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“Bring back the old Talisman” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Talisman

Talisman
P.O. Box 834 Ngong Road, Nairobi 00502, Kenya
+254 705 999997
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Ranked #1 of 317 restaurants in Nairobi
Cuisines: Continental, Café, Asian fusion
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Romance, Doing business, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Delivery, Late Night, Dessert
Description: Recently reopened after extensive renovations, the Talisman is located in Karen just on the outskirts of Nairobi in an old colonial building among lush beautiful gardens. Relax either indoors or outdoors or outdoors on our beautiful patio. Chef Marcus Mitchell, who has trained in France and Spain, brings his own unique touch to each dish and has gained acclaim for his fabulous continental and fusion menu. Talisman's service team is also renowned for its hospitality.
UK
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Bring back the old Talisman”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2012

This used to be BY FAR our favourite place to eat in Kenya. However in the last couple of months something has changed which makes me want to share here.

The waiting staff are still the best in East Africa and the setting is still lovely whether at lunch or in the evening.

However the quality and quantity of the food have both dropped in the last few months. I don't know if there have been some changes behind the scenes. We have complained about the portion sizes and food quality on more than one occasion but it seems to fall on deaf ears.

What a shame. Bring back the old Talisman please!! This place has become a victim of its own success. Perhaps the closure of the Rusty Nail means there's no local competition to keep them on their toes any more?

  • Visited October 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
J C, Public Relations Manager at Talisman, responded to this review, November 16, 2012
Thanks for taking the time to leave your comments. It would be helpful to know what specific menu items you miss and would like to see again. We've kept most of the classic Talisman dishes on the main menu and use the Chef's Specials to introduce new and different items on a rotating basis. Chef Marcus is always on the lookout for dishes that make the most of fresh, local produce; Kenyan seafood; signature African meats like ostrich; and other favorites that draw on the best Kenya has to offer. But we still have a great fusion menu that features Mediterranean, Asian, and European tastes, and Marcus recently spent several weeks in France training with a top-rated Michelin chef. As far as portion sizes go, many people comment that they tend to be too generous, so we're working to strike a balance here. Give us another go any time.
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389 reviews from our community

92% Recommend
    244
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    21
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
HCMC
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Behind Artcaffe, my favorite place in Nairobi”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

The food is fantastic. I am a vegetarian and this place has plenty of very good options. The setting is amazing, the food is awesome and the service is super fast. If you are in nairobi, you must go eat here!

Visited July 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
J C, Public Relations Manager at Talisman, responded to this review, November 15, 2012
Thanks so much for leaving these lovely comments. We've been adding to our vegetarian selections and are always glad to hear these menu items are hitting the spot! Come on in any time.
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East Africa
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“Varied menu”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

Best to book. A good and varied menu, everything is delicious. A popular haunt of local residents. Roaring fires keep you toasty during chilly Nairobi evenings.

Visited November 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
J C, Public Relations Manager at Talisman, responded to this review, November 11, 2012
Thanks for taking the time to leave a review. We're glad you enjoyed both the cozy atmosphere and our menu. Chef Marcus creates new specials each week, so come on back and try something new!
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Toronto, Canada
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“The atmosphere is the best part”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2012

The food was nothing terribly special, although the atmosphere is great. Lots of candles and sculptures around, with wooden decor. I quite liked having some wine outside in the garden.

Visited September 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
J C, Public Relations Manager at Talisman, responded to this review, November 7, 2012
We're delighted that you enjoyed our warm, inviting atmosphere. The garden, fireplaces and candles do make a terrific setting. But we're really curious about what you tried from our menu. We're foodies here, and Chef Marcus does a bang-up job with his own signature style, so when food is rated "nothing special," our alarm bells go off! We'd appreciate your feedback, and we'd love to have you back again so we have another chance to wow you with what we can dish up!
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San Luis Obispo, California
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
“Incredible Food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

My wife and I had a grand time eating at the Talisman Restaurant after our excursion to the Karen Blixen House. The chicken salad was flavorful and spicy, and we loved the chicken wings and samosas. Worth a visit.

Visited October 2012
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J C, Public Relations Manager at Talisman, responded to this review, November 6, 2012
Thanks for making us part of your itinerary! We're delighted you took in the best that Karen has to offer, and we'd love to see you back here any time. Greetings to the great Lone Star state from Kenya!
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