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“Ambiance!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Talisman

Talisman
320 Ngong Road, Nairobi 00502, Kenya
+254 705 999997
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Ranked #1 of 341 Restaurants in Nairobi
Cuisines: African, European, Pan-Asian
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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: The Talisman is an elegant Gastrolounge with an eclectic twist. Described as "The best place in town" by New York Times Spirited Traveler and consistently the #1 restaurant in Kenya on TripAdvisor, The Talisman offers a myriad of experiences to our patrons. Featuring carved wooden pillars from Pakistan, elegant Afghan rugs, charming fireplaces, sprawling terraces and idyllic gardens, The Talisman blends fine dining with unbridled eclecticism. We have made every effort to create the ideal ambience for those seeking a candle-lit romantic dinner, a casual evening drink with friends, an outdoor lunch with family and everything in between ~ And all this is complemented by distinguished service from our cordial staff.
Massapequa, New York
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Ambiance!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2013

Nice ambiance and food was great. My son took me for my birthday and he went all out. I suggest this for couples since it was dark in the restaurant and couples only. Big tree in the middle of the place was interesting. Menu very diversified

Visited October 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, September 8, 2013
Thanks, Lucille, and a belated Happy Birthday from all of us. We're so glad you enjoyed your meal and would love to welcome you back any time. Karibu!
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455 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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    132
    24
    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
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Brussels, Belgium
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Pretty average”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2013

This restaurant is pretty far from the centre of Nairobi. Taking the traffic jam into account, you won't reach it in less than 45 minutes.

The food is ok, but certainly disappointing compared to what is written in the menu.
Don't expect anything "gastronomic" here, it is more a kind of eclectic brasserie.
The wine list is short but nice and, for once, it does contain some inexpensive wines (which is not easy to find in Nairobi).

Although the service wasn't very friendly, the live band playing music is a great plus to warm up the place.

In conclusion, unless you're living close to it, it is not worth the travel to there.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 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, September 8, 2013
We're certainly sorry to hear you were disappointed, as we're very proud of Chef Marcus and his team, who are working to use the best local, fresh ingredients to produce meals that are well above average. We hope you'll come again and give us another chance to wow you. This Friday we had ten people make the drive from Gigiri (opposite side of town) to enjoy a meal and hear the band, so many people do find it worth the drive. We'd like to change your mind as well!
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Reading, Pennsylvania
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Fab Food, Frustrating Service”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013

Once again, Nairobi did not disappoint on the restaurant front. The ambiance at this restaurant is fantastic (outdoor dining available) as was the menu and the food. This is a regular dining choice for a friend of mine that lives locally in Karen. However, consistent with most of the restaurants we encountered, service was kind of slow despite letting our waiter know of a tight schedule one of us was on. If you have a couple hours to enjoy your dining experience then this is must try when you are in Nairobi.

Visited August 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, September 5, 2013
We are very glad you enjoyed our ambiance and food. We want to ensure service is quick and consistent and would appreciate any feedback you can provide about the date and time you came and who took care of you during your meal. Staff training is ongoing, and we're working hard to improve service times . Please feel free to drop us a line through our website or Facebook page. Thanks!
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Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Best restaurant we visited in Nairobi”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2013 via mobile

Visited this August with my sister who is a Nairobi resident. She voted this her number 1 restaurant in Nairobi. The atmosphere was lovely sat outside with hot coals burning next to you in the frog chimneas.

Staff were friendly and attentive.

The steak I had was first rate - best meal I had across my whole visit.

It's not inexpensive but uk comparable prices and well worth it.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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J C, Public Relations Manager at Talisman, responded to this review, August 31, 2013
Thanks so much for the kind words, Holly! We're delighted your sister gave us such a ringing endorsement and that you enjoyed your meal with us. I'll be sure to pass your compliments to the chef and our staff. Come back any time!
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Sheffield, England
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Try the feta & coriander samosas!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2013 via mobile

I went for lunch on the back of the reviews I had read on here. Lovely setting. You can sit in, out or half way in between! I was half way, on the patio with a view of the beautiful fireplace and the gardens.

Alfonse, the head waiter, was very knowledgable and recommended the hibiscus lemonade which was delightful and the feta and coriander samosas which were delicious - the best samosas I've ever tasted. The pastry was incredibly crisp and light and although i'm not usually a fan of feta I loved them.

For main course I had the ostrich fillet (medium) I had first asked for it medium rare but then asked how the chef would recommend it and was glad I went with his recommendation: medium. It was very tasty and the beetroot salsa an cauliflower puree complimented it perfectly. The potato dauphinois was also tasty, if not a little too salty. 

Dessert was apple and almond cake with ice cream. It was nice, but the samosas were still the star of the show. 

Vanilla, honey bush and rose infusion tea was lovely. 

  • Visited August 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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 27, 2013
Thanks so much for your detailed review. I will pass along your compliments to Chef Marcus and Alphonse--I know they'll both be pleased that you enjoyed their recommendations! Come back any time. It's a pleasure to serve you.
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