Lucca, at the Villa Rosa Kempinski, Nairobi, is an Italian restaurant I'd long been meaning to check out, but never quite got around to. Naturally, when the opportunity came to go, I jumped at it! I've heard a lot of good things, so I was eager to check it out.
Friday night dinnertime found a friend and I at Lucca. I'd checked out their menu in advance, but of course, hadn't quite yet decided what I wanted.
The ambience was warm and welcoming - think of a nicer deli vibe, which was comforting, especially considering this was still during Nairobi winter. The reception was also warm and welcoming - I was led to my well laid out table by a smiling server.
Their mixologist's creations looked very interesting! (However, I would recommend a quick spellcheck before they next print out their menu).
We opted for the Remy old fashion, and the Professor gin and tonic.
|Professor gin and tonic
|Remy old fashion
Both were amazing and refreshing, and I'll definitely be going back to try some of their other menu items!
To start off, as any respectable Italian restaurant should do, the restaurant provided a bread basket. Now, a well put together bread basket is enough to make me weak at the knees, and this one definitely didn't disappoint! Their specialty butters were also amazing and flavourful.
For mains, we opted for the Gnocchi di patate con calamari e pesto di basilico (Gnocchi with pesto and calamari), and the Chicken breast with puttanesca sauce, polenta cake and sautéed chard (that doesn't need a translation, does it?) Strangely enough, they didn't have ravioli that evening!
Let's start off with the Gnocchi. This was, quite simply, amazing. It was creamy and flavourful, with a delectable combination of flavours that worked very well together without being overpowering. The calamari also came through very well, and didn't fit into my favourite category of seafood pet peeves - overly fishy. I'll definitely be back for this!
The chicken breast on the other hand was - well, bland. Even the picture I took was blurry, I was so disappointed! Definitely not something I was expecting at a restaurant I'd heard so much about.
Overall verdict? I'll definitely be back to try more items on their menu - especially the drinks and the desserts, which we weren't able to get to. Despite the chicken, I did enjoy my experience, and would only urge that they apply their detail-oriented approach (think Gnocchi and drinks) to their WHOLE experience.