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Nyali Off Links Road, Mount Kenya Road, Mombasa 00100, Kenya





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    Jul 2013 · Susan McKee

    Sometimes you don't want to graze at a buffet (no matter how lavish the offerings). I tried one of the...

    Sometimes you don’t want to graze at a buffet (no matter how lavish the offerings). I tried one of the “reservation only” options at the Voyager Beach Resort on Nyali Beach north of Mombasa. Minestrone is a sit-down restaurant with attentive service. Tables were spaced far enough apart for privacy, the lighting is subdued and candles added to the romantic ambiance.

    The menu isn’t extensive, but (playing on its Italian theme) it offers pizzas, pastas, meats and seafood.

    When I was there, a trio of musicians played an international selection including “Summertime”, “House of the Rising Sun” and “Guantanamera.” There was a guitar, saxophone and a percussion instrument I’d never seen before. After dinner, I asked the musician what it was, and he explained it was dried beans sandwiched between “plates” of straw. It produced a much more subtle sound than a Latin American maraca. I thought he said it was called a karamba, but an internet search didn’t verify that name. Karamba, however, seems to be a variety of Arabica coffee — so maybe the innards weren’t dried beans but coffee beans.

    In any case, it was terrific to have live music in such an intimate setting — something not possible in the main dining room of the resort. (No kids are allowed in the Minestrone Restaurant — an important consideration at a family vacation destination.)

    I started with — what else? — minestrone soup. The pasta and veggies in the tomato broth were OK, but the taste would have been kicked up a notch if basil pesto and grated Parmesan had been on offer. For the main course, I opted for the ravioli, and then finished up with a dessert of cappuccino crème spiced with a bit of citrus.

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