bottles which in the street could be bought for 30 KSH and even at the 4 star hotel we were staying in we were only charged 100 KSH. Let me make it clear it wasn't about the money it was about the blatant attempt to rip off overseas visitors.
To sum up our experience, it would have been far better to have booked a safari without lunch and opted to do our own thing than waste time, money and risk our health at a restaurant that at best may be suitable for budget conscious travelers and local clientele who are accustomed to the shoddy service, poor quality of food and less than convincing food hygiene standards.
In our opinion this place should be avoided at all costs – you've been warned!
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