Any time is brunch time

Tuesday May 15 2018

The time tested classic - nyama choma at Nyama Mama. PHOTO| ABIGAIL ARUNGA


There are many interesting things about Mother's Day, ranging from how, for example, people always feel the need to take to social media and profess their love to their mothers to anyone who will read their statuses.

Not that there is anything wrong with the profession, just that it reminds me a lot of Valentines in that It makes me hope that this is not the only day the professions are happening.

Then of course there is the profusion of Mother's Day cards and gifts and special offers to make this one day amazing for the woman who birthed you.

Also not anything wrong with that, but again, I am hopeful that the gifts are on a regular basis and the joy here is the discount one is getting from something one does regularly.

Now that I've gotten my high hobby horse out of the way, one of my favourite things about Mother's Day – about any holiday, really – is the way restaurants tend to go out of their way to do a themed brunch in honour of the occasion. Sometimes they do this successfully, in that they make an effort to be creative about their offerings and give us something different from the regular brunch they tout.

But more often than not, they just change the colours of the flier, slap on the same price and present it as something deceitfully different from the usual fare. I admit, it annoys me somewhat.


Which is why I was pleasantly surprised when Nyama Mama (the Delta Branch) decided to do a positively delectable Mother's Day spread with a coastal theme that was indeed, decidedly coastal flavoured. I am massively biased towards Nyama Mama, which is always healthy to admit early on, but I'm biased for a reason. I love the service, I love the food. Or maybe I'm just lucky? I was definitely lucky on Sunday!

The Mother's Day brunch had different stations to suit your fancy, spread out all over and even outside of the restaurant, such that even as you walk in, you are seduced by the sizzling nyama choma outside.


There were two separate meat grills, which proved to be a smart idea, considering the fact that there was a long line for meat. We are truly Kenyan, in case you had any doubts.

Then, to lubricate your throat as you kept walking, was the cocktail station to the right, followed quickly by the mahindi choma station to your left again. Yes, they had mahindi choma.

It felt like the type of brunch that I would have at my own mother's house, when I saw maize ready to be roasted.

Then there was the soup and bread section, a weakness for all of us who have a weakness for fresh bread and extra carbs. I didn't love the hangover soup – you know, the semi-clear broth that people make when they boil bones, also known asdhufu– but their pumpkin soup was delicious.

After that there was the station manned by Minu's Kitchen for truly authentic Swahili delights such as bhajia – real bhajia, not these fried and sliced potatoes we perpetuate in the city – vitumbua and viazi karai.

Right after that was the dessert spread – they had all kinds of tarts, rice cakes, and even elegantly layered achari (flavoured dried mango strips) and mabuyu (flavoured baobab seeds)! It was an interesting interpretation of Swahili dessert.

Inside the restaurant was the Swahili food main course section, placed in large calabashes, balancing on traditional jikos.

The display was very well presented, and included mbaazi, kuku ya ukwaju and coconut rice. I didn't try the mutton biriyani, mostly because I am in no way a fan of anything sheepish, but I do mean to go back to try even more of everything I already had.

I really don't feel like I did the place justice. For 2200, I should have come hungrier, because that cost includes unlimited non-alcoholic beverages (It's 3900 if you want the unlimited cocktails as well, which are the spicy mojito and the beerito.

It wasn't that kind of Sunday for me). I haven't even said anything about the wonderful salad display (like I said before, I've been craving a good salad).

Can I wish myself a Happy Mother's Day anyway though, since I left with a food baby?


Wondering where to get the 411 on what's happening in Nairobi's foodie scene? There's a lot of places you could go, but here's where we want you to be – getting the dish on the dish. Get it? We knew you would.