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  Jahazi Grill - Shanzu Serena  

COAST RESTAURANT REVIEWS

 

 Coastweek   Kenya


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GOOD HELPINGS OF FILLETED FISH,
PRAWNS, LOBSTER AND CALAMARI

The Jahazi Grill  Mombasa Serena Beach Hotel

Coastweek - - Like many Mombasa dwellers, we seldom get as far as Shanzu for a night out given the usually deplorable standard of driving on the Bamburi road as far as Mtwapa.

However a birthday called for a treat and we decided on the Jahazi Grill at the Serena Beach Hotel.

It was a balmy evening and the upstairs restaurant afforded a steady cooling breeze, writes NOSHER.

Indeed with a small stretch of the imagination (and sufficient alcohol) you could almost imagine yourself to be on the bridge of an old galleon.

After a restorative dawa we were served with what was said to be garlic bread, but which seemed to be the "Garlic Lite" variety.

However not at all put off we soon attacked our appetisers.

Putting aside the vast environmental damage caused by harvesting them Madame chose the 'palm hearts' and professed them to be very good indeed.

I went for the smoked sailfish with capers and shaved boiled eggs which was both generous and tasty.

The wine list was expensive whilst not very extensive.

For a hotel of the Serena's reputation it seems unnecessary to have 'boxed' wines as house wine.

We went for the 'fizzy stuff' and there was a slight hiatus getting the cork out of the bottle of Swartland Brut; in fact the whole operation took about five minutes by which time the frosted champagne flutes were no longer frosted, but were swiftly replaced by our attentive waiter.

Just a quiet word about our waiter; each time he placed or removed anything on the table, refilled a glass or indeed was even remotely in the vicinity of our table he said, "Pole pole, hakuna matata".

Perhaps I am becoming a grumpy old sod but I found this to be insanely annoying.

Management might want to consider the fact that not all of their patrons are necessarily tourists ... in fact even the most besotted tourist might also find this tedious repetition bewildering.

One other small grouse.

Diners are serenaded by a group of three wandering minstrels who make a very pleasing sound.

So far so good.

However their wanderings mean that they arrive at each table at a frequency of approximately every 13.5 minutes and stand there singing at you.

This gives diners a dilemma: do you stop eating and listen with rapt attention ?

Do you smile the first time then get back to the food ?

Or do you try to ignore the whole thing and hope they don't come back ?

Anyway we moved on to the main event.

My host went for the lobster with coriander and ginger and found the overall flavour quite powerful and pili pili, slightly masking the distinctive taste of the lobster.

I chose the melange of Indian Ocean seafood.

A good helping of prawns, lobster, calamari and filleted fish but some of which was slightly charred from the grill.

The main courses were accompanied by a rather unimaginative mixed salad.

All of which was rather a shame.

We decided against pud or coffee and meekly paid a bill a little shy of K. Shs. 7,500/=.

Pole.

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