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“Expansive Italian menu in charming setting” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Osteria Karen

Osteria Karen
Windy Ridge Road, Nairobi, Kenya
Update restaurant details
Ranked #96 of 300 restaurants in Nairobi
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Reservations, Delivery, Late Night
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations, Delivery, Late Night
New York City, New York
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
“Expansive Italian menu in charming setting”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

I actually ate here twice in two days, by happenstance: first, for lunch with just one other person, and the next day in a party of 11 for dinner.

The Osteria is conveniently located, not far from the Karen roundabout, in what was a private home at one time, and tables are spread out through the gardens, as well as on the terrace and indoors. The waitstaff is abundant and attentive.

The food is authentically Italian, but one can order from the menu as one wishes, without having to choose a primo piatto and then a secondo, etc. Shortly after one sits down, freshly baked pizza bianca topped with fresh, chopped tomatoes is brought to the table as a complimentary appetizer: a nice touch. For lunch the first day, I started with a classic appetizer: bresaola with arugula and shaved Parmesan. It was plentiful and fresh and served with olive oil and lemon wedges. My companion started with a classic caprese salad, which also was large and looked very good. We both decided to have the risotto ai funghi porcini for our main course. It was nicely flavored, but the rice didn't quite get tender enough, as if the chef had rushed the preparation. We ordered a bottle of water and we each had a large glass of the house red wine, which was probably the equivalent of 2-3 regular restaurant glasses of wine. We finished with espresso.

The next night, I was in a party of 11, and we had a nice table inside because the weather was a little cool and rainy. Everyone seemed to enjoy the food they ordered, and the waitstaff kept the wine and beer flowing. I ordered "penne all'arrabiata" which was plentiful and quite spicy, which I enjoy. The pasta was just slightly overlooked, according to my preference, but good nonetheless.

I picked up the tab for the evening, and 11 of us ate and drank for roughly $360 US. You would be hard-pressed to do that at a similar quality Italian restaurant in the States (or in Italy, for that matter.)

  • Visited December 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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33 reviews from our community

72% Recommend
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Johannesburg, South Africa
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Great food and atmosphere”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2012

The location is very nice with a big garden to sit in and a lovely warm fire place inside when the weather is rainy. Lovely food and very good service.

Visited December 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
East Africa
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Pizza and more”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

Good friendly service, tables inside or outside. Pizza, pasta and other more substantial fare. Always some excellent house wines.

Visited November 2012
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