LIDO LOUNGE RESTAURANT LAUNCH.
Hey there! Welcome to this post and thank you so much for stopping by!
Three weeks ago, Sarova Whitesands invited Kulanini to witness the re-lauch of one of their hotel restaurants from Lido Seafood & Grill to a trendy beach lounge – Lido lounge. They have actually been refurbishing the hotel so if you’ve not been there in the past three years, the change will be quite a surprise. In fact, now that I have mentioned refurbishing, let me talk about how incredible the room I was in was! A spacious sea facing room complete with a large bathroom, T.V, king size bed, spacious balcony, among several other amazing amenities. See the detailed room description here.
The hotel has 3 restaurants (The Pavilions, Minazi & Lido lounge) and 1 bar (Cocos Beach Bar). Pavilions is the hotel’s main restaurant while Minazi and Lido are their smaller, intimate & more specialised spaces. Lido offers a spectacular view of the ocean with the terrace setting giving a relaxing vibe. No wonder they call it a ‘lounge’. That being said, it is almost automatic that there is a bar here. Not just any bar, but a stunning bar!
The way this spacious bar has been set, it is literally in the pool. Or is the pool literally in the bar? Yes guys! All that beauty goes round to one of their swimming pools (I counted at least 4 pools in the hotel) for someone enjoying a swim, to enjoy a drink without leaving the pool! Since the pool isn’t open to children, it is a perfect place for adults to have a relaxing swim with a drink to support this cause.
Did you guys catch a glimpse of the open kitchen? Lido has an open kitchen that is more or less connected to the bar. You could sit on the high bar stools and watch your meal and drinks prepared. With the mind-blowing view, contemporary music playing in the background and gentle breeze, this is guaranteed to be the best experience ever!
The restaurant mainly offers sea-food dishes but also has some continental cuisine incorporated in its menu. Luckily for me and the amazing team I travelled with, (Andanje of True Love, Jane of Eatout, Lucy of afoodiescollective, Patience of Standard Group, Winnie of Business Daily, Lucy & Sanaa of Yummy and of course the Sarova team – Levy, Janet and Sammy), we got a sneak peak of the menu before the actual launch later that evening.
Earlier in the afternoon, we ordered various dishes from their menu, got to take amazing photos and enjoyed the restaurant experience. If I was to take photos later in the night, during the launch, it would have been more difficult to nearly impossible. There were several guests and the place was marvellously transformed to accommodate those guests but still offer the Lido lounge experience. A few pictures from the launch are below:
Before I get to the dishes we sampled during the day, let’s talk about Mombasa for a little bit. On my way there, (SGR is too un-comfortable to have a decent nap) I researched a bit about restaurants and street food I should try while there. Some of you also sent in your suggestions which I am very grateful for.
Hotels often have three different plans. Bed & breakfast plan (sleep & breakfast), half-board (sleep, breakfast and dinner) and full-board (sleep, breakfast, lunch and dinner). If you’re lucky, there’s also an all-inclusive package that incorporates sleep, all meals and all drinks. Unfortunately Sarova doesn’t offer this plan. The suggestions below are mainly for those who do bed & breakfast or half-board since they have to source for food elsewhere. Below I’ve listed the elsewhere. If you google any name listed, you’ll see the exact location on google maps, the google reviews & photos as well as Tripadvisor reviews.
Island Dishes & Barbecue
Jahazi Coffee House
Island Dishes & Barbecue
Mnkafe – specially known for waffles, pancakes and crepes
Flames Deli & Grill
The Coffee Lounge
Light House – Mama Ngina Drive – cassava crisps (muhogo), coconut water (madafu), roast maize, sweet potato
Makadara Street – BBQ meats (chicken, lamb, beef, kebab etc.)
Abbasi Darbor (not really street food but great bbq meat, swahili pizza etc.
Opposite Moons cinema – viazi karai, bhajia, kachri
Near Vipingo chemist – uji wa ngano
Mama Mbaazi – most corners in Mombasa town have a mama Mbaazi (Mbaazi + mahamri is an un-beatable combo)
COASTAL SWEETS (mabuyu, achari, labania, kashata, barafu)
Mabuyu ya greta
Fayaz Bakers – cakes, cookies and snacks
Salim Mansoor – halwa
English Point Marina
Meat n Herb
40s Diani – not in Mombasa but since it was a suggestion, please note it’s no longer there.
A huge thank you to all content creators who have written/ vlogged about these places in Mombasa and helped me put together this very comprehensive list. With the above, you are fully equipped to visit Mombasa and not sleep hungry or feel obliged to eat only hotel food. Don’t worry about a bed & breakfast plan or staying at an airbnb in a place like Mombasa where food is easily available and is very affordable.
Back to Sarova now. If you’re like me who felt too lazy to get out of the hotel to look for food, I can recommend trying out the hotel restaurants. Lido for example wasn’t too busy at that time, so food was prepared quickly, was fresh and had the chef’s touch. All this, you can’t get at the buffet. (Though the Sarova buffet was extremely impressive!)
See the Lido menu below:
First off, are the burgers. Now, if you don’t already know, burgers are often the most affordable menu items. If you ever visit a place whose prices are a bit high and you want an affordable but satisfying meal, go for the burgers.
Bacon smoked house burger with fries @ 1,550/= was giant. The burger could barely be held in one hand. The delicious sauces oozed out after thoroughly soaking the burger contents. From the perfectly marinated beef patty to the lettuce, onions, cheese and tomato. All of that goodness between pillow-soft bread! The salad on the side was fresh, colourful and delicious. I would have preferred if they brought it with a side salad dressing though. Fries that are served here are the thick, chunky, hand-cut fries. You eat one and you feel like you’ve eaten half a potato.
Chicken Deluxe burger @1,550/= was another win! The breaded chicken breast is coated in a delicious creamy sauce that complemented the crunchy breast perfectly. Unlike the beef burger, it had no cheese and the sauce wasn’t as much. The vegetables in it still remained crunchy making the soft bread a perfect texture contrast.
If a burger isn’t necessarily your thing, you can settle for a deluxe chicken sandwich @ 1050/=. Here, the avocado and grilled chicken, tied it all together. I feel like despite being cheaper, it was a better portion when compared to the burger, and just hit all the right spots flavour-wise. Look at the tomato and onion sliding down the perfectly grilled chicken!
While still on sandwiches (which are also often the cheaper menu items), we got to try the vegetarian sandwich – Filled Panini @ 1050/=. It had mozzarella cheese and various vegetables. Right from bell peppers (my absolute favorite vegetable) to tomatoes and aragula. I love bell peppers a bit too much so I would have had much more of that and less of the cheese. Mozzarella is quite creamy and strong-flavoured so you need a sharp contrast which was provided by the bell peppers. Great combo Lido!
Finally, on sandwiches, was the Steak sandwich @ 1,050/=. It looked more like a burger to me but I am definitely not complaining because the bread used is home-made. Very soft and filling! Loved the way the olives were in the bread. Not a fan of olives but I think that’s the kind of thing that someone who likes olives would really appreciate. For me, the star of this dish was the creamy mushrooms in the sandwich. It complemented the beef patty, cucumbers, caramelised onions, tomatoes and LOTS OF CHEESE perfectly! Quite a juicy sandwich!
Apart from the burgers and sandwiches, we also tried pork and some seafood. Not together though of course! Guinness pulled pork @ 1,450/= was honestly my favourite dish. Maybe it’s because the pork was made with coriander (another favourite) not because of the guinness lol. The pork was tender, very saucy (There is no such thing as too saucy especially where mashed potatoes are involved) and extremely flavourful! Creamy mashed potatoes were the perfect accompaniment for this dish. I don’t think it would have looked and tasted as good if it was something else like fries, rice or naan. The plating was very creative too! I mean, just look at that plate!
On the seafood-front, there was calamari fritti @ 950/= which I decided to have with a side of french fries @ 850/=. Let me tell you why those fries are 850/= and why I regret that decision. One, you remember me saying that one chip felt like half a potato? Yes! Very filling. Then, the price should have hinted that they would bring a sac of potatoes on a plate. That portion was enormous. Even if you’re having fries alone, it is a lot! The calamari was thinly sliced, marinated and breaded. Tamambo had my heart when it comes to calamari but now, it is 100% Lido. The tartar sauce especially, was very delicious. I found myself actually drizzling it on my chips because wow!
Last but definitely not least were the king prawns – ‘gambas al ajilo’ @ 1,650/=. I believe that translates to prawns in garlic. They were marinated in white wine, garlic and cayenne. Really liked the flavour combination plus the fact that they weren’t over-cooked which is a big win! As usual, prawns are expensive so this is maybe a once in a while kind of snack. I say snack because it doesn’t come with an accompaniment. You’d have to order something extra like fries the way I did with the calamari. However, either share the plate or carry some home because again, those are a lot of fries! I mean, quite literally, a sac of potatoes is about 800-1000/= so I easily believe they plate a sac of potatoes.
Anyway guys, that’s all I had for you on this post. Thank you so much for stopping by!
Comment your favourite places to eat in Mombasa too!