The Oasis Restaurant, located poolside of Nairobi’s Southern Sun Mayfair, aptly named, is a fertile refuge, surrounded by twelve acres of groomed gardens, in the heart of Westlands’ commercial hub. A walk from the rustic hotel’s entrance takes you on a journey through the lush, mature gardens and over a fish pond, home to many colourful Japanese Koi fish. The tranquil sounds of water trickling down a small waterfall fill the air.
The Oasis Restaurant has been refurbished and the building has been solidly restored since the days of the property being known as Holiday Inn. Wooden beams, candles, patio heaters and torches welcome you to the open-concept dining room, where the delicious aromas from live-cooking stations fill the air and beg you to sit down. As you’re being shown to your table by the friendly and assertive staff, you gauge what’s to come – dinner.
For a buffet, the Lifestyle team was pleasantly surprised and impressed with the large assortment at the salad bar. Spoons filled with mouthfuls of Caprese Salad, glass flutes of cold Gazpacho, grilled aubergines sprinkled with parmesan, fresh green beans wrapped delicately with prosciutto, grilled red peppers, cabbage salad, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, cheeses and deli cuts. All incredibly fresh and delectable, this was definitely one of the best salad bars at a Nairobi hotel that we’ve sampled.
The mains featured grilled chicken, lamb or beef, skewered and continuously rotating over low heat ensuring that the meats remained tender and oozed of juice. The Keiran sauce – a simple mint infused concoction – went perfectly with the lamb. The spicy and tangy Buffalo sauce was also a hit with the chicken lovers. The Shepherd’s pie with a fluffy crust on top was good, but would have been better with more meat. Grilled pork chops and battered fillets of Red Snapper were delicious. The chicken wings were a bit bland for our palettes. The curry was deliciously creamy, but if I was a vegetarian, I would’ve wished for more variety in vegetarian mains, like tofu or paneer dishes. Sides of broccoli and mixed vegetables were to standard.
Elsewhere the menu seemed to be designed for diners who enjoy a little bit of flare. There was the Mongolian cooking station, which featured food stir-fried on a small Teppanyaki-like griddle, which hardly resembled the authentic oversized Mongolian solid iron griddles and long sword-like spatulas. Calling it “Mongolian” is bit of a stretch. Diners selected their own ingredients from a buffet of items, including various types of meats, noodles, vegetables, spices and sauces. You then pass your bowl of raw ingredients to the chef, where he quickly stir-frys everything on the hot griddle.
As shared on Eat Out Kenya, The Oasis Restaurant specializes in themed buffets and live cooking stations set in a friendly, casual atmosphere. The soft live music in the evenings paired with fresh ingredients and a stellar view of the pool fringed by the mature garden, is undoubtedly relaxing and tranquil. The traditional warmth and comforting hospitality is the reason why Capital Lifestyle will surely enjoy an evening at Oasis soon.