I only know of one Noah from the Bible who was told by God to build an ark in preparation for the floods that would wipe out the earth. When I learned that there is a new restaurant in Nairobi with Noah’s name, I was intrigued. Is it built in any resemblance of the ark? I wondered.
Timbered panels top the bar counters and high hardwood ceilings expand throughout the restaurant. The causal setting is perfect for groups and the rotating center of the table tops makes it easier for everyone to serve themselves. The cream wooden chairs are draped in cloths with Chinese drawings and imprints, giving a representation of the culture. Noah Restaurant and Lounge is located at Eastland Hotel along Ring Road Kilimani. Their extensive menu features classic Chinese and Continental dishes created by a team of two chefs; a Kenyan and a Chinese chef.
A recent visit to Noah revealed a busy night with diners streaming in every few minutes, a clear indication that Noah is fast becoming popular among Chinese expatriates and locals in Nairobi. Upon our arrival, we were led to a private dining room which can also pass for a boardroom equipped with a screen for presentations and reliable WiFi.
After a lot of deliberation on what to order, we settled on sampling both the Chinese and Continental cuisine during each course to have an experience of both worlds. Pina colada cocktails and dawas kept us company before our meals arrived. Diners ranged between hotel guests to walk-ins like ourselves and we busied ourselves chatting and catching up as we waited for our meals to arrive.
To start, we had the spare marinated pork ribs which were juicy and crispy on the outside. The meat was tender and we enjoyed stripping off the morsels of flesh. Our Chinese starter was the fragrantly presented salted duck. The tender white duck meat had a distinctive taste of the star anise and cinnamon it was marinated in. If you are the adventurous type and you fancy trying new dishes, this salted duck is the escapade your taste buds have been yearning for.
Our meals for the main course included a stir fry dish made with chicken, cashew nuts, peppers and onions. I enjoyed the crunchy texture and the nutty taste coupled with the chicken that resulted in a satisfying meal.
The sautéed shredded pork with baby bamboo, carrot and green pepper had a hot and sweet balance from the combination of sweet chillies and baby bamboo shavings. Should you happen to visit Eastland hotel, make sure you try out this meal. We decided to order Yangzhou fried rice to accompany our meals. Yangzhou fried rice has shrimp, soybean, carrot and corn and was a great accompaniment. We ended our dinner on a fruity note munching into a selection of fresh watermelon and orange slices.
If you are looking for a restaurant to try out a range of Chinese delicacies while enjoying the option of selecting continental dishes, Noah is just the place.