Somali-Run Restaurants Slowly Turning Nairobi Into A Good Food Town

In the past – a rushed plate of chips and sausage at lunch time – was the norm whenever one visited the Nairobi town.

It’s what dating couples ate while out in town – after soaking the sun at Uhuru Park.

However – things are fast changing with Nairobians now learning to take their stomachs a little bit more seriously. 

The shift in trend in the culinary behaviour among residents of Nairobi visiting the Central Business District (CBD) has been credited to the emergence of Somali-themed restaurants.

Today, many Somalis own good restaurants in Nairobi – ostensibly taking over the culinary needs in the capital.

Among other Somali cuisine, Nairobians can now enjoy incredible homemade chilli sauces, Bariss and Hilib, or rice and meat eaten with very tender goat meat, and usually served on a big plate, the size of Kasarani stadium, where five of you tuck in together.

According to some of the residents of Nairobi – the restaurants have conveniently replaced pubs and quick food joints that had for years ruled over stomachs in the capital.

Lunch or dinner, in Nairobi, is no longer just a chips, kuku, sausage and soda affair.

One can actually have a proper meal in town – and belch.

According to Brian Mwangi – a businessman in Nairobi – the capital has seen much improvement in terms of restaurants and foods.

“In the past, Nairobi only had fast food joints. In town, for instance, we could only eat chips, soda and sausages, that is what was readily available.

“And as children growing up, we knew that coming to town meant eating chips and soda, but things have changed a lot with the emergence of restaurants mostly run and owned by Kenyans of Somali descent,” says Mwangi.

A stroll in Nairobi CBD paints a picture of change, with tens of such restaurants taking over streets and buildings that previously housed pubs and clubs.

“These restaurants are taking over the city and it’s good because it means people have a variety of meals to choose from, and at affordable prices,” says June Akinyi who works as a waitress in one of the restaurants.

“We serve a combination of Swahili, Somali and a little westernised food at our restaurant. However, most people prefer simple Swahili and Somali-like foods, and they taste good,” says Akinyi.

On weekends, and even during weekdays, families can be seen trooping to these restaurants to enjoy a good meal.

Many say that they can conveniently eat out after a busy day at work, and proceed home with a full stomach.

Meanwhile, Nairobi is growing as a proper culinary town.

Source: Citizen TV

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