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Welcome to the first ever Yummy Test Kitchen

A day in the life of food on the go

Ugandans streamline their national snack

Vol.4.5 May 2018














IN VINO EAT THE VERITAS STREET You don’t have to be a wine expert to enjoy a good glass of wine, argues Katy Fentress, There is so much to discover in the world of East African side of the road eats discovers who is happy to have passed the responsibility of curating this month’s wine section to Katy Fentress who is proud to introduce the first ever Yummy Street Food issue. someone unarguably more qualified than her.


hile strolling down the streets of my hometown Rome last year, I was surprised to see a shop with a sign outside that read (in English) “Roman Street Food”. The sign left me a bit perplexed as the place was selling regular sandwiches which are not, to the best of my 20 year living there knowledge, Roman street food. In my opinion, Roman street food falls into two categories: snacks and square sliced pizza. The first category, snacks, is pretty straightforward and comprises of little more than roasted chestnuts, boiled lupin beans and big slightly sweet green olives. The second category is a bit more vague because technically sliced pizza is made in an oven and served in a bakery, so calling it street food is a bit of a stretch of the imagination. The existence of that sign, in an albeit touristy area, rammed home the fact that street food is now officially a trend and that even places that don’t technically have a huge street food culture like Rome, are now jumping on the bandwagon. Nairobi, unlike Rome, has an

extremely vibrant street food culture upon which much of the economy hinges and which will inevitably and for the foreseeable future resist any efforts at being gentrified. I don’t have much in the way of data, but I’d wager that the amount of people in Nairobi who depend on their trusted kibanda (shack) for their middle of the day culinary needs, is probably somewhere near the 70% mark. Kibanda dining is wholesome, it is straightforward, it is extremely nutritious and if you thought you were going there for exotic and spicy food, then you are in the wrongest of places. In case you are unfamiliar with Kibanda eating protocol, we have compiled for you the essential “13 commandments of Kibanda dining” [p35] just to help you navigate this important cornerstone of Kenyan culture. One type of Kenyan celebration and street food that is fantastic but could nonetheless benefit from a little bit of a gourmet facelift, is the mutura blood sausage. I’m not saying it’s not very delicious on its own, but any advances in cooking, preserving

and spicing up techniques would not be completely misplaced. It is now, however, available in some restaurants, as discovers an thrilled Winnie Wangui in her “Bona Fide Sausage” article on page 38. One of the main features in this month’s magazine is the Jamaican Street Festival Test kitchen piece [p28], which would never have happened without the recipe development and food styling of the excellent Sneha Modi. Hopefully this will open up for Yummy a whole new era of in-house food creation and photography. Watch this space! Fun street food related articles also include the day in the life of Nairobi street snacks [p36], a piece by our Ugandan contributor Malcolm Bigyemano on streamlining Rollex production in Kampala [p41], a walk through a Zanzibari food market [p43] and a new adventure in Marah Köberle’s world of pickling and fermentation [p45]. Elsewhere in her regular restaurant review article, Susan Wong is excited to discover that the Korean/Japanese tapas bar that recently opened in the new

Village Market wing, fully meets her arguably high expectations. While we have done some amount of work on highlighting regional foods we have at our disposal we have, of course, only really begun to scratch the surface. We could do an entire issue exclusively on the crazy Swahili flavours associated with Mombasa street for example and when it comes to what neighbouring Ethiopia, Somalia and Rwanda do for casual side of the road snacking, we really have no idea. Which is good as it gives us an excuse to do this again next year! Follow Katy on IG: @lakitchenwitch

Katy Fentress Katy Fentress Editor In Chief Editor In Chief


MAY 2018



JAMAICAN FESTIVAL Food stylist Sneha Modi gets creative for her first ever Test Kitchen menu inspired by the festive streets of Jamaican Carnivals

FINGER ON THE PULSE 07 Social Scene: Wine Festival 08 Social Scene: Boiler Room 11 New Restaurants 12 News and Events 16 EatOut Picks: On a Stick 18 Kahawa Allstars: EA Wave 23 Anyiko's List: What's Hot TRIED AND TESTED 25 Foodies We Love: Wamboi Kay 26 Susan Eats: Korean bites 45 In a Pickle: Swahili Goodness 25 Wine Corner: Festival Tour 49 Man About Town: Love Lost

36 NAIROBI STREETS Contributor Viviane Wandera takes us through a day in the life of eating food from the streets of Nairobi

EAT THE STREET 38 Dish spotlight: mutura 41 Kampalan Missive: Rollex Factory 43 Around Africa: Zanzibari Pizza 46 Q&A: Street Bistro 56 Trivia: Venice of the East


YUMMY Vol. 4.5 · May 2018 · PUBLISHED BY EATOUT, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED MANAGING DIRECTOR Mikul Shah GM Michelle Slater EDITOR IN CHIEF: Katy Fentress STAFF WRITER Winnie Wangui CONTRIBUTORS Malcolm Bigyemano, Jackson Biko, Josiah Kahiu, Marah Koberle, Robert Kunga, Sneha Modi, Anyiko Owoko, Viviane Wandera, Wendy Watta, Susan Wong DESIGN John Njoroge, Brian Siambi DIGITAL TEAM: Fred Miwthiga, Sylvia Onsoti DISTRIBUTION Leroy Buliro SALES, MARKETING & OPERATIONS Susan Gathara, Gilbert Chege, Daniel Muthiani, Jane Naitore, Angela Omondi, Joy Wairimu, Vanessa Wanjiku PHOTOGRAPHY Peter Ndung’u, Brian Siambi IT Douglas Akula, Erick Kiiya, Asim Mughal SALES INQUIRIES 0711 22 22 22 EMAIL PRINTED BY English Press






MARAH KÖBERLE Author of our popular “In a Pickle” column, Marah is a self-confessed sucker for street food from all corners of the world. Her nostalgic favourite though are Pretzels from her hometown in Bavaria, and on her yearly pilgrimage home, she makes sure she fully indulges in them at a favourite small, family-owned bakery in the Alps.

MALCOLM BIGYEMANO A massive fan of Ugandan chapatis, our Ugandan correspondent Malcolm Bigyemano likes his street food carb-heavy and super oily. He is not ashamed to admit he eats chapati every single day, but would never try making them at home as they lack the flavour of “dust, grime, passing traffic and the cumulative taste of the skillet’s past chapati”

VIVIANE WANDERA While researching her “Nairobi Street Food” article this month, Viviane got to indulge in her absolute favourite Kenyan street snack “Sausage Choma”. She confesses to eating it every single day and even making it at home on occasion. Her streetfood list of desires currently includes trying out falafels and tacos for the first time.

WENDY WATTA A lover of Swahili street food, NOMAD magazine Associate Editor Wendy Watta indulges in it every time she travels to the Coast. As she doesn’t really have a sweet tooth, she is drawn to things like viazi karai and bhajia served up with a tangy tamarind sauce or kachumbari. She plans to embark on a culinary tour of South East Asia in the near future.

LUCKY WINNER Congratulations to Ann Wanja who, after correctly answering the question: what is an oenologist (someone who studies wine and wine making) and what is the name of the Yummy magazine one (Josiah Kahiu), was randomly selected to win a pair of tickets to Nairobi’s first ever Wine Festival!



To participate just answer this question: name three restaurants on the EatOut app which have 20% meal discount offers. The winner will be selected at random from the list of correct answers





NAIROBI WINE WEEK The first ever Nairobi Wine Festival kicked off in style on May 5th at J’s Fresh and Bar in Westlands. Guests were given the full red carpet treatment and welcomed by a stylish team that looked like they’d just walked off the set of a Janelle Monae video. Following the two-day event, Nairobians got an entire week to take advantage of amazing discounts and two-for-one wine offers at selected restaurants across the city.



TRUE MUSIC KENYA Earlier in May the famous music streaming platform Boiler Room, put on its one-of-akind True Music Africa show at the Alchemist Bar, which was broadcast around the world live with the support of its global partner Ballantines Whisky. A handful of Kenya’s up and coming DJs, representatives of the NuNairobi electronica movement, and the music powerhouse that is MDQ, were selected to showcase the best of Kenyan contemporary and electronic music styles for one night only. You can rewatch the magic as it happens on:



Pernod Ricard





KAMPALAN CLASS The eatery that has everyone talking Cafe Javas, or CJs as it brands itself, is the first Ugandan branch of its kind in Kenya and since opening the doors of its beautifully stylish glass-fronted establishment, has firmly made itself the talk of the town. Located along Koinange Street, CJ’s provides a perfect backdrop for after work coffee and meals but alas no alcohol.

COFFEE HOME Parklands becomes home to an all new cafe This warm and welcoming restaurant located at Doctor’s Plaza, Parklands, serve up light snacks, salads, burgers, steaks, fish and chicken dishes. Their coffee promises to pep you up in the morning and if you’re more in a mood for a cold drink, their craft beers, cocktails and wine selection are all worthy of mention.

FOLLOW THE HASHTAG Sweet Temptations At #Cafe Located at City Lodge at Two Rivers Mall, the menu at #Cafe promises to give you irresistable temptations. Bright and airy, it serves as a great spot to unwind and catch a breath from the hustle and bustle of the city all while the beautiful view of the dense Karura forest urging you to linger after your meal, sipping on a glass of your favourite drink.



TANGO FUN Drink,Dance and Pizza!

Head down to Kilifi from the 30th of May to the 3rd of June to dance under the stars by the while basking in a warm sea breeze to the sound of traditional Argentinian tango notes. Take advantage of daily workshops with the world class maestro Dante Culcuy, enjoy happy hour every day from 5 to 7 and top it off with a pizza night on Friday June 1st!


This month’s Urban Nite will showcase a live performance by the talented Idd Aziz at the Village Market Food Court on 25th May from 6pm to 9pm. Head over and enjoy his afrocentric tunes accentuated by the guitar, flute and other African percussions. Entry is Free!

TASTE THE WAGYU Japanese-Kenyan Beef If you love the burgers at Sierra Burger and Wine then you are in for a treat. Experience an exclusive four course Wagyu beef dinner at their exquisite Kitchen Table every Tuesday from 22nd May and take your taste buds on a culinary journey they will most likely never forget. Space is limited so be sure to reserve a spot, by calling 020 356068.



GET CHARGED! Rhino Charge Goes To Narok


Kenya’s most gruelling off-road 4x4 competition is back and will be happening on 2nd June in Narok. The event is organised in order to raise funds to support the activities of the Rhino Ark Charitable Trust. To book your spectator ticket, visit Who knows you might just get to watch a car flip!


Easy Like Sunday Brunch Experience a 80s vibe over Sunday brunch at the former freedom fighters watering hole that is the Flame Tree restaurant at Sarova Panafric. Indulge in their tasty brunch treats as you bop your head to live music by their in-house eclectic band. Brunch starts from 12pm to 4pm every Sunday for Ksh. 3499 for adults y Ksh. 1750 for kids.







ON A STICK It’s one of the oldest forms of cooking known to humanity: however civilised or sophisticated we may become, we are always fascinated by the primal appeal of a piece of skewered meat rotating over an open fire. Images of our ancestors as they discovered the joys of sweet yet savoury cooked meat spring to mind and it is precisely this appeal that keeps people from all over the world revisiting over and over again this age old tradition. Here in cosmopolitan Nairobi, whether it be a mshikaki, gyros or shawerma you are after, options are increasing and there is no better time than the present to try them out! ROADHOUSE GRILL After being visited by the world famous Celebrity Chef Anthony Bourdain earlier this year, Roadhouse Grill’s star definitely began glowing stronger and harder than ever before. The fact that this joint’s parking lot is often so full that people have to park by the roadside, is proof that their grills and bountiful mshikaki skewers really are worth the trip. GYROS 2 GO Gyros from the Greek islands are similar to the shawarmas commonly made in Turkey but are markedly different in taste and presentation. At Gyros-2-Go, servings are big in size and ooze with savoury homemade sauces and delightful pickles. Located

in Valley Arcade Gyros-2-Go serve grass-fed beef and their lamb and chicken are marinated overnight. SANTORINI Greek food stands out for the way it elevates simple ingredients to deliciously delicate dishes. Which is what makes the Santorini Greek Deli at Village Market such a refreshing addition to this gourmet Nairobi food court. Brought to you by the founders of Sugar and Spice at Yaya center, expect beef and chicken gyros, salads, dips and of course baklava. HASHMI BARBEQUE For as long as anyone can remember the team at Hashmi’s kitchen have been cranking out some of the best

Indian-style mshikaki and kebabs in the entire city. The restaurant is so popular that at lunch time they firmly close their doors at 2pm on the dot and no amount of pleading can convince them to stick a naan and chicken on a stick in the tandoori for you. CEDARS RESTAURANT With their relaxed ambiance and extensive children’s play area, this Lebanese eatery is the perfect place for a long leisurely lunch indulging in their marinated chicken taouk (Middle Eastern mshikaki), succulent lamb koftas and sumptuous mezze plates. During lunch hour if you are short on time and in the Lenana road area, they also serve up a mean

shawarma roll that can be eaten on the go. BOBOS BISTRO When it comes to meat on a stick, the Turks definitely do not lack for choice. Whether doner kebabs, minced koftas, Iskender kebabs drenched in tomato sauce, or a filling shawarma with all the sauces, the Turkish dishes at Bobo’s Bistro on Banda Street in Nairobi’s CBD are plentiful and there is an outside seating area in which to enjoy them.

Find out more by downloading the EatOut App in order to enjoy amazing discounts at these and more restaurants around the city



EAST AFRICAN WAVE EA Wave is a collective of 6 multi talented DJ producers who’s creative collaborative force helped give birth and propel to fame, the influential underground music movement popularly known as Nu Nairobi. The collective have performed at a number of festivals around the globe from Uganda all the way to Sweden and recently represented Kenya at the very first Boiler Room event which was streamed live across the world. Leroy Buliro caught up with three members of the team, to discover what fuels their creativity and passion for music. To what extent does coffee fuel your late night practice sessions? Ukweli: I prefer having coffee at night when I’m making music, not necessarily to keep awake, I just like the taste of coffee Jinku: I only drink coffee in the morning Nu Fvnk: I drink coffee at random times so with or without it I’m good. Hiribae: I prefer it in the morning.

Sweet and Milky or Black and Bitter? Ukweli : Milky with sugar Jinku: Black Coffee, bitter and no sugar Nu Fvnk: Milky


Hiribae: Black coffee, 2 sugars

Are you morning people? What does a band breakfast look like? Jinku: Oats, fruit smoothie, cereal and toast Ukweli : Fruit salad or toast and coffee Nu Fvnk: Anything next to me that I like, I’m not picky. Hiribae: I prefer heavy meals in the morning. Most likely dinner leftovers.

What has been the greatest challenge you’ve faced as a band since becoming recognisable faces? Jinku: I feel it's expectation now,

having to be ‘ON’ all the time. As a musician and a performer having a bad day and a low point is not necessarily acknowledged. We have to perform and always deliver a good show despite personal hardships. Nu Fvnk: I don’t feel any serious challenges yet, maybe later on it feels good to be recognised. Hiribae: Consistency. Ukweli: I would agree that consistency is a daily struggle

Any advice for readers who want to follow in your footpath? Ukweli : Just keep working and making your art, the opportunities will always follow.

Jinku: Be unique and be patient, it takes a lot of work and effort Nu Fvnk: Just starting is the most important, don’t talk about it. Hiribae: Put 100% effort and focus in whatever you want to pursue or forget about it.

What is the most outrageous thing a fan has ever done during one of your performances? Ukweli: Our fans are amazing, I have not had any crazy experiences yet. Jinku: We have had some really good fans so far Nu Fvnk: Our fans are pretty chill. Hiribae: Nothing out of the ordinary but inappropriate requests make me cringe.





This month, Publicist to the stars Anyiko Owoko attends two of Nairobi’s most hyped events: hip-hop royalty, Rick Ross in Nairobi, and Dela’s second album launch titled “Public Demand”. She also samples Nairobi’s best steak as she swirls up some whisky, before hitting Maasai Market for the best quality and most affordable African jewellery.

TASTIEST FOOD If you love Steak, then you must visit Sierra Burger and Wine at Rivaan Centre off Brookside Drive in Westlands. They also serve some mean burgers which explains why most of their published reviews are on their burgers. Whether you order Sierra’s Ribeye, T-bone or Sirloin Steak, they are all juicy, soft and delicious. Their meat comes from the owner’s family farm in Nanyuki with their Angus Beef coming from Marania Farm in Timau. My favourite is their Sirloin Steak, served with Green Salad and Mushroom Sauce. The restaurant has an intimate inside space, with a classy wooden feel and a patio —perfect for business meetings, family reunions or dates. COOLEST EVENT After being hugely celebrated for her Swahili cover of Adele’s global hit “Hello”, Dela quickly became one of Kenya’s most prominent and versatile vocalists. On the eve of May 1st 2018, she launched her anticipated second album titled “Public Demand”- nine years after her debut album “Paukwa”. The “Public Demand” concert was fully packed and was the biggest album launch concert I have witnessed in a long time. Backed by her 7-man band, two back up vocalists and the electric GQ Dancers, Dela put on an impressive launch! The album is now available to download from the SONGA and Boomplay platforms. MOST MEMORABLE QUOTE The new radio station (NRG) in town is all about the hype and energy and to prove this they recently organised a huge concert at Carnivore with a massive performance stage presenting the American rapper, Rick Ross a.k.a Rozay. At the concert, a visibly overwhelmed Rick Ross recognized the enthusiasm of his Kenyan fans: “We could have been anywhere in the world but we’re right here, and the fact that you all came [to my debut Kenyan concert] means that you’re bosses!” Despite the heavy rain and thick mud, it was mad fun and Rick Ross’s words were followed by a tweet right after the show stating: “I Love Nairobi” – keep ringing in my head.

MOST KENYAN MOMENT In April, Wanuri Kahiu became the first Kenyan filmmaker to be invited to Cannes Film Festival to present a feature film. The annual French festival is a world-renowned hot spot for previewing new motion pictures of all genres. So far, little is known about Rafiki (Friend) because it can’t be screened locally following a ban by the Kenya Film Classification Board which states that it promotes lesbianism which is illegal in Kenya. According to the Nairobi Film Festival: “The film is about close friends aiming for more than just becoming good wives. They resist and remain close friends supporting each other to pursue their dreams in an oppressive society.” FAVOURITE ITEM OF THE MONTH Lately, I have been obsessed with brass Africa-shaped rings and earrings going for KSh 300 and available at Maasai Market – the one located in the CBD right by the High Court’s parking lot. Maasai Market is Nairobi’s biggest travelling open-air market selling: curios, African prints, wooden carvings and unique souvenirs. This should be your stop over every time you’re in need of self or home beautification or gift purchasing. Do not let the haggling divert your eye from the prize—in this case, decorative paraphernalia. While it splinters into smaller versions around town throughout the week, specifically on Tuesdays, Maasai Market relocates to Kijabe street and on Fridays, it camps out to Village Market. FUNKIEST WHISKY Anyone who knows me knows that I love all types of drinks but I wouldn’t really call myself a whisky lover. However, after recently attending a Glenfiddich Whisky & Food Pairing Event at Karen’s Picazzo Restaurant, I think I have had a change of heart. Renowned Kenyan whisky connoisseur Kariuki Mukii took us through the history with a tale of how one William Grant began building his distillery, stone by stone alongside his nine children in the summer of 1886. After a year of work, it was ready and William named it Glenfiddich, a Gaelic word which translates to Valley of the Deer. To best enjoy a whisky I learned that the secret lies in adding water to the glass, one drop at a time.



WAMBOI KAY With her vibrant style and bubbly personality, Wamboi Kay (@wamboikay) would easily have you feeling underdressed if you asked her out on a date. Worry not though, this down to earth food enthusiast loves her food eaten on the streets and is always on the lookout for new roadside culinary adventures.


’ve known Wamboi for some time now. How could I not? With her electric fashion sense, she easily stands out from the crowd. Besides having a focus on fashion and photography, she’s a true food lover at heart. She traces it all to the first time she had fries as a child and was instantly hooked. As the years went by, all she would cook was fries and different stews. It wasn’t until her mother jokingly warned that her future husband would send her away for not being versatile in the kitchen, that her spark fired up. In the 10 years she has been fine tuning her photography skills, the 26 year old Wamboi has used every opportunity available to document her passions through her different life phases. In her years as a digital


creative, her most memorable moment saw her experience Uganda’s rich culture at the Nyege Nyege Festival and stuffing her face with Rollexes. Now, if you’re wondering how someone gobbled down a luxury watch, a ‘rollex’ is Uganda’s most popular street food made of an egg omelette and vegetables wrapped in a chapati. It is quick to prepare and can be eaten at any time of the day - whether breakfast, lunch, supper or as a snack. Back home, Wamboi is a huge fan of our street food culture. ‘’I love it! The boiled eggs, smokies, roast maize, are some of the things that make you feel Nairobi's hustling spirit. My top five have to be Mutura, fried fish, samosas, mayai boilo with kachumbari and madafu”

She’s no stranger to kibanda dining either “While I worked as fashion editor at Jumia, the guys in the creative team would make me eat with them at their local 'base' and they would teach me sheng while at it. I would always have nyama choma and ugali with kachumbari or the occasional chapo dondo” Given that Kenya is made up of different ethnicities, she does wish that she would see more cultures showcase their different street food variants. And after all, who wouldn’t? Somewhere along the line, Wamboi hopes to own her own restaurant focusing on soul food, brunch specialities and impeccable desserts. Her first recipe? A delicious Shakshuka which you can try here:


1 Tbsp oil 1 onion ½ Tsp salt 1 green pepper ¼ Tsp garam masala 4 eggs Cilantro, garnish 3 tomatoes 1/4 Tsp chicken masala

DIRECTIONS 1. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat, then add the onion, pepper and garam masala. 2. Stir-fry this mixture for 1-2 minutes. 3. Add the tomatoes, chicken masala and mix well. 4. Cover and simmer on a very low heat for 25 minutes. 5. Break the eggs on to the surface of the tomato mixture. 6. Cover and cook for 4 minutes



IN THE WAGON Susan Wong is thrilled to revisit some fond childhood memories sitting at the bar of the newly opened PoCha 254 in the New Village Market Food Court


ne of my favourite childhood memories is sprinting home for afterschool snacks. Just like the paperboy, I had a route plan. First, I’d pass by the Lombardis for my favourite type of stuffed rice ball – a hot Arancini with strands of mozzarella hanging as you pulled it apart. Next, I’d go to the Coxs for Poutine with some Roast Beef shaved on top. Finally, I’d run past the Ichimoris where Ken’s mom would always invite me for Japanese and sometimes Korean snacks. My favourites were her Inarizushi, seasoned fried tofu pouches with sweetened vinegared rice, and Tteokbokki, a popular Korean street food. Since then I’ve been dreaming of eating these snacks on the streets where they originated from. Recently, I found myself booking an unexpected trip to Seoul because my sister decided to volunteer at the Pyeong Chang 2018 Winter Olympics. When I finally got to stare down a steaming cauldron of Spicy Rice Cake known as Tteokbokki in Seoul’s Gwangjang Market, I was instantly


transported to when I was 10 years old and diligently watching Mrs. Ichimori simmer her rice cakes on the stove in Toronto. I had another enrapturing food experience at the beginning of May, when the owner of the recently opened PoCha 254 Bar in Nairobi served-up a plate of Tteokbokki garnished with a sprinkling of sesame seeds. Addictively chewy but soft at the same time, the rice cakes are simmered in a sauce reduced from stock and a combination of Korean chilli paste, chilli flakes, sugar, soy sauce, corn syrup and sometimes some closely-guarded secret ingredients. Located in the new food court of the revamped Village Market, PoCha 254 Bar is an intimate stall meant to evoke the tented carts and makeshift taverns in South Korea called Pojangmacha meaning “covered wagon” or referred to as pocha for short. Its concept is simple: small sharing plates of street eats from Korea and Japan. Part of the appeal for me is the limited seating. With only four chairs looking right into the kitchen, you get to enjoy the theatrics

of the cookery whilst you engage the chef in conversation. The menu reads from hanging handwritten wooden signs and changes depending on what’s available. There’s a box of chopsticks that you can help yourself to when the chef serves dishes such as Calamari Tempura, Menchi Katsu, Pork Kimchi Ramen, Gimbap, and Dakkochi – all mouth wateringly good. The Calamari Tempura arrived extra crispy and very light. You could tell that the squid was expertly cooked until tender. Next came a deep-fried Panko-breaded beef and pork patty. Apparently popular with Japanese school children, I imagine this would’ve easily been a favourite of my childhood if I had grown-up in Japan. The hot bowl of Ramen arrived with thick and chewy Japanese Udon noodles. The broth was flavourful and light at the same time. Personally, I would’ve preferred more heat from the chilli and kimchi, but I understand not everyone is a kimchi aficionado… well, not yet at least. Gimbap, which is often confused with Japanese Sushi Rolls, is usually sweeter and more fragrant with sesame oil. The seasoned steamed rice is rolled

together with different fillings with dried seaweed. Served with pickled daikon radish in beetroot juice, the Gimbap was filled with fluffy egg, Kenyan ham, sautéed spinach and carrots. Popular with Korean school children, a serving of Gimbap is a great way to inspire some to relive their childhood. For others who may be trying Gimbap for the first time, according to a friend of mine it is apparently also a great way to cure a hangover. Skewers of Dakkochi or Spicy Sweet Chicken, a famous Korean street-eat, were glazed with a sticky sauce and accentuated with the smokiness from charred scallion whites and some added oniony flavour. The experience at PoCha 254 Bar is casual, delicious, fun and very unique in Nairobi. To me, this new eatery almost perfectly embodies the same energy, aromas and tastes of the pochas I walked past in Seoul. It’s a great place to sample some Japanese and Korean street-eats and to get acquainted with the tunes of eyeliner-wearing K-pop boy bands that help transport you to the streets of Hongdae and Gangnam.





JAMAICAN STREET FESTIVAL Famed for their colourful carnivals which long ago spilled out of the confines of their tiny island and rocketed to worldwide fame on the streets of London’s Notting Hill, the Jamaicans know a thing or two about knocking out tear-wrenchingly delicious street food served up for special occasions. For the first ever EatOut Test Kitchen shoot, chef and food stylist Sneha Modi, whips up her unique take on the world’s most tantalising festive culinary offerings.




FESTIVAL DUMPLINGS Ingredients • 2 1/4 cups flour • 3/4 cup cornmeal or Polenta • 3 Tsps baking powder • ½ - ¾ Tsps salt • 3 Tbsp or more sugar • 2-3 Tbsps soft butter • 1 cup milk or water adjust water to form soft dough • 1 Tsps grated nutmeg spice or vanilla extract • Oil for deep-frying Method 1. In a large bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, cornmeal, sugar, nutmeg and salt. Then add butter. 2. Make a well, add milk, knead dough for about 30 seconds to 1 minute to form soft dough. 3. Divide dough into 8-10 equal pieces. Set aside for about 10 mins or more 4. If making festivals shape dough like you would a sausage, by rolling with your hands, as if you are making a log repeat the process until finish. 5. If making dumplings, shape into biscuits and then lightly flatten dough. 6. Divide the circles in half and then place a slit on dough. 7. In a large, saucepan pour vegetable oil, until it is at least 3 inches and place on medium heat until oil is 350 degrees. 8. Fry until golden brown about 7 minutes or more depending on size. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper napkin. Let it cool.



JAMAICAN JERK CHICKEN Ingredients • 1 onion, chopped • 1/2 cup chopped green onions • 1/2 Tsps dried thyme • 1 Tsps salt • 2 Tsps sugar • 1 Tsps ground allspice • 1/2 Tsps cinnamon • 1/2 Tsps nutmeg • 1 Tsps black pepper • 1 habanero or Scotch bonnet (very hot), or jalapeno (more mild), seeded, chopped fine • 2 Tbsps soy sauce • 1 Tbsp cider vinegar • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil Method 1. Finely chop scallions, 8 cloves of garlic and 2 de-seeded peppers, then add to a food processor. Stir in brown sugar, spices, thyme, soy sauce, oil, juice of one lime and a splash of Jamaican rum (optional). Blend everything together to a paste. Massage chicken with marinade, cover bowl with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight. When ready to cook, heat the heavy bottom skillet and cook chicken for 20-25 minutes, simmer until the liquid has been half way absorbed into the chicken. 2. Remove from the heat and let it stand for 5 minutes. 3. Serve hot and enjoy accompanied with festival dumplings.



CURRY CHICKPEAS Ingredients • 1/2 cup canola oil • 2 -3 Tbsp curry powder • 1 large onion diced • 2 Tspss minced garlic • 1 Tsps ground allspice • 1 Tsps ground nutmeg spice • 1½ Tsps smoked paprika • 2 Tspss fresh or dried thyme • 1 Tsps cumin spice • 1 Tsps white pepper. • 2 cans of chickpeas drained • ½ Tbsp bouillon chicken powder optional • 2 cups or more broth or water • 1 Tsps cayenne pepper optional • 1 scotch bonnet or habanero pepper • 2 green onions chopped • 2 Tbsps or more chopped parsley • Salt to taste Method 1. Heat up large sauce-pan with oil, and add onions, garlic, thyme, cumin spice, all spice, smoked paprika, nutmeg and curry powder, stir occasionally for about 2-3 minutes until onions is translucent. 2. Add stock / water if necessary to prevent any burns. 3. Next add chickpeas, scotch bonnet pepper, green onion and broth. Bring to a boil and let it simmer until sauce thickens, it might take about 20 minutes or more Throw in some parsley, adjust for salt, pepper and stew consistency.



BARA (SPICY FLAT BREAD) Ingredients • 3 cups flour • 1 Tsps cumin • 1 Tsps turmeric • 2 Tsps active or dry yeast • 1/2 Tsps salt • ½ Tsps white pepper • 1 ¼ cup warm water or more adjust water to form soft dough • 1 Tbsp sugar • Oil to deep fry Method 1. In a large bowl combine all-purpose, yeast, salt sugar cumin, turmeric, and yeast. Thoroughly mix. 2. add warm water a little at a time until you get to desired consistency – soft- ball. If the dough is too sticky, add some oil to prevent it from sticking to your hands. Knead for about a minute or 2. 3. Place dough in an oiled bowl. Set it in a warm area and let it rise and double in size -approximately 1- 2 hours. Punch down. 4. Divide in to about 18 or more pieces. These are medium sizes you may make it smaller and divide into walnut sizes. 5. Place each piece on rolling board or on the palm of your hand, if dough is slightly sticky, oil both sides and roll out flat. Set aside or place directly in frying pan. Repeat with the remainder of the dough 6. In a large frying pan, pour a couple spoonfulls of vegetable oil, and heat over a medium flame until oil is hot 7. Fry for about 30 seconds or less on each side. Bara should puff up. 8. Use a slotted spoon, remove Bara from the pan and place them on napkins to soak up the excess oil. 9. Serve doubles by placing one Bara on a plate, spooning on Tbsps of the chickpea filling on top.








NAIROBI STREETS Nairobi’s street snacks culture may lack the spice of South East Asian side of the road fried food shacks, the creativity of Uganda’s Rollex industry and the Swahili influences of Coastarian easy snacks but it is tasty and dependable, and you can live off of it for under Ksh.300 a day.


ou alight from your morning matatu early enough to catch the first batch of Akinyi’s boiled maize and tea for it is the best, it is the freshest, and the tea is not over-watered. Akinyi is a young lady who runs a business down the street a couple of minutes away from your office at I&M. The strong tea and maize go a long way in satisfying you but by the time it gets to lunch, you’re only thinking about having a smokie pasua (a sausage cut down the middle and stuffed with a spicy tomato kachumbari) and a bottle of soda. At 1pm you head out for the cleanest town food vendor you know: Njoro, who sells his sausages at the building that’s directly opposite Club Mojos and Tribeka. Njoro not only sells Smokie Pasua and Sausage choma (bbq sausage), he also sells Mayai Pasua (Eggs stuffed with Kachumbari). After hard boiling his eggs, he roasts them on his small coal grill before splitting them down the middle to stuff them full of fresh, spicy goodness. This combo inevitably shocks your taste buds but leaves them crying out for more as soon as


the heat subsides. He adds rosemary when grilling the sausages, the smell of which wafts down the street from his bbq station. Technically one egg, sausage and a bottle of cold soda are all you need for lunch but before you head back to the office, you pass outside Jamia Mosque and buy some Kashata (coconut candy) and Mabuyu (baobab sweets) to nibble on as you work your afternoon away. At 5PM you feel peckish once again but you’re not exactly sure if a cup of tea will do the trick as you’ve been suffering from the heat during the day, so you’d rather have something cold. You and your colleague who is on the same route as you walk down to Fire Station, which is a bit far from your office but has a guy who sells deliciously sweet Madafu (drinking coconut). You get to Koja roundabout but the guy is nowhere to be seen so you decide a fruit salad will hit the spot. Your colleague decides to skip on the fruit and opts for a cob of Mahindi choma (grilled maize) instead, which he promptly proceeds to slather with lemon dipped in that secret chilli powder, the recipe of

which maize vendors so jealously guard. You head back into town as you remember you were meeting for drinks with some friends and proceed to knock back a few as you swap office gossip and such. Presently you realise you are quite famished so you head over to your usual nyama choma (grilled meat) guy Jemo, who is busy fanning the flames on his little coal jiko (grill). You stand by listening to his commentary on the state of the country and eagerly inhale your beef Mishkaki in under ten seconds, while you wait for him to wrap up a chicken wing for you to eat later when you get home. While heading to catch your matatu home, you pass by the Umoinner stage where many vendors sell deep fried delicious crispy potato and pea samosas. You stop and wonder whether you should give in to your cravings but pull back at the last moment, the warmth of the kuku choma (grilled chicken) wrapped in paper soaking through your jacket pocket. A huge percentage of Nairobians

depend on our city’s street vendors to keep their cravings in check over the course of the long daily hustle. Most people rely on a trusted man/ woman on the street to provide for these daily culinary needs and they will all swear that even if the offerings change little from vendor to vendor, their unique preparation style gives them a signature taste that no one can replicate. Evolution is not the name of the game because for things to evolve there needs to be demand. And when it comes to Nairobi’s street foods… nobody is demanding for change.

THE DAMAGE Boiled Maize Smokie Pasua Mayai Pasua Madafu Fruit Salad Beef Mishkaki Samosa

Kshs.40 Kshs.25 Kshs.20 Kshs.40 Kshs.50 Kshs.100 Ksh.30







BONA FIDE SAUSAGE Despite being one of the highlights of traditional Kenyan cuisine, mutura sausage is surprisingly difficult to have served up at a regular restaurant, discovers Winnie Wangui, when she decides to organise a mutura night for her colleagues.


did not expect the search for a restaurant that serves Kenyan blood sausage to be complicated. After all, there is a joint on Muthangari drive that clearly states on its sign that mutura is a speciality. However, on the day of the planned meal, I phoned said restaurant only to be told they had just fired their mutura chef. Panic set in and I began scrambling, making phone calls, asking Facebook. Surely someone knew of a good place that had quality mutura on the menu. Minutes before I threw in the proverbial towel, one of our designers handed me his phone, a picture on his Instagram feed showed a plate of the unmistakable black sausage. It was shot at Ambo Gardens in Lavington, I sighed with relief, the plan was back on track! Visitors to Kenya are often treated to a sumptuous nyama choma (barbecued meat) dinner complete with all the traditional trimmings. Less common, however, is serving them up a platter of freshly grilled mutura

sausage. Made by stuffing the large intestines of a goat with offcuts, offal and blood, this is one of the few traditional dishes that requires a certain amount of chili and spice for the recipe to come out perfect. This black, alluringly funky and textured sausage, is popularly eaten during wedding celebrations but is equally loved on the streets, where dedicated vendors hawk it from the dusty pavements of busy commuter areas. While a certain amount of trust is absolutely necessary when buying it from a street vendor, sometimes these makeshift side of the road stalls are so popular, they have lines snaking round the block, filled with people eager to get their daily mutura fix. As we walked into Ambo Gardens, which is located off Amboseli road in Lavington, we took in the casual setup: high wooden chairs and tables casually dispersed in the floor space that lies between the no-frills kitchen and the well-stocked bar. A large TV played the UEFA league semi-final

and a handful of couples sat nursing drinks and waiting for their food. The ambiance was relaxed and we instantly felt lulled by the sound of the torrential rain pelting on the canvas tenting above our head. Before long, two medium sized mutura sausages arrived on a small plate. A bite brought back all the memories of the times I enjoyed mutura at my grandmother’s house in Githunguri, Kiambu. Every Christmas day, all the uncles in the family and the older male cousins would be tasked with preparing this beloved dish which, when ready, would be passed around on trays to the numerous relatives strewn all around the home. A little always had to be secretly stashed away, to be enjoyed by the immediate family later on that evening. As we eagerly began to sample our mutura, we commented it had just the right amount of spicy heat and that a sprinkle of salt was all that was needed to satisfy our yearning taste buds. Chef Kilonzo must have heard

our "mmhs" and "aahs" of delight because, before we knew it, a second and then a third round of the sausage had been placed on our table. Traditionally, Mutura making skills are handed down from generation to generation and different Kenyan tribes have their unique recipes. One thing that remains unvaried across the country though, is the fact that it is the responsibility of the men to slaughter the goat and then prepare the sausage out of the cleaned (but not too thoroughly), intestine. If you’ve never had mutura and don’t know where to find a trusted street vendor that won’t cripple you belly for the better part of a week, then make your way to Ambo Gardens, the ideal place to go for black sausage novices!

Ambo Gardens is located on Amboseli Road, Lavington



THE ROLLEX FACTORY What happens when innovative street food meets a production line, asks our Ugandan correspondent Malcolm Bigyemano as he finds himself confronted with a funny way of churning out everyone’s favourite egg rolled in chapati dish.


he laughed and laughed and laughed. It was awkward because I was not being funny on purpose, I just wanted what I wanted. Did they have the ingredients it required to make it happen? Yes. Were they going to make it happen? Well, I had to wait for her to finish laughing to find out. Rollex, the classic omelette wrapped in chapati, is less than 20 years old but has become as much a symbol of urban life in Kampala as boda-boda motorcycles and the 14 seater white mini-van taxis. Your typical rollex stand will usually be a narrow, high table, with a wooden display case with glass panels to store ready-made chapatis and an elevated charcoal stove; all manned by one or two people doing everything from taking orders to frying, assembling, and receiving payment. Many now include a big pot of boiled beans to accommodate the demand for Kikomando, which is any number of chapattis cut up into small pieces and


served mixed up with said beans. I was therefore impressed to find, between Crazy Chicken and Kobil Petrol station on Ggaba Road in Kampala, an evolution of this model: the Rollex factory. I approached what looked like a line of five stoves on the outskirts of a tent with men frying eggs and chapati and tried to hand one of them the standard note and coin to make an order. But that’s not how this worked. This place had a production line: orders and payments were made at a desk, after which fryers would prepare the eggs and chapati, then pass them on to the assembly point where vegetables and condiments are added before wrapping and returned to the front desk. Without looking up he pointed to the desk inside the tent-like structure. Walking in, I saw a spacious seating area with a desk adjacent, behind which sat a woman I want to call Dora and across from which was a large printed out menu. One item caught my eye: a Rollex with beans.

Now a Rollex with beans can mean any number of things: a) the beans are wrapped in the omelette which is wrapped in the chapati; b) the beans are whisked into the omelette mix, fried together and then wrapped in chapati; or c) The eggs are wrapped in the chapati and served on a bed of beans. When I asked Dora which of the above they served, she mentioned (c), the least convenient of them. When I told her I wanted Option (b), she laughed and laughed and laughed. When she calmed down and I asked her if it was possible, she called a friend and told me to repeat my order, after which they both laughed at me. Did they have beans? Yes. Did they have eggs? Yes. Did they have chapatis? Yes. Would it require a specialised machine or add an extra cost if they had to whisk the beans into the eggs? No. For one, Dora probably just thought it was a bad idea and wanted to save me from myself. But more importantly,

because this place ran according to a strict production line, there was a lack of flexibility I wouldn’t have experienced with a stand-alone Rollex stand. Only when I spoke directly to the fryers themselves did I finally get the Rollex I asked for, which was well worth the wait and the awkwardness. Rollex, a simple but powerful dish has come a long way and still has an even longer way to go. As the wrap itself evolves and gets gentrified with more ingredients and styles, so do the business models surrounding it. One day we shall find stupendously expensive Rollexes on fine dining menus, or Rollex franchises opening up outlets around the world. What the Rollex factory made clear is that Rollex is going places: formalised, standardized places, full of unimaginative Doras.

Follow Malcolm on Twitter @mrbigyemano






NIGHT MARKET Warned away from the delicious looking seafood on display at the Zanzibar night market, Wendy Watta samples a surprising dish which she can’t quite decide whether to add to the annals of her favourite culinary discoveries.


here’s this glorious little dish in Tanzania called Chipsi Mayai which is basically a potato omelette made with French fries, and it is equally parts greasy and delicious. It is also oddly highly addictive and I started craving it at odd hours of the day. One time, since I still didn’t know my way around Dar es Salaam, I hailed a tuk tuk at around 1:00 am and asked the driver to take me to the nearest stand where I could get my fix then bring me back to my hotel. Turns out the kibanda he took me to was only three minutes away so not only did it look like I had a serious food problem, he probably thought that I didn’t like to walk either and would probably have to battle obesity at some point in the immediate future. From Dar, I hopped on the ferry to Zanzibar and on my first night wandering the narrow streets of Stone

Town, chanced upon Forodhani Night market. This place is a paradise for foodies and a bustling hive of activity flocked to by both tourists and locals alike. You can try a myriad of Tanzanian dishes at affordable prices, which perhaps explains its popularity, especially with backpackers. My first instinct was to make a beeline for the open tables where seafood ranging from barracuda, squid, octopus, lobster, crab and shrimp were oh so seductively spread out. I had however stuck up a conversation with a local guide who thankfully warned me that despite how good it all looked, there was I high chance I would get food poisoning afterwards. He explained that this was because the vendors don’t always refrigerate leftovers, instead choosing to refry or grill to mask any smell or taste. As a consolation, he suggested I

try Zanzibar pizza which the locals at Forodhani are very outspokenly proud of. We went to a stand where I got to watch the vendor making it with a technique that’s very specific. The dough is separated into a small and large piece then both are stretched out by hand on a smooth, well oiled surface until very thin and transparent. The small piece is then cooked on both sides then placed inside the bigger circle to act as a base for the filling while preventing tearing. I ordered a mango-nutella pizza, which is what was used as my filling. Unlike a traditional pizza, they cover it before searing it on the pan again. I honestly think that this pizza is simply a tourist marketing ploy. It is more like a fruit stuffed crepe than anything else. Back at Park Hyatt Zanzibar where I was staying, I struck

up a conversation with Executive Chef Ali which started with me complimenting him on his Zanzibar Mix, locally known as Urojo, and is served as a starter on the hotel’s menu. I was curious to see how a five star resort would interpret this street pizza. Even he admitted that the recipe is quite technical and hard to master. The resultant pizza was savoury, which I preferred, and he made it using ground beef, eggs and finely chopped vegetables like white cabbage and carrots. As expected, it was beautifully plated and I definitely preferred his version best, if only because I lack an affinity for desserts. Still, I found that even this was more like a quiche than anything else, and I find myself still struggling to understand the identity of the Zanzibar pizza.






SWAHILI GOODNESS Inspired by a memorable street food encounter, lost in the alleyways of Lamu town, Marah Köberle embarks on a mission to go looking for Swahili pickles in downtown Nairobi.


ollowing Abdallah, a renowned tour guide, through the narrow streets of Lamu, listening to his musings about history and architecture of the UNESCO world heritage site, my view is distracted by a street vendor. His simple stand is bursting with plastic buckets overflowing with various pickles. With no time to properly stop as the tour moves forward, I try to make a mental note of the location of his stall in the labyrinth of alleys. As soon as the tour finishes, my friend and I retrace our steps and I am relieved to find the stand again. The vendor hails from the neighbouring island of Manda and is happy to explain the contents of the different buckets. He spoons out small amounts of the pickles which he places in my sweaty hands and I proceed to sample preserved salty fish, achari ya maembe (mango pickle), achari ya ndimu (preserved lemon), mbilimbi pickle and more. The achari taste tart and fresh, all with their

own individual character. They are addictive and I can’t stop asking for more. Licking the last samples from my palms, I have a hard time deciding on which ones to buy. After some pondering, I end up transporting six big, slightly leaky, containers on my flight back to Nairobi. Pickling is a common preservation method used all around the world. Typical Swahili pickled produce includes mango, lime, mbilimbi and fish. Extended shelf-life is reached through creating an environment in which bacteria can’t grow: in this case salt, vinegar or chilli do the trick perfectly. Often oil is added towards the end, as a thin layer of it on the top prevents the goods coming in contact with moisture and bacteria. Eventually, the six plastic jars from Lamu are used up, so, propelled by a strong craving for Swahili food, one Saturday I head over to Malindi Dishes in the CBD to get my fix. After a delicious plate of mbaazi na mahamri (beans and Swahili

doughnuts), I inquire about the mango pickle for sale behind the counter. The friendly staff give me the number of Zahra, who I’m told produces the pickles for the restaurant under the brand ‘Malindi Achari’. When I manage to locate Zahra, she explains that her sister is producing the pickles in Mombasa where, she tells me, the ingredients taste better and are fresher. Their family recipe includes fresh mangoes, sugar, mustard seeds, fenugreek, oil, salt and spices. Following my visit to the Malindi Achari shop, my quest takes me in the direction of Jamia Mosque. As I head towards Kigali road, just behind the mosque, I enjoy being surrounded by the hustle of the CBD. After asking around, I am finally led down a narrow alley crammed with small shops and before long, a cabinet full of colourful plastic jars catches my eye: pickles! I end up purchasing preserved lime, mbilimbi pickle and mango pickle and while talking to Zuhura,

the shopkeeper, I’m surprised to learn that the pickles are also produced at the coast. As I start heading home, I spot another vendor selling pickles produced in Tanzania. I can’t resist the urge and purchase two more jars. Having purchased what feels like my body weight in pickles, I feel certain my cravings will be satisfied, at least for the next couple of months. I just hope that the pickling technique preserves as promised because there is no way I have space to cram all the containers into my already overflowing fridge!

‘Malindi Achari’: You can find Zahra’s pickle at Malindi Dishes in Gaberone Road off Luthuli Avenue, CBD Zuhura’s Stand can be found in ‘The Market Boutique’, Kigali Road, behind Jamia Mosque, CBD Follow Marah on:




HIT THE STREETS Opening up a legit street food business in Nairobi does not come without its challenges, discovers Sylvia Kerubo during a recent interview with Shenaz Popat, the woman behind the successful “Street Bistro� truck business.


henaz Popat is a vibrant 65 year old lady whose passion for food made her quit her job as a banker to start a food truck business in Nairobi. Her first Street Bistro truck has been situated at the Alchemist for one and a half years now. She has since opened two more popular trucks, one at KICC and the other at Eaton Place, United Nation Crescent.

like the sandwiches, are made fresh to order.

How do you manage to organise food preparation in a truck?

What’s the most popular dish? My menu is tailor made to suit my different customers. At Alchemist, we have the bar bites, while at Eaton and KICC, people love the sandwiches so we cater more for their tastes. We are famous for our chips and our sauces and have a variety of chips which come covered in your choice of chicken, mushroom, beef or cheesy jalapeno.

Although I currently manage three trucks, we do not prepare all the food in them. We have a central kitchen, on Peponi Road, where the food is prepared, packed then brought to the trucks where it is then frozen. We do not keep it for more than 2 days and so most of the food is supplied twice to thrice a week. When you order, the food is thawed, put in the frier/cooker and then served. Some food, however,

How difficult is it to open a business of this kind in Kenya? The process is quite tedious especially when getting the license and getting people to approve stuff. Surprisingly enough, the government has begun to change its attitude towards business people and they do not hassle us so much anymore. As long as you have the necessary documents needed, the City Council will give you a license. It is, however, very expensive.


What kind of challenges do you face? When it rains we really lose sales, especially during lunch time. Although people still pass by in the evening. What country has the best street food in your opinion? Definitely Bangkok. I love Thai street food and have a passion for oriental flavours. Every time I visit the place I think: who wants to sit in a restaurant for 2-4 hours when you have so much to do on the street? Locally, what is your favourite street food guilty pleasure? I am a Nyama Choma girl. With kachumbari. I love ugali so much too. We have to eat it at least once a week in our house. Sometimes we make it at home and other times I order it from a restaurant Where do you hope to go with the Street Food Bistro? I hope to build a brand and inspire

more people to embrace the concept, since the food truck business is still new in Kenya. Do you intend to open more trucks? Of course, this has to be a brand! That said, before moving to other cities, I want to sweep Nairobi with my passion. I am not looking at spaces right now because my branch at KICC is still new and I want to work on growing it. To what extent is Nairobi friendly to female food & beverage entrepreneurs People out there believe that men are better than women. Everywhere. It is a challenge we all face. But at the end of the day, we work hard and prove to them that we are just as good, and sometimes better than the men. We have more perseverance, more foresight, more understanding and we are more in tune with the world than the men are.



Question: Is boxed wine ever good? Wilson Kipchoge, 24

A FESTIVAL OF WINE Excited that he has found a suitable foodie partner in crime, Josiah Kahiu eagerly dives feet first into Nairobi’s first ever Wine Festival.


arlier this month, Nairobi wine fans were treated to what will hopefully become our city’s annual wine festival. Not knowing what the event had in store for me, it was a pleasant surprise to be greeted by beaming staff, a red carpet and many more people than I expected. Standing at the entrance of J’s, I looked at the stream of beautiful people and couldn’t help but conclude that the organisers had managed to tap into that fabled demographic that Kenyan promoters dream of enticing to their events: the Unicorn. Side note: the term Unicorn is one my friends and I coined, which is basically shorthand for: discerning Kenyans who are difficult to lure out into the open, only go to the rarest events but when they do, look amazing and always have cash to splash. I stood back and took the time to allow my overloaded senses to absorb all the stimuli. Soon enough, my wine muscle memory kicked in and, before I knew it, I had a glass of Champagne in hand and was formulating a drinking strategy for the afternoon. This strategy, I decided, had to include finding a suitable drinking companion as, of course, a wine fest is not complete without a drinking buddy.

Fortunately that day, the wine Gods were looking kindly on me and as I stood there and mused, who should I see but a most suitable of partners in crime: Mulunda Kombo! For those of you who don't know him, you obviously haven’t been on Instagram much lately, as he is one of our city’s rising culinary stars. Mulunda was the ideal companion because people who are foodies generally have a good understanding of wine and as such, are the perfect tasting partner - they ask the right questions and always want to team up with someone with complementary skills. Our plan was simple: start with the bubbly, move to white, rose’ and then the reds. It was like a beautifully crafted menu, everything had its place. We used our different but overlapping objectives - his to find wines that worked well with meals, mine to try as many things that caught my eye - to navigate the 100 bottles or so for a few dozens that we wanted to try. The only thing that was agreed upon was to skip the naturally sweet wines, not because we are personally not big fans, but there was nothing there we could think to pair them with. The plan worked perfectly and

we both came up with lists of wines to buy for the house to drink after work and wines to serve with food at dinner parties. This must have been annoying for anyone who was waiting in line behind us, as it would take almost 5 minutes to try something. I’m sure our incessant talking about aromas or whether a wine paired better with Sea Bass or Salmon, must have made us look like total snobs and lifted many an eyebrow over the course of the afternoon. After taking my notes, which I will not bore you with the details of, one thing did become apparent: Nairobi is primed for a wine revolution. And this is, mind you, a revolution that is pushed by a strong female contingent. But then again, what good things in life are not? I thoroughly appreciated the curiosity of the people who attended, their enthusiasm makes my job much more fulfilling. Also, it is good to see that we as Kenyans are finally exploring other things beyond whisky and beer! I for one am waiting expectantly for the next Nairobi Wine Festival. Till then, my words of advice are to keep exploring your wine tastes as you prepare for the next one.

When we think of boxed wine or bag in box (a name I much prefer), most of us think of those university days where quantity over quality is the main priority. Unfortunately, this is still very much the case in Kenya, where we have not reached the stage where we can bring in really good boxed wines for the market. What we have is wines that can be a great offering to bring to a party as they suit a wide range of palates. The main thing to remember about bag in box is that it’s about value but not necessarily quality. So unless the Kenyan wine world is hit on its head by a force strong enough to change its ethos, consumers are unlikely to find quality wines sealed in a plastic pouch like the ones one might find in Italy. Studying in Italy, bag in box was one of my go-to wines. You had decent quality at an affordable price as well as a product with longevity. In Kenya, not being a wine producing country, the style of boxed wine is different. It is often South African or South American, with a blend of more grapes than you can count. This is not necessarily a bad thing it just means these wines are produced for mass consumption and are therefore very drinkable. My thoughts about boxed wine are very neutral - meaning it all depends on the occasion. I don’t think its a good idea to bring it out on a romantic dinner as your partner may get the wrong impression about your intentions (it is normally 2 to 5 litres) but for a bigger occasion, it can be a grand idea. And if you don't like the taste or want to spice it up: try making a Sangria! Have a question about wine? DM Josiah on IG @knife_and_wine

47. 47.


LOVE LOST While mourning a car once it is gone isn’t exactly Jackson Biko’s style, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t love her to the fullest as long as they are together and get a bit nostalgic if their paths ever cross.


saw the second car I owned in the parking at Sierra Burger and Wine in Westlands. I was getting off an Uber because I was planning to have a few drinks. I know this is strange but I know all my cars from their posterior. I knew it was her even before I saw the number plate. When you drive a car for more than two years, your blood and its oil have a rare psychic relationship. It’s a fluid relationship. You just know. It was a Honda CRV- 2003. The door driver’s door was a mess and it guzzled fuel, but nothing could separate us. I walked over and walked around it, inspecting it, admiring it. Her headlights were fogged out. She could have used a paint job. The spare-wheel carrier at the back was all banged up. I bent and ran a finger on a scratch on the left side of the rear bumper. I could feel the pain in my spine. My estate security accesssticker was still on the windscreen five years later! She had grown old but in a dignified way. Like Meryl Streep. The owner had decided to tint its windows. As I cupped my face against the front window to


peer inside I heard a voice behind me. The security guy was inquiring - rather aggressively- if the car was mine. “Yes,” I said because, come on, you never really divorce from your beloved. “I mean, no. It used to be my car.” He asked me if it was stolen and I said no, I sold it. He looked at me suspiciously and kept a wary eye on me. There was a time in 2012 that I drove the car to the sleeping Moran lodge in Elementaita, it had rained heavily that morning and we got stuck. I had waited in the car for help, staring out at the wet hills beyond, listening to the radio until my batteries died and silence ate everything. It was both scary and romantic, being out there in the conservancy, seeing the sun slowly set behind the hills. “Who is the owner of this car?” I inquired. The person he described wasn’t the person I had sold the car to. The buyer was an old Kikuyu farmer from Nakuru who had come to Yaya Center casually carrying 400,000 shillings in a black paper bag. He was accompanied with his son, there to make sure that daddy was not walking

into a Nairobi treachery. Inside the restaurant, I located the man who fit the description. He was in his 50s, wearing a silky shirt, sitting at a corner. He was with his wife, I assumed, because she looked stern and every time she pointed at the food on his plate with her fork he ate it. I stared at them the whole night debating whether to walk over, but his wife scared me. Now, I’m not those guys who give their cars names, neither do I get overly attached to them. But when I have a car, I’m completely in love with her. I never miss a service. I buy it accessories. I don’t add ugly rims on it. And I have it cleaned daily. I never drive dirty cars. In fact, I judge people who drive dirty cars while they wear clean shirts. People who have trash in their cars. Trash and dust and used paper cups and serviettes. I also don’t like cars that stink. But when I sell my car I usually forget about her the moment I hand over the logbook. I have no loyalty to cars. Cars are like wine openers, you buy the best you can but if it gets lost you don’t die over that, you buy another one.

At the end of the evening, I followed the couple outside and waylaid them just as the man slipped his key to open the door. I introduced myself and told them I sold that car to a gentleman five years ago. Turned out that was his cousin. We spoke as I sneaked a peek inside the car. It was like looking into the soul of an old friend who has had a bit of a rough ride in life. The wife glared at me from inside. “Hello mama,” I waved to show that I wasn’t about to thrust a gun in her husband’s ribs. To be honest, I never thought I’d see her again. I thought the farmer would take it to his massive farm in Nakuru and use it to carry goats and potatoes because he had said he wanted something strong that could help him on the farm. My heart had sunk. I wanted to suggest that he gets a donkey instead. But there we were again, five years on, brought together by fate and chance. When the gentleman got in and slammed the door, I distinctly remembered the sound of that door; a deep and hollow thud, like you were closing the doors of a tomb.


VENICE OF THE EAST Thailand is famous for having some of the best street food on earth but did you know that its floating markets are amazing places to get food on the go? Fruits, sweets, eggs, coconuts, souvenirs, trinkets and even food cooked to order, are just some of the amazing goods that are peddled by vendors who spend their entire day bobbing up and down on their small canoe-like boats. This experience is one of the most authentic ways of understanding Thai culture as they have relied on waterways for centuries to satisfy all their daily needs.






1 tablespoon soy sauce 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 teaspoon cornstarch 1 tablespoon Golden Fry 2 cloves garlic finely minced 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger 1 green onion chopped 1/2 head of small cabbage, shredded 2 thinly cut carrots 2 tablespoons oyster sauce 50 frozen spring roll wrappers defrosted 2 cups Golden Fry oil for deep frying For the Cornstarch Slurry 1 tablespoon cornstarch 1/4 cup water

INSTRUCTIONS Prepare the Filling 1. Heat a wok or large saute pan over high heat. When it starts getting hot, add 1 tbsp cooking oil. 2. Add in the green onion, garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds. Take care not to burn these aromatics. 3. Add in the carrots and cabbage. Stir well and turn the heat to medium-high. 4. Stir fry the vegetables for 2


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5. 6.


minutes, or until the carrots have softened. Add the oyster sauce and toss again. Spread the mixture out on a baking sheet to let cool. Prop up the baking sheet on one end so that any liquid collects on the other side. When the mixture is cool, discard the liquid.

Wrapping Spring Rolls 1. Mix cornstarch slurry: in a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water. 2. Open the egg roll wrapper package, cover with damp towel to prevent drying out. 3. Add 1 tablespoon of filling to egg roll and roll up. Secure with cornstarch slurry. 4. Keep rolled egg rolls covered with plastic wrap to prevent drying. Frying Spring Rolls 1. When ready to fry, heat 1 ½ cup of oil in a wok or deep, heavy skillet for 5-10 minutes. Carefully slide in the egg rolls, a few at a time, to the oil to fry. Turn the egg rolls occasionally to brown evenly and fry for about 3 minutes. Let cool on rack. Repeat with the remaining egg rolls.

CRISPY CHICKEN WINGS INGREDIENTS • • 12 skinless chicken wings • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour • 1 tablespoon salt • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper • 1 tablespoon garlic powder • 950 ml Golden Fry oil for frying • 3/4 cup hot pepper sauce

3. 4.

5. METHOD 1.


Rinse chicken wings in cold water; drain and pat dry with paper towels. Mix flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder together in a large


resealable bag; add chicken wings. Seal bag and shake to evenly coat chicken. Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan for 5-10 minutes. Remove chicken from bag and shake off any excess coating; fry in the preheated oil until chicken is no longer pink in the center, or for about 7 minutes. Remove chicken with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Combine hot sauce and butter in saucepan over medium heat; cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Coat cooked chicken wings with sauce.

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Golden Fry Vegetable oil for frying 1 pound puppy drum, trout or redfish Salt Freshly ground black pepper 1 cup corn flour 1 cup all-purpose flour 2 eggs, beaten with 2 tablespoons milk 2 lemons, halved




Method 6. 1.



Preheat the oil in a large cast iron or heavy bottom pot, over medium heat. Cut the fillets, horizontally into


strips, 1/2-inch thick. Season the fish with salt and pepper. Combine the flours and season with salt and pepper. Dredge each piece of fish in the flour, coating completely. Dip each piece in the egg wash, letting the excess drip off. Dredge the fish for a second time in the flour, coating completely. Fry the fish in batches until crispy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the fish with lemon halves and Creole Tartar sauce. Garnish with parsley.

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2 free-range eggs 3 onions, sliced 120g plain flour 1 tsp ground coriander 1 tsp cumin seeds 3 tbsp Golden Fry vegetable oil, plus extra if required

METHOD 1. Beat the eggs in a bowl. 2. Add the onion rings and mix well. 3. Add the flour, ground coriander and cumin seeds and stir well to combine. This is your bhajia mixture.




Heat the oil in a deep-sided frying pan over a medium heat. When hot add a large spoonful of the bhajia mixture and fry for 30-45 seconds, until goldenbrown. Turn the bhajia over and fry for a further 30 seconds, until crisp and golden-brown all over. Remove and drain on kitchen paper. Repeat with the remaining bhajia mixture, replenishing the oil in the pan if it runs low and allowing it to heat up again after a new addition.

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CREDIT CARDS MADE EASY K enya leads the world in the move towards a “Cash Lite” economy. With a bewildering amount of payment options available in our market, it’s sometimes possible to let one of the oldest payment options slip under our fingers. Credits cards. First off, let us address the elephant in the room. The “Credit” part of the of a Credit card. Yes, unlike using your debit card, you are effectively using the bank’s money when you swipe a credit card, however provided you pay back the money on time, you do not pay any interest. The idea of incurring a debt when you make a payment puts many people off from signing up for a card, but there are several advantages that have kept the credit card one of the most favoured payments options around the world. Offers & Benefits Most Credit card issuers will offer some form of perks and bonuses. Barclays for example, has a cash back reward system which will give you up to 3% Cash back on all transactions


depending on which card you obtain. The higher tier cards will also give you access to airport lounges and exclusive Barclaycard social events. The Barclays Signature Card will give you, in addition to all the above benefits, access to a global concierge service, extended warranties on all items bought using the card and travel insurance alongside other notable features. Discounts at partner merchants Whereas mobile money platforms will generally charge you for transactions at your favourite store, just like a debit card, credit card transactions are free. The Barclaycard exclusive discount offering takes this a step further, providing discounts at a range of merchants in Kenya spanning across, furniture stores, Travel & Accommodation providers and fine dining establishments. A Barclaycard visa can be accepted as a form of payment in thousands of outlets in Kenya and millions of outlets around the world. Grace period At the end of every billing cycle,

usually about a month, you will receive a statement detailing all the transactions you have done throughout the month, however, with a Barclaycard, you are extended an additional 21 day grace period during which you can settle your bill without incurring interest. If you, for instance, bought something on the first day of the month this means you have up to 50 days to settle your bill. Fraud protection Cash is expensive. We don’t realise this because we have been using it all our lives, but it costs money to withdraw physical currency and more importantly to keep it secure. With a credit card, not only do you not have to carry cash, but Chip & PIN security for “offline” transactions and Barclaycard secure, a feature that protects you when transacting online keeps your money safe every time you transact. An additional feature that is unique to credit cards is card insurance, which protects one against almost all the risks associated with use of the card. Everything from fraudulent

“card skimming” by unscrupulous employees of restaurants and fuel stations to situations where one is forced to use ones ATM during a robbery is covered and the amounts involved will be reimbursed up to a set limit Responsible Control The Barclaycard visa credit card allows you to set personal limits on how much you can spend in a month. You can also set recurring payments for monthly expenses such as rent and/or utilities, easily managed through the Barclays online portal. Regular payments to settle your card balance count towards beefing up your credit score, even though you have up to 50 days interest-free credit. Even when you set your card aside and use it only for emergencies, you will still benefit from both travel and personal insurance cover

Robert Kunga is is an Independent Financial Analyst and blogger. Follow him on Twitter @Mwirig


BARCLAYCARD OFFERS Villa Rosa Kempinski Cafe Villa Rosa

15% off total cost of food & drink between 1st February to 30th April 2018

Lake Naivasha Country Club

20% discount dining

Kiboko Luxury Camp Naivasha

20% discount dining

Villa Rosa Kempinski Tamborine Lounge & Restaurant

15% off total cost of food & drink between 1st February to 30th April 2018

Nyali Sunafrica-Beach Hotel

10% discount off total cost of food & beverage

Galaxy Chinese Restaurant

5% discount on Food

Villa Rosa Kempinski 88 Chinese Restaurant

15% off total cost of food & drink between 1st February to 30th April 2018

Galaxy Bar & restaurant- EKA Hotel

10% discount on dining

15% off total cost of food & drink between 1st February to 30th April 2018

Sarova Stanley (Nairobi) : Thai Chi restaurant, the pool deck and Flame Tree restaurant

10% off food and beverage

Villa Rosa Kempinski at K Lounge

La Sulumeria restaurant

5% Discount on Food and beverage

Dusit Soi. Open Daily: 12.00 – 22.30

10% off total cost of food & drink Open House

10% off food and beverage

Tribe Hotel- Jiko Restaurant. Open daily, closes at 12.00 a.m.

20% off total cost of meals Chowparty Westlands

10% off food and beverage

Colosseum Restaurant Coffee Bar & Restaurant

10% off the total cost of food menu & beverage for lunch & dinner

Chowparty Diamond Plaza

10% off food and beverage

Chowparty 5th Parklands Aspalazzi restaurant (waiyaki way)

10% off the total cost of food menu & beverage for lunch & dinner

10% off food and beverage

Cake City TRM Thika Road

10% off cakes, mimimum 2 kg size

News Cafe - Adlife Plaza, junction of Chania avenue & Ring Road Kilimani. Closes 11 .00 p.m

10% off total cost of food & drink

Cake City Sarit Centre

10% off cakes, mimimum 2 kg size

Cake City Warwick Centre

10% off cakes, mimimum 2 kg size

News Cafe Sarit Centre- Karuna Road. Closes 11.30 p.m

10% off total cost of food & drink

Cake City Westlands Branch Next to Pride Centre & Soin Arcade

10% off cakes, mimimum 2 kg size

News Cafe - Rosslyn Riviera Mall, Limuru Road. Closes 10 p.m

10% off total cost of food & drink

Cake City CBD- Avenue House

10% off cakes, mimimum 2 kg size

News Cafe - Karen Hardy. Closes 11 p.m

10% off total cost of food & drink

Galaxy restaurant- Eka Hotel off Mombasa Road

15% off total cost of food & drink

Asmara Karen

10% off total cost of food & drink

Asmara Westlands

10% off total cost of food & drink

Asmara Pangani

10% off total cost of food & drink

Sabor a' Mexican TWO Rivers

10% off total cost of food & drink

Sabor a' Mexican TRM Mall

10% off total cost of food & drink

Tamarind Mombasa

10% discount on food

Tamambo Bar & Grill

10% discount on food


10% discount on food

The Simba Saloon

10% discount on food

The Carnivore Gardens

10% discount on food

Tamambo Karen Blixen

10% discount on food

Roast at the Hub

10% discount on food


Yummy Vol 43: Street Eats