The Kenyan Nomad

The Kenyan Nomad

Monday, August 13, 2018

Zen Garden Bamboo: Restaurant Review

You may or may not already know that Zen Garden (especially Bamboo) is one of my favourite restaurants in Nairobi. I definitely visit more often than I should, and I also realise that this is one of the top places I choose to visit whenever I know someone is visiting from abroad. However, I realise for a place that's in my top 5 for Nairobi, I definitely haven't done enough official reviews here - so that's where this review is coming from!

Their ambience is amazing, well suited for anything from a corporate dinner to a best friends' day out to a date.

For wine (of course), I decided to go for a bottle of Domaine de la Baume's Cabernet Sauvignon. I've never had this one before, but was pleasantly surprised. It had a hint of licorice and red berries - and mint! If you've never heard me rant about my experience with this menthol-tinged wine a few years back, please do ask me the next time you see me. Anyway, this had put me off trying ANY wine that claimed to have mint flavour, but this particular cab sav had more subtle hints of mint that weren't super aggressive. If I had to rate this wine, I'd give it about a 7.5/10.

For starters, the salt and pepper vegetables and the prawn cigars were chosen. The salt and pepper veggies were perfectly crisp and fresh - and my surprise of the day was that I actually LIKED the onions in this! I'm not a huge fan of onions that are not all the way done, but this was a definite exception - so much so that I actually saved the onions and had them with the prawn cigars too! This dish also had a lovely tinge of spice - not overwhelming, but definitely a good kick.

Also - look how lovely it looks! That's another reason Zen Garden is always a winner for me - their presentation is always effortlessly flawless.

The prawn cigars were really yummy too! The flavours in this one were definitely simpler on the palate - prawn, batter, and some chillies. This blended together to give a lovely picture that's a perfect complement for a wide variety of drinks, from wine to cocktails I'd say.

For mains, instead of my usual red or green curry, I decided to try the chicken in red chilli and crisp thai basil. EXCELLENT CHOICE! The flavours blended together PERFECTLY, and there were also varying levels of complexity - the sweet, the tangy, the spicy. The texture of this dish was also great, and I loved that the chicken itself had great flavour (disappointingly, not always the case at some restaurants). This dish was

A friend ordered the crispy pork - while the flavours were great, it was a little dry for me.

The only thing I found lacking on that day - which is actually the first time I've had this experience at Zen btw - was that the service was not as attentive as usual.

If you haven't yet been - please do go, and let me know what you think!

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