Kenya Eating: Fish, Ugali, and Sukuma Wiki

2009_02_17-Fish.jpg2009_02_17-Thumbs02.jpgMandazi to sukuma wiki: Last week I shared five foods we ate while traveling in Kenya earlier this month. Here is one last stop for Kenyan food -- a popular Kenyan eatery in Nairobi that serves completely homestyle Kenyan meals. We don't usually feature restaurants on The Kitchn, but some snapshots of this place will give you a close look at the fabulously fresh and delicious food of this area.

• First up: the menu! You pick what you want from the menu, tell the cashier, and pay your money. Most of the things here are meat; I chose the "Chicken Special" -- a mixed plate of chicken. Each dish comes with either ugali or chapati, and you can order sukuma wiki as well. The prices are in Kenyan shillings. At about 78 shillings to the dollar, the cost of the meals is quite low.

• The outside dining area: Open and sunny. Very refreshing after cold and wintry weather back home!

• There was a huge sink outside to wash your hands. The sign reads, in the Kenyan customarily polite way: Polite Notice: Kindly Do Not Spit or Wash Your Face In the Hand Wash Basin. Handwashing before the meal is necessary, since traditional Kenyan food is eaten without utensils.

• One friend ordered a whole fried tilapia fish!

• We also had plates full of sukuma wiki, a local green that is chopped and lightly cooked. It's very similar to kale.

• The ubiquituous chapati. Very chewy and delicious here!

• My chicken dish, alongside a plate of ugali. The customary way to eat your food was to break off small bits of chapati or ugali and wrap it around bites of meat and greens.

• All Coke bottles in Kenya are glass; we didn't see any plastic soda bottles at all.

• The washing-up kitchen was behind us; plates were whisked away the moment we leaned back.

The name of the eatery is Ranalo Foods' Kosewe, and we highly recommend it, if you'll be in Nairobi any time soon!

More Kenyan food:
Word of Mouth: Mandazi (Kenyan Doughnuts)
Word of Mouth: Chapati
Word of Mouth: Sukuma Wiki
Word of Mouth: Ugali
Word of Mouth: Irio

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Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.

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