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“Work or Play This is the place” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Talisman

The Talisman
Ranked #2 of 475 Restaurants in Nairobi
Cuisines: Seafood, Contemporary, Fusion, Gastropub, Italian, Japanese, African, Sushi, European, Asian, British, Gluten Free Options
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Business meetings, Families with children, Special occasions, Romantic, Large groups, Local cuisine
Dining options: Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Off-Street Parking, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Validated Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: 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.
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
Helpful?
Thank Joseph H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
J C, Public Relations Manager at The 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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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930 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    616
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Nairobi, Kenya
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“too much for too little”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

I loved the creative menu but feel it is not good value for money. The atmosphere is terrific and the chef is great fun. But its too pricy for what ones gets.

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
Thank Mark R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
J C, Public Relations Manager at The Talisman, responded to this review, November 29, 2012
We appreciate all feedback but admit this one was a bit of a surprise, as the most common "complaint" about our portions is that they are too large. We use only the freshest and best ingredients available--no frozen veg or second-rate meat. We're proud sponsors and patrons of the Organic Farmers Market and use their greens for our salads. Yes, quality costs more, but we feel it's worth it for our customers. Cutting costs would mean using inferior ingredients, and we just won't go there. We'll work to achieve a balance between good value and best quality, though, and we hope you'll come back and try us out again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nairobi
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“The gem of Nairobi”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2012

When you step into talisman you find yourself surrounded with the most amazing atmosphere. The food, service and management is something hard to find anywhere, let alone in Nairobi. Keep up the good work guys, I can't wait to be there with a cold drink and your amazing creations again! Make this part of your stay in Kenya, if your just on your way through or just want a break from the average. Talisman really is kenyas most unique and amazing dining experience, don't miss out!

  • Visited November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank KhellyerCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
J C, Public Relations Manager at The Talisman, responded to this review, November 23, 2012
Thanks for this ringing endorsement! We're really proud of our atmosphere, our staff and our delicious food, and we look forward to welcoming you back whenever you're in town. Cheers!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Visby
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Greatest restaurant”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2012

Great food (even for vegetarians), great service, great prices... And an extra plus for their events like organic farmers market

  • Visited October 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
Thank StW739
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
J C, Public Relations Manager at The Talisman, responded to this review, November 22, 2012
Thanks so much for taking the time to leave your comments. We are really proud of our association with the Organic Farmers Market and enjoy serving the freshest local produce we can. Come back any time!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level Contributor
26 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Bring back the old Talisman”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

This used to be BY FAR our favourite place to eat in Kenya. However in the last couple of months something has changed which makes me want to share here.

The waiting staff are still the best in East Africa and the setting is still lovely whether at lunch or in the evening.

However the quality and quantity of the food have both dropped in the last few months. I don't know if there have been some changes behind the scenes. We have complained about the portion sizes and food quality on more than one occasion but it seems to fall on deaf ears.

What a shame. Bring back the old Talisman please!! This place has become a victim of its own success. Perhaps the closure of the Rusty Nail means there's no local competition to keep them on their toes any more?

  • Visited October 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Krautcons
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
J C, Public Relations Manager at The Talisman, responded to this review, November 16, 2012
Thanks for taking the time to leave your comments. It would be helpful to know what specific menu items you miss and would like to see again. We've kept most of the classic Talisman dishes on the main menu and use the Chef's Specials to introduce new and different items on a rotating basis. Chef Marcus is always on the lookout for dishes that make the most of fresh, local produce; Kenyan seafood; signature African meats like ostrich; and other favorites that draw on the best Kenya has to offer. But we still have a great fusion menu that features Mediterranean, Asian, and European tastes, and Marcus recently spent several weeks in France training with a top-rated Michelin chef. As far as portion sizes go, many people comment that they tend to be too generous, so we're working to strike a balance here. Give us another go any time.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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