A Taste of Italy at Radisson Blu’s Festa Italiana

written by Anthony Mbugua 13th June 2019

They say the trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later you’ll be hungry for more and I am. When you think of Italian dining, what comes to mind is definitely lots of pasta, cheese and wine, am I right? On the 8th of June, Radisson Blu Nairobi organized the Festa Italiana that opened up a whole new world of rich flavours of the Italian cuisine. A perfect Saturday night is what you get when you combine Italian fine dining, great table conversations, opera music and, yes, you guessed it, bottomless sangria and gin cocktails.


The Minestrone soup couldn’t have been a better dish for this cold weather. It was hearty and thick with vegetables that included celery, broccoli and more, which I had with bread and some butter. The flavour and aroma of the vegetables were more prominent in this traditional Italian soup. One could tell the soup was low on bold flavours to prepare the palate for more to come. I was ready!

Hot dishes

The Head Chef, Chef Wissem does more than just prepare delicious food, he creates an impressively unforgettable experience with the dishes. He recommended the Lasagne al Forno as well as the Prosciutto pizza. A creamy with a gooey texture could be felt on the lasagne which made it delectable. The cheese in the lasagne, however, did not overpower the other flavours bringing out a balanced combination. Pizza is a love triangle most of us happily enjoy and the Prosciutto was no different. It was crusty on the edges and chewy and less gummy than your usual pizza.

Live pasta station

I think my new pasta spot is Radisson Blu Nairobi. Tortellini, ravioli, pappardelle, tagliatelle and maltagliati pasta were being served here. The ravioli and tortellini were on point served with some broth. Your Italian experience is not complete without some ravioli.

Crudo Bar

This cold cut station had the beef carpaccio, marinated kingfish, octopus and salmon. The thinly sliced beef carpaccio is a perfect appetizer because of its freshness and because it is served with vegetables. You might be unsure of raw meat like I was, but my fears were squashed and it actually turned out to be a tantalizing hors d’oeuvre.

Fritto Misto

My love for seafood made me bubbly with excitement as I headed to the Fritto Misto station. I had freshly fried shrimps and let me say, their shrimps are life! They were a bit crunchy, soft on the inside and hot enough for the ‘sweater-weather’ night. Not everything needs to be sauced up so I enjoyed the shrimps as they were. The live cooking station also had calamari and octopus for those who are a little food-ventourous.

Brasato di Manzo

It took 24-hours to marinate the braised beef in red wine for it to taste as delicious as it did. The sight of the beef was appetizing enough. The red wine was well soaked in the beef, giving it a sweet flavour. The beef was soft and chewy which made it all the more enjoyable. I know many fear overcooked or undercooked beef but this had a great balance.

Arancini are like meatballs, but way better. They were filled with risotto rice and then fried, giving them a doughy taste. They were lumpy in shape and had a slightly rough texture on the outside. It was an interesting way to have risotto rice.


If some of us had the power to turn everything into dessert, it would be a delicious world but we have to live with what we have. The desserts were plentiful just like the dishes. There was so much to choose from I’m sure I’d need a whole day to have everything. I had the fruit tarts, Zeppole and the Zabaglione. The jelly and cream between the small-sized Zeppole pastry buns made them tasty and the softness was an excellent mix to the flavour. The creamy Zabaglione dessert was a perfect way to end the evening. Radisson Blu Nairobi is definitely the spot for an awesome dinner buffet.

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