Nairobi Restaurant Week (NRW) has been on everyone’s lips the past few weeks. Foodies and ordinary diners everywhere look forward to this food festival every year. Me included. Except that I am never in the country when it’s happening. So best believe that I was not going to be left out when I knew I would be in Nairobi for the festival this year.
NRW is not a week long; it’s actually 10 days long. And this year, some restaurants have even extended their NRW for a few more days. The idea is that diners sample a 3 course menu put together by the various participating restaurants, at a fixed price.
If your birthday happens to fall during NRW, you are a lucky chap! You get to sample your favourite restaurant’s menu (if it’s participating) at a fraction of the normal price. My girl Thandiwe chose to celebrate her birthday by inviting a couple of us to Adega for dinner. Adega is located at the Lavington Curve Mall on James Gichuru Rd. Here’s my quick review with pictures and even a vlog; hello!
Ambience: I liked the ambience. It was warmly dimly lit, and had this cool graphic lighting thing going on. I don’t know how to describe it, but I loved it! Adega has a lovely terrace and jikos to keep you warm on chilly nights. They seem not to have invested too much in décor, but that’s alright. The chairs and tables weren’t the fanciest but were comfortable enough. I liked how they’d set their tables and the placemats were a vibrant lime-green colour that I loved.
Menu: I thought the menu had adequate options; NRW is about SAMPLING a menu. There were two vegetarian options for the main course and enough side dish choices.
(Watch my short vlog to see what I had).
However, I did not find the menu to mirror anything remotely Portuguese, yet they identify as a Portuguese restaurant. It just felt like a continental menu.
The only fish/seafood option on the menu was TILAPIA, which though I love, was thoroughly disappointing for a ‘Portuguese restaurant’! Tilapia isn’t even traditionally in Portuguese cuisine (although it is in Mozambican). Also, why are tempura veggies on a Portuguese menu?
Food: My overall observation is that they have large portions of food. The flavours weren’t very intricate, but the food tasted good. The appetizer rolls and dips were a treat.
I expected stronger ‘Mediterranean’ flavours since it’s a ‘Portuguese restaurant’, but didn’t get that.
The presentation was totally wanting. Adega, if you ever read this, please invest in good presentation. Pretty food is half the job done. Plus it photographs well. I struggled to photograph the food because it simply DID NOT look good; from ANY ANGLE!
Drinks: They have a variety of drink options: mocktails, juices, hot beverages etc. I was, however, very shocked to find out that they do not serve alcoholic drinks. I even told the waitress that the drinks menu she gave me was not the correct one, because I could not find a shiraz on there! I later found out that it is a Halaal restaurant, and therefore does not serve alcohol.
Service: They were quite slow with their service. The time between getting us seated and taking our drinks order was enough for me to knit a cardigan! JK. But they were slow. I would like to say that it is because they were overwhelmed, but they really were not. There were not more than 3 occupied tables when we arrived at 7:30pm (although they got busy later on).
Final thoughts: I would consider this to be a casual dining restaurant. I don’t have any major complaints. I wouldn’t run back to Adega, but I haven’t sworn off it either.
Thanks for reading!