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“Mixed experience” 4 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 315 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.
Dodewaard, The Netherlands
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Mixed experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2013

Throughout my business trip to Nairobi, Kenia I went to this restaurant twice. I have to say it was a mixed experience. The first visit the restaurant exceeded my expectations. The food was great (especially the various mixed appertizers which you can share amongst the party you are with) and the oystrich meat was excellent. Furthermore the waitor was friendly and entertaining (also try the Talisman Chili sauce, which is excellent but hot!). As of that point of time I was about to support the nr 1 rating here on Tripadvisor for the best restaurant in town. However the second visit (about 1 week later) was just mediocre. It was a Sunday instead of Tuesday (which was the day of my first visit) and the waitor (which was another one than the first visit) told us that 4 meals on the menu were already sold out. Furthermore it was very cold in the restaurant ( I know it is winter in Nairobi) but the waitor did not want to do anything about it such as put more wood on the fireplace or try to arrange another table for us (and there were plenty of free tables). I tried the burger this time (Oystrich was not available) which was not very good based on my experience, I asked for a medium and received a well done, furthermore the waitor was horrible, not very service oriented at all, did not pay attention to us, did not even ask for a second drink.

Concluding, based on the first visit I would definitely rate this restaurant 5 points, but due to the second visit (I know maybe I had high expectations, but this was/is the nr 1 restaurant) I would only rate it 2-3 points. In the end I ended up at giving this 4 points, so definitely try it, but I think you must be lucky with the service

  • Visited July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 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, August 3, 2013
Thank you very much for the candid feedback. We are really sorry your second experience didn't match up to the first, and we are committed to making it exceed expectations when it comes to service. We do have several new waiters on staff, but there's no excuse for being ignored when it comes to requests for better heating or a different table when tables are free. We have plenty of jikos and even blankets for chilly days, and we'll work to make sure our service staff is prompt to offer these. Do try us again when you're in town, and thanks again for taking the time to write.
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379 reviews from our community

92% Recommend
    237
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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
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Wonderful secret in Karen!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013

A lovely little restaurant with amazing food and service and for those of you that know what it is, they do EPC discount too. Well worth the visit.

Visited May 2013
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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, August 2, 2013
Thanks for coming in and helping share the 'secret'! We're very proud of our chef and his team and will look forward to welcoming you back any time.
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Woodinville, Washington
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“A nice surprise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

We were on a guided tour of Nairobi and this spot was chosen for us and we were glad it was. It's a large place with mostly open air seating much of which is covered. We had a table reserved for us by the fire which was nice. They seem to use a lot of local ingredients but the food is eclectic. We started with the pork belly and samosas which they are apparently known for and both were very good. I had a mexican dish with ostrich meat which was quite spicy and a pleasant surprise. My wife had Mt. Kenya trout and it was prepared very well and my daughter had chicken that was moist and well seasoned. The staff was friendly and quick (with the exception of trying to pay our bill which I find a lot outside the US). For the price this was one of the best meals we had on our trip to Africa.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 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, August 2, 2013
We're delighted you enjoyed your visit with us and hope you'll stop in again if you visit Nairobi in the future! Karibu!
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Kent, UK
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Yummy”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

Great food, great atmosphere. Love that they use the glass from Kintengela, all looks great.

The food is amazing, and one of the boys eating with me said it was the best steak he'd ever had (and he's had a lot of steak!)

Visited June 2013
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J C, Public Relations Manager at Talisman, responded to this review, August 2, 2013
Thanks so much, Mary! We're glad you took the time to stop by. We're very proud of Chef Marcus's famous fillet steak and delighted your friend gave it a ringing endorsement. Asante sana!
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Indianapolis, Indiana
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Laid back spot favored by ex-pats”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2013

Nice selection of well-prepared dishes. When I was there, options included kedgeree and chili. They make their own ice creams, but there were chunks of ice in mine (they need a better ice cream maker!).

Visited July 2013
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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, July 29, 2013
Thanks for the review, Ellen, and we're delighted you enjoyed your visit. I'll be sure to alert the chef to the ice in the ice cream. He has a fabulous ice cream machine, and it shouldn't be dishing out plain ice. He'll be sure to check it -- the machine is his special baby. Thanks again, and do come back!
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