Are you looking for a restaurant with the best Kenyan dishes? Search no further because a Coasto Mzungu is in town. A single room restaurant covered or built with coconut palm fronds, popularly called “makuti, which has an open entrance and a large menu as big as a door sells some of Kenya’s favourites. But on the menu, all the Kenyan favourites are badly spelt. Okay, on the menu, if you come across “blach tea”, it simply means “black tea”, why searching for “Githeri” could get you tired unless you search for “Giteri” instead. Going by the food prices, this is a common mwananchi’s restaurant just at the centre of Ukunda town in Kwale. The cost of any kind of food in Makuti ranges from Sh10 to Sh40 per plate. It is very much affordable, right?
When you step inside the restaurant, there is a table with two benches and stools right in the middle of what is famously known as “mama nitilie kiosk” which means lowly restaurant. Now, guess who runs this My Favourite Place restaurant? A Coasto Mzungu! Yes, a foreigner from Germany who works with his Kenyan wife with whom he lives in a rented Swahili house. In the little chat I had with the elderly German chef, Wolfgang Fley, he disclosed the following lesser-known facts about his restaurant. Read below to see what he has to say about his restaurant.
“I cook and sell githeri, cabbages, sima, chapati and other dishes and will soon start making pilau,” This sounds quite awesome to me.
Fley also disclosed that he was a chef in Germany and cooking is his favorite job.
When he was asked why he couldn’t open a nice joint along the beach, Fley answers that “there are no tourists flocking the Coast now and Kenyans will definitely buy local.” According to him, the restaurant has existed for one year as it was opened in January last year, but many of his clients are local business people in the adjacent Ibiza market.
In the words of the Coasto Mzungu, “Kenyan meals are easy to cook,” as he hastily rushed to get the change of Sh500 for a customer. Fley also mentioned that he is surviving on his pension.
The foreign chef or Coasto Mzungu employed just one waitress whose name is Maureen Samuel. She was employed in the restaurant to help cut down the language barrier. Hence, she assists in communicating with customers who don’t speak English or German.
Speaking to Maureen she confirmed the assertion of Mr Fley, saying, “He does most of the work like washing utensils, cooking and even serving. I also do the same, but mostly for those clients who are comfortable communicating in Kiswahili.”
One of the customers I met claims she comes there for a few reasons. One is because Mr Fley is very clean, neat and tidy. She also said the meals served at My Favourite Place restaurant are well prepared and very cheap and some of the customers, herself inclusive, prefer quantity to quality.
“The food is good and cheap though the portions are a bit small. Most of us prefer quantity to quality,” she says. So what are you waiting for? If you haven’t gone there yet, give it a good try soon.
It’s not difficult to ascertain why a more privileged foreign chef would choose to settle and retire in Kenya for his restaurant business. I know why. The reason is not far from the fact that Kenya has all types of good food. Their combo, when it comes to food, cannot be rivalled. And at what price? Almost for nothing! Okay, before you start drifting, let me dazzle you with different delicacies you can find ANYWHERE in Kenya.
- Matoke (Plantain Banana Stew) – Originally from Uganda, but widely popular in Kenya
- Ugali (Cornmeal Staple) – Considered the most common staple in the country
- Kenyan Stew – Prepared with a variety of meats
- Kenyan Pilau and Biriyani (Spiced Rice)
- Githeri (Beans and Corn)
- Irio (Mashed Peas and Potato Mix) – A Kikuyu staple
- Chai (Kenyan style tea) – A little tea won’t be so bad after all
- Mutura (Kenyan Sausage) – Made from Goat intestine, meat and blood
- Kachumbari (Tomatoes and Onions)
- Nyama Choma (Roasted Meat) – Could come in four varieties; goat, chicken, fish or beef. Heralded as the pride of Kenyan food
- Masala Chips (French Fries Masala)
- Samosas – Originated from India but very popular in Kenya
- Mandazi (Kenyan Doughnut) – Has a hunger-provoking aroma
- Chapati (Flatbread)