Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tatu (Nairobi)

Nairobi is pretty modern, but for the most part, it can be shady, dusty, crowded, and covered in vehicle exhaust.

The Fairmont Norfolk is an old-world oasis - maybe even a little too stuffy in this day and age - but its restaurant Tatu is hip and fresh. Despite their excellent food, the space was pretty empty. That probably had something to do with New York prices in freaking Kenya.

There's no hint of the madness outside here. It's the only hotel I've ever visited that had security guards check the insides of purses at the door.

Papadum and naan with 4 dips including some delicious chutneys, and a strange mint dip that was more mayo than mint. The naan was delicious and soft. The chutneys were so good that I forgot to take a photo until we completely finished the mango one and half the tomato one.

Salmon cream amuse bouche. This one was really strange. The salmon cream was pretty sweet, and then had a really strong salmon finish. Do they even have salmon in this part of the world?!

Lamb in more rich Indian spices. I didn't find out until much later that they recently hired an Indian executive chef for Fairmont's East Africa operations. I was not very surprised. The lamb was slightly tough, but the flavors more than made up for it.

Ostrich! It was incredibly tender and lean. It was the reddest bird I have ever seen... the salad on the bottom was very good and helped offset the rich flavor of the meat. I was a little worried that I asked for medium well (travel guides told me to eat everything scorched earth, including vegetables) and it came out medium rare. I didn't get sick though, thank goodness.

Fries! Because we won't be having this in the bush for the next 10 days... at least!

I didn't take any pictures of the bush food in the Masai Mara and Serengeti, because I'm sure that it would make someone nervous. It was more or less similar food to this but with cheaper ingredients, just as much spice, and... no frying! Everything was actually quite good, including some fancy desserts. The standout course though, was soup. Somehow every camp had delicious carrot, mushroom, pumpkin, cauliflower, squash, celeriac, and tomato soup!

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