What’s a good Mother’s day without a great brunch accompanying it?? Still mother’s day but just work with me here.
The brunch club was reunited finally for our first brunch together this year, this past Mother’s day weekend and we decided to check out the new brunch menu at Nyama Mama in Westlands.
Nyama Mama never had any kind of brunch before but they started 2018 with that in mind and finally rolled out a weekly brunch every Sunday at their delta location which I was kind of skeptical about mostly because they haven’t been getting such good press for a while… but after the first few weeks and not seeing or hearing any complaints about it, figured it wouldn’t hurt to just check it out and judge for myself.
The sun blessed us with it’s very rare presence that Sunday and I took that as a sign of good things to come. The set up at the restaurant was fantastic. If there’s one thing you have to give Nyama Mama credit for, it’s their knack of great decor. The brunch was Swahili themed for the day and they incorporated every aspect of Swahili culture that they could down to jars full of achari (flavoured dried mango strips) and bowls filled with sticky mahamri (fried mini dough buns coated with melted sugar) which I absolutely love.
They had different stations for various meals like the salad station that had one of the best beetroot, feta and apple salads I have ever tasted. I passed a mango salsa that I told myself I’d go back for but clearly didn’t because – too much variety! Also, something to note – the salads looked and tasted super fresh and they made sure not to have frail looking veggies on display, I appreciate that because presentation is key. There was a BBQ station right at the entrance which I admit was their specialty because Nyama Mama is technically named and famed for its prowess in all things meat. I only had lamb and chicken but they were grilling everything – beef, lamb, gourmet sausages, chicken that was marinated to perfection… I really ate all the meat and is probably why I couldn’t eat anything else after that. Note to y’all: Pace yourself at a brunch like this so that you can get a taste of everything.
The Swahili breakfast station was a great addition to the classic brunch menu, giving the theme that extra flavour and spice! You had so much to choose from and for someone like myself who doesn’t frequent the coastal city as often as I’d like to, it was great to have things like vitumbua, viazi karai and authentic bhajiaz being fried up right in front me for my tastebuds to delight in. A version of swahili pancakes that were also part of the items being served were a tad too mushy for me to enjoy, I’m not sure what they are called but it didn’t sit well on my tongue. The sauces accompanying these dishes though were superb, perfectly tart and perfectly spicy for those of us with a yearning for heat.
This walkthrough of the stations went on even inside the restaurant with the bar area becoming a fresh juice bar for the day and a smaller bar was set up outside serving up the custom cocktails of the day which are included unlimited + brunch for the price of KSH3900. Unlimited non-alcoholic drinks from the juice bar are included in this brunch for the price of KSH2200. My favourite station in terms of presentation though was the section that carried the accompaniments. Following through with the swahili theme, they set up deep clay pots to cook atop traditional jikos (clay ovens), with large mwikos (wooden serving spoons) set beside each pot to dig into steaming coconut rice, mutton biriyani, chicken biriyani, kuku ya ukwaju (chicken stewed in Tamarind sauce) and so much more.
The creativity in this concept was so well executed. Did I mention they had a mahindi choma grill going on beside the bread and soup station?? So much to see and choose from guys, I really was quite overwhelmed and couldn’t get to everything – but I am definitely doing a do-over and pacing myself next time so I can try each and every station that my tummy can handle. This brunch was great but had a few minor misses – the waffle station, was quite a fail because the waffles weren’t cooked all through and their lack of maple syrup – I may be the one person who actually asked for it but would have been nice if they had it available. Their whipped cream was a great substitute for that so I’ll give them that. The ventilation is something they will need to work on because the grilling takes place beside the seating area which envelopes all of us in that nyama choma smoke that’s nice to smell from afar but not cool to smell of when leaving. Their service was good, not the best but I know they’ll do better, the overall brunch was good enough to overlook the service.
This is probably my longest brunch review yet – the brunch club really enjoyed our time at Nyama Mama and I know we’ll go back again, with more time on our hands and more space in our tummies. Check it out when and if you can and correct me if I over praised anything:)
Until next time, happy brunching!
M – Th: 7am – 11pm
F – S: 8am – 4am
Sunday: 10am – 11pm
Images by Anthony Okoth