Hipilicious celebrated her birthday the other day and Skinny suggested that we visit Lal Qila, a restaurant that her firm had selected for their Christmas dinner. Skinny made the reservations and when I called to find out whether they could provide cake for the birthday girl, they informed me that they have lots of cake on their menu so it would not be necessary to carry an extra birthday cake. All they same, they informed me that I could carry a cake if I wanted to. I decided not to.
Parking – The restaurant is located in Parklands, on top of Nakumatt Highridge. As it is with any Nakumatt location, parking space is not so easy to find. Thank goodness we went on a day where most people from Nairobi were not in Nairobi 🙂 so we didn’t face a challenge in getting parking. The parking might become tricky if you are looking to hold a large reception in the restaurant.
Security Guards – There were guards at the gate but they didn’t check the car. They seemed okay.
Reception – It is very clear that the restaurant is on the 2nd floor. Getting out of the lift, the only sign of life on that floor is the restaurant. What is sad is that there is a huge hall between the lift and the restaurant. This hall is full of NOTHING. It looks deserted, maybe it would have been better to create some sort of pathway towards the restaurant. If I was to hold an event here, I would request to use this hall as a dancing area, I don’t know whether this is something that could be done.
Ambience – There was a good and consistent theme of Indian / Pakistani decorations and artifacts. The seats were very comfortable. The tables are placed very close together, I guess to seat as many people as possible. Colours mostly used were reds, oranges and dark browns. Some oriental music was playing in the background. They also have about 10 chairs near the reception for patrons who are waiting for seats.
Customers – It looked like the restaurant could comfortably seat over 130 customers at a go. A good choice for a large evening party. On the night that we went to the restaurant, there were about 25 customers in total. Because we were spread out over the large room, the restaurant looked very empty. Customers were quiet but I can imagine the noise that would be there if the restaurant gets full.
Bathrooms – Bathrooms were a bit of a let down. They were not dirty but it was only one ladies room and one gents room. For a restaurant of that size, I would have preferred if there were more toilets. The entrance to the ladies and to the gents is the same so if someone is in either toilet, the people on the queue would have to line up outside the door and into the restaurant. There was enough tissue paper but no air freshner!
Service – Two waiters welcomed us into the restaurant and our waiter was available to take our requests the entire evening. He looked a bit bored and Skinny commented that maybe he didn’t think his hat (part of his uniform) fitted in with his swag….. Service wasn’t spectacular and neither was it horrible.
Menu – The menu is abit confusing for someone who isn’t Indian / Pakistani and there has been no effort to try and explain what each of the meals contain. All evenings and weekend meals are a buffet affair with over 50 dishes available at any given time. It would be nice to know what ingredients each meal has so that one can make a decision on what to have and what to miss out on. The food is laid out on burners in a long row so one moves from one end to the other to serve themselves.
Food – The food was amazing. Authentic oriental taste, not too much salt, just perfect. Only wish is that they would use less cooking oil. Otherwise, it was just perfect. The starter was a barbecue of 3 types of chicken, mutton, fish and french fries. That was the starter. The main meal had so many options that you can eat as much as you can and I just couldn’t count them all. There is alot of everything! Vegeterians are also catered for, I saw about 5 dishes just for vegeterians. There is an unending supply of Naan on the table, and one can request for it to either be buttered or otherwise. I have always enjoyed Indian food with tangerine juice. But I also got to discover real cocopine juice. This juice was just perfect. Frothy, cold, enough sugar and delicious. Skinny also enjoyed her apple juice but Hipilicious didn’t enjoy the orange juice because it didn’t have enough sugar…. If I was to give marks for the food, I would give a 9.5/10 and only because all the food had chilli, they should have some options that are abit spice-free for those who don’t enjoy loads of spices in their food. Also, there was NO cake provided on the dessert buffet!
Photos of the food, below.