My wife and I live in the area and stopped in for an early dinner at the new Hemingways last night. First impressions of the hotel itself were very positive. Great security at the gate, complete with having our name on the restaurant booking.
The entrance is spectacular, modern and inviting. Once the surrounding gardens mature, the exterior will also be similarly spectacular.
But onto the main event: dinner at the Brasserie. We each started out with a caesar salad. It was dressed perfectly and the request for extra anchovies was accommodated. Producing a good caesar is always a simple test of a kitchen. It passed with flying colors. It also went nicely with a Sicilian white wine on the menu
Now...the steak. Finding a world-class steak in Kenya has been impossible. Until now. I had a 450g rib-eye. It came with a choice of two sides and a sauce. I couldn't pass up the thrice-cooked truffle fries...and nor should you. Best I've had anywhere in the world...and I spend months every year in Europe, Asia and the U.S. eating in top restaurants. For a dose of greens, I went with green beans. They were cooked perfectly and served in a cast iron ramekin to keep them warm. There are many more choices. Mac and cheese, spinach...etc.
I had requested the steak medium-rare (the way I like it, but with some trepidation since medium rare in Africa is often interpreted as rare!) But the steak arrived to perfection and melted in my mouth. A nice char on the outside and moist inside. I just returned from holidays in the U.S. where I hit some of the big (and expensive) steak meccas. This was better. Way better. On top of that, it was about a third of the price you'd pay at those U.S. steak meccas. Plus, you have a view of the Ngong Hills instead of a mall parking lot!
This place deserves to be full every night. The service was attentive and the staff delightful, though still a little tentative in their approach. That will change with practice. The hotel is still very new.
We were too full for dessert, but they all looked great. We'll be back soon to sample the burgers, BLTs and other offerings on this very cool menu. Even better, it is open for lunch and dinner.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Hemingways Nairobi has a sophisticated and tranquil ambiance. Set between Nairobi National Park and the foot of the Ngong Hills, Hemingways Nairobi is an exclusive 5* luxury boutique hotel located in the peaceful suburb of Karen far from the bustle of central Nairobi. An all-suite property providing full butler service, a brasserie, a sunset bar and lounge and a spa, this plantation style property is perfectly placed for trips to Nairobi National Park, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and the capital. Each of the 45 suites is a generous size with en-suite bathrooms with walk-in closets, personalised mini bars, and a private terrace with magnificent views of the iconic Ngong Hills. ... more less
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