In the outskirts of the Karen suburb, is a place called Utamanduni (meaning “heritage” in Kiswahili). For tourists and for residents alike, this place offers one of the most pleasant handicraft shopping experiences in the Nairobi area.
Prices are fixed, and surprisingly good, and the staff are not pushy in any way, yet they are always happy to assist and advise, and to answer any questions.
The quality of the handicrafts is also supreme, so forget the hassle of the Maasai Markets, with pushy sales people always looking for an opportunity to rip you off!
In addition to the handicrafts, they have a discreet little garden restaurant, called Veranda.
So discreet is the place, that you may almost fail to notice it when passing by. Doing so would be a loss, though!
With more space between the tables than most other garden restaurants, this place offers lovely meals with real privacy. Tables are are also surrounded by trees and bushes, so it’s really Garden restaurant with a capital G!
Whether you are out for lunch or dinner, or just a cup of coffee with some snacks, this is a place you should try! They have nice, home made cakes and a nice litte selction of coffees and teas. They also have a really mouthwatering lunch menu.
The seafood is particularly nice. The seafood salad is dimensioned for the hungry visitor, with a sublime home made salad dressing. The curry prawns are allegedly also amazing, although I am yet to taste those ones. That’s on my list for the next visit!
Waiting for the food to get served is something one has to get used to in Nairobi, so noone should expect to get their food very quickly anywhere. That is another nice surprise at Veranda: Of course, they couldn’t rush it, but as our food to a bit long to prepare, they treated us with their baked oysters with parmesan cheese while waiting. An appetite sharpener of sorts!
Most aspects of Veranda seem to merit something close to a 10 out of 10. Even their macchiatto, and their fresh, home baked carrot cake would be worth the visit alone.
Polite, friendly and attentive waiters – a true rarity in Nairobi – also give the place a very personal touch!
Another must-visit, that prompted a blog post of its own! Don’t forget to pass by their shop! 🙂