Eat.Drink.Travel: Marula Mercantile (Nairobi, Kenya)


NOSA: This might be me jumping to hasty conclusions, but I think garden restaurants are a thing in Nairobi. Or maybe it's a thing with restaurants in the Karen area. The vibe at Marula Mercantile is so so similar to Talisman, which is in Karen also. I wonder why garden restaurants are not a thing in Lagos. It's the perfect setting for a Sunday brunch. 

Oh, wait. Nvm. I remember why. We have no greenery in a Lagos. 

FOLLY: Nairobi has really lovely greenery. I'm no expert but I believe it contributes to their cooler weather. In Lagos, we don't like nice (or green) things so we suffer.

Marula Mercantile wasn't in our original plan or radar. We spent the morning at the Giraffe Centre with friends and a friend's friend made the reservation for us to have lunch here. 

Marula Mercantile Nairobi-2.jpg

FOLLY: The service at Marula Mercantile pales in comparison to Talisman. The wait time was over 50 minutes and we were the only table in the restaurant - granted we were a party of 11 but with very similar.

NOSA: The wait staff were a bit distracted throughout our lunch.  

FOLLY: My drink of choice and the first cocktail I had in Nairobi was a simple Pimm's Cup. Pimms, Cucumber, ginger garnished with orange slices. Th drink was terribly fruity as one would expect, and I enjoyed it so much that I ended up ordering a second. 

NOSA: To start, we got the Nachos



FOLLY: It was like the nachos that we received had been sitting out for quite a while before being served. The tortilla chips, although good quality and homemade, tasted quite stale. The chili as you can likely tell from the pictures was dry, and the texture on the cheese was like it had melted a long time ago and had enough time on a countertop to thicken and cool down. 

NOSA: Cliff's Notes version - avoid the nachos. 

Loaded with 3-bean chili, cheese, guacamole, salsa and jalapenos

Loaded with 3-bean chili, cheese, guacamole, salsa and jalapenos

FOLLY: The tomato salsa did not make a bold enough appearance to give the nachos some moisture that it was desperately lacking. My friend who ordered the same thing shared all the same grievances as I had. Her assessment might be even harsher than mine. 

NOSA: For our main, we got the Pork Belly Ribs.

Pork Belly Ribs

Pork Belly Ribs

FOLLY: The ribs were the star of the show. The meat slid cleanly off the bone with the swipe of the back of a fork. I was certain that we all suffered so that the ribs would come out perfect. 

NOSA: The ribs were soooo righteous. We were told Kenyans take pride in their pork and we were definitely told no lies.

Up close

Up close

NOSA: The ribs were unbelievably tender and the serving was utterly ginormous. The portion wouldn't look out of place in a Flinstones episode. These might be the best ribs I've had all year, I kid you not. 

At $15, the ribs were definitely great value. That's about N5400 if you use N360 as your exchange rate. There's no way in hell you're getting ribs this good and portion this massive at that price in Lagos. NO WAY.

We're really suffering in Lagos, my God. 


Nachos - $7

Pork Belly Ribs - $15



Recommended Dish:

Pork Belly Ribs