I happen to love food almost as much as I love travel, so I’m thinking of adding a new feature to the blog – restaurant reviews.

My first review is the Bhandini restaurant.  The restaurant is situated inside the Intercontinental Hotel Nairobi and specializes in Northern Indian cuisine.

Bhandini Restaurant review_entrance

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Bhandini Restaurant review_wine rack

The name of the restaurant, Bhandini, refers to a type of tie –dye technique practised mainly in the states of Rajasthan and Gujarat (India). It is derived from the Sanskrit word banda, which means to tie.

We (I went with my brother) were there by 12pm as the restaurant was just opening.

Bhandini Restaurant review_set table

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Bhandini review_plate

The ambiance is lovely. The lighting is perfect (for a date, he he he) and the décor is tastefully done. Each table is beautifully set, with a wine bottle at the centre. The waiters were dressed in stylish Indian outfits. The Indian music playing in the background was just right; not too loud, which I appreciated.

Bhandini Restaurant review_waiter

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Bhandini Restaurant review_waiter2

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The Indian theme is carried out throughout the décor.

Bhandini review_lighting

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Bhandini Restaurant review_ambiance

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Bhandini Restaurant review_ambiance2

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Bhandini Restaurant review_ambiance3

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Bhandini Restaurant review_ambiance4

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We were first served our drinks, as per the chef’s suggestion – Mango lassi. A lassi is a popular, traditional, yogurt-based drink. Lassis are a blend of yogurt, water, spices and  fruit. The lassi was delicious, a perfect refreshment after walking in the Nairobi heat.

Bhandini Restaurant review_mango lassi2The Mango lassi

 The amuse-bouche, appetizer to literally “amuse the mouth” while we waited for the main course, was a basket of Papadum – a thin, crisp disc-shaped Indian food of seasoned dough made from black gram (urad flour), fried or cooked in dry heat. Flours made from other sources such as lentils, chickpeas, rice, or potato can also be used – and a plate of veggies. I didn’t enjoy the taste of the papadum and only ate the veggies.

Bhandini Restaurant review_bitings

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Bhandini Restaurant review_papadum

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From our table we could see our food being prepared in the kitchen and it wasn’t long before the waiter came by with hot towels, and the food was soon served.

Bhandini Restaurant review_kitchenView of kitchen

 The curries came in metal bowls atop tiny jikos, and the rice was served in a tiny metal bucket. We also ordered a serving of chicken wings, which were beautifully presented on a plate. The butter naan was served in a basket.

Bhandini Restaurant review_main course

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The presentation was beautiful and the aroma literally had me drooling,  if it weren’t for the review I’d have gobbled up the food without taking photos.

Bhandini Restaurant review_main course1Chicken curry, vegetable rice and lamb curry

 

Bhandini Restaurant review_main course2

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Bhandini review_ chicken wings

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The butter naan (a butter flavored flat bread) was so yummy and soft; the perfect accompaniment to my curry. It was so good that we ordered another serving.

Bhandini Restaurant review_Butter naan2

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The lamb was strikingly tender. The sauce that accompanied it was savoury but not spicy. I had specifically requested that my meal be mild.

Bhandini Restaurant review_lamb curryLamb curry

 

My brother chose to have the chicken curry, which I tasted but it was far too spicy for my liking. He enjoyed it nonetheless; the spectrum and intensity of flavors were a delight- so he said!

Bhandini Restaurant review_chicken curryChicken curry

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 I ate to my fill and was nursing a food baby at the end of my meal. I was so full that I end up taking away my desert(fruit salad).

Bhandini review_ fruit salad

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Bhandini Restaurant review_empty plate

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My brother chose to have vanilla ice cream for desert.

Bhandini Restaurant review_ ice cream

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The Chef, Jitendra or JP, is a master of his craft and takes great pride in his profession. He’s been working at Bhandini for the past 10 years. He was very friendly, readily engaged us in chit-chat, and regularly checked on other diners to ensure everybody was satisfied.

Bhandini Restaurant review_Chef Jitendra2

I highly recommend Bhandini, the food is exceptional in addition to the attentive and courteous serving staff. They also know their menu and advise accordingly. Its location in the heart of Nairobi makes it very accessible and all major cab services are to be found at the Intercontinental. The restaurant is open for both lunch (noon to 3pm) and dinner (7pm to 10.30pm) Monday to Friday and only dinner on Saturday and Sunday.

The prices are fair for a high-end restaurant, with items on the menu ranging between Ksh. 1200 ($14) and Ksh. 1800 ($20) for a main dish.

I would definitely go back though I would reserve my visits for special occasions simply because of the pricing.

Bhandini Restaurant review_menu

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Bhandini Restaurant review_menu1All the prices listed on the menu are inclusive of tax.

This review would not have happened if it were not for  Jackie, thank you very much for your help with everything.

So, have you ever been to Bhandini? What were your thoughts? What restaurants would you suggest we review? I would love to read your opinions and suggestions about what I can add or change for future reviews.

Leave a comment or tweet me (@safari254) with the hashtag #254reviews.

 

This week I will be linking up with;

1. Reflections enroute #wkendtravelinspiration

2. Adelina’s Pack Me To in  #SundayTraveler

3. Noel Morata’s Travel Photo Mondays

4. Marcia Mayne’s Inside Journeys in  #FoodieTuesday

 

P.S

31/10/2014

On my recommendation, a few of my friends decided to visit the restaurant and were disappointed by the portions which they found to be far too small.

 

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19 Comments

  1. September 15, 2014 at 7:58 am — Reply

    Delicious…
    Muza-chan recently posted…National Treasures of Japan, Nishi Honganji Karamon, KyotoMy Profile

  2. September 15, 2014 at 11:54 am — Reply

    Rachel, I’m definitely heading to Indian food tonight. Your photos have convinced me! It’s great that you can get it in Nairobi…although when I go I want to try more local dishes. I hope you’ll tell us about some of those restaurants! Thanks for linking up with Weekend Travel Inspiration. See you next week.
    Corinne recently posted…Weekend Travel Inspiration – RumiMy Profile

  3. Wendy
    September 15, 2014 at 12:13 pm — Reply

    Man, the pictures! Totes getting Indian for dinner tonight.

  4. September 16, 2014 at 12:52 am — Reply

    Looks yummy! I could sure use some Indian food tonight.
    Adelina // Pack Me To recently posted…Incredible Views Over Charming Astoria, OregonMy Profile

  5. September 16, 2014 at 3:38 pm — Reply

    Looks and sound delicious.
    ladyfi recently posted…Rainbow wishesMy Profile

  6. September 16, 2014 at 5:46 pm — Reply

    I found you through #FoodieTuesday and now I’m hungry! I love a good Indian restaurant and it looks like you picked a good one here.
    Phoebe @ Lou Messugo recently posted…The Veggie Box and the Fruit TartMy Profile

  7. September 17, 2014 at 7:01 am — Reply

    I love that the wait staff wore traditional dress, also how plush the decor looks. I haven’t seen that attention to detail in a while.

    All last week, I had a taste for Indian food but didn’t get round to it until Saturday. I had a very spicy shrimp curry – the waiter asked how hot I wanted it. I told him a 7 to start. It wasn’t hot enough so he took it back. Finally it was a perfect 8!
    Thanks for linking up this week, Rachel! I love the idea of adding a restaurant review. Fantastic!!!
    Marcia recently posted…Seafood Dishes From the RoadMy Profile

  8. September 17, 2014 at 12:41 pm — Reply

    Oh nice!!! The food looks great, and l love the decor. You had me drooling. Now, l have to find an Indian restaurant… 🙂 Great pictures.
    Kemkem recently posted…Home Exchange, our first ever in BudapestMy Profile

  9. September 17, 2014 at 6:07 pm — Reply

    What a lovely restaurant! I’m truly in love with Indian cuisine so having a dinner like yours would be my culinary dream come true :-).
    Agness recently posted…Photo Gallery: Romantic Porto, PortugalMy Profile

  10. September 17, 2014 at 7:17 pm — Reply

    Now you have me craving Indian food, especially butter naan. I actually like papadums. Indian food something that I miss since we are no longer in Malaysia. I used to have 3 excellent Indian restaurants within walking distance from my house.
    Michele {Malaysian Meanders} recently posted…Discovering Art with Kids at Galleria BorgheseMy Profile

  11. September 18, 2014 at 8:13 pm — Reply

    My belly is grumbling now – everything looks so delicious! Indian food is one of my faves – they season everything so well. I’m glad that you’re starting this restaurant review series so that I’ll know where to eat when we finally make it to Nairobi.
    Dana Carmel @ Time Travel Plans recently posted…Rediscovering Santa Ynez ValleyMy Profile

  12. September 20, 2014 at 3:22 am — Reply

    I am very hungry right now and this is definitely making me want some Indian food! However, tonight it is Carribean food but maybe this weekend we’ll have to try some Indian:)
    Jessica @ Independent Travel Cats recently posted…Asanja Africa: Finding the Perfect Mix of Wilderness and Luxury in the SerengetiMy Profile

  13. September 20, 2014 at 5:40 am — Reply

    Yum! I’m craving for Indian food too now. It looks fancy but I love the presentation of the food. I felt like I could almost feel the curry smell too. I am such a fan of naan. Great review! Looking forward to your restaurant reviews especially the local flavors since I don’t know much about food in Africa.
    Mary {The World Is A Book} recently posted…Strolling through the Golden Pavilion KyotoMy Profile

  14. September 20, 2014 at 6:18 pm — Reply

    I think I gained a pound just reading this post. Love your restaurant reviews – keep them coming.
    Jackie Smith recently posted…Greece: Finding ourselves in “Pigi” HeavenMy Profile

  15. September 21, 2014 at 7:41 am — Reply

    Your photos make it seem very inviting. It almost feels as if I am sitting there with you. Great detailed review.
    Kristin@ YesNomads.com recently posted…Video: Jalan Alor Street Food Night Market Kuala LumpurMy Profile

  16. September 21, 2014 at 2:37 pm — Reply

    Indian Food is my favourite. This is one beautiful restaurant. I like my curries medium spicy but I love them all regardless. I know what you mean about the Mango Lassi being an antidote for hot weather. The fruit would have been a beautiful end to the meal, it certainly looked gorgeous. Hope you enjoyed it later. 🙂
    jan recently posted…Assos and Iskele a Turkish Greek City and PortMy Profile

  17. October 20, 2014 at 9:38 am — Reply

    WOW!!! Good food and great stay in what Amber Vilas offers to its customers. We have both drink and dine facility int he resort. Thus, those who love food can dine well and those who love liquor can booze

  18. November 17, 2014 at 7:02 pm — Reply

    The whole restaurant looks so lovely, I can see why you think it would be great for a special occasion. I love curry and that looks absolutely mouth watering. There’s nothing like a lamb curry when the lamb perfectly cooked.
    Sophie recently posted…Action, Adventure and Romance in the  Yorkshire DalesMy Profile

  19. May 14, 2015 at 2:49 pm — Reply

    Thanks for your review Rachel! I saw this and took my fiance out for dinner here and we both loved the experience! The food was splendid (and we didn’t even manage to finish it!), their service was amazing and the best part was when they sang for him and brought cake – in such a cool and dramatic way I must add…keep the reviews coming!
    XOXO
    Your number one fan 🙂
    Rita recently posted…#StrippingShame – What if you were next?My Profile

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