Knowing how popular Talisman is, I had booked our table for six on Tuesday, for Friday. It's important to book - you simply won't get a place if you aren't on the list. As we battled through a quagmire of ridiculous drunken Friday night drivers to get to Talisman, I had a phone call from the maitre d' checking that we were still coming. Proof that they are on the ball, and have more demand than they can satisfy.
The smart new booths at Talisman are an improvement on what were slightly uncomfortable chairs around basic wooden tables. You know those chairs that force a rod-straight back, which starts to ache half way through the evening? Those are gone. They've been replaced by concrete semi-circular booths, padded out with soft comfy cushions.
The menu is largely what it was with a few new additions such as Chef Marcus' potted salmon. We opted for the famous Talisman feta & coriander samosas as a starter to share, along with one helping of sashimi for the health conscious. As usual, the samosas were exquisite - a combination of freshly cooked crunchy samosa wrapper that reveals a melting inner of feta cheese spiked with the distinctive flavour of coriander. They are famous, and for a reason!
Safely (and rather rapidly) down the hatch, we moved on to enjoy our main courses. So seamless was the timing that I don't remember even noticing the gap between each course much - though I know there was one, and it was perfectly timed. Breast of duck with hibiscus sauce, wilted greens and dauphinoise potatoes arrived at my place. LC had a new dish of hot smoked tilapia fillet with sorrel leaves and a mini-bucket of chunky cut chips. I'm not usually one for tilapia, but this was flavoursome, and perfectly cooked with plenty of flavour. JVZ had a disappointment when his pork arrived as there seemed to have been a confusion in the order - they thought he wanted merely a starter. Most put out, he re-ordered, devoured his starter portion and then proceeded to polish off the main course portion when it arrived. Who lucked out with that then?!
Given that it was an incredibly busy night, with Mojo in the house playing their signature tunes, the service was good, but what really made the evening was the atmosphere. The bar was packed, every table was full, Mojo rocked some great music, and everyone was having an amazing night.
Full kudos to Talisman for remaining the most popular haunt this side of Nairobi (or Lake Victoria?) - but don't forget to book well in advance!
Tel: +254 705 999 997