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When India meets China

Saturday December 7 2019


A visitor samples Indian delicacies at Yogni Prabu's stand during The Pishi Indo Chinese Food Expo at Westgate Mall in Westlands on November 29, 2019. Such events market cultural diversity. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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When the aroma of food engulfs you and it happens to be midday, you may start to experience painful gnawing.

You wish to be invited to the table or chance upon a notice that says, 'don’t just stand there', and 'dig in'.

Over the last weekend, Pishi (, the Indian High Commission and Chinese embassy held a food expo at Westgate Mall in Westlands.

I have not attended many food expos before so I found myself at a loss — do I start with the food vendors or ask the phone sellers what they are doing at a food expo.

Standing a few steps away from the first stand, considering my next move, my eyes got attracted to a blue band banner.

Wait, do we have blue band mayonnaise and canola oil? Maybe, I have been living under a rock because I had no idea.



I had a serving of bread paired with beef brawns and mayonnaise. “Have another serving,” the woman at the stand offered.

But my subconscious mind dissuaded me. “You have a lot to savour. You do not want to get full at your first stage. ”

The taste is strange but something I would want to try at home.

Hui (Panari) Chinese Restaurant was my next stop. Geoffrey Nyakundi, a manager at the restaurant, swore by the egg leek dumplings.

“Some people take it as a main meal while others have it as dessert.”

Just as the name suggests, the dumpling is made with manda (samosa sheets) eggs and leeks. You mix the yellow part of the egg with the leek, wrap it in the manda and steam.

The steamers, round and made of wood, are aesthetically appealing.

Chow paty, a pure vegetarian restaurant, has a display of an assortment of fast food and Chinese starters such as Chilly Paneer and Crispy vegetable chilly.


The vegetable roll (stuffed with well-cooked cabbage) is delish. After two bites, I carry the remainder with me because Tuche, a chef from Xiang Restaurant, is waiting on me with Lungwapi

“Lungwapi? That is foreign. How do you spell it? ” I ask.

Tuche tells me it is as simple as safari. That sorted, he wants to feed me on a cookie.

I have tasted different cookie flavours before but this is a first. It's a cookie made of rice flour, pumpkin and simsim. The taste was so foreign and tacky I did not like it.

However, he tells me that it is a favourite at the restaurant and healthy as well.

On the outside, grey clouds are beginning to form. The weather is getting cooler and I am craving something hot.


From a distance, I notice that Vishnu Pai, Asoka Restaurant (based at Diamond Plaza) has a microwave. We banter over a hot Punjabi samosa.

It is delicious and huge; a serving of one is enough. The samosa is made of potato, green peas and onions.

After the meal tasting, I decide to try out some beverages. What do I choose? A small cup of Chinese green tea. Bad decision. It is bitter and tastes grassy.