Eating in Moshi: Kaliwa Restaurant, the first Thai themed restaurant

Kaliwa Restaurant  is relatively new, it’s been open for a couple of months now (ever since Ramadhan), the restaurant is open for business from 11:00 am to 11:00 m. We have had the pleasure of visiting the joint twice the first time was a sisterly treat and the second time was a group dinner. Being a new business is tough but being a new business with a new concept and that too in Moshi is tougher (I know, I own a business in Moshi) so I’m going to try to be as fair as possible in this review. Fair to the restaurant’s owner and her customer.

The atmosphere:

The space...

The space…

Kaliwa Thai is and open restaurant surrounded by trees and a beautiful garden. It may feel a little intimidating to get in because it is quiet and enclosed in a live fence however once you are in, the furnishing is delightful to the eye; the tables are well spaced and with calming lavender linen (at least on the two occasions that we visited); and the choice of music is relaxing. Their kitchen is setup in away that allows you to see right through and have a look at what the chef and his team are doing. They have some sculptures and puppets that I suppose should enhance the Thai feeling but having never been to Thailand, Burma or the likes they bore no meaning to me and added no value to my overall experience (it would have been nice if they had some explanations attached to them or if they managed a puppet show). I must mention that they have a table and bench area  for larger groups, I can imagine someone hosting a kid’s birthday party at the joint.

The menu

Their menu is written on black boards.

Their menu is written on black boards.

They serve a three course menu with at least three items each (you are free to choose any item, you don’t have to order from starter to dessert). I had the pleasure of trying their basil beef, chili beef and stir fried veggies. I was slightly disappointed that the basil beef had no basil but the overall taste was good enough. The stir fried veggies are something I would go for a second time, they were a delight. Main course is priced between 7500-9500 Tshs ( I hope I remember the figures correctly) and the fresh juices are priced at 3000 Tshs . So far I have not liked their juices- pretty sour (Check out a video of me having the lemonade – my face when having very sour lemonade).

The rice potion size may not suffice someone with a big appetite but you can order an extra potion; it was sufficient for me and my sister though.

The service:

Their service was outstanding, the waiters and waitresses are patient and accommodating; the most friendly service I have experienced in Moshi. It is actually the best service I have received since ‘The Palm’ restaurant at Kilimanjaro Kempinski (now, Hyatt Regency, the Kilimanjaro).


It’s a place that I would go to once in a while to entertain guests.

Check out, Kaliwa Thai- first impression video

Tips on enjoying your time at Kaliwa Thai:

  1. Carry mosquito repellant lotions/creams; it’s an outdoor restaurant surrounded with a garden so there are plenty of mosquitoes.
  2. Request that the chef goes light on the salt (sometimes the meals come too salty).
  3. If you order the lemonade keep in mind that they add soda water to make it fizzy so if you don’t like that you can opt out but remember to request for lots of sugar syrup, water and ice cubes to desaturate it.
  4. The side salad that comes with the beef main course contains peanuts so if you are allergic, tell the waiters.
Basil beef and white rice.

Basil beef and white rice.


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