Photo credits: Susan Wong
March 24, 2011 – Tin Tin, a Chinese restaurant located at the KICC, was established in 1978 and has been a family business for the last three decades. The owner’s grandfather escaped Hong Kong in the 1940s as the fears of Japanese occupation loomed. Finally settling in Nairobi, Tin Tin was established in the heart of the Central Business District upholding to Hong Kong flavours whilst incorporating Kenyan preferences.
Like most family businesses with an established history, keeping the business current and ensuring its quality standards are as high as during its heyday, ultimately is a task that not everyone would be able to take on. Now managed by Tin Tin’s 3rd generation, a new menu and service standard can be expected.
With a capacity of 500 people, Tin Tin can easily cater to conferences and corporate functions.
For health-conscious or Chinese cuisine connoisseurs, Tin Tin offers Oolong Tea (black dragon tea in Chinese) imported straight from China. Strong sun oxidization gives Oolong its distinctive taste. One pot of tea can be brewed several times and will last an entire sitting. Some benefits include aiding digestion and a great source of antioxidants, which have been linked to helping with wrinkles, dark spots and certain diseases. An acquired taste, but should definitely be tried at least once.
Décor. Unpretentious and homey. However, a facelift would also be welcomed.
Service. Attentive and knowledgeable.
Things to look forward to. The current management team is committed to contemporizing the establishment whilst maintaining the charm and integrity of Tin Tin. A new menu will be launched soon and takeout with delivery service will soon be available. A mobile app will also be available to make it easier to order your favourite items.
Price. From staples to well prepared exotic seafood, the prices per dish range from 500 ksh to 2200 ksh. However, one should remember in Chinese cuisine, dishes are meant for sharing. So ordering just a few dishes is enough for a family.
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We started with the Deep Fried Golden Prawns accompanied with a sweet and sour dipping sauce, and a balanced red chilli sauce. All in all this was a good start; however I would’ve preferred a stronger seasoning for the shrimp.
The Vegetable Fried Rice was on point, and one of my favourites. Not overwhelmingly oily; each kernel of rice was perfectly seasoned. The vegetables were fresh and the dish was a perfect accompaniment to the rest of the dishes.
The Malindi Rock Lobster Cantonese Style stole the show. Prepared with ginger and garlic, this simple take on seafood maintained the integrity of the lobster’s flavour. Perfectly done, the texture of the lobster was just right and not chewy at all.
A staple vegetable dish, sautéed Spinach with Garlic is a seemingly ordinary dish but requires skill to cook the vegetable properly without ruining the fresh green colours of the leaf. Well seasoned and tasty in general.
Both the Spare Ribs and Chicken Wings are popular favourites, however I felt they were a bit on the dry side today.
The Taffi Fish from Mombasa was ok. However, the spiciness overwhelmed the natural flavours of the fish. A light sprinkle of lime juice was definitely necessary to balance out the kick.
The Sweet and Sour Chicken had good colour and the fresh pineapples were a delight in the sauce. The batter was a bit thick for my preference.
The Diced Chicken with Cashews and Vegetables was tasty but also uneventful.
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You can follow me on Twitter: @SusanLuckyWong and @CFMLifestyle
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