Part 2…Le Cafe at Lantana Galu Beach…Price shocker at end of post…

The flowers that lined the walkway from the main building at Lantana Galu Beach to the outdoor path were absolutely breathtaking. What a perfect spot for a wedding!

The menu at Le Café at Lantana Galu Beach was a plethora of appetizers, meats, poultry, fish, shellfish, and side dishes suitable for the finicky of diners.

Vegetarian options were available as well as foods easily amenable to my low carb, gluten-free, starch-free, grain-free, sugar-free diet. There were more possible combinations than we’ve seen on any other menus thus far in Kenya. 

I never doubted for a moment that the chef would make an error in the preparation of my restricted meal.  The elegance and grace of the establishment bespoke a keen sensitivity to the needs of its customers.

The service, flawless. With neither of us starving, we didn’t partake in any appetizers or salad. Most certainly, next time we go to Le Café, we’ll surely experiment trying more dishes.

My dinner:  Seasoned Grilled Red Snapper with sautéed non-starchy vegetables

My plate, as shown above, was flavorful, albeit the lack of sauces and starchy side dishes. It may sound difficult, if not impossible, for a restricted diner such as myself to assess the quality of food without the usual sauces and side dishes.

In my perception, the true test of a great restaurant is in their ability to masterfully take the simplest of foods with the least amount of ingredients to ultimately turn out an epicurean delight. This was accomplished at Le Café with finesse. 

An otherwise bland snapper resulted in a flaky and flavorful entrée, enhanced with the subtle use of local spices, grilled at precisely the correct time and temperature, and presented with this perfect blend of al dente sautéed vegetables. 

Notice the lack of veggies on Tom’s plate?  He requested they be placed on a separate plate to be handed over to me.  I did the same with my potatoes, handing them over to him.

My only suggestion for my dinner was to have smaller carrot bites to avoid the necessity of cutting, as my knife couldn’t quite tackle the job. Secondly, the pea pods could have been strung more completely to avoid that awful green string, stuck in the back of one’s throat, and struggling to find a gracious manner of extracting it.

A simple tomato and cucumber garnish adds the finest little touch.  Tom gave me this also.  The only raw vegetables he’ll eat in carrots and celery.

For beverages, Tom had two local Tusker bottled beer approximately half-liter each (16.9 oz.) and I had my once a week treat of one Coke Light (sugar-free) with lots of ice and a straw, switching to water when done.  (The water at Le Café is purified as if often the case at the finer restaurants in Kenya. We suggest you ask, if unsure as to the purity of the water). 

After our walk back to the main building, once again, we were mesmerized by these gorgeous fresh flowers.

HERE’S THE SHOCKER, FOLKS!!! Our entire dinner including beverages was Kenya Shillings $2500 which translates to US $28.61 (including tax and service fee!).  We added a tip for our server for Kenya Shillings $1000, US $11.44 for a grand total of Kenya Shillings $3500, US $40.06!

The buds for the sweet-smelling flowers was intoxicating, as in a fine perfume.

With our cab fare and tip for Kenya Shillings $1500, US $17.16, our entire total for the evening at an extraordinary resort, a memorable dining experience, and service beyond all reproach, was US $57.22! 

An exterior window of one of the units was adorned with more of these flowers.

So far, of our four Diani Beach restaurant experiences over the past four weeks, Le Café at Lantana Galu Beach is vying for first place with Sails Restaurant on our list for ambiance, service, food choices, food quality, and much to our surprise, in price. We’ll be back!

Wouldn’t this make a lovely bridal bouquet?

 

Just as we began to exit the main door, this red plant caught Tom’s eye.

 

 

Part 1…Le Cafe at Lantana Galu Beach…We’ll be back…

Last night, our waiter at Le Café at Lantana Galu beach offered to take a photo of us. Gee, we’ve lost our tans.

With a solid recommendation from Hans plus numerous excellent reviews on TripAdviser.com, we decided to try Le Café at Lantana Galu Beach last night for our Saturday dinner date night.

Although only a very short distance, the drive to the property took nearly 10 minutes over the bumpiest road we’ve seen so far in Kenya; unpaved, laden with potholes, definitely not suitable for the queasy.  Heading south on the road outside our property for the first time, we were distracted by the various resorts we’d yet to visit, making the bouncy ride less annoying.

This is the entrance to the main building.  A long walk was required on a poorly lit path in order to reach the restaurant located on the beach. It proved to be well worth the walk.

The excitement of trying a new restaurant each Saturday night creates a refreshing sense of anticipation after a few days of quiet contemplation in our outdoor living room.

With us, there’s always a bit of trepidation of going out. We seldom dined out in our old life. But, this is our new life that includes making the effort to find something to wear and get ourselves out the door.

The waiting area in the lobby of the resort.  Apartments and condos are sold at this resort to later be rented and managed by the company, a similar concept we experienced at LaruBeya where we lived for over two months in Belize.

In every case, once we’re on our way, we smile at each other, thrilled that once again we’ve pushed ourselves to explore, try something new, step further outside the box. We now realize how complacent, we’d become in the past with the comfort of an established routine of staying home.  There’s no room for complacency in our lives now with so much world to see!

As we began the walk outdoors toward the beach, we turned around hoping to capture the main building behind us.
John at the front desk was friendly, welcoming us with much enthusiasm.

As the taxi driver, Chris pulled up to the resort, we were immediately struck by the massive wood security doors opening only after a security guard checked us out, confirmed our reservation and allowing us to enter.  


The long walk through the complex began through this elegant walkway lined with pillars and the most beautiful flowers.  The air was permeated with their intoxicating scent.

The awe-inspiring entrance immediately sets the tone for what we’d anticipated being a special evening. We weren’t disappointed. John, the concierge, pointed us down the flower-covered walkway directing us to follow the long path toward the ocean and the pool where we’d find the restaurant.
What’s with my outfit?  My skirt was wrinkled and misshapen. Do I really have to start ironing again?
Always smiling!  Wrinkled clothes don’t phase him, not his, not mine!
Having seen photos online, we knew if we could find the pool, we’d have reached our destination. After walking for several minutes, we’d begun to wonder if we’d gone the right way. We forged ahead to the sound of the surf which proved to be the perfect guide.
These are the apartment buildings where units are sold to owners for their own use and to rent to tourists, managed by the resort. As we continue on the walk, we passed many smaller buildings with individual condo units. Poorly lit we didn’t want to disturb occupants with our camera flash.
In the US and other countries, there are endless codes and ordinances requiring handrails, lighted walkways, and stable pathways with the intent of reducing injury and accommodating the elderly and/or disabled. 
Le Café is located by this outstanding swimming pool, creatively designed to capture the essence of the subtle Moroccan theme of tranquility and splendor.
In Kenya and many other parts of the world that we’ve visited thus far, no such codes exist or, if they do, they aren’t enforced.  Even the finest establishments are lax in providing ample lighting and stable walking areas when often a long walk is required from the road to the beach.
Notice how the server in this photo was waiting for us. Apparently, John at the front desk had called ahead alerting him to our pending arrival. 
Mindful of this situation, especially after our horrible fall when the steps collapsed beneath us in Belize, we take special precautions when walking on uneven and poorly lit grounds. 
Shortly after we arrived a small group gathered at the far right end of the bar, resulting in lively and animated banter pleasing to hear and see. But the conversation wasn’t lacking at our quiet table for two, with many staff members graciously stopping by to chat and welcome us, as we gushed over our memorable experience.
Both blind, Tom’s mother (sadly lost to us 5 years ago) and brother Jerome resulted in Tom learning to be the perfect guide over rough terrain. Also, after years of working the rough roads in train yards, he’s adept at managing the worst of conditions. Me, the “queen of trip and fall,” always in a hurry until now, paid little mind to what was under my feet.
It was easy to imagine a sunny day lounging in these chairs, dipping in the pool from time to time.
Last night, as we made our way in the dark, my champion at my side, I felt safe and secure that we’d arrive in one piece. Of course, we did, our mouths agape at what we encountered when we arrived at Le Café.
Looking at Tom, as we entered the restaurant, I said, “Even if the food is mediocre, I am happy to be here.” It was that breathtaking! The food was not mediocre!

 

This footbridge over a portion of the pool was clearly a photo op. I should toss this frumpy shapeless skirt having one less item to pack.
Seated at our table of choice closest to the pool and the beach, the guest’s comfort in this unique establishment was obviously of utmost concern. As we sunk into the exquisite padded chairs we couldn’t help but notice the soft bright white linen tablecloth and the matching napkins, appropriately placed on our laps, as a flurry of discrete activity skittered around us.
Our drink orders filled, the menus delivered at precisely the correct moment, we were greeted by name by the kindly General Manager Gillie, with whom I’d made the reservation online. What a nice touch! Chatting with her for several minutes, we felt welcomed and at home.
These were only two pages of a multiple page menu.
Our waiter, graciously served our needs, answered questions, didn’t bother us too much, somehow knew exactly how we preferred to be served. Later, the restaurant manager stopped by, offering his welcome, asking a few questions about our stay in Kenya, inviting us to return for more lavish care. We will. We absolutely will!
Tomorrow, we’ll post Part 2 (memory issues at this time restrict the number of photos posted at one time) with our menu selections (including the accommodation of my food restrictions) with photos and, the unbelievable pricing for an evening well spent along with the total cost for our evening including taxes, cab fare, and tips.