Located in the bustling city hotel Sarova Stanley, Thai Chi – one of Nairobi’s most exotic restaurants and boasts one of the most transportive and tranquil dining experiences – is safely nestled away from the gridlock, pollution and the constant flow of inquisitive tourists that stream through the doors of the historic hotel.
As its name proposes, like the Chinese ancient martial arts of Tai Chi that uses gentle flowing movements to reduce stress and improve health, Thai Chi restaurant mesmerizes all your senses enchanting you with its sensuous Thai exotica, reflecting the journey of meditation through food.
The stately wooden doors flanked by a beautiful pot of thoughtfully strewn flower petals floating in water, open into an exquisite dining room designed to transport you into a courtyard of traditional wooden Thai villas. Cascading wooden roofs, faux terraces, earthen pottery, soothing music and a lengthy menu of aromatic traditional Thai dishes completes one’s temporary visit to Thailand.
Thai Chi’s exquisite service is just icing on the cake. Capital Lifestyle Magazine had originally ordered a dish with beef, but moments later, our waiter came back with a polite suggestion from the chef, “For the sake of the recipe, fresh prawns would actually bring out the flavours more. Would you consider prawns instead of the beef?” With such thoughtfulness and commitment to creating the best dish possible, how could anyone say no?
For starters, the team ordered Deep Fried Prawns on Tender Sugar Cane Stick accompanied with Sweet Chili Sauce – Goong Pan Ooi. Similar to another Chinese delicacy, fresh prawns are whipped into a mousse with herbs and spices, wrapped on sugar cane and fried. The natural sweetness of the sugar cane is subtly released and matches deliciously with the well-balanced sweet chilli sauce – removing any fishy aromas of the prawns.
Our second starter was the Lab Gai – Spicy Chicken Mince with Fresh Mint dressed in a Lime Sauce served with Organic Greens. One of the Thai people’s favourite recipes, Lab Gai is a spicy and lightly sour dish – creating an exciting starter where extreme flavours result into a refreshing experience.
For our mains, the Capital Lifestyle Magazine had the Traditional Thai Red Curry with Basil; Stir-fried Pork with Fresh Chili and Basil; and the Thai signature dish of wok tossed noodles with shrimps, tofu, spring onions, palm sugar, egg; and finished with tamarind sauce, fresh bean sprouts and peanuts – Phad Thai – a must-try!
Thai Chi’s Phad Thai is one of the more memorable renditions that I have personally come across through my travels! All of the elements of distinctive flavours and ingredients blended together in harmony. Usually served with a wedge of lemon or lime for extra tartness to mellow out the sweet and spiciness of the dish, in this case, the lemon wasn’t necessary. A light sprinkling of crushed roasted peanuts added a delicious crunch to the noodles. One word – mouth-watering.
Our meal ended with homemade fortune cookies with hidden messages, which was a unique ending to an almost perfect Thai experience. Not exactly sure what fortune cookies have to do with traditional Thai cuisine, but extra points for the novelty.
FOODBLOG: photo credits Susan Wong
Deep Fried Prawns on Tender Sugar Cane Stick
Spicy Chicken Mince with Fresh Mint dressed in a Lime Sauce served with Organic Greens
Stir Fried Pork with Fresh Chilli and Basil
Phad Thai with Prawns
Deep Fried Vanilla Ice Cream
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