Eating out in Lamu

One of my greatest weakness is good food. Presentation? Well, that doesn’t matter much as long as the restaurant is clean and the food is delicious. Well, no one in their right mind would want to eat food that isn’t well cooked or tasteless.


I’ve always loved Swahili delicacies and traveling to Lamu meant sampling delicious meals every other day for the duration I’d stay around. Were my expectation met? Partly yes. First day, this was Sunday, I asked around and was told to try out Mangrove. The place is strategically located at the Jetty and next to Equity Bank so you can’t really miss it. It was abuzz with activities, some customers enjoying meals while others chatted the evening away drinking coffee. It was evening and they didn’t have much to offer. Being new in town and having been dropped there by a certain lady who gave a good review of the place, I decided to try whatever they had, maini and chapati.

I’m not the foodie type but I had spent the better part of the afternoon sleeping after arrival to this beautiful island. Saying I was hungry is an understatement, I guess I would have swallowed a whole goat if it was handed to me. The food was okay but the chapati was very tiny compared to the ones I’m used to in Nairobi. This meant ordering an extra chapati to finish up my maini stew. The maini was well cooked though it had a sour taste maybe because of the spices used, I never asked so I’ll never know. Can I give them a second try, if I had time I would but I still have other places to sample.

After my two chapati’s and maini stew, I still wasn’t filled up and I decided to risk walking around in search of more food. This landed me at Labanda. The place has a downstairs and upstairs and it’s located on the sea front. I went and decided to play safe by ordering for pilau. The Swahili’s are known for their rice recipes but this one just didn’t click. I ate it for the sake of getting full but I can assure you I’ve tasted better pilau from my local joint in Nairobi. Maybe I was just unlucky and I’ll go back and order something different just to be sure.

Monday came knocking and my stomach needed some filling up. I went for late lunch at Jannat House. This one can be easily missed because it’s not situated on the sea front and you have to go through a few streets to get there. I had wali wa nazi and vegetables (cucumber, carrots and peas). This one was worth every penny I spent, it was delicious and I almost asked for a second serving. Since I had late lunch I decided to stroll around town and get myself a milkshake. This landed me at Whispers. This place is beautiful with a garden restaurant, the trees and flowers that are planted make it a good place to relax after a hectic day. They do have a gallery that you can check out during the day. I asked for a milkshake and was told I would get one but whatever was served was nothing close to what I was expecting. I drunk it because I wasn’t about to waste my Shs. 330 by sending it back. I complained to the waiter and he assured me he’d make me a better one if I went back. If I was to go back, I wouldn’t ask for a milkshake maybe I’d try out the other food on the menu.

Tuesday was a busy day. I walked through the streets of Lamu and saw quite a lot and by the end of the day I was hungry and tired. My guide for the day suggested Mwana Arafa. The place is beautiful and located at the sea front (most hotels and businesses, banks, huduma center, are located right next to the ocean). The have a nice garden just before you enter the hotel. I never bothered to go in and chose to stay outside and enjoy the evening breeze. I ordered for octopus served with coconut rice. Unfortunately, they didn’t have it and the waiter suggested I try out calamari. It was my first time to try it and it was delicious. However, their milkshake well let’s not venture into that.



Calamari served with coconut rice and vegetables


It’s time again to go and try out a different restaurant and hope for some delicious stuff.

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