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“OK Exerperience” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Talisman

Talisman
P.O. Box 834 Ngong Road, Nairobi 00502, Kenya
+254 705 999997
Website
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Ranked #2 of 301 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.
Boston, Massachusetts
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“OK Exerperience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2012

I was excited to go to Talisman based on all the reviews. I was impressed by the table selected for us by the fire and the welcome we received when we arrived.

Folks had mentioned it was a good family restaurant so I was expecting a high chair for our 11 month old baby but that was not available. I did see the playground they had which would be a big plus for older kids.

Decent wine list for Nairobi and pleased with the selection by the glass. The ambiance is lovely and would recommend a lunch or brunch visit to enjoy during the day.

I truly enjoyed my ostrich pate and 4 forest mushroom Gnocchi. Very flavorful and satisfying.

My Fiance did enjoy his salmon appetizer however he was NOT impressed with his grilled local his fish and had to ask to have it cooked more. If someone was not pleased with their dish and had to send it back for further cooking, typically you are not charged or offered something else. This was not the case here so I feel that they could have handled the situation with better finesse and concern. This was the issue of the inexperienced server we had. He was a nice young man but not experienced.

Overall I would say this is a nice place but for the money and the very expensive cab ride from the city center (be sure to ask on the price before you go) I was expecting more. The experience could have been improved with a more knowledgeable and professional wait person.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 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, December 9, 2012
Thanks for taking the time to leave your comments. We're sorry about the undercooked fish. Any time a dish is not up to par, we want to do our best to make things right. We do have some new servers on staff who are learning the ropes, so thanks for your patience. We'll work harder to make sure everyone's on the same page when it comes to service. Glad you enjoyed our atmosphere and found a warm welcome. We're very proud of our place and our team and would love to have you back any time.
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330 reviews from our community

91% Recommend
    208
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    20
    4
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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
Nairobi, Nairobi Area, Kenya
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“THE BEST RESTAURANT IN NAIROBI!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2012

I may have found the best restaurant in Africa, certainly the best restaurant in all of Nairobi! The Talisman in Karen combines all the best elements of a great restaurant! Atmosphere, ambience, food, service, drinks, wine, it has it all. A beautiful location with a natural indoor-outdoor feel and flow, the Talisman has such a great vibe. One truly feels like you're in unspoiled Africa with a lovely patio, trees, intriguing architecture, a wonderful bar/lounge, fireplaces galore, contemporary art, and soft lighting. The chef, Marcus Mitchell, is a world class cook and the wine list matches the gourmet entrees and desserts. A real find and a fantastic destination. You'll find me there most Friday nights! (has a great English breakfast too!)

  • Visited December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 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, December 8, 2012
Wow! Thanks so much. We love our regular customers and are always glad to see them stop in. Thanks for taking the time to leave us a review, and we'll hope to see you soon!
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Nairobi
2 reviews
“Great Atmosphere and Service,Dissapointed in their Steak,Limited Wine Choices.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2012

I have been going to your restaurant for some years now.Generally,am happy with their service and food.My only problem is that their t-bone steak,which I have had 3 times,did not impress me.The first time,it was too fatty,the second time,it was tough and the third time,it was well done while I had requested for medium rare.I have given up on this dish at their premises.On their choice of wines,most were dry and we ended up buying a bottle of sparkling that we really did not enjoy.The prawn starter with garlic,ginger was great as well as the feta coriander......

  • Visited October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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J C, Public Relations Manager at Talisman, responded to this review, December 8, 2012
Thanks for the comments, Jad. Did you get the full wine list? We have a very extensive selection (one of the largest in Nairobi, in fact), and our bar staff is always happy to recommend something that will pair well with your meal. We're sorry the T-bone was a disappointment. Next time you come in, give the chef a shout, and let him work some magic for you on a mouth-watering piece of steak. We always want to do our best!
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Coventry, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Wonderful ambience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2012

We have eaten at the Talisman whenever we are in Nairobi (not often enough). The food has always been marvellous and the ambience superb. Would thoroughly recommend the Talisman.

  • Visited March 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 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, December 8, 2012
Thanks so much for the kind words. We're delighted you've recommended Talisman to friends, and we hope you'll come back in more often!
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Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
2 reviews
“Work or Play This is the place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2012

Have visited the Talisman several dozen times, and always found the whole experience amazing.

For Work:

Often during the day when the rigors of the office get a bit much and i look for a nice place to kick up my feet take my laptop and work, away from the hustle and bustle this is the only place, I've tried many places around Nairobi and have found NONE that can compare, the Coffee is better than Dorman's, the cookies and bitings are excellent, as well as the atmosphere not too busy not too quiet, (Not to mention you can actually sit comfortable have a coffee and a cigarette!) Next there is good WI-FI, and all-in-all a whole day of drinking coffee's, breaking for lunch and maybe having a sneaky beer or two after five doesn't break the bank.

For fun:

This place also good, the quite lunch & business bar room fades away into a lively restaurant, The food, has so far, in my experience been excellent every time, although will admit some days to being rather unadventurous and sticking to the burgers that are by far the best in Kenya (if not sub-Saharan Africa), (Chicken wings also rock)

Took a girl on a first date here and was treated like royalty, best service, wine, ambiance I've been treated to in Kenya, and it wasn't lost on my date either.

Last but not least, Friday Nights! I am on the firm belief there is no where else to go, I've tried all of the others around town and have rarely had a good time.

At Talisman on the other hand even at it's most crowded it's still possible to get a drink within 5 mins, You are able to either sit by the fire and have a nice discussion with friends without the need to shout, or on the occasional band night, watch some really good old school tunes. The only down side to Talisman on a Friday night is that the Dance floor... well there isn't one... but that rarely has stopped the usual patrons.

Anyway to citizens of Nairobi, or Tourists traveling through I would firmly recommend this place above anywhere.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 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 29, 2012
Thanks, Joseph! We really appreciate our "regulars" at Talisman--you make it even more rewarding to work here and do our job well. Come back any time for work or play!
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