Hey there! Welcome to this post and thank you for stopping by.
My cousin; Joy and I had a fancy dinner recently. Am sure you remember her from one of my previous posts. In case you missed it, see it here.
My friends: Caro and Ivy, kept telling me about this amazing restaurant inside Ole Sereni; called the Big Five Restaurant. I was pretty skeptical at first because, I have never really liked hotel food. My experience has been: eating overpriced food that isn’t as good and not worth the amount you’ve paid. Therefore, I always preferred restaurants.
Then again, hotel food is always good when your staying at the hotel. I have actually never had bad food when on holiday. Have you?
When I was young, I remember going to hotels with my parents or relatives for a buffet meal, and there never being interesting food. My parents would end up ordering chips and sausage for my brother and I and they would try to eat the not so amazing buffet food. Someone would argue that buffets aren’t tailored for kids, but, I believe that there should be a kids corner or even, a broad selection of food.
Correction: Not just food, but, good food. Wide array because we are paying so much. At least if you won’t give us great food, then at least honour our shillings by providing variety.
Anyway, that was back then. Today, my opinion on the same has changed a little bit. Now, I say: Hotel food is good. Not the buffet because I haven’t really tried a buffet in a very long time. (Except that time at Crowne Plaza, which is an exception because it was a food festival. Yet, even then, I had my complaints. See post here.)
According to me, À la carte is way better. Why? Because it’s not mass production. Anything made for many won’t be as nice as when it’s made for a few people or even one person; even if you use the same recipe and same preparation method. I am sure you remember in school, when someone had a special diet and was eating something different from everyone, their food looked and tasted way better. Yet, it’s the same kitchen and same cooks! Bearing that in mind, we can cut hotels some slack when it comes to buffet.
My advice: If you can order your meal, do that. If not, then lower your expectations in the buffet meal. Desserts are of course the only exception. That’s probably everyone’s favorite part about a buffet. Actually, hotels should have dessert buffets. So many people would probably pay for that.
Another friend Cindy, took Caro and Ivy up on their praise for The Big Five Restarant at Ole Sereni Hotel on Mombasa Road, and had dinner there. She told me she had an absolutely amazing experience and recommended me to go there on my next Kulanini adventure. I was therefore very motivated to try out this restaurant. Actually, It would be my first time at Ole Sereni despite me living on Mombasa Road. Ironic right?
My cousin, Joy, is about to fly out of the country for her next year of university, and I won’t get to see her for another year. We decided to spoil ourselves and eat at a fancy hotel before she leaves.
Simply put; the experience was amazing! Ole Sereni is actually an extremely beautiful hotel. It has 3 restaurants: The Big Five Restaurant (main restaurant), The Waterhole (coffee and snacks) and Eagles Steak House (Fine dining). Besides that, they also have a beautiful pool bar called Ngong Pool Bar. I will do reviews on all these places in consecutive posts. Today, I want us to talk about The Big Five Restaurant.
There is extensive sitting space both inside and outside and even a bar! The Big Five Restaurant is an open kitchen restaurant (where you can see the chefs) (see pictures above), making it more lively and interesting as you watch them prepare the meals.
The ambience at this restaurant is very nice. It faces the Nairobi National Park. If your lucky, you may even see some animals! I hear on Fathers day, a lion made a kill right in front of the restaurant! The carcass can actually be seen from the restaurant. If your in love with nature and such like occurrences, I highly recommend this restaurant.
At night, very pretty lights come on outside and there is even a small waterfall beside the table!
The restaurant has great lighting and awesome animal paintings.
The menu is very extensive and covers ALL cuisines (Vegetarian, Far East, Fusion, Kenyan and Spice Route). I would say the menu is pretty reasonable for a hotel. Kindly click the pictures below for further details on menu. (If It doesn’t seem too clear, zoom in.)
We both ordered from the Big Five Grill section. Joy had the Pan Fried Chicken Schnitzel (1700/=), while I had the Slow Cooked Duck Leg (2,200/=).
Additionally, Joy ordered a virgin Pina Colada which consisted of coconut cream, pineapple juice, passion fruit juice and banana. It was really really tasty!
Her chicken breast was crusted with cornflakes (pretty unique!) and came with fries and a salad.
The breast was tender, moist and very well marinated. In fact, she didn’t want it to end! The cornflakes gave it a nice flavour; making it different from the bread-crumbs we are all used to. As for the salad, it was a great portion! However, it had a bitter salad dressing which made it not very enjoyable. I recommend asking for the salad dressing to come separately.
The slow cooked duck was amazing! Well, the duck marination could have been slightly better, but, the whole meal was delicious. It came with creamy white cabbage, crispy bacon and rosemary baby potatoes.
The duck was slow cooked and so was extremely tender. It tore off the bone so easily. However the orange honey gravy it was to be served with, was really distant. I could barely taste it at all. This was rather disappointing because, I ordered it really eager to taste an orange-honey marinated duck. I recommend asking them to be a bit generous with the sauce when placing your order.
Creamy cabbage was spot on! It was spicy, soft and creamy! Oh it was amazing. I wish I could make cabbage like that!
Crispy bacon was really good. Then again, you can’t go wrong with bacon. The rosemary baby potatoes were amazing!. They were cooked all the way through and had the amazing rosemary flavour. It was my first time eating baby potatoes and I was very happy with them.
A special thank you to the whole Ole Sereni team, especially the Restaurant Manager for taking me round all three restaurants, and for being very kind to my cousin and I. Thank you so much for everything!
Tell me guys,
What’s your experience with hotel food?
Where is your favorite hotel to eat at?
Have you been to The Big Five Restaurant? If yes, what did you have?
My friends Caro, Ivy and Cindy all had one thing to say about the food: SIZZLING BEEF! The portion is very generous and it goes for only 1700/=. They swear that nobody can finish that whole meal in one sitting. Not only is it said to be a generous portion, but it also tastes amazing! My challenge to you is: Head over to the Big Five Restaurant, order the sizzling beef and try to finish the whole meal in one sitting! There just might be a reward if you can!
Cindy adds: “Their chicken wings are absolutely amazing and their fish fingers are also good. The best part about Big Five is just their portions.”
Anyway guys, that’s all I had prepared for you today!
Thank you so much for stopping by and come back again soon!