The Kenyan Nomad

The Kenyan Nomad

Monday, October 15, 2018

Haandi: Restaurant Review

If anyone asks me to recommend the best Indian restaurant in Nairobi, I'll definitely say Haandi. Hopefully this doesn't come as too much of a surprise to you, but if it does, or if you disagree, you're very welcome to change my mind! I'm always open to new experiences.

I don't go to the actual restaurant as often as I would like. Their ambience is lovely, but the location itself isn't too exciting.

It was a Sunday family lunch, and we were celebrating my parents' 39th anniversary (woo!), so you can imagine that we ordered quite a bit ;) In the interest of being true to what I write, I'll only cover the dishes that I personally tried out of those we ordered.

Before we begin - a huge kudos to Haandi for their service. We got great service and attention from our server as well as the manager on duty. The manager made sure to understand why we were there, gave us some lovely recommendations, and also helped us proactively adjust the portions we needed when it became clear that we had ordered (far) too much. Perhaps Haandi could think of getting wider tables? Punjabi families need all that space...

Another kudos for a website that is FUNCTIONAL and BEAUTIFUL! A personal pet peeve is going to an excellent restaurant with a crappy website - there's no reason you can't be excellent across all channels, is there?

I think I had a ginger ale or something, but my mum ordered a salty lime soda. It sounded hella weird, to be honest, but I think that's what I'll order when I go!! It had a lovely flavour and a delightful hint of mint. Plus, the salt was exotic not creepy if that makes sense?

To start off, we ordered the chilli paneer, the murg burra (boneless chicken tikka), and the lamb seekh kebabs.

To be incredibly honest - I've had better chilli paneer in Nairobi, even at Haandi itself! (Also, totally forgot to take a picture...)

The murg burra. Let's spend a moment here, shall we? Again. Without a doubt, I can say that this is the BEST boneless tikka I've had at a North Indian restaurant in Nairobi. The chicken was creamy and soft enough - think melt in your mouth. It was marinated exquisitely all the way through, and the chicken itself was great! Definitely a 10/10.

The seekh kebabs were great too - a little on the dry side, but good flavour, which sometimes restaurants completely fail to achieve when they're working with lamb.

For the mains, we ordered the malai kofta, dal bukhara, jeera chicken and rogan josh. I didn't try the malai kofta, but did manage to have a bite of all the rest.

First of all, the dal bukhara. It's been a LONG time since I've had a proper dal bukhara (black dal cooked overnight). This was amazingly done, with lovely flavours of ginger and butter too. Honestly, I wouldn't be opposed to ordering ONLY this and eating it alone the next time I go! Thanks for destroying stereotypes about vegetarian food having to choose between being healthy and being tasty, dal bukhara, you the real MVP.

Can you smell it yet?

The jeera chicken was perfect too. It's a personal favourite of mine, so there may be a little bias here - but I highly doubt it! I loved that the individual flavours of this dish were so perfectly subtle that they blended together perfectly! We got this medium spicy, but I feel like this dish could hold its own without that spice if it needed to.

Finally, the rogan josh. Again, forgot to take a picture here. Good - but didn't hold a candle to the chicken or dal!

We had these with naans and rice. The naans were soft, but not something I would eat alone. However, a perfect accompaniment to the dishes above.

After all this, we definitely had to take a meanwhile before heading home for some well-deserved cake!

Have you been to Haandi? What was your experience like?

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