Never have my DM’s been on fire as much as when I visited Bandaa, a brand new restaurant in Hatch End serving all the popular, nostalgic and classic Kenyan dishes.
My first impressions of the restaurant itself were that it is lovely and spacious with a stunning bar as you enter to the left. The decor has got lots of Kenyan influences but is also trendy and contemporary with flower walls and lovely earthy colours.
The menu is really extensive and it was so hard to choose what to try. In hindsight I wish we had come in a group so that we could have tried more dishes but we will definitely be back to try the rest to give a more balanced review and also to see if the service is different to when we visited.
Please note that this review is based on what we tried and so is subject to change when I visit again.
Please note we also visited when it was super new and so I’d like to visit again once it’s been running a few weeks for a fairer review.
To kick off with though, I ordered a Dawa cocktail and Amit ordered a Tusker beer. Their Dawa was made with Grey Goose Vodka, African honey, brown sugar and zesty lime juice.
The Dawa was delicious and was easy to drink! We enjoyed our cocktails whilst nibbling on Chilli Korosho with Peanuts, which was kindly compliments of the chef.
When I saw Mombasa Mix on the menu I knew it had to definitely be ordered and it was nice. I liked this dish and found it to be full of flavour and it had a nice fiery kick balanced with the creamy and cooling coconut chutney. It was a decent sized portion as a starter but could have been bigger. They also had Kachri bateta available which I want to try next time.
Amit tried the Mbuzi Mshkaki (char-grilled lamb with onion and peppers) and we thought that the portion could have also been a little bit bigger.
Mains was the toughest decision to make as we literally wanted everything! We settled on an Egg Chapati served with salad and a trio of sauces.
It was tasty and they had other options of fillings available like paneer.
We also shared the Chooza Chicken, which was a good portion and the meat was well marinated and full of flavour. This was served with a portion of chips and salad.
I also could not resist ordering the Gatundus Kachumbari chips, which if you know, you know! They were nice and the sauce was tasty.
I also tried their signature cocktail, Hakuna Matata, which was a blend of Plantation Spiced Rum, coconut rum, cherry brandy, banana liquer and pineapple juice.
As it was days within opening, the service was still finding its feet and so there were quite a few delays with dishes on our table and neighbouring tables and quite a few teething problems with some dishes not as hot when they arrived at the table. It also took a long time for us to get our bill but we gave our feedback on the night.
I would say try it once if you are missing Kenyan food and want a taste of home but be aware that the service may not be perfect.
It was mid-high range when it came to pricing so that is something to also keep in mind. As it was the last day of Eat Out To Help Out we got £20 off our bill.
I will update this post with more dishes that I try from my next visit so that I have a more balanced view. If you go let me know what you try and what your thoughts were!
Address : Bandaa, 461 Uxbridge Rd, Pinner, HA5 4JS (lots of parking on the parade)
Opening hours: 12:30pm-11pm except Mondays till 10:30pm & Weekends till 12am