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“Fusion of mediterranean and swahili cooking....”
Review of Monsoon Restaurant

Monsoon Restaurant
Ranked #27 of 77 Restaurants in Stone Town
Cuisines: African
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Romantic, Large groups
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
Level 6 Contributor
205 reviews
80 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 168 helpful votes
“Fusion of mediterranean and swahili cooking....”
Reviewed November 6, 2012

The restaurant is a stone's throw from the seafront and Forodhani gardens. Seating is on the ground floor and is suitable for people with mobility problems. Seating is on cushions (shoes not allowed) inside the restaurant and the veranda has tables and chairs. Unfortunately the veranda faces the parking area and it was very noisy the evening we visited. Young men showing off their cars and the volume of their stereo systems. Other young men merely loitering about and being quite intrusive. Furthermore the mosquitoes had a field day......
On the positive side the dining experience was pleasant. There was a long wait but what appeared on the table was fresh, well presented and very tasty indeed. Good servings. The prawn curry and the deep fried octopus in tamarind sauce was served aromatic rice cooked in cinnamon/cardamom, ratatouille, chick peas, spinach and chapati - all bursting with mediterranean and swahili flavours - worked well. Do sample their halwa and sweetmeat of dates for dessert - heavenly...
Each main dish cost 6 pounds - very good value for money. A la carte dishes range from 5 to 28 pounds and there is a tourist menu at 20 pounds. An average bottle of wine (South African) costs 25 pounds, Soft drinks and smoothies cost 4 pounds.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank zenu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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493 reviews from our community

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Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Tourist trap”
Reviewed November 1, 2012

Monsoon is lousy. Looks like a perfect spot. Right on a busy corner. Authentic food. Music. Booze (which is hard to come by in Stone Town). Well, it's lousy. There's no joy in the cooking or the service. Everyone seems to be going through the motions here. We ate here ten years ago and it was the same then. We'll probably eat here again in another ten years too, hoping for the best.

If you stay in Stone Town, you'll end up here. Do you best to cross the street and head some place else.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank UnkleUnkle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zurich, Switzerland
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
“Really Fresh Fish”
Reviewed October 27, 2012

The fish from this restaurant are wonderful. Asked for a grilled one and you will get a very good fresh fish from the ocean. I recommend this place and it is at the forodhani gardens very easy to locate.

Visited October 2012
Thank Mallory H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“good place”
Reviewed October 8, 2012

The food here was excellent and we liked sitting on the floor. I had the calamari with passion fruit as a starter mainly out of curiosity and if I'm honest I wasn't 100% convinved. The mains were really excellent though, a brilliantly spiced plate of food. Would definitely recommend.

Visited October 2012
Thank triandswim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
95 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Poor example of local food”
Reviewed October 7, 2012

Although we visited Monsoon Restaurant in August 2012, I wrote up some notes for myself at the time. I never got round to posting it but here it is now for the benefit of anyone going soon to Stone Town.

First of all, it is fair to mention that we visited during Ramadhan, the Muslim fasting month. Overall service was very slow (but polite) and the food was not tasty. If other reviewers have given it 5 stars then maybe they went at a different time when perhaps the restaurant was running at full steam.

We sat outside as the inside smelled musty and also we were required to remove our shoes (though I wonder if the waiters had shoes on). There was no taarab music on the night we visited.

Our family of five had the following for starters: 1 soup (no comment), 1 fish cake (greasy), 1 each of beef salad and chicken salad (same salad, different meat, passable) and 1 chef's salad (greatly enjoyed as it had fruits).

For the mains we had: 1 x Swahili chicken, 1 x octopus, 2 x calamari and 1 x steak. The main thing to point out is that every dish comes with the same accompaniment of sweet chickpeas, slimy spinach, aubergine. cassava, rice and a smaill bit of chapati.

I just expected there to be a bit more flavour, imagination and pride to the cooking especially as Monsoon is recommended to anyone who wants to try local food. If this is a representation of local food, then no wonder tourists aim for the more Westernised restaurants, which is a real shame.

The 1 star rating is my own personal opinion. The children said it was absolutely fine and they had no complaints. In fact they just ate up everything - not sure if they were extra hungry or they realised we had left the safe confines of our beach resort and this was it. They might have given it 2 or 3 stars.

One tip - we did not want to end with a pocketful of Tanzanian shillings and so we only brought and paid for meals and shopping in US dollars. There is a downside to this as the restaurant can impose whatever exchange rate it likes. Our meal here came to 143,400 Tzs which should have been around $92, but the waiter told us it was $96 and so we left $100 just for convenience and to get away quickly since service was just so slow.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank MLRNW3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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