The high ceilings, donned with amazing lights and a statement chandelier that gleams with the daylight make you feel like you are in the most exotic of places. There is an uncanny appeal of walking in a place with high ceilings and according to research, they make us think more freely. Walking into the restaurant was tantamount to finding an oasis after being in the Nairobi heat. On the terrace area, I could see some people busy cleaning the pool and manicuring the green lawn, which was clearly oblivious of the sun. Amber Hotel is the newest addition to the immense restaurant assortment in Nairobi. I use the word “newest” with a grain of salt because as soon as I am done publishing this post, there will probably be another new restaurant in Nairobi.
Amber Hotel is located on Ngong lane in Nairobi. The setting is perfect because of the prospective clientele that the restaurant has. There are so many offices and residential homes around that place and it is easily accessible. We got to the restaurant at around 12pm just in time for a quick tour of the establishment. Lydia was our guide for the day and took us through the tour and accompanied us for lunch. The hotel has beautiful rooms and conferencing facilities.
We were led to our table where we would be sampling different items from their menu. We ordered an ‘Amber Special’ signature cocktail which contained berry juice, mint, sour mix, and sugar syrup and mango juice. It was such a pleasure to meet Chef Frederick and I was looking forward to taste his food.
The offerings from the restaurant come listed under 8 simple categories. I appreciated the simplicity of this menu. There is nothing as daunting as flipping through pages and pages of food items and not settling on something. On this day, we went all out. Here is a list of the food.
Creamy Pumpkins Soup
Cinnamon, star-anise, cumin, coconut milk, crispy toasted pumpkin seeds and fresh coriander.
Crisped Pork belly
South East Asian Style, spiced butternut puree, green papaya, coriander crushed peanuts.
Grilled rib eye steak
250g rib eye, rich mushroom sauce, sweet pickle mushroom, watercress, roasted marrow bone and triple cooked chips.
Whole Grilled Tilapa.
Kimchi and cucumber salad, coconut milk, turmeric, lemon grass sauce, fresh steamed rice.
Triple cooked chips, steamed rice, green salad and creamy mashed potatoes.
Inevitably, when there is an array of different things to try, some dishes may get sidelined. We all ordered different things but we had side plates so we tried a bit of everything. The food sounds pretty familiar but there are a myriad of diverting twists and you will be pleasantly surprised. You will enjoy how the chef mixes his ingredients and how he draws inspiration from different parts of the world. All the dishes impress when it comes to craftsmanship and execution. My favorite was the crushed pork belly and the Tilapia. I also loved that the restaurant sourced their ingredients from private farmers locally. I had time to go to the kitchen to watch all the action. I was captivated at how swiftly things moved and how fast the chef assembled the dishes as he explained the ingredients.
Reservations: Check out their website.
Ambience: Amazing, spacious, great decor, modern.
Noise level: Don‘t worry. You can have a conversation comfortably.
Location: Ngong Road, Nairobi
Highlight: The food.
Lowlight: I can’t think of one right now.
Wheelchair accessible: Yes
Alcohol: Yes. Since it is a new restaurant the Bar & Lounge is functional but it begs for some wine. However, I can portend that something is in the offing.
Would I recommend this place to someone? Definitely!
Parking: Ample parking outside and in the basement.
For more info check out their website.
Be on the lookout for a Chef’s Interview soon.
All photos by Sylar.