Barbeque hounds like me follow their noses. I could smell the meat from the parking lot. The first thing I noticed when I entered was the smoke. Where there is smoke, there isn’t always fire. Sometimes there can be smoldering and sizzling delights of coal embers making meat juicy and crispy.

EatOut Kenya recently invited us to try out the amazing choma at Carnivore Restaurant. I was thinking about it all week & I braced myself to try a parade of meats. The pounding rain could not dampen our spirits. We were all warmly clad & ready. By the tone of the invitation, it was obvious that steaks & grilled meats were the dominant items on the menu and Carnivore Restaurant is suitably proud of its wide choice of meat.

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Did I mention that the company was amazing? In attendance were my colleagues from EatOut Kenya {Wendy, Seina & Karan (who was our amazing photographer for the day)} and some fellow bloggers including Sandy , Fransisca, Jason, Joy Kendi, Wambui Kay. It was a delight to meet these bloggers face to face & to converse with them. ( Check out their amazing blogs linked on the names).

We got there at around 7.30pm. The restaurant had a carefully crafted industrial setting, with well-set wood-topped tables, extremely heavy chairs, tribal (african) prints on the walls and roof and an open plan setting, just right for the cavalcade of meats coming from the gleaming grill. There were few empty tables that filled in a few minutes and the arctic temperatures outside did not dare creep in. The sounds of sizzling meat on the grill rent the air and the smells just made me hungrier. We got to enjoy a complementary ‘dawa’ cocktail that begged for some more honey. As if to read my thoughts, someone brought some honey and we stirred and sipped away. There was some vegetable soup to whet our appetites. There were also some starters. I’m I the only one who never eats starters? Bad habit.

The choma departs from the typical smokehouse lineup with a number of unexpected dishes, like Bulls Testicles! Which, by the way, were not supposed to be deliciously spicy and chewy. Some liked it, some wouldn’t even take a bite and some wondered why they even took a bite. The fact that one knew that they were testicles made one expect the worst. Is it strange that I liked them? Don’t answer.

There was an array of dressings and sauces to cater for every palette. There were also vegetables and kachumbari. Have you ever seen a true Kenyan eat choma without kachumbari? Correct me if I’m wrong but, even the smokie vendors on the road, the ones who sell the ‘smokie pasua’ understand the significance of kachumbari with pilipili.



The Sauces and accompaniments




vegetable soup

Aaaaaanyway! The skillful men in traditional uniform brought us some hot plates and they shouted, “Hot Plate! Don’t touch!” I had the inclination to touch it in a bid to confirm whether it was as hot as they said it was. When someone tells you not to do something, do you get this nagging feeling tugging at your clothes telling you to do it?” Traits of a rebel.

The meats came one after the other. We tasted all types of meat you can imagine. Most, if not all, these meats were grilled to perfection. There was chicken, beef, lamb, rabbit, crocodile, turkey and pork. All these meats were grilled in different ways that brought out their individual tastes and characteristics. Everyone kept asking for more rabbit meat. This is because it was moist (read nice & fatty) and so tasty. The affable fellows with alarmingly good knife skills sliced up our meats on our plates until we said stop. When people are insanely full, even standing to leave is a problem.

Tips for Eating BBQ

  • Someone once told me that good ribs should not fall off the bone but they should be chewy and show some resistance. If they peel right off the bone, this shows that they were overcooked.
  • Eat slowly, talk, eat. This will make you have room for more. Eating fast will make you get full fast.
  • Don’t worry too much about equipment. Use your hands if you wish.
  • Eat the meat while hot.
  • Flavour is better than than tenderness.
  • Celebrate the weird types of meat. They wouldn’t have it on their menu if they didn’t think it was good.
  • Lather your meat with sauces & eat some vegetables. Meat can make you feel full and/ bloated if you eat it by itself.
  • If you should order some wine, order a Cabernet Sauvignon to wash away the fat. It pairs perfectly.

My Take

Price: Affordable.

Service: Exemplary! You will always have meat on your plate. Did I mention the affable wait staff?

Reservations: They allow walk-ins but it is advisable to make prior reservations via Eatout/ Carnivore. Reserve via Eatout here.

Ambience: Very great. Spacious and airy. Would be great for group dinners. The theme screams traditional & Kenyan. Gosh! The chairs are sooooo heavy you can’t just move closer/ away from the table as you wish.  I think that is intentional so that you stay put.

Noise level: medium. Don‘t worry. You can have a conversation comfortably.

Location: Langata, Nairobi

Highlight: The meat in generous portions.

Lowlight: I can’t think of one right now.

Wheelchair accessible: Yes

Alcohol: I didn’t have time to look at the bar but they have all drinks on their menu. I wouldn’t recommend the dawa Cocktail though. Order another cocktail.

Ratings: 8/10

Would I recommend this place to someone? Definitely!

Parking: Easy. Spacious parking lot.


Amazing Company!


With Seina. I have no idea what was happening here… 🙂

Major Thanks to EatOut Kenya & Carnivore restaurant for making this happen.

All ( Amazing) Photos by Karan (EatOut Kenya).