Mambo Italia, Nairobi

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Mambo Italia, Nairobi

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Review of "Mambo Italia, Nairobi"

published 14/02/2017 | Essexgirl2006
Member since : 07/02/2006
Reviews : 583
Members who trust : 273
About me :
Pro Good quality food, nice setting, good value
Cons Portion quite small, not very central
very helpful

"Mambo in Nairobi"

Ravioli with spinach and ricotta.

Ravioli with spinach and ricotta.



During a recent holiday to Kenya, I spent a few days in Nairobi staying with a friend who moved out there. Mambo Italia is an Italian restaurant that was nearby to her home, and one of her favourites. Whilst ‘360 pizza’ (already reviewed) was generally claimed to be the restaurant with the best pizza in Nairobi, she preferred this one.

Where is it?

Mambo Italia has three branches in Nairobi.
Address: Lavington Curve, James Gichuru Rd., Nairobi.
Reservations: Call 0771 288 640.

Lavington Curve is a shopping mall in the Lavington suburb of the city, most restaurants and shops are situated in shopping centres for ease of access. No one walks in Nairobi, especially after dark. As is standard, your car will be checked upon arrival by security, and you will also have to walk through a metal detector. Unlike many other shopping centres, this one doesn’t charge for parking (at least not in the evenings) but it is quite small.

Décor and Ambience

The restaurant is on an upper level and it very utilitarian by design. There were some outside seating but I was feeling cold, so we sat inside. There are big floor to ceiling windows (it was dark so the view wasn’t great), wood beam ceilings and felt very spacious. The tables and chairs were wooden and simple, there was no fancy detailing, it was all very casual and low-key. Behind me was a large open plan cooking area so you could watch the staff at work, if you were facing that way.
The clientele were a good mix of ex-pats/tourists and locals.
Food and Drink

The menu was a colourful double sided card and there was plenty to choose from. As a veggie I usually do well in Italian restaurants, but in Nairobi they have even more choices that I would get in the UK.

They offer a range of starters and sharing plates such as Polenta Bites (with sage and mushrooms, topped with Grana and pickled onions) at Ksh 350 (£2.81) up to Grilled Jumbo Prawns at Ksh1350 (£10). I was tempted by the Zucchini Fries (Courgette chips).

You can create your own pizza , but they do have a great selection to choose form. Regular sizes are 25cm in diameter and that suited my friends (and would do me if I had gone for the pizza option), or there is a larger option that goes to 34cm for bigger appetites. The smaller pizza are about Ksh 650-900 (£4.75-6.75) and large Ksc1200-1900 (£9-14). Cheapest were pizzas like Angry Buffalo (tomato sauce, mozzarella, chicken in buffalo-style hot sauce, red onion, celery), and the most expensive was Double Pepperoni which offered you twice as much salami as the classic Pepperoni.

My friends both went for pizzas, one chose Vedura (tomato sauce, mozzarella, red and yellow peppers, courgette, artichokes, mushrooms, caramelised onions, black olives, rosemary and Grana Padano cheese) the other for Quattro Formaggi , the classic four cheese pizza (tomato sauce, mozzarella, Gorgonzola, tallegio and Grana Padano). She also ordered additional rocket for Ksh 90 (70p) and was glad she had it, as she felt it worked well with all the cheese.

They had some more exciting sounding pizzas such as Thaifrican (chicken in spicy peanut sauce with mozzarella, mango, red onions and coriander. They also offered a vegan pizza and one called Swahili Beach (Coconut curry sauce, mozzarella, prawns, calamari, garlic, red onions and coriander amongst more standard offerings.

I fancied some pasta and went for the Home Made Ravioli which was filled with spinach and ricotta and cooked in a sage and butter sauce. It remanded me of a similar dish from Carluccios and was easily as nice, if not better. The pasta and filling tasted really fresh, and I enjoyed the herby and buttery oil that it was in. My only complaint was that it was a little on the small side and I would have liked a few more parcels of ravioli. This dish cost Ksh 840 (£6.35) and was one of the cheaper pasta dishes. The most expensive was Mushroom Penne with Cooked Ham at Ksh 1300 (£9.72). Other dishes included Pesto, Bolognese and Carbonara based dishes, so pretty much sticking to the classics.

Drinks wise , we went for two glasses of white wine and the house variety, which was a pleasant South African Chenin Blanc, was Ksh 450 (£3.36). They also offer a range of speciality teas, coffees and a range of juices and milkshakes alongside the standard soda, beer, wine and spirits fayre that you would expect anywhere.

We didn’t go for a dessert, the range is fairly limited but they do have a good range of ice cream flavours at Ksh 250 (£1.85) per scoop.

They also do breakfasts here , mostly egg based dishes but there are some lighter dishes and a cooked breakfast.

Our server was a friendly chap and did what he could to help, the atmosphere seemed very relaxed, but you weren’t kept waiting for your food.

Opening Hours

11am – 10pm (11pm Fri/Sat)

All in all we paid Ksh900 (£6.74) each for a meal and a drink, which is good value compared to the UK. For the target Kenyan market (professional locals) it is also good value and was the cheapest dinner we ate out. More working class Kenyans wouldn’t eat out in restaurants as we know them. I didn’t mind the informal, low key atmosphere or décor, as I was pleased with my food (although on the small side) and my friends also enjoyed their dishes.

It isn’t as centrally located a some restaurants, and the mall it is situated in, is one of the smaller ones, but if you are in this area, then this is well worth visiting.

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Comments on this review

  • Chippytarka published 05/07/2017
    Great reviewx
  • siberian-queen published 15/05/2017
    fab review
  • chrisandmark_is_here published 08/05/2017
    Nicely done x
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Product Information : Mambo Italia, Nairobi

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Listed on Ciao since: 26/08/2016