The surprise that is Red Ginger eatery in Parklands

A bowl of murgh dum biryani at Red Ginger restaurant in Parklands. The portion can be served to two people. Photo | Lilys Njeru

What you need to know:

Red Ginger restaurant in Parklands

In the current economic climate, there is so much to quibble about. Small servings of food, wild prices, impolite staff as well as restaurants that don’t live up to their promises (think of Swahili dishes). So, when I find the real deal, it’s genuinely exciting.

Red Ginger restaurant in Parklands, situated on my route to church, had always struck me as an inactive hotel from the outside, devoid of any vehicles entering or leaving. It never occurred to me to stop by for a meal.

But a few weeks ago while discussing places to dine in the city, a colleague at work couldn’t stop touting about the place. When she suggested it for my next eating out, I was sceptical and snorted at the thought of dining there. However, when another friend who’s a culinary adventurer vouched for the restaurant's quality, I decided to give it a try. In these times, a spirited word of mouth is my preferred way of discovering new eateries.

As we made our way to the entrance with my partner, this place that I once thought to be desolate was buzzing with activities with waiters collecting orders from the kitchen, a party in one of their many gazebos—it was a new world. As I took in the surroundings, lush green grass stretched out before me, extending an invitation to pose for photos. We soon realised that we should have reserved our spots; the place was teeming with diners; from the restaurants to the gazebos. We also discovered that the restaurant start taking orders at noon. This explains the inactivity in the morning hours.

The menu is a host of dishes, with each described in a way that makes your taste buds tingle with curiosity. We opted for murgh biryani (rice, chicken thighs, hung curd, naan roti). It is served in a stainless-steel bowl that is almost akin to the traditional bowls. Their portions are generous as this one was enough for the two of us. The chicken servings were also generous, and the meal was delicious. This bowl goes for Sh1,200.

For drinks, I ordered a mango passion and mint smoothie, and I must admit that this was the best I have had in Nairobi. It’s a perfect symphony of flavour and texture.

As much as I enjoyed the atmosphere and food at the restaurant, there was one thing that left me feeling a little impatient—the waiting time.
It was frustrating to wait for a waiter to take our orders. In fact, we had to remind not just one, but two waiters that we were waiting to be served. It detracted from the overall experience. After finally placing our orders, it was at least 15 minutes before our orders were finally served, and we were starting to feel a little bit restless.
However, despite the long wait, the meal was worth it.