6 Zanzibar restaurants you should try out in 2023

Zanzibar and her sunsets

We travel for different reasons and one of these reasons are for the experience, food wise. Some people have selective taste buds while others choose to be adventurous and expose their mouths to much. It’s okay to be traditional but when you feel daring to do exotic foods, try out these eateries that will make you appreciate these foods.

One of the most captivating and serene African islands you will fall in love with is Zanzibar. There is lots you are gonna see but definitely lots to eat too. If you love dining out like I do, why not try out one of these:

1) Mangi Beach Bar and restaurant (in Nungwi)

The outside of Mangi Beach Bar and Restaurant

I wanted to know a bit more of Zanzibar than just its popular center which is Stone Town. I chose to do a day in the north of the Island. Having met some cool people that also wanted to head there, I tagged along. We had transport and just put some fuel and off we went. From Stone Town, it took us like one hour to get to the north of the Island. Have you ever been determined to have a meal with a view? Someone did alert me how the northern parts of Zanzibar particularly Nungwi are home to turquoise waters and I wanted to experience this. We started off at about 9 O’clock and got there at close to 11.

You are gonna love this restaurant for its views and outdoors (provided it’s not pouring). I particularly liked the pine trees am guessing I didn’t mistake for coconut trees. The other thing you may like is how there is provision for you to enjoy your own space or chill with others. This is not a restaurant you should go to on a date and dress to kill…. in heels…nop. There is beach sand and I think you now know what your dress code should be, should you find yourself on a special date. I loved their wide selection on their menu but my focus was more on my favorite mashed potatoes with chicken stir fry. Yummy…Their pizza is actually delicious.

2) Wild Dove Cafe (in Nungwi)

Now some restaurants in Zanzibar are well known and have a large following. For Wild Dove Cafe in Nungwi, I can’t say that is the case. It is an upcoming restaurant that I see making it big should they continue with the meals I found. The place itself is nothing too fancy and you find it near Highland Bungalows in Nungwi.

You will like this place for the fair prices. It is found just in the dusty small roads of Nungwi so I guess no charging high prices here for things like views. I must say I had at least two to three good meals here and this was enough times to recommend others to give it a try. Their menu had burger, in curry, grilled and fried selection. There was pasta and noodle selection as well. That wasn’t all. They also made sure to cater for those that do desserts.

3) Zenjis Food Lover’s Joint (in Stone Town)

This restaurant is one of the most popular ones on the island. I particularly liked the location. Sometimes we don’t want to go so far in the outskirts to have that meal with a view. It’s okay to be within reach.

The maze streets of Stone Town

This restaurant is found in the heart of Stone Town. As you enjoy walking through the maze streets of Stone Town trying to find your way around, you will find this restaurant. I had a meal here that has made me recommend this restaurant to others. The setting of the restaurant is more like outdoor with a gazebo and well arranged tables.

Zenji Food Lover’s Joint Restaurant

I had company and opted to try seafood. I am a sucker for well done spicy, fluffy mashed potatoes. Knowing very well I come from a landlocked country and seafood is sold but not the one fresh from the ocean, I ordered some prawns. They were one of the most fresh prawns I have ever tasted.

The food, I must say, was well prepared and we were surrounded by helpful staff willing to give help at our request. Whenever you are in Stone Town, do try out this restaurant.

4) Lukmaan (in Stone Town)

Another restaurant I heard people talk much about was Lukmaan restaurant found in the heart of Stone Town. It is highly rated and boasts the best local, dining experience award in previous years. I enjoyed two meals there. This place was packed both times I went there which can only mean that many find it a perfect dine in pick.

I wanted to try out seafood because it is actually expensive back home! I particularly loved their succulent prawns that were slapped with some salad. The restaurant has wide variety on the menu: Arabic food, fish, all sorts of seafood and pizza. The price range of food on their menu is from about 50 cents for the naan to about $15.

5) New Monsoon Restaurant

Walking around in Stone Town, I did find a restaurant just close to where I lodged. The New Monsoon Restaurant it was. It was beautiful inside out. You can dine from the outside or inside but with the scotching heat of the Island, I chose to sit outside. The view you have sitting outside is that of people walking down the paved roads. In the evening, you could catch a glimpse of street markets and ocean view. Forgive me for my love for mashed potatoes but I was at it again. The chicken mishkaki went perfectly with it. They made sure the salad was fresh and colourful. I tried looking for something to wash this food down and Indian Whiskey was just perfect.

New Monsoon Restaurant (Outside)

Should you be in Stone Town, Zanzibar for whatever reasons, do stop by because this place prides itself with the ability to offer multi cuisine, Indian and Indo Chinese food created at high standards.

6) The Silk Route (in Stone Town)

I felt like Indian food and because this place was just a stone throw away from where I lodged, trying it out was easy and it actually felt like visiting India! What I liked first about this restaurant was the view when on the next floor. You could see parts of the ocean and the busy town of Stone Town and am guessing it’s more heavenly in the evenings! The theme colors inside were orange, brown and cream.

The beauty about having someone to dine with was cost sharing which leads to having what we desired to have like….wait for it…lobster!!! It was my first experience and I didn’t regret it a single bit. It came with potato wedges and a salad. The second time around, I got rice and some beef stew which was medium hot spiced. Tasty! This restaurant has a wide selection on their menu and if you have a 15 cents to $20 on you, you could walk out of this place with a smile.

Wine and dine treat at The Quorum (review)

I needed a treat and I let my appetite lead the way. My taste buds whispered they wanted something scrumptious and not home made. I looked up a few hotels from booking.com and found a resort called The Quorum. I loved the general outlook of the place and headed there.There are restaurants I know of that are not much of an attractive package in terms of outdoors but the food they serve is on point. I was in the mood to enjoy a meal with a view or in a place that appeals greatly to the sense of beauty.

Arrival

I didn’t necessarily make a call, reservation or anything like that. I just got on a cab and arrived there. The place had a parking lot on the outside and I think I only saw two cars on the inside. Most cars were parked outside. Am thinking there should be a bigger parking lot should there be a big event there. So unless there is parts of the resort I didn’t see, I gave them 3 stars for the parking lot.

Upon arrival, the guard did alert someone to take me to the reception and I saw some smiling and welcoming staff and I must say it was smooth sailing. I however understood in no time that this was a club hotel and there were some parts of it that I wanted access to that well…. I couldn’t get to simply because I was not a member. There was a way around it though. I stuck around in the wait room

About the resort

This resort is a club hotel or those kind of resorts that offer membership and loyalty programs. https://www.thequorumzm.com I went there to have an eat out at the spot I saw on booking.com only to be toldĀ  ‘access denied’ because I was not a member. Ouch! I didn’t let that slide. After digging deeper, I found out I could still have access as a non member if I had one of the services in the resort like spa and spend about $30 dollars minimum there. It was fine by me.

Fast forward, I finally stepped into the restaurant I wanted to dine in because of it’s views. Though found at the resort, it had another name called Mafinga Peak Rooftop Restaurant. This place boasted a sophisticated yet informal atmosphere. There was another restaurant downstairs that I could easily access but that’s not the one I saw on booking.com. I had to get access to the rooftop restaurant.

I don’t think I want to rate their loyalty or membership programs that almost caused me to miss my dining opportunity because this is the lifeline of this resort, it’s a club hotel and ‘members only’ is the password for most services here. I am sure it has its pros but a con is definite, there are one time customers that they may miss out on that may never necessarily want to be all timers or regulars. It’s good that the way out of this was to make customers like us make use of other services as key to another.

The dining area

The dining area had two sides. One side had tables with four seats and others two seats closer to the bar area and covered by a glass demarcation and the other side that was more spacious had comfy sets of casual chairs. The theme colour was lime green a bit of white here and there with a brown floor. There was a seriousness to the place with a touch of casual. What a combo! The place can be ideal for family, business and group gathering yet perfect for an intimate or romantic get away. The beauty with this place is, the restaurant area is not all you see but as you enjoy your food, you have a beautiful view to go with it.

I loved that the place andĀ  neighborhood aren’t noisy. The music playing in the background was soothing. Rating the dining area as far as the general vibe is concerned was a 4 star. The reason for not having a 5 star was because the rooftop glass shield meant to enjoy spectacular views has to be super clean all the time because it’s glass. Had this been of other material like marble, a definite 5 star here. Glass easily shows blemish.

The other things that added a touch of beauty to the place is the fountain like structures around the restaurant that added to the relaxed mood. The orange flower pots added a touch of cheerfulness. The ceiling had beautifully hanging simple chandeliers which am sure look heavenly at night time. The rest rooms had a chocolate brown theme and the walls were slapped with modern oval mirrors.

Let’s order!

I was in the mood to have something meaty, a bit of Greek salad and my forever favorite, mashed potatoes. I want to always remember the medium grilled meat I was served. This steak was mildly charred on the outside and still had the brown all through and am sure it was a slow process to avoid it being too tough but succulent.

My Greek salad had simple yet perfect combination of tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese, crisp onions, olives in olive oil. I found my mashed potatoes creamy and full of amazing flavor. They were fluffy and well served in a cute bowl.

The bar informed me that the cocktails they had always contained egg whites and they were nice enough to ask if I was allergic. I wasn’t. Funny thing is I have forgotten the name of this cocktail but it had strawberries, fresh lime juice, gin etc. Totally loved the cute glass they used.

As far as the food was concerned, the level of yummy was definitely a 5 star and I should have congratulated the chef. I spent about 40 dollars for the meal and that’s because of some taxes to go with the kind of place. I had two of those cocktails.Wink wink.

Lasting impressions and recommendations

The place is cosy and I loved it’s vibe. The staff bent over backwards to give great service. No place is perfect but so far it’s living up to it’s stars. I would go back again but this time to enjoy the room services.

Why your 2023 bucket list should have Koh Tao (Interview)

Do you ever have those things you wanna do or achieve yet not sure of the possibility of it? We always want to tell our own story and share our own experiences but there’s some joy as well in telling someone else’s story. I love travel! Even if it involves me narrating a travel story that isn’t mine.

2023 in comparison to the previous years may just bring some more freedom in terms of travel as opposed to the Covid 19 frustrating period of 2020 to 2021. Should this be the case, am hoping we consider adding this island to our bucket list.

I had an opportunity to interview a traveller who tried out Koh Tao and from his description and experiences, it would be a cool plan to bucket list it.

So, what about Koh Tao?

This is an island in Thailand with cool touristic spots where you could scuba dive, snorkel, hike, rock climb and it has some great night spots and dive shops too.This place is said to have stunning white sand and palm-fringed beaches, tropical coral reefs, with species including whales, sharks and all sorts of marine life! Hearsay right there, but this is a kind of place to bucket list!

Isn’t this place just dreamy?

Cool ideas of how to try out Koh Tao

Q So sir, how did you get to this awesome place?

A I used a ferry called Lomprayah and the cost is around 20 Euros.

Q What affordable accomodation would you recommend?

A I would recommend Ocean View Resort “Ocean View Resort, Ko Tao. https://oceanviewresort.thailandhotels.site/en/ which is right on the best beach (Sairee Beach). Double bedroom, private big bathroom,fan, safe, small refrigerator, porch with two chairs and hangers for your clothes.Price on Agoda is around 15 Euros and if you are lucky, you could negotiate a discount in person.

Q Any other cheaper accomodation you could recommend?

A For even cheaper accomodation, you can use White Jail Hostel having one bed In a clean six bedroom, with good wifi and quiet area at night and all this for only 7 Euros.

Q What food spots are there? A Well, for your food, do try Mama Tam near Sauree Beach because there you could have pad Thai, spring rolls,fried chicken, papaya salad and fresh fruit shakes at very affordable prices starting from 3 Euros per person.

Q What food spots are there? A Well, for your food, do try Mama Tam near Sauree Beach because there you could have pad Thai, spring rolls,fried chicken, papaya salad and fresh fruit shakes at very affordable prices starting from 3 Euros per person.

Q What trips and tours can you recommend?

A The best tour you can have is the 5 places boat trip around the Island. First stop is at the private Nuan Yuan island and the entry fee is about 7 Euros. Here you have the chance to see baby sharks, sun bathe or the popular picture at the View Point.The other 4 places are best for snorkeling where besides many colourful fishes, you have the chance to swim next to a sea turtle.Boat trip price is about 14 Euros including a meal on board, coffee, tea and water, snorkeling gear and insurance.

Q What other activities are there on the island?

A Other activities on the island are beach hopping, renting a motorbike, snorkeling, diving (many diving schools here) and the most popular is chilling on Sairee Beach, enjoying a coconut oil massage while listening to the waves and taking shots of the most stunning sunsets.

Safari vibes at Chaminuka Game Reserve (Part 2)

The last time I filled you in on this safari trip, I was still on the part where I have a dream to be licked by a baby giraffe in Kenya. I have seen this happen and would like for it to be my experience but anywho this safari got me exposed to lots of animals I mentioned earlier and even the giraffe which I have not been so lucky to spot on my tours.

After seeing the animals I mentioned earlier, I then saw a handful of zebras but tonnes of impala! These animals and it’s relatives,species or look alikes do out number many animals you will see here and in most game parks maybe because the others are more shy , I don’t know but it’s either that or they breed per second!Lol! And it is for this reason that I never have the ‘WOW!’ moment when I see them because I have seen too many of them.They are otherwise a beautiful creation!

If by any chance, Zambia is on your hit list, do drop by this place and enjoy lots of their services like boat cruising, lion feeding, cheetah and elephant interaction, game driving , cheese tasting, fishing, horse riding and lots more!

The other thing I enjoyed as part of the package was the buffet lunch! There was such a wide range of foods like barbequed chicken, variety of sausages, lots of cheese types, potatoes cooked in many ways.You will thank them later but you surely need this heavy lunch after close to two and a half hours game drive and an hour boat cruise.

After the game drive, we got to a place in the game reserve where there was a water body called Lake Kasenga.If you like, you could enjoy some fishing but since this was not part of the package, it will come later I guess. The same group that I went with on the game drive was with me on the cruise. The word ‘cruise’ makes you think of the fancy boats and all but we used an ordinary looking boat that kind of looks locally made but with an engine.It still did the trick. I wish I spotted hippos here but nope. Beauty of the views and some animals coming to refresh themselves made the trip so memorable.

PRICES?

Their price ranges for some activities I recall inquiring on were as follows:

-Elephant interaction -About $30 -Cheetah experience -About $30 -Horse riding – About $30 -Lion feeding -About $12 – Boating – About $10 I did find the prices in this range but do check out their website for more or latest info : https://www.chaminuka.com

LASTING IMPRESSIONS AND OPINIONS

1) REMOTE LOCATION: The place is in the outskirts of Lusaka, Zambia and offers outdoor activities for outdoor lovers and this is one thing I loved about this place.

2) TOURISTIC: It had a touristic touch and of course that is why I am writing about it. Many tourists flock to Zambia to go to the south for the Victoria falls but this place can be described as the hidden gem for those that just don’t want the usual, ordinary or the norm.

3) PRICEY ACCOMODATION:Because it was in the outskirts, accomodation was more on the pricey side and I did a day trip for that reason but if your piggy bank is full then why not spend a longer time? My thought was for the place to consider a backpackers as well.

4) HELPFUL STAFF: The staff, absolutely organized and helpful,very professional and knowledgeable, a reason to stay there longer.

5) WOULD I RETURN? Definitely.

Lunch at Radisson Blu Hotel review

I really get bored being in one place for too long.I don’t know who suffers from this condition but it’s depressing to have a monotonous life.

Nshima

The same feeling applies to food and views.Sometimes I am okay having my traditional Zambian staple food which is called ‘nshima’ but I wouldn’t want to give my mouth a bore by having it continuously the way I see it get eaten here.

Having a mother that was a hotelier,was literally married to food and fussy about food presentation, those things kind of rubbed on to me.

I feel eating out refreshes your soul.Leave your fridge, stove, pots, pans alone and head straight to a place all that can be done for you PERFECTLY.

No one wants to visit a four or five star hotel and come back loaded heavily with disappointments.We all expect perfection or something close to it!

I had already listed lunch and the target upscale hotel in mind was Radisson Blu hotel.

I may never be sure whether Radisson Blu is a four or five star hotel but the bottom line is it is an upscale hotel where only the best should be good enough.

Being in Lusaka at that time, I took a cab and off I went only to be so well received by a guard at the main gate and the other enterance.No one wants a grumpy waiter, guard or whatever.

I chose to have my lunch at the pool side.I found just few people outside, nothing that could interfere with my looking like a weirdo taking selfish selfies or asking employees to take photos of me for me…..coast was clear, just enough noise.

LET’S ORDER!

I ordered pork spareribs and mashed potatoes. I love potatoes! This was definitely going to go well with a cocktail. And it did! There is a lot of tantalizing that goes on from order time, to eating time and since I was not in the mood to go through that agony, I found something to keep me busy.Viewing!

Let’s order

I went round the hotel enjoying site seeing.When you seek meals in an upscale hotel, even the decor and vibe of the place are a biggie!

Ablution block so clean

I went round and I must say the decor fits well in the theme of the hotel.The hotel has some lovely decor and interesting art work that clients with an eye of art would fancy.My honest opinion is they should not let the same decor up for too long.There should be some changes every now and then .

The front view of the hotel

EATING TIME!

One of things to use to rate a good restaurant as far as I am concerned is length of time of the order. It shows how efficient the staff is.Of course other things come into play like the number of clients. Judging from the length of time it took to prepare the food to it’s mouth watering taste, one may think it took forever to prepare it.

The chef took a good 30 to 40 minutes which I think is the average waiting time for the kind of meal I ordered.Besides, I even inconvenienced the chef by changing my order slightly eating into preparation time.

The first thing I noticed when I saw the food was the generous portions. I have dined out with a 25 dollars I spent on the meal but left with my stomach protesting it didn’t get enough. I was not only stuffed but satisfied.The former has to do with quantity and the latter, quality. My general rating food wise was 9 out of 10!

FINAL RATING

The location of the place is perfect if you want an urban, boutique, close to everything kind of location which was a 9 out of 10.

The staff were super helpful and friendly and this is treatment they gave not for show but if it was fake, I am glad it looked real! That was a 9 out of 10.

I however didn’t appreciate what appeared to be a mini bar right next to the pool which I believe is for those enjoying the pool.I wasn’t there to swim but my eyes told me that place needed a touch up, ASAP before more critiques spot it.

My unbiased rating is a genuine 8.9 out of 10.Experiences differ.Mine was awesome!

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