Nearly one year since I first dined at Villa Rosa Kempinski’s flagship pan-Asian restaurant, 88, the stunning restaurant and lounge in Nairobi, Kenya, has finally opened its doors officially, on Friday.
The number “8” is traditionally an auspicious number in Chinese culture, which is associated with the Earth element, stability, luck, prosperity and wealth. And as Jaakko Eskola, Assistant Food & Beverage Manager at Villa Rosa Kempinski, shares, “We [the team at 88] wanted to give you double of that.”
Small and subtle changes have been made to the beautiful space: half of the dining room has been revamped as a lounge where guests can indulge in cocktails and other offerings from the long bar, which anchors the space with its slick black granite counter, carved wooden façade and orange and red glass light feature hanging from the center of the room. New plush high-back lounge chairs fill up the space and invites guests to sink into them – of course, with a cocktail in hand.
The glamorous space carries beautiful visualizations of subtly Asian-inspired modern interior design elements. Intricate avant-garde wooden lattice dress-up the windows and breaks up the vibrant orange ceiling, and a large water feature sits in between the lounge and dining room filling the expansive space with a soothing trickle. 88’s décor has clearly been assembled methodically, with careful thought and impeccable craftsmanship.
88 has also revamped their menu, taking a truly pan-Asian approach, drawing inspiration from Thai, Malay, Chinese and Japanese cuisine – a little bit of everything.
December is always a time to get rid of the old and get ready to experience the new. Recently, Nairobi is offering so many new and exciting places to dine, and 88 may just easily be one of the year’s most timely openings with the holiday season just around the corner.
Get in touch, and let me know if 88’s food tickles your taste buds.