Is there anything in life that is better than your mama’s cooking? I know for me there is nothing better than my mums cooking. No matter how much people love my food and enjoy eating it over and over. I enjoy my mama’s food more. There are things she makes like her mbuzi fry (goat meat slow cooked in onions and garlic), tumbukiza (normally goat meat cooked slowly in water creating a broth then everything but the kitchen sink can be added to it, cabbage, carrots, kales etc) her rice dishes are out of this world. No matter how hard I try to replicate her cooking I never succeed.
But I might have lied there is one thing that can be better than mama’s cooking, Cucu’s (grandma’s) cooking. There is something about food made by cucu. It’s like the older you grow and the more generations you have in your lineage the better you cook or the more love you put in your cooking. My Cucu makes the best mashed matoke (banana and potato mash) in this world. Each time I go visiting it is always an unspoken rule matoke must be made. Sometimes when she is feeling extra love she will make her famous kuku kienyeji (road runner chicken) dry fry. I have tried numerous times to make this dish like her, I come close but I never get it. Maybe when I become a grandma or great grandma I will get it.
Now you see when someone knows that we all love mama’s cooking and they go off do some research and bring their mamas cooking to a restaurant that surely is a win right? Well that is what Nyama Mama have done. They have brought home style Kenyan food, mixed it with Kenyan street food and topped it off with an internationa
l touch. How exciting does that sound?
A few weekends ago, Nyama Mama invited me for a special menu tasting, my girlfriends and I headed over there for dinner and drinks and we were not at all disappointed.
Nyama Mama is in a very convenient location in Yaya Centre, Kilimani Nairobi. It is on the 4th flour where the food court is located.
First Impressions, Ambiance and Deco
To be honest I really was not expecting much from Nyama Mama because it is in a food court. When you hear food court what comes to mind is wimpy, bad Chinese food and semi Indian food. The Ambiance is nice, decorated in black, white and brown it has a feel of an upmarket cafe, not really a food court. We were met the at the entrance by a waiter. The waiters have lovely shirts with a beautiful African print. They sat us at our table and provided menus in a timely manner.
The waiters were amazing, the Logistics manager was around on that night and he took time to explain to us what each and every dish we ordered was. At some point we had the chef come over and explain the dishes and also tell us a little about himself. He is a self taught chef from the USA. I loved this about him as it shows that you can be anything you set out to be.
This might just have been my favourite part of the night. Having heard so much about their cocktails. Everything I had read was good and that they did not skimp on the alcohol. We had 3 cocktails;
The mama’s mule. derived from the Moscow Mule made from vodka, ginger syrup and honey. It was delicious. The best part of it was how the traditional enamel Kikombe looked like the traditional Moscow Mule copper mug.
The Blue mount which was whiskey based. There was a spicy one who’s name I can’t remember that none of us liked much. It was too spicy for me.
Hot mama was a crowd favourite, its made from tea infused gin. How cool is that? and no they did not skimp on the alcohol.
For starters we had Lamb samosas served with Pineapple chutney. I loved the chutney the samosa not so much. We also had two salads Samburu salad that had water melon, avocado and mint. It was super refreshing. Would be great on a hot day. The other one was a pumpkin & quinoa salad that was quite nice. We had wings too but my fav starter for the night was the ugali fries. I have no idea how they make them. Crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside. The flavour was amazing; paprika, oregano and a few other things. Ugali heaven. The biggest and most pleasant surprise was mahindi choma (roasted maize)
Our main course featured a few dishes. Tilapia with Chamala sauce which was a sauce with parsley, coriander and lime juice. Some masala fries that were really good for those who do not like their fries too spicy, a rack of ribs that were amazing. Soft enough to pull of the bone and my favourite for the night was their Mukimo. My GOSH they make mukimo better than me, not as good as grandma or mama but pretty darn close. If I ever really crave good mukimo, that is where I’d go.
They had a wonderful array of homemade sauces; Tree tomato bbq sauce, pineapple chutney were my favs.
Desert was a coconut rice pudding that was out of this world and a blueberry cheese cake that looked very pretty and was enjoyed by my girls. I really don’t like baked cheese cakes so I passed.
Nyama Mama is pocket friendly. Starters cost anywhere between Ksh 250 and Ksh 350, mains start from around 650 and go all the way to 950 for a single serving. Desert between Ksh 350 and Ksh 450,
I loved Nyama Mama, the drinks were exceptional especially the mugs they serve them in. I love the home cooking feel to it. I will definitely be going back again and again. This is their baby restaurant they will be opening a big restaurant with a full menu from breakfast to after hours. I am really looking forward to that