Searching for the Perfect Barbecue in Nairobi, Kenya

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Nyama choma, “grilled meat” in Kiswahili, is barbecue stripped down to its raw elements. There are no sticky-sweet glazes here, just plenty of smoke, fire and, of course, hulking portions of bone-in meat. It is also Kenya’s most celebrated dish, equally loved by rural villagers and the country’s wealthy elite.

Restaurants serving nyama choma range from humble roadside shacks to the kitschy, upscale Carnivore (tamarind.co.ke/carnivore), where the meat comes skewered on Masai swords.

But the best of the bunch may be relative newcomer, Herisquare (herisquare.co.ke), a sprawling space with a lush courtyard for long afternoons and a dancefloor spinning everything from the African lingala (also called soukous) to hip-hop late into the evening. It may be low on frills, but the barbecue is good enough to fill the car park every night with Mercedes from Nairobi’s poshest neighbourhoods.


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