It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.
And it was a herculean task that I was prepared to endevour, when I hit up Mombasa this past week – with the aim of previewing all the restaurants that would be participating in the county’s first ever #BurgerFest.
#BurgerFest takes over Mombasa from the 8th of May to the 14th and you get to enjoy two for one burgers at select restaurants. Hosted by Eatout – who also run the annual Nairobi Restaurant Week and Pizza Fest among others, I was meant to pay a visit to all the spots, sample their #BurgerFest menus, and generally get familiar with their vibe. It sounded like the perfect midweek getaway, plus seven reataurants in two days couldn’t possibly be too difficult to manage, right?
Shout-out to Seina – Eatout’s Mombasa coordinator – who did such a great job of linking me up with the right people at the various restaurants. Everyone was super accommodating and it seems impossible to have a bad day at the Coast.
The spots participating this year include: Blue Room – CBD, Serena Beach Hotel – Sokoni, Grill House – Nyali, Kaskazi – Ukunda, Meat n Herb – Nyali, Tapas Cielo – Nyali, Tuk A Bite – Nyali.
Logistics and distance presented some problems when it came down to visiting each restaurant, but what I saw, I loved. Mombasa is highly cosmopolitan and competitive with regards to food. A quick stroll down any paved street will reveal to you tens of different outlets that are all looking to appeal to your tastebuds. What this means is that quality and service are extremely important – they understand the value of a lasting impression.
Not only was I treated superbly by staff members, but they went above and beyond what I had expected.
Here are a few that I managed to venture into:
Kaskani at Voyager was the first restaurant I visited, and it set the tone for the rest. I overestimated my capacity to eat, and promptly chowed down on my chicken cheeseburger. It was that good; reminded me of a super club sandwich. Voyager is a beach resort that many have been to. It’s easy and casual – perfect for this type of event. Soak in the sun as you do so – grab your burgers, a cool drink and get working on them, poolside!
At the Serena – Sokoni Restaurant, they were amped about the week! Prior to my arrival, they had carried out a plating class. How do we present our Burger Week offerings in the best possible light? Herman, Serena’s Food and Beverage manager, spent close to three hours with us, using the opportunity to really open our eyes as to what Serena in general was all about. I loved it!
Heike from Meat n Herb was absolutely lovely, and her staff members were both courteous as well as friendly. Beautiful crisp onion wings accompanied my perfectly grilled beef burger. Meat n Herb prides itself on a ‘farm to plate’ process. Absolutely nothing is processed – everything tastes exceptionally fresh and you MUST order their homemade Bomb and warm BBQ sauces as accompaniments! Location is everything and Meat n Herb has the perfect spot, next to the Naivas in Nyali.
Ahh, Tapas Cielo. A fave haunt for Nairobi residents is also a perfect stop whe you get hungry. Their food has always impressed – especially as a bar/lounge and #BurgerFest is so well suited to what it offers. The most massive burgers on the planet – but you don’t feel ripped off, because their patties are just as huge as the buns. I couldn’t even manage one. And you get two? Score! Pro tip – if you head over there for lunch, don’t even attempt to eat a full breakfast beforehand. You won’t be able to carry yourself home.
Tuk A Bite is something for those who want a little whimsy. It’s a mobile kitchen that is able to move around the Coast, but was stationed in Diani when we visited. They are just three months in the game, but the concept is fresh and seems a natural fit with the touristy vibe of Mombasa. William of Tuk A Bite insists that it is the coolest food truck in Kenya – and I wasn’t prepared to argue with him! They offer the signature cheeseburger (Jailhouse Rock) the classic beef burger (The Dandy) and the veggie cheese burger (The Charlie Brown). The great thing is that because Tuk A Bite is so new, they are super open to your feedback! Definitely give it a go.
Tuk A Bite is new and ready to tickle your fancy!
Mombasa was under torrential rain last week, limiting the number of places I could potentially see and taste from, but I’m definitely going back soon to see what else I can uncover, with regards to food at the Coast.
Find out which restaurants will be participating HERE and read their reviews. Add yours to theirs and join the Eatout community!
Remember: to take advantage of the #BurgerFest offer, all you will need to do is download your FREE Burger Pass and either print it out or show it when you place your order.
Be warned – you’ll eat a LOT. But you also have the opportunity to get out of the house and try out some venues you may not have visited before.