May 2015 Trip Review

“African Cooking with Indian Flavors”


Emily and I each ordered a drink from their cocktail menu…


I noticed that the Kande Coconut Cooler that I had enjoyed on my one and only other visit to Sanaa in 2011 was still on their menu, as was the Malawi Mango Margarita that my oldest daughter had.


Malawi Mango Margarita (a frozen blend of Tequila, Van der Hum Tangerine Liqueur from South Africa, Mango Puree, and freshly squeezed Lime Juice) and Kande Coconut Cooler (a refreshing combination of Starr African Rum, Coconut, Vanilla Ice Cream, and Orange Juice)

These were both great so I suggested to Emily that we order them. When the server came to the table to take our drink orders, he asked for mine first. Knowing how much Emily likes mango, I assumed that she would order the margarita. So therefore I again ordered the Kande Coconut Cooler. But then Emily surprised me by ordering the African Starr Mojito. This was the first of many times that my kids would surprise me with their food and beverage choices on this trip, as you will see. ;)



On the left is my Kande Coconut Cooler (same description as above) and on the right is Emily’s African Starr Mojito with Starr African Rum, Van der Hum Tangerine Liqueur (from South Africa), fresh mint, and a slice of lime.

We started our rating system with this meal. Everything will be rated between 1 and 5.

1 = Complete and utter failure
2 = Not good
3 = Okay
4 = Good
5 = Very Good/Excellent

Emily’s was actually the better of our two drinks and she gave it a rating of 4. My drink did not taste anything like the Kande Coconut Cooler which I had 4 years ago. With that one you could definitely taste the vanilla ice cream that was one of its listed ingredients. This drink had no creamy flavor, it tasted mostly like watered-down (from the abundance of ice in it) orange juice with just a hint of coconut and a dash of rum. I rechecked the drink’s ingredients on the menu, thinking that they must have changed but that was not the case. Therefore, I would have to give my cocktail a 2.

Our server recommended that we order their Indian-style bread service, but the kids weren’t interested and I couldn’t manage it on my own so had to pass. :sad1: And sadly we also didn’t see any appetizers on the dinner menu that we were tempted to order…


So we moved right along to our entree choices…


After looking at the options, I was fairly certain that my son would choose the steak and my daughter the Tandoori chicken. Well, I was half right. ;)

My son did in fact order the steak…


Grilled New York Strip topped with spiced butter and served with Tunisian Olive Oil Crushed Potatoes and Seasonal Vegetables

Unfortunately this was very fatty and he rated it only a 2. We all exchanged tastes of our meats, and I would have to agree with him. That steak was not good. :sad2:

Emily was the first to order her entree and she again surprised me by ordering this…


South African Braai Sampler Platter – From left to right: Pork Tenderloin, Boerewor Sausage, and a Lamb Chop served with Seasonal Accompaniments

Other than the Pork Tenderloin (which we all agreed was a solid 4, bordering on a 5), she gave this entree a 3.

I was planning to order the Lamb Shank or the Braai Lamb, up until the time that Emily ordered the sampler platter rather than the Tandoori Chicken which I thought she would order. ;) Seeing that her entree included a lamb chop, I quickly changed my mind and for the sake of diversity ordered the…

Tandoori Chicken with Basmati Rice, Lime, and Coriander

I have to admit that this looked really good but sadly it tasted just okay, as it was rather bland. I gave it a 3.

And since we were planning to check out the offerings in the concierge lounge later, we passed on ordering dessert here.

So the highlight of our dinner at Sanaa was the pork tenderloin, one of the three meats served with the South African Braai Sampler Platter…


It was well-seasoned, tender and flavorful. It’s a pity that the Pork Tenderloin is not offered as a stand-alone entree at Sanaa.

And though the pork tenderloin was good, the rest of our dinner was either not good or just okay. Therefore our overall rating for the first meal of our trip was a disappointing 3 (Okay). Everyone seems to love Sanaa so I was really surprised by our lackluster dinner there. I thought we were starting our trip with a slam dunk dinner choice but it turned out to be more like an air ball. :worried:

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