I love food. Would you say you love or hate food? Recently, I’ve realized the connection of food to our well-being. We are what we eat and for that reason, we should make better food choices. Anyway, I first heard of Red Ginger driving past it with a friend. He said, “Oh, this is where Red Ginger is.” I asked, “What’s Red Ginger?” and minutes later, I was scrolling through their Instagram page and tagged pictures. The pictures hooked me. It seemed different, an Indian restaurant with oriental meals as well? Interesting! I decided to treat Suzzane, a close friend of mine, as sort of a graduation gift.
Location and Arrival
The bright and airy restaurant is found in the heart of Parklands. It was quite a hassle getting there since neither I nor my friend drive and matatus do not use that route. We alighted at the Parklands road intersection and had to make our way on foot to the next junction along the 2nd Parklands Avenue, where the restaurant is located. The scenery is amazing since you are in the upscale part of the city. You can’t miss the restaurant. It is right by the roadside in quite a spacious compound.
Reservation and booking at Red Ginger
The restaurant is usually fully packed. We went there on a Sunday and I tried to make a reservation on Saturday evening, but the outside seating area was already fully booked. I booked a table for 2 inside the restaurant, but they couldn’t find my booking at the entrance. We got a place in the middle of everyone and we just had to relocate because part of the reason for going to a restaurant is enjoying the ambience.
We opted to sit at the bar, which is an oval-shaped counter with expensive liquor on display. Besides that, it had rustic decor all around. Steel doors with a rustic finish, a veranda with high tables and stools, and a convertible roof. Just beautiful.
The Menu and Drinks
The Menu is quite overwhelming. I had previously checked it out, but it still overwhelmed me. So much food, in so many names, haha. Maybe it is because I don’t go out as much as I used to. The drinks menu is just the same. They have a variety of cocktails and mocktails, wines and of course, all the liquor we saw at the counter. We opted for a jug of sangria, which is equivalent to 5 glasses of wine. Since we sat at the bar, I saw the bartender make the sangria from scratch. I was shocked when I saw him measure a double shot of Viceroy and mix it with the fruits before adding dry red wine. I immediately knew we were in for a good time.
We took to Instagram to check out food recommendations. Suzzanne went for chicken curry and garlic naan we saw on a foodie’s Instagram page. Since they also have an oriental menu, I decided to go for Chinese food to have a variety of food to share. After going back and forth and getting a little tipsy on sangria, I choose Murgh Makwanhala (sweet and sour chicken) and ‘schezwan’ fries. See below the menu entries.
We had to wait quite some time for our order to arrive. Seeing that the restaurant was fully packed, we expected it. The food also arrived in bits. First, it was the ‘schezwan’ fries which tasted absolutely divine! I love spicy food, and those fries hit all the right notes, although the serving was not that much for Ksh 400. Rating 9/10. Next, it was Suzzanne’s chicken tikka with garlic naan. You know Indian curry! Well, these guys delivered to a T. She requested mild seasoning, and it was mild to me, but to her, it was still ‘so spicy.’ I would love to go back and try a very spicy chicken tikka. I think it would be a hit! The serving was quite generous, with a reasonable amount of chicken—9/10 for me(because I need more spice). Next, my sweet and sour chicken arrived. Wow! First impression; beautiful plating, a mouthwatering presentation and still quite a generous serving. Rating 8.5/10 just because I wasn’t crazy about the big bell peppers in the stew. Nevertheless, chef’s kiss! They were generous enough to bring side plates, so we shared the food.
We didn’t stay long since the skies were getting dark. It rained on our way out, but thank heavens I had my tiny umbrella. I asked for a takeaway bag since I couldn’t finish my food. The waiter wrapped the food in foil and the sangria in a flimsy disposable cup. They should definitely improve on this. Although you get a cute bag as a consolation, do better Red Ginger. There are so many packing options in the market.
Things to note about Red Ginger
There’s a bouncing castle for kids in the compound. However, I wouldn’t recommend this place for children.
Parking is quite generous, but please note that the restaurant is usually packed.
There are separate gazebos that you can hire out for birthdays, parties and other celebrations. Just make sure to book early cos the place is very popular.
When leaving, we also saw an upstairs area. I think you can book it as well and I suggest you inquire about it if you like seating upstairs.
The bathrooms are pretty nice, with rustic decor and tasteful light fixtures.
Overall experience 9/10. I would definitely go back and try different meals.
What are some of your favourite restaurants in Kenya? I’d love to visit them. Check out Four Points by Sheraton Pablo’s review.