The Ankole Grill located in Kitusuru is a den of sophistication. From the entrance bearing a metalwork image of the iconic Ankole Watusi to the stoneware cutlery, the restaurant embodies a cultured dining experience.
The dark and muted décor doesn’t feel like a dungeon given the ample space and natural light from the well-kept and scenic grounds. The steakhouse is large, accommodating various seating arrangements for different party sizes – indoor booths, private rooms, an outdoor patio, a lounge desk, a bar, and an open fireplace.
From start to finish the service was good. I was immediately acknowledged and seated. My server was attentive, proactive, and accommodating. I arrived during breakfast service, and while I was willing to wait 30 minutes for lunch service, she put in a word with the chef and pushed my order through. And they smile. It sounds like a small thing, but in my experience, not many wait staff actually smile at patrons (except in Mombasa).
I ordered the spicy mushroom cream mbuzi soup and the grilled steak and cheese sandwich. When Ankole boasts about elevated, mouth-watering African-inspired dining, it is not an empty bluff. When I think of heartwarming, home-cooked meals, the smell and taste of dhania come to mind. The soup was bursting with flavour from the bone broth, coriander, mushrooms, and tender chunks of goat meat.
The grilled steak and cheese sandwich packed its own flavour, with bite after bite of juicy, seasoned steak, melted gouda cheese, and green peppers. Each ingredient stood out but didn't overpower the other.
If I have one critique, it is that the bread should have been thicker or of a sturdier grain. I always eat my fries first, so there was a "soggy bottom" situation when I got around to eating the sandwich. Otherwise, the grill marks against the white bread took me back to school when we had fancy sandwiches for Parents' Day.
Ankole Grill aspires to give diners a unique African steakhouse experience with an African twist to steakhouse classics. The great thing about the steakhouse is that Africa shows up in the flavours, not just the ambience. The menu has distinct African tastes, like the Liberian peanut chicken and the Swahili coconut curry.
Ankole Grill has another location in Kilimani. However, the Kilimani location is currently closed for renovation.