Flavors of the Map: Seafood Night at Nairobi Serena Hotel
Anyone that knows me knows I am a seafood lover. I could basically eat a sack of prawns and shrimp in one sitting so if you are looking to spoil me, now you know. When I found out that Nairobi Serena Hotel had a sea food night, I was beside myself with excitement. Nairobi Serena has a reputation for excellent quality and I couldn’t wait to try out their offering.
First things first, the Nairobi Serena seafood night is on Fridays and is dubbed #SeaFoodFriday. It runs from 7pm to midnight at Cafe Maghreb and consists of an 8 course buffet. I got there an hour early so I got started on what promised to be a fantastic evening at the Aksum Bar. As with most of the decor at the Nairobi Serena, the Aksum Bar is Pan-African themed. Aksum was an ancient Ethiopian Kingdom and is purported to have been the home of the famed Queen of Sheba. The art on the walls comprises of distinctive Ethiopian Christian art and mesob baskets. The ceiling is ridiculously beautiful, adorned with umbrellas (zantela).
Aksum Bar is pretty spacious, offering a lounge setting vibe which is perfect for chilled dates with your significant other or friends. My dinner plans were with my fabulous friend, Muthoni Gitau, and we opted to sit right at the bar for our pre-dinner drinks. I had a glass of Chardonnay and as she is a teetotaler, she had a Rosy Pippin mocktail. The drinks menu is pleasantly generous, with a great selection of wines and cocktails. It probably features the most options I have seen for non-alcoholic drinks. Also, the prices are affordable with alcoholic drinks ranging from Ksh 600 to Ksh 1100 (by glass) and with mocktails priced from Ksh 350.
After, a few drinks we headed out to Cafe Maghreb for dinner but were derailed at the pool bar. The bartender insisted that I could not leave without trying out the Dr. Barasa cocktail. The cocktail is a creation of one of their bartenders who twists a dawa and caprinhia into what is truly a Serena signature. The cocktails are quite affordable ranging from Ksh 450 to Ksh 900 and there are lots to choose from including Dawa, Classic Martini, Cosmopolitan and Stone Town Coffee.
The walk to the restaurant is gorgeous in the evening, as you stroll past the garden lit up by lanterns. Also, I need to plan to go for dip in the pool and spend a few hours drying off sipping cocktails at the pool bar one of these days.
Cafe Maghreb, in keeping with the Pan-African themed decor at Serena, is inspired by Moroccan culture. I had the good fortune of getting a walk through the buffet by the Executive Chef, John Getanda, which I was grateful for as there’s quite a lot on offer! The buffet is Ksh 4,500 excluding drinks, which may sound like a lot until you see the spread. There’s a cold buffet, hot buffer, stirfry station, grill station and dessert station. The air at Cafe Maghreb was thick with the aroma of fresh sea food and that plus the decor easily transports diners to a sea-side town.
The spread includes an Indian cuisine section, pasta stir-fry station, salad bar, grill station, dessert and has tonnes of options for sides. The seafood is in plenty with lobster, prawns, shrimp and mussels at the buffet. I couldn’t wait to dig in and started with the salads quickly followed by the pasta stir-fry station. You get to pick out the ingredients you would like in your stir-fry that includes fresh herbs, meats and sauces. I went with shrimp, lots of coriander, onion, pasta, tomato sauce and white sauce. It was utterly delicious and I would have gone for seconds if I didn’t need to leave room for the rest of what was at the buffet.
Next, we headed to the grilling station that had fresh lobster, chicken, fish and prawns on the grill and basically heaped our plates full of everything. Honestly, I couldn’t help it; everything smelled and looked delectable. I got potatoes and a salad of tomatoes, cucumber and lettuce to go with my plate of seafood happiness and proceeded to chow down. I had a glass of dry white wine with my dinner and could barely stand after I was done.
I couldn’t miss the dessert station mostly because my sweet tooth wouldn’t allow it. I had fruit salad, pineapple crumble and mango mousse. It was the cherry on top of a gastronomically delightful night.
Nairobi Serena delivers value for money with their sea food night and it is easily a must feature on the best of Nairobi’s foodie scene.http://www.mwendengao.com/2017/06/07/flavors-map-seafood-night-nairobi-serena-hotel/Food and TravelAksum Bar,Cafe Maghreb,Nairobi Serena,seafood