Dinner at Diani: Ali Barbour’s Cave Restaurant

Champignons Provençale. Photo | Pool

What you need to know:

  • At Ali Barbour’s Cave Restaurant diners has to descend ten meters underground, and enter the 180,000-year-old cave glowing in warm golden light that hints at hidden treasures in the cave wall

In the story of Ali Baba and the forty thieves, Ali Baba overhears the group discussing a treasure in a cave whose entrance is sealed with a magical spell. In real life, the entrance to the Ali Barbour Cave Restaurant is no less magical. Descending ten meters underground, diners enter the 180,000-year-old cave glowing in warm golden light that hints at hidden treasures in the cave wall. Comprising of naturally formed elements like interlinking chambers and an open ceiling, Ali Barbour’s takes al fresco dining to a new and magical dimension. On a clear night, you can look up and see stars twinkling above.

Interior. Photo | Pool

All of these make for an elegant and intimate dining experience. But as romantic as the ambiance is, Ali Barbour’s Cave Restaurant isn’t just couples, families and groups are amply catered for with the restaurant’s group menu. The menu is typical of Continental/European cuisine but the specialty is seafood – oysters, lobsters, prawns, crabs, calamari, sea fish. Even though the seafood platter will put you back a pretty penny, I highly recommend it. You get to sample the freshest ingredients from the Indian ocean mere meters away, cooked to perfection and presented quiet elegantly.

The Lemon Chicken Francese. Photo | Pool

For those with seafood allergies or who do not like seafood, chicken, beef, pork, and duck are available and vegetarians have over ten menu items to choose from. To sample the range of options our party ordered the Lobster Surf and Turf (medallion beef and lobster tail), the Lemon Chicken Francese (chicken breast baked in lemon, wine and butter), and the Champignons Provençale (mushrooms on toast). There are no complaints regarding the food. In fact, the only sound at the table was the clinking of forks and knives and the occasional sigh of deep satisfaction. It is my second time to the Ali Barbour’s and I had raved about it to friends and family and worried that I may have oversold the place. I was not let down. 

Seafood Platter. Photo | Pool

The service is generally good. The food (particularly the seafood items) does take a while to come but there is plenty of delicious bread (the garlic bread is heavenly) and a beautiful vision to keep you occupied. 

As a must-see location in Diani, reservations are required for the restaurant. I would recommend making the reservation at the same time as your trip. 

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