102 Vijana Road
Breakfast/Brunch, Dessert, Dinner, Entertaining Clients, Families with children, Large Groups, Late Night, Lunch, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Romance, Special Occasions
102 Vijana Road
The Bay Leaf, on a quiet, green side street at Arusha’s eastern edge, is considered to be one of the...
The Bay Leaf, on a quiet, green side street at Arusha’s eastern edge, is considered to be one of the city’s best restaurants. At least in terms of ambience, it is easy to agree. Seating is outdoors on a well-manicured lawn or inside in a square-and-rectangular-themed dining room decorated – appropriately enough – in shades of bay leaf-green and gray. Starched linen table cloth runners, thin-stemmed water goblets and sparkling silverware grace the tables, and the overall impression is genteel.
There are two menus – one featuring northern Indian cuisine, which we did not sample, and the other continental, with items such as Slow-Cooked West Kilimanjaro Lamb Shanks with Chive Mash and Braised Red Cabbage, Spring Chicken Ballotine, Barbecued Citrus Garlic Prawns and Asparagus Primavera. After sampling several appetizers and main dishes (there are also vegetarian selections), I concluded that the ‘signature items’ (these are labelled on the menu) tend to be more of a sure bet than the other menu items (which do not always work quite the way they are supposed to). While prices are higher than those in many other Arusha restaurants – ranging from about US$8 to US$12 for appetizers and from about US$15 to US$25 for mains – they represent quite decent value for money, especially when the classy surroundings (a rarity in the town center) are factored in to the equation.
All in all, the Bay Leaf is a good choice for anyone seeking tasty, well-prepared and well-presented food and a quiet ambience. Waits for food tend to be long, especially on weekends, but there is free Wi-Fi throughout the dining area to help while away the time.
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