There's always a palpable sense of excitement in our household when a new restaurant opens. These days, there doesn't seem to be enough choice in Karen / Langata, so when Mouse called to suggest lunch at Dari, the new place on the block, I didn't hesitate.
Dari has a splendid setting, with a rolling lawn on which couples stroll and sunbirds flit from tree to tree batting their luminescent wings. The wide wooden verandah looks out over this peaceful setting, and gives the place an upcountry feel. A warm welcome sets the scene: this is a friendly place making a massive effort. "We've been open for seven days!" beams our waitress as she shows us to a lovely big table. The menu - a combination of european flavours with traditional Kenyan ingredients - is perfect: enough choice but not so much that you wonder how on earth the chef can produce it all.
I opt for the seared tuna caesar salad. Mouse goes for the burger, Robin & Michael go for open butternut ravioli salad and chicken with githeri respectively.
After a long wait, during which we enjoy a fruit cocktail juice, and raise our eyebrows as people who arrived after us are served before us, our food finally arrives. It looks fabulous - carefully put together and presented on beautiful green glass plates and bowls. My tuna has been seared in sesame seeds, a nice touch, until I cut in and discover that 'sear' is not quite the term I would use. This has been cooked to an extent that I could use it as an extra heel on my shoe. Added to which it still has a ton of bones through it - unfortunately this is a major turn off for me and after one bite I leave it on the side. The rest of the salad is delicious however, with oodles of flavour and plenty of greens. Reports from the others indicated that the ravioli was a good, tasty lunch, though missing the nuts that were mentioned on the menu. Chicken githeri was a hit with Michael, but sadly the burger was less than appetising with rather an odd smell and not a great texture. It was send back, and knocked off the bill. Having said that, the fries were totally perfect.
So all in all, Dari was a little hit and miss for us, but given that it was day seven, we can definitely understand some teething issues. With a little more attention to detail, Dari will be the perfect place for lunch.
Ngong Road (opposite Chequered Flag), Karen