The Fort: Dine Opposite A UNESCO World Heritage Site In Mombasa

The Fort: Dine Opposite A UNESCO World Heritage Site In Mombasa

Located directly opposite the Fort Jesus UNESCO World Heritage Site is The Fort Seafood Restaurant and Pizzeria on Nkrumah Road, Mombasa 80100, Kenya. It is a newly opened eatery that was established in October 2016 by two co-owners, one an Italian and the other a Kenyan, who wanted to offer an Italian restaurant with some Swahili influence for locals and tourists to enjoy when they are visiting Fort Jesus and are in the Old Town of Mombasa. Open everyday (except Mondays) from 8.00 am – 11.00 pm, The Fort brings you the freshest and highest quality ingredients with some magnificent views of the Old Town and Fort Jesus.

Old photographs of Fort Jesus in the dining room

the fort: dine opposite a unesco world heritage site in mombasa | old photographs of fort jesus in the dining room

The restaurant has a cute dining room as well as a terrace area with outdoor seating. The dining room has a very cool, clean, fresh and simple look to it and feels spacious due to the white walls and high ceiling. The walls are covered with old photographs of the Old Town and Fort Jesus. You will feel instantly calm and relaxed whilst sitting in this eatery because of the beautiful and fresh décor within it, with that hint of history, reinforcing that you’re sitting in an area that is an important landmark for Kenyans. If you have been sightseeing at Fort Jesus during the day, the shade and welcoming vibe in The Fort will give you a chance to reenergise under the shade whilst eating some homely dishes.

Candle lit dinner by a UNESCO World Heritage Site

the fort: dine opposite a unesco world heritage site in mombasa | candle lit dinner by a unesco world heritage site

If you’re visiting The Fort in the early evening, I would recommend that you sit outside in the terrace area. The terrace area is a gorgeous little area with a few tables, each having their own candle lit lantern to create a calming and romantic atmosphere. I was especially in awe with the surroundings of the terrace that all form part of the Old Town, which has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2011. To be able to be so close to the famous buildings and to be able to see and feel the surfaces of part of the adjoining building is certainly a memorable experience. The doors of the adjacent building that you see in the photograph are over 200 years old.

The doctor prescribed dawa for all of us

the fort: dine opposite a unesco world heritage site in mombasa | the doctor prescribed dawa for all of us

There are an abundance of drinks on offer at The Fort including fresh juices such as orange, mango, passionfruit and etc. In addition, there are some mocktails such as the Raha Cocktail, which is a refreshing pineapple and mint cocktail that I would recommend. My favourite drink, however, has to be the dawa cocktail, which is a traditional Kenyan drink. It consists of water, honey, lemon and ginger and is beautifully sweet and so very memorable. “Dawa” translated from Swahili to English means “medicine” and it will definitely be what any doctor would order for his patients on a hot Kenyan day.

Break bread and share the focaccia with your family

the fort: dine opposite a unesco world heritage site in mombasa | break bread and share the focaccia with your family

I absolutely love Italian food because it has a real homely feel to it; the culture itself promotes family and the celebration of life, so visiting an Italian restaurant is always a wonderful thing to do with your close relatives and I recommend that you visit The Fort if in Mombasa. The options for starters available range from breads, soups and salads. I would have to recommend the homemade and soft focaccia bread which is accompanied by green chilies in olive oil, with a side of salt. If you feel like trying a soup that sings more Swahili inspired, then I would have to recommend the Swahili soup, which is made of coconut, tamarind and parsley.

Both pizza and pasta are recommended

both pizza and pasta are recommended

From the main items on the menu, there are a variety of choices ranging from pizza, pasta, meat and seafood dishes. I would recommend the pizza raha, which is a pineapple, tomato and mozzarella pizza. The base of the pizza was thin, but not too thin that it was swamped by the huge chunks of deliciously sweet pineapple. With crushed black pepper and a little bit of the green chilies (that accompanied the focaccia bread), you can create a contrast between sweet and spicy flavours and I can guarantee that you will devour this dish like no other. If you want a rich and filling dish for your meal, I would recommend the homemade ravioli that is stuffed with spinach and ricotta cheese and covered in butter and sage.

Caramel crème and Kenyan coffee await you

caramel crème and kenyan coffee await you

The desserts offered at The Fort are regularly updated and changing. However, at the time that I visited, I sampled the coconut and strawberry tart, which was palatable and the crème caramel, which was a stand-out dish. The crème caramel, a wibbly-wobbly classic, was made to perfection and the caramel was dark and it tasted like it had a hint of liquorice, which was wonderful. In addition to ordering a dessert, I would urge you to try the kahawa which is a black Kenyan coffee with aromatic and floral spices. With Kenya being known for its coffee, you know you have to have this hot drink during your trip.

Italian food with a Swahili flair works well

With The Fort, you are away from the hustle and bustle of Fort Jesus, yet so close to it and the Old Town at the same time; it is the perfect combination. Whether you are a local or a tourist, visiting The Fort with your family and friends is a great opportunity to make memories with food that will make you happy. Italian food accompanied by some Swahili infusion along the way is a wonderful mix and I would urge you to visit Fort Jesus and The Fort for some exceptional food. Please note that Fort Jesus and the specific area in which The Fort are based is very secure and safe; however, you are advised not to enter the confines of the Old Town without a professional tour guide due to safety concerns.

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Puja Modha has trained as a lawyer, worked as a compliance officer and is an experienced travel journalist that enjoys writing about her experiences across the world. She was born in England, her...Read more

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