The Kenyan cuisine is like a melting pot of different cultures and traditions: Arabic, English and Indian. Is various and spicy but not too hot. Generally speaking during a holiday in Kenya it is suggested, to try dishes based on local fresh seafood. Among the meat dishes, famous and highly appreciated are those prepared with lamb, often with yoghurt, and not to miss, the grilled meat called nyama choma. Among the most common local vegetables there are: kidney beans, potatoes, peas and onion.
Kenyan cuisine often uses coconut milk to enrich the flavour of the local dishes, soups included. Not to miss is the coconut cream served in coconut shells and dusted with cinnamon. Banana is also used in meat and fish dishes.
Among drinks a special note should go to the local tea and coffee, as well as to palm wine, papaya wine and mango distilled liquor.
Following is a list of the most common and best known dishes that you will find on the menus of the restaurants in the nearby of Aestus Villas Resort, where we’ll recommend you to experience the local cuisine.
Typical Kenyan dishes
- Irio: is a mix of beans soup, corn, spinach and potatoes served as soft pudding;
- Sambusa: triangular dumplings, stuffed with spiced minced meat and various kinds of vegetables depending on the area in which they are prepared. This dish is very tasty since among the main ingredients there are cumin and pepper that added to the other ingredients, give a very intense flavor;
- Ugali: corn pudding generally served with meat and/or fish;
- Samosa: typical African dish of Somali origin. It’s a kind of triangular dumpling stuffed with meat and flavored with typical Kenyan spices. Samosas are a good snack as well as appetizer much appreciated by visitors for the aroma of spices is especially delicious for the palate;
- Biryani rice: rice dish with meat and spices most common in coastal areas;
- Mtuza wa samaki: dish made with fish and curry;
- Tika: chicken stew;
- Mandazi: a sort of local deep fried doughnut, sweet and stuffed, usually served with coffee or tea at breakfast;
- Wali wa nazi: rice with coconut, a typical costal dish, although now widespread in the internal country areas, where it’s a much more flavored variation to plain rice. Fresh and with an unmistakable coconut scent, is perfect served with meat and fish;
- Githeri or Mutheri: it is a typical dish made of beans, grains and beans from the Kikuyu tradition, but also of Embu and Meru tribes. Now the recipe is popular throughout the central region of Kenya;
- Chapati: a kind of flat bread made of wheat flour and flavored coconut.
The restaurants close to Aestus Villas Resort where we recommend a visit!
- Lantana Restaurant: 2 minutes walk, inside the Lantana Resort on the beach, offers local and international dishes starting from 25 Euros per couple.
- Chili at Sunset: 10 minutes walk. A bar-restaurant on the beach, particularly evocative, with no menu. Diners book in advance the dishes they wish to eat, prices range between 10 and 20 Euros.
- Lymingtons: 15 minutes walk from Aestus Villas Resort, it is It’s on the beach and much appreciated for breakfast, grilled fish or meat and their salads. A complete meal for 2 people starts from 20 Euros.
- Colubus Shade: 6 kilometers from Aestus Villas Resort, it is reachable by local taxi. Located close to the Diani fishing boats pier. Built under a baobab it serves only freshly caught fish together with rice, chapati, salad and potatoes. A complete meal starts from 15 Euros per couple.
- Ali Barbour’s Cave Restaurant: 8 kilometers from Aestus Villas Resort, it is reachable by local taxi. We recommend it because it was built inside a coral cave dating back to more than 150,000 years ago. French menu and seafood: crayfish bisque (soup) and crab with chili among the best in the country. A three course dinner starts from around 60 Euros per couple.
- Forty Thieves Beach bar and restaurant: 8 kilometers from Aestus Villas Resort, it is reachable by local taxi. It’s a nice bar-restaurant directly on the beach. Among the dishes: oysters, salads and pizzas. On the second Tuesday of the month they have ‘the tapas evening’ and on Sundays a ‘buffet with curry dishes’. Live bands play regularly here, and the evening offers a beautiful and very romantic view of the beach. A complete meal starts from 15 Euros per couple.
- Aniello’s Pizza: 12 kilometers from Aestus Villas Resort, it is reachable by local taxi. An Italian restaurant serving also pizzas baked in wood fire oven, for which they are well known. Prices start at 20 Euros per couple.
- Leonardo’s: 13 kilometers from Aestus Villas Resort, it is reachable by local taxi. Serves Italian dishes such as pasta, pizza and grilled meat or fish. Prices start from 40 Euros per couple.
- Rockz Place: 13 kilometers from Aestus Villas Resort, it is reachable with local taxi. It serves typical Kenyan dishes: Mutheri, Irio, Tika, Ugali and very good Kenyan style pork ribs. A complete meal starts from 10 Euros per couple.
- Shashin-Ka: Japanese Restaurant, in front of Bahrini Shopping Center. Offers various dishes of Japanese cuisine from sushi, sashimi, nihigiri to teppanyaki cooked by a Japanese chef. The restaurant is managed by a Japanese family. Prices starting from 20 Euro per couple.