Do you ever meet someone and immediately think “this is the one”? From that very first conversation, you feel the chemistry. Your time spent together is effortless, long silences don’t faze you, neither of you ever feel the need to impress the other. It’s really special when you find that with someone, like I did with Chan.
Cliché as it sounds, from the first day we hung out, I knew Chan and I would be best friends. As of yesterday, I hadn’t seen Chan in over a month, we were well overdue for a catch up. Yummy Card in hand, we headed to Tamambo at Village Market to enjoy a great meal at 50% off.
Village Market was quiet but Tamambo had several tables filled. There were people on dates, groups smoking shisha, and a table with two drunkards (more to come on that later). The ambiance was nice, good lighting, and fun music playing but not loud enough to hinder conversation. Chan and I pulled up a seat at the high-top table outside and got our meal started.
The moment we sat down, a friendly-looking waitress was table-side ready to take our order. The drink menu is quite comprehensive with both local and international beers, a variety of liquors, and a separate menu for wines. Tamambo has their own house wine, a Chenin Blanc from their Tamarind restaurant. Usually, a wine made by the restaurant would interest me but we ordered the half litre of Drostdy-Hof white wine. I can’t tell you what kind of white wine it was because we didn’t care, we just wanted the cheapest wine available.
Note: Yummy Cards get you 50% off your food bill, not your total bill. It’s in the fine print. 🙁
Although we wouldn’t get a discount on our drinks, we knew we’d get a discount on our food so we decided to treat ourselves (yes, to the cheapest wine on the menu). Thanks to EatOut Kenya and my Yummy Card, I want to officially declare Tuesdays to be TREAT YOSELF TUESDAY.
Chan is a big fan of the oyster platter at the Village Market Tamambo. By ‘big fan’ I mean one time she went to Tamambo with three other people and the four of them ordered three platters of 25 shucked oysters…. I, on the other hand, am what Internet aficionados would call an “oyster n00b”. I’ve had oysters once or twice but unless they’re smothered in a horseradish or mignonette (white wine vinegar, minced shallots, salt & pepper) sauce they don’t go down so easy. I wanted to start with the Paté Liegois (chicken paté) which I had had the opportunity to try at a friend’s place over the weekend. However, Chan doesn’t like paté. We compromised: I ordered the paté, she ordered the oysters, and we shared… FYI we’re not usually this classy, but… TREAT YOSELF.
The Kilifi oysters were fresh and well drained. We didn’t get that brine-y sea water flavour with every bite. The oysters were small but meaty, which is why I imagine a platter comes with 25 oysters and not the usual 12. Unfortunately for me, the only accompaniments we received were limes and a little bottle of Tabasco. I was a good sport and ate a few oysters so heavily doused in Tabasco that my tongue hurt, but I couldn’t eat more than eight.
The paté looked a little unappetizing (as most patés do) I won’t articulate what the look reminded me of but anyone with a little life experience will figure it out. The paté came with a cumberland sauce, a fruit-based sauce which in this case tasted like it was made with strawberries. This is another put-it-together-yourself kind of meal and anyone who knows me knows I love DIY food. I enjoyed eating the paté with the different accompaniments and flavours. This paté doesn’t leave the after taste that liver sometimes leaves in your mouth. It’s rich, smooth, and a little sweet. This is the first paté I’ve ever eaten that I’ve enjoyed and I can easily see myself going back for more.
Next, we ordered the Chapa Kazi Choma Sampler platter (we were feeling ambitious): chicken wings, spare ribs, chicken and beef skewers, lamb chops, and of course, chips. This meal is more our speed when it comes to dining out. For the most part, everything was pretty good. The seasoning on all the meatastic dishes were pretty standard. The ribs and wings tasted barbecue-y, the skewers and chops had minimal seasoning to bring out the flavour of the meats, the chips were crispy and weren’t oil-soaked. The choma platter was all good food, food that I can see a lot of people enjoying, but it wasn’t anything special or different from what you would expect at any other (perhaps cheaper) restaurant.
My two draw backs to this meal would be the pepper sauce and the kachumbari. The pepper sauce had too much salt making it overpowering to whatever meat you were dipping in it and the kachumbari had no seasoning whatsoever. Albeit, the choma platter menu item didn’t say the dish came with kachumbari but if you’re going to chop up tomatoes and onions and throw them on the plate, might as well make them edible, no? I wish the kachumbari had been added as a side salad and not as a decorative element to the plate.
Our waitress Elizabeth was kind, helpful, and attentive. She allowed us to take our time ordering our dishes and would silently come around filling up our glasses with wine whenever we were low. As we were finishing our meal, we noticed we were close to one of the last people in the restaurant but at no point did we feel rushed to leave. Elizabeth was great and if you’re ever at Village Market Tamambo, you’d be lucky to have her serve you.
Our meal at Tamambo was good and the service was great. We enjoyed catching up save for the random drunk guy sitting directly behind us who would occasionally harass the waitstaff. Once, between sips of beer and drags of his cigarette he decided to announce to whoever would listen, “THIS IS MY KENYA…. Look at my wallet! I can afford ksh 1,200 at Tamambo!”. But he didn’t bother us, after his one outburst he quieted down, paid his bill, and left. My only question to him would be — what were you doing drunk on a Tuesday? Let alone drunk on a Tuesday at Village Market? Guess everybody’s gotta treat themselves in their own right.
So, next time it’s Tuesday night and you can’t decide whether or not to do something after work remember, it’s Treatyoself Tuesday and it’ll probably be worth it.