Standing tall in Nairobi’s central business district, is an establishment that has stood the test of time and continues to be an iconic landmark of not only this city, but the County too. Hilton Nairobi, situated along Mama Ngina Street, opened its doors on the 17th of December 1969, and was officially opened by His Excellency the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta – first president of the republic of Kenya. At inception, the hotel was the tallest building in Nairobi.
Inside Hilton Nairobi is a restaurant with a rich history and ambiance, inspired by a bygone colonial era of travel and rightfully named, Travellers Restaurant. The moment you step into the restaurant, you are immersed into a world of romance that epitomizes rail travel. From the cabin on your left to the service station replica with the station street lights all around you, to the various antique pieces and bags hanging on the walls.
Living up to its name, Travellers restaurant is themed around the British colonial traveler featuring a collection of old leather suitcases and other traveling paraphernalia used by the early British travelers to East Africa (1800-1940s period) creatively poised to create a unique dining ambiance. You get to appreciate why this outlet was and is still is, a social institution with a devoted international clientele who enjoy its unsurpassed service and lively atmosphere and rich history.
The Executive Chef, John Muriithi (Savoy, London trained) who is one of the friendliest engaging and charming chefs you will ever come across, creates an extensive buffet weekly featuring themed nights that showcase unique dishes from the seven continents around the world. A passionate professional by nature, he boasts 17 years of culinary experience in an impressive career spanning Europe and Africa. Together with his team, they create a different theme each night as guests get to “travel” the continents through a culinary journey in keeping with the restaurant theme and name. The themed nights include; Arabic Night, World of Curry, Italian Night, Taste of The New World and International Buffet.
For a lot of people, the allure of the all-you-can-eat buffet is the idea that you’re getting more than you pay for and at the Hilton, you really do get more than you are paying for. Everybody loves a good buffet! The fact that you can eat, all you can eat until you no longer can, is like music to my ears.
Besides the Buffet, the restaurant also features an à la carte menu that is authentic but refined, decadent but unpretentious, the dishes here range from traditional tagines to more contemporary cuisines. It includes soups, salads, bites, grilled and stewed options, burgers and sandwiches, desserts as well as locally inspired dishes from the chefs table.
You cannot afford to miss something that will please your palate from this extensive menu. Of interest or suggestion, is the Chef’s pot featuring local cuisines- from fried whole tilapia to kuku wa mlima Kenya to Tumbukiza, your taste buds will be delighted, wanting to have a go at another round.
Wander the length of the restaurant to enjoy unique intricate rich upholstery and experience the magic of immersing yourself into vintage travel ambiance. Travellers Restaurant is indeed a tale of a timeless classic, constantly reinventing itself without ever losing its essence even as the Hilton Nairobi marks 50 years of hospitality in 2019.