Last Friday during the Nairobi Restaurant Week a friend and I went to Caramel Restaurant and Lounge to have lunch. Caramel Lounge which is at the ABC Plaza has previously been in the papers and people have discussed some of the expensive drinks offered at the caramel including the most expensive drink in Kenya which costs 1.2 million or Ksh 41, 000 per tot. I already had an opinion of the place based on what I had heard about the place before. I was pleasantly surprised that although some of my thoughts were right many assumptions I had were wrong.
We had a reservation for 1 PM. We got there and we were lead to our table. One of the things I noticed is that they pull your chair for you and they also place your napkin for you. We had a great hostess called Grace.
For starters we decided to have the seared beef carpaccio and Mac & cheese. We would then share them between us. The Mac (Macaroni) and cheese was excellent, very tasty and leaves you wanting some more. I think I would order that anytime I go there again. We weren’t fond of the Beef Carpaccio. I think I was expecting something else but it’s probably because I didn’t know what it was in the first place. It doesn’t really taste like beef (according to me) so if you are looking for that beef taste I wouldn’t recommend it.
For lunch there were three options, the marinated grilled chicken, the Chinese chicken salad, and veggie risotto. We didn’t feel like having either the Chinese chicken or the vegetation options so we both choose the Marinated grilled chicken, baby spinach, and parsnip puree. The chicken was well done, succulent, and sweet. The baby spinach was well done and the parsnip puree was tasty. I wish they had put more of the parsnip puree as it complimented the chicken but there wasn’t so much of it.
There were also drinks as part of the meal. Both of us had the Passion Cruz Dawa. It was very good but I noticed that hours later I could still smell it on my breath. So if you are going back to work this may not be the options for you. You might need to do the magnum cocktails which don’t leave you with alcohol breath for hours.
For dessert we decided to have the two desserts and share. I have a sweet tooth so for me dessert is usually my favourite part of the meal. The raspberry cheesecake was fantastic. I loved it. I am a fan of cheesecake so I really liked it. The mango and lime sorbet was also great. I loved the taste of the mango but found the lime abit too sour for me. But if you love a sweet and sour treat then you must try the mango and lime sorbet. It is also a great option and Shiko loved it, especially the lime part. To each his own.
After lunch we got a tour of the lounge. It is a really comfortable lounge with lounge chairs and tables on one side of the room. The colour scheme of brown and caramel caught my eye. The caramel lounge is actually quite large and so has enough space to hold a couple of parties. If you are looking for a space to take a date where you can have some privacy and you can talk then caramel lounge is for you. The lounge chairs are placed at discreet distances from each other. There is a smoking area if you would like to relax and smoke.
Caramel has a cigar room which is still under construction. There is also a cigar room where one can go to have a cigar. That is the only place one can smoke cigars.
The bar area is extensive. The range of drinks is amazing. We actually got to see and touch the 1.2 million bottle of Remy Martin Louis XII brandy. Apparently the bottle is also valuable when empty. The bottle is crystal (if I am not wrong) and the label is a certain carat of gold. An empty bottle is about 300,000-400,000 thousand. A beer is Ksh. 450 which is reasonable for the type of lounge it is. It is in the same class as Villa Rosa Kempinski where a beer is Ksh. 500.
For those who would like to try out the Caramel lounge and see what the fuss is about you are in luck. From Monday to Friday between 4 pm and 8 pm there is a happy hour at the Caramel Restaurant. There is 50% off selected house beverages.
The one thing I did not see was the European waiters that had been hyped up so much. I don’t know if they only work in the evenings or they no longer work there. I was not disappointed though because I had gone to check out the food and place not the staff.
For me the dinning experience was excellent. The food is fantastic and so is the service. Our hostess Grace gave us good recommendations when we were not sure what to order. I would recommend going there now that they have extended the Nairobi Restaurant Week offer for an extra week. It should give you a feel of the place and I think you will be pleasantly surprised that it is not a stuffy place. It is actually quite welcoming and comfortable. If you discount the high prices of the Remy Martin Louis bottle (don’t listen to the hype that everything there is expensive) it is a nice place to hang out if you have the time and of course the money.