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“One of the best, if not the best in Nairobi” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Talisman

The Talisman
Ranked #2 of 538 Restaurants in Nairobi
Cuisines: Seafood, Contemporary, Fusion, Gastropub, Italian, Japanese, African, Sushi, European, Asian, British, Central European
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Groups, Local cuisine, Kids, Romantic, Business meetings, Special Occasion Dining, Bar Scene, Child-friendly
Dining options: Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner, Lunch, After-hours, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Off-Street Parking, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: Featuring carved wooden pillars from Pakistan, elegant Afghan rugs, charming fireplaces, sprawling terraces and idyllic gardens, The Talisman blends fine dining with unbridled eclecticism. We have made every effort to create the ideal ambience for those seeking a candle-lit romantic dinner, a casual evening drink with friends, an outdoor lunch with family and everything in between ~ And all this is complemented by distinguished service from our cordial staff.
Gaithersburg, Maryland
Level Contributor
77 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“One of the best, if not the best in Nairobi”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 June 2014

An oasis in Nairobi...setting, ambiance, service and food! High marks for all three. The only restaurant I made an encore visit to during my five week stay in Nairobi!

  • Visited May 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank beezeetravelin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Christine N, Guest Relations Manager at The Talisman, responded to this review, 12 June 2014
We are so glad you made us a regular destination during your stay in Nairobi and that you enjoyed the ambiance, service, and food. Thanks for your kind review and a lovely picture of our patio. Hope when you come back to Nairobi, you'll come visit again. Karibu!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,109 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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    55
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Mombasa, Kenya
Level Contributor
28 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Great expectations - not realised.”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 June 2014

Being from the town of Mombasa, we felt a bit provincial heading into the big bad city of Nairobi but looking forward to trying out the great restaurants and food of Nairobi we had heard about.
Talisman in Karen was the second restaurant we tried out after Tamambo Karen Blixen restaurant (see my review on it). As Talisman is rated number 1 restaurant for Nairobi on Trip Advisor we were expecting great things. Being from Mombasa we had not booked and on entrance we were told all the garden tables were already booked but we were offered alternative seating. This turned out to be a large divan style seating with large cushions which our toddler son loved and so did we.
At Tamambo Karen Blixen restaurant our son (20 months) had enjoyed the run of the gardens and reading the reviews of Talisman we expected something similar if not better. This was one of the main reasons we went here. Although there is a play area for children consisting of swings, climbing fame and slide – this really is for older kids not toddlers under 2 years. There is a sign saying the restaurant accepts no liability for any accidents in the play area. This may be normal but really I expected a bit more professionalism in the design of the children’s play area for a restaurant which is supposed to be No.1 in Nairobi. Smaller children are at risk and more can be done. For instance there should be a separate area for toddlers, also smoking should be not be allowed in the play area. I had a parent smoking away while helping his child on the slide with all the other children around.
Smoking in restaurants in Kenya is so normal and in the garden area of Talisman almost everyone was puffing away at their tables despite having kids at other tables. A non smoking area would be great especially as the garden section is smaller and the tables more squeezed together than in Tamambo Karen Blixen.
Food – my partner ordered the salad starter and fish cakes main. She loved them both. I ordered the double cooked pork for starters and it was soft and delicious. For the main I order a special dish of the day – the slow cooked Kenyan goat on taku taku or rice and beans. I wanted to try this dish as goat is a strong tasting meat not easy to get right. I could not taste the goat as the sauce overpowered everything. This dish, the chef in my opinion did not get right. We had deserts and they were fine.
Overall while good I do not think Talisman deserves the No.1 spot for Nairobi. The menu is more varied than Tamambo with some very interesting choices and I would love to come back to try more choices. However I believe Nairobi has better to offer in both food and design.

  • Visited May 2014
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank EeeJackYurLate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Christine N, Guest Relations Manager at The Talisman, responded to this review, 12 June 2014
Thank you EeeJackYurLate for the helpful feedback. I'm so sorry your experience wasn't up to expectations. It's our goal to exceed expectations and keep people coming back. We apologize for people smoking at the play area which is technically a non smoking area at The Talisman. We have taken your comments regarding the play area, to see what can be done to improve this for the future. Thanks once again for taking the time to write, and we hope to see you next time you're in town. Karibu sana!
.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Datchet, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
60 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Another meal enjoyed!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 June 2014

One if not the best (for me) restaurant in Nairobi. Menu does not change much, but, there are always specials. We missed the soft shell crabs last week, nevertheless my husband enjoyed our three course lunch.
As always, the sushi with crispy bits were excellent, my roast belly of pork with crackling was perfect & my apple/almond sponge pudding although a bit sweet is good.
My better half had belly of pork to start, a piece of steak that was served with a mousse like mustard cream served inside a piece of bone & his Eaton mess type dessert with berries was indeed good that I convinced him to give me half of his.
Brewed house coffee was just right with warm milk. A very enjoyable Sunday treat, brilliant.

  • Visited June 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank jgirl1604
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Christine N, Guest Relations Manager at The Talisman, responded to this review, 12 June 2014
Thank you so much you took the time to leave such a lovely, detailed review.
Thanks for the specific comments which I'll be sure to pass along to the kitchen team. Sorry you missed the Soft shell crab. A quick tip....you may call and request for your dish ahead of time, am sure the kitchen crew will be happy to reserve a portion or more for you. It is always great to receive comments from our repeat customers. Karibu!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nairobi
Level Contributor
29 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Good family friendly restaurant”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 May 2014

Lovely play area for active toddlers, you can sit and watch them play. Good food, great seating keeps you cool from the hot afternoon sun. Large seats, baby can nap on!!
Great services from Titus!! .Though the starters took over 30min?? we were soo hungry.

Would visit again.

  • Visited May 2014
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Hilo13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Christine N, Guest Relations Manager at The Talisman, responded to this review, 12 June 2014
Really glad Hilo13 that you enjoyed the play area which is a favorite with children. Delighted that you enjoyed service from Titus, I'll be sure to pass your compliments to him. Hope to see you back again soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nairobi, Kenya
Level Contributor
57 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“A great meal out.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 May 2014

Talisman is a great restaurant in Karen, outside Nairobi. Wonderful atmosphere in and outside. Very open plan, so always dress warm in the evenings. Best to make sure that you have a "jiko" near you.
The food is amazing and is top class.....
Some great entertainment can be had there as well...
Many a great party there.
Many birthday, anniversaries have been celebrated there.
Fantastic staff..

  • Visited April 2014
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank skvarose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Christine N, Guest Relations Manager at The Talisman, responded to this review, 30 May 2014
Dear Skvarose, thank you for your lovely review.

We are so glad that you have shared your special occasions with us and we look forward to having you again.....and again. Karibu!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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