The Carnivore, Nairobi



The Carnivore, PO Box 74493, Nairobi, Kenya. (00 254 2 501 775)


Set in a suburb of Nairobi, close enough to the bush to imagine lions rumbling towards you through the savannah. The Carnivore is the world'sbiggest outdoor barbecue, all canopies and bomas - which will probably be very Notting Hill in 2001 - and they serve roasted Disney creaturessuch as Bambi, crocs, and assorted cute African furries.

Clientele and service

The guests were predominantly white tourists, the servers locals, smiling at every table making the same astonished comments we did about thevariety of food served. The waiters, dressed in a variation of Masai tribal wear, carry huge skewers of the latest roast and carve it for you ontoyour plate. Our table was next to a 30ft-long pit, where charcoal glowed under an outlandish skewer roasting the golden carcass of an impala.Buckets of marinade were dropped on it every few minutes, and it brought out my primeval instincts. I had to be restrained from running over,grabbing it by its haunches and taking bites.

Romance factor

The clatter of crickets and distant sounds of what could be elephants make it feel wonderfully risque, though it probably isn't.


Beef, venison, lamb, kudu (antelope), crocodile, boerewors (sausage), all grilled over the barbecue.

Wine list

Most were drinking beer, which felt more suitably primeval.

Oh yeah, and the food

When gambolling through the bush, impala look like smooth-furred darlings. Mine was tender with a sweet-sour basting.

There was a charcoal bite, and a frisson of knowing this is roughly how our ancestors ate.