Well i don’t know about you but i am completely fascinated by the West African culture. And no, it’s not because i am plump and may feel at home there, but i absolutely love their vibrant and boisterous way of life. Oh, and i love their music-i forgot to add that.
It is no wonder that many Kenyans have been captivated by the West African way of fashion and lifestyle-what’s not to love?
I happened to get an invite from my good friend Githinji to try out Red Chilli restaurant- a new Nigerian themed restaurant that has recently opened its doors at the Muthaiga Mini Market on Limuru Road. I was very excited seeing that there aren’t that many authentic Nigerian joints in town.
The drive was a short one, Limuru road is usually a stress-free zone. The soldier at the entrance of the mall explained Red Chilli’s location- its a small winding walk to the lower level of the building which explains its mysterious aura.
Waiters dressed in African themed attire welcome us as my eyes roved from a small enclosure of a cosy dining area all the way to the mini-bar with a DJ deck on its side. Some paintings on the wall which were on exhibit added color to the soft glow of the room’s illuminating light.
It’s pretty obvious that the proprietors of the restaurant intended for it to be a place where you can eat and later have a good time without worrying where to go next.
Richard, one of the founders of Red Chilli was quite optimistic that the restaurant will gain even more patrons in time.
‘It’s not only Nigerians we are targeting. We want everyone to come and enjoy the West African experience, from Kenyans to even expatriates living around in the area,” he firmly stated.
So what were we offered for the night that can make you look forward to the next visit?
For starters, we enjoyed Goat meat Pepper Soup served in cut out calabashes with fresh bread rolls. I am not a fan of chili but this soup was delicious. It would definitely be perfect after a night of alcohol debauchery(hungover cure). Plus the meat was ridiculously tender!
For mains, there was Egusi (a rich soup comprising melon seeds and vegetables), Efo Riro (a stir fry of Spinach of Yoruba origins made in spicy tomato sauce), these were served with jollof rice, buttered rice, fried rice fiesta and the mould made out of cassava and yam components.
The foods are are specially prepared by a Nigerian chef who was flown in just to ensure the authenticity of the dishes being prepared.
Richard also mentioned that already two branches of Chilli restaurants were open in Nigeria. His aim is to get as many of the Chilli outlets open and running in several African countries. Kenya was fortunate enough to make the cut!
Dodo, another name for fried plantains was definitely my favorite. Sweet with a hint of sour, the crispy crunch of the plantains complimented my stewed chicken.
After wolfing down these and other selections from the buffet table, what was left was to enjoy my glass of gin on the rocks and the ‘Naija‘ tunes from the DJ entertaining the crowd.
I am definitely coming back to Red Chilli for some more authentic treats!