#SusanEats: Big Five at Ole Sereni


Big Five Restaurant at Ole Sereni - Nairobi, Kenya (Susan Wong/2012)

Let me preface this by saying that I have had some bad luck with meals lately.  However, that’s not an excuse for any restaurant to serve up something rancid.  My most recent trip to Ole Sereni’s Big Five Restaurant was a disappointment compared to our last Capital Lifestyle visit, nearly a year ago.

The Big Five Restaurant is still one of the rare dining options in Nairobi where being surrounded by magnificent views is a daily occurrence.  The Big Five is one of those gems where not only are your taste buds pampered from time to time, but your eyes are always soothed by the expansive grassy plains of the Nairobi National Park.

Accommodating and efficient service, Big Five’s staff go above and beyond with explanations, ensuring that every guest understands the diverse menu selection.

Capital Lifestyle started off with some Five Spiced Squid, deep fried calamari rings with a kick of chilli and Szechuan pepper and lime mayonnaise, skillfully prepared so that the calamari would remain juicy, tender and not rubbery.  We thoroughly enjoyed the crispy batter, especially its light dusting of authentic five spice powder.

Our soup of the day, Green Pea, was a hearty meal in itself.  Capital Lifestyle loved that something as boring as pea soup could be given new life, vibrant green colour, and a fresh taste thanks to subtle flavours of other vegetables like celery.

The Pork ‘Cotoletta’ was marinated in olive oil, rosemary and garlic – simple, but not overpowering and paired with the apple puree, classic.  Personally, the braised red cabbage was too bland for my palette and the bed of creamy gnocchi made the dish too heavy.

The slowly cooked Lamb ‘Rajasthani’ arrived at our table, beautifully presented in an earthen pot, trio of sides and sauces, a glass of salted Jeera Lassi, fresh naan bread, and a bowl of fluffy steamed rice.  The lamb cubes were very tender, and the rich onion gravy with red chilli paired with the yoghurt-based Lassi, was delectable.  However, the Mango Chutney was a complete flop.  We had to ask our waiter to double check if what we had was really what it was suppose to be, a side of appetizing Mango Chutney, despite it being bitter, tart, slimy and foul.

I appreciated the concern and Ole Sereni’s explanation of how the Mango Chutney had to sit at room temperature for a while in order for its flavours to be released, and perhaps, the staff had left it out too long.  Capital Lifestyle sympathized, but at the end of the day, nothing that is remotely foul should ever even make it to the kitchen pass, let alone served to a customer.

According to Eat Out, at Big Five Restaurant, the average cost is about Sh 2,300 per person.  With consistent service, a beautiful view and large portions, Capital Lifestyle would definitely give the Mango Chutney a chance again.


For location details, prices, and how you can book online – make sure you check out Eat Out Kenya! Check it out now! http://www.eatout.co.ke/Big-Five-Restaurant-at-Ole-Sereni-p/olesereni_bigfive.htm



Big Five Restaurant at Ole Sereni - Nairobi, Kenya (Susan Wong/2012)

Soup of the day: Green Pea

Big Five Restaurant at Ole Sereni - Nairobi, Kenya (Susan Wong/2012)

Five Spiced Squid

Big Five Restaurant at Ole Sereni - Nairobi, Kenya (Susan Wong/2012)

Lamb ‘Rajasthani’

Big Five Restaurant at Ole Sereni - Nairobi, Kenya (Susan Wong/2012)

Pork ‘Cotoletta’

Big Five Restaurant at Ole Sereni - Nairobi, Kenya (Susan Wong/2012)

Mango Charlotte: light mango wrapped in a swiss roll, mango compote and pina colada sorbet

Big Five Restaurant at Ole Sereni - Nairobi, Kenya (Susan Wong/2012)

Sticky Toffee Pudding: salted caramel sauce and caramel crunch ice cream




Susan Wong is the Editor of Capital Lifestyle, a resident photographer, an award-winning journalist, radio presenter, full-time adventurer, long-time admirer of anything edible, and a spicy food athlete at Capital FM.

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