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“Great restaurant for everyone” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Carnivore Restaurant

The Carnivore Restaurant
Langata Rd, Nairobi 00200, Kenya
+254 733 611608
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Ranked #21 of 354 Restaurants in Nairobi
Price range: $40 - $100
Cuisines: African, Barbecue
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Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Doing business, Special occasions, Large groups
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Dessert, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Buffet, Delivery, Free Off-Street Parking, Free Wifi, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: On the outskirts of Nairobi on the Langata Road is the world famous Carnivore, known as the Ultimate 'Beast of a Feast', a meat lovers den where a vast selection of succulent meats are charcoal grilled and carved at your table. Adjoining the Carnivore main restaurant is the 'Simba Saloon' - a vibrant informal a la carte restaurant with a childrens playground,
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great restaurant for everyone”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2013

The carnivore is good fun if you are a carnivore. They serve you until you say no more, and the selection of meat that is brought to your table leaves you spoilt for choice. There is the starter of a soup, then the selection of salads and sauces arrives, with a very hot plate on which you are served a baked potato. Then the service of meat begins; from sausage, to chicken, pork, lamb, beef, ostrich, crocodile, and more you really do have to have a bit of everything. Then you can go for the ones that you like the best for seconds. If you are up for a party there is a huge bar with music at the weekends, and it is open until late. It is a one stop shop for great food and late night entertainment.

Visited April 2013
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
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English first
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
74 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Worth the trip”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2013

We managed to squeeze in a trip to the Carnivore on a recent visit to Nairobi and the scary part was that we almost didn't! We'd heard about the Carnivore but were a bit concerned about driving about Nairobi at night.

It turns out that our fears were unfounded and I kicked myself for even questioning whether we should go when we were greeted by the aroma of the barbecue pit! To be perfectly honest, it is touristy and quite pricey by Nairobi standards, but its one of those must-do experiences in the city.

The food is plentiful and the service is excellent. Do try one of the medicine man's concoctions - essentially a mojito - and do take plenty of pictures. Chances are that, even for visitors with the most determined appetite, you're going to want to be rolled out of the restaurant at the end but pace yourself and you should be fine.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Larkspur, California
Level Contributor
33 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Love meat - go here!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2013

As the name suggests, it is for meat-eaters! Similar to a Brazilian churrascaria - the meats are brought around to the tables on long skewers and guests can choose which ones they want to try. Be adventurous and try the unusual meats, after all, you can eat chicken and beef, etc anywhere. It's usually pretty busy so give yourselves plenty of time to enjoy the whole experience. Great atmosphere.

Visited September 2013
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Hampshire, England
Level Contributor
42 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“It's Kenya Jim, but not as we know it.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2013 via mobile

Carnivore is a protein-filled altar at which hardened meat eaters go to worship. It's also one of those places you apparently have on your must-do itinerary when visiting Kenya (which I hope people continue to do in their droves, despite the recent outrage there). You can tell that by the massed ranks of predominantly European faces and transatlantic voices there, many of whom are clearly on organised party tours (although why you'd send a party like the one that sat next to us that included several vegetarians to a place self-evidently unlikely to leave them dancing in the aisles is quite beyond me: at least the coleslaw's good).

The setting is certainly inviting: a sloping walk into the restaurant's natural, largely open cauldron is accompanied by the growing sights and smells of the biggest barbecue you'll see for a long time, festooned with long skewers groaning under the weight of pretty much every meat that's legal. Wander past that and you're sat down while various good serving folk come and go in rapid succession, bearing that traditional Kenyan favourite, vodka cocktail (sic), followed by an explanatation of the menu (you get to have what they bring you until you can manage no more) and then a tier of Lazy Susan's with various veg, salads and sauces kindly marked with the meat they're intended to accompany. Breads and soup are swiftly dispensed with before different servers pitch up and unload different meats off the skewers for as long as you want to keep going. The meat is well-cooked and fine, as far as it goes, and the sauces jolly it along rather well. The fruity sauce and ostrich combination is probably the pick of the bunch

So why the lack of enthusiasm? Well, you do get crocodile and you get the ostrich, but you also get plenty of lamb, chicken and beef, none of which is done in such a way as to push out the culinary envelope. For me, that's not the main issue though. Kenyan institution it may well be, but it's about as authentically Kenyan as King Henry's Feast on International Drive, Orlando (and he probably had ostrich when he was a lad, too). It's also similarly thematic and production-line.

Don't get me wrong, there's a nice enough ambience here, but it's not evocative. It's not cynical (well, not quite), but it is lazy; it's filling without being engrossing, a conveyor-belt experience, a kind of box-ticking place that you don't really remember all that much once you've left. In fact, the only reason I remember it now is because my friendly bit of Tripadvisor code reminded me that I'd taken a look at it before we were taken there. And yes, perhaps I ought therefore to have known better, but Nairobi's a big and far from familiar place, especially when you haven't much time before heading to the airport for home. It's also far from cheap.

Compared to the many genuinely thrilling things to be seen in this brilliant country, Carnivore is a bit shallow and too much of a tourist caricature. And if you're a vegetarian, you may want to consider alternatives anyway: the coleslaw ain't THAT good.

Visited September 2013
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Surrey
Level Contributor
62 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“A touristy experience rather than a gastronomic one.......”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2013

Carnivore was booked for us by our tour operator as part of our 8 day safari so we were given a set menu. Other people who had been said it was an unmissable event and whilst my group (husband adult son and daughter) enjoyed it for what it was, nobody would rush back. You definitely need to be a carnivore (and they are) and not easily put off by the sight of so much charred flesh (and in regards to the chicken - undercooked flesh). Service was hit and miss. Dessert came but we had to ask for what was meant to be the accompanying coffee and tea on a couple of occasions.

Yes we enjoyed it. OK for an experience but would definitely not go back.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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