Carnivore (Nairobi)

How is this possible? I have blogged about almost every restaurant I went to in Kenya – but I forgot Carnivore! Carnivore, of all restaurants? The most famous restaurant in Nairobi, if not Africa, by any measure? How could I forget?
And yet, I remember writing about it, but where? I can’t find it in any of my blogs. So I will have to blog about it again. For Carnivore is a restaurant that deserves some attention.
First of all, I’m sad to announce, that Carnivore no longer serves game meat. There seems to be a law against the selling of game meat, so the only thing in the least exotic in their menu is crocodile (which is bony and has a mild fish flavor). They also had ostrich meatballs, but ostrich stopped being exotic, at least in California, quite a long time ago. The meatballs were pretty good, though.
The way it works, at least for those ordering meats, is that for a fixed price (I don’t remember how much, about $25, I think), they bring large chunks of meats which the carve for you tableside. The meats are cooked in Maasai swords over a large BBQ pit at the front of the restaurant. Most are marinated, and most of them were pretty good. The first round of meat comes pretty quickly, but if you want seconds you will have to chase the waiter.
Among my favorites that night (early March, 2008) were the sweetly basted chicken wings, the also sweet but not very meaty pork ribs and the nicely seasoned lamb chops. The sliced meat and pork were too dry for my taste, though the fruit sauce helped the pork a little. The chicken was not bad either, though also a bit dry, as was the leg of lamb. They also had several things I didn’t bother trying: chicken gizzards, turkey and sausages.
Avi, who keeps kosher, had food from the vegetarian menu. I don’t remember what he ordered however, but his first dish was so bad he had to send it back. He rather enjoyed the one he got to replace it. The vegetarian menu is also all-you-can-eat.
Luke had several dawas to drink, while I stayed with cokes. I think Avi had wine.
For dessert I first ordered the blondie with ice cream, but that thing was inedible, it tasted like dry, dense cardboard. Fortunately they had no problem exchanging it for some OK ice cream. Avi and Luke shared a pineapple cake which wasn’t bad, and a cheesecake that tasted and felt more like light lemon pudding.
The restaurant itself was pretty empty in early March, though I’m sure as tourists return to Kenya, the place gets very loud and crazy. I’m not sure if that would be for the better or worse. In any case, it’s a place I wouldn’t mind going back to.
Dinner came to a little over Ks 7000 for the three of us (upwards of $105) – which really wasn’t too bad for the experience.
Carnivore Retaurant
Nairobi
Kenya
605933-7 602786

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