House of Spices
Kiponda Street (Stone Town), Zanzibar, Tanzania
www.houseofspiceszanzibar.com - +255 (0)242231264
House of Spices Zanzibar Reviews
A Zanzibar 'Spice of Life' experience Sep 17, 2011
Located in Stone Town, the House of Spices resides in an authentic 18th century Zanzibar house. There are a few floors to the establishment. The ground floor duka sells spices and gifts, but also serves coffee and tea. The first floor contains apartments which can be rented on a long-term basis if desired. The second floor contains a wine bar with terrace seating in addition to the rooftop restaurant.
We stopped in here to have a bit of lunch before making the ferry trip from Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam. It's a bit dark inside when you first go in from the street, but is quite charming to see the gift shop and spices for sale. It is also decorated in an old world style that I liked, and it seemed appropriate to the authentic old world style of the building too. The stairs are dark and steep too, like you would expect in such an old building. The authenticity was great.
Reaching the third floor it opens on the left to the wine bar and on the right to the rooftop restaurant. It is a long rectangular seating area with open air and light from the outside. Rustically decorated and quite nice. It seemed the perfect place to have a lunch. One aspect I liked is that you can observe the chefs preparing food from either side of the restaurant (from the entrance side kitchen to the far side brick oven).
The food selection here seemed to be more Mediterranean than local, but the menu is very appealing with a good variety. My traveling companions ordered Pizza for themselves and their son. I decided to try the sausages. While waiting for our dishes there was time to look at their very instructive Spice Book, which tells all about the various spices, where they come from, what they are used for, etc.
Well, the food was great. My sausages were definitely not the processed, packaged kind from a factory, but locally made most likely. I had some of the pizza too, and while perhaps not the thin crust variety I like from Southern Italy and Sicily (which I consider real Mediterranean pizza) it was equal to what you would find in other parts of Italy to the north. Of course, nicely spiced food is the expectation here, and it delivers that with an extra bit of flavor!
In short, I liked this place very much. The old world building and decor, in addition to the open air dining area, along with some very good food, earns it five stars with me. I was very satisfied the by the ambiance and the meal. I have no hesitations in recommending House of Spice for what it offers. Check it out if you visit Stone Town in Zanzibar - It's a great 'Spice of Life' experience.
Part of the Under African Skies (Sep. 5-19, 2011) travel blog
Part of the list Tanzania: Review List
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