I didn’t know what to expect when I went to Nyama Mama. But I was looking forward to the company of other foodies and a chance to try out a new menu and hopefully get wowed. I was not disappointed. Between the food, the drinks and the company I had a great time. In fact, by the time I left I was wondering why I had never been here before.
Nyama Mama is in the food court at Yaya Centre. When I got there was a welcoming cocktail, served in a metal kikombe. This was just the first surprise of the night.
Have you ever eaten fried Ugali? Well the chef took Ugali and elevated it to another level. The Ugali has been refried and seasoned to give it a different taste. My verdict – it is worth trying with the garlic sauce. It is really good.
The honey pepper chicken wings served with tree tomato were delicious. It was served with cornbread which I loved. If you are a chicken wings lover, then this will definitely appeal to you.
Maybe it was just me but I was disappointed by the chapatti quesadillas that I thought would have more of an outstanding taste but I found it to be ordinary.
Their Samburu watermelon and avocado salad was an interesting combination. I was told to try it with the chilli and I have to say it was fire. It had me reaching for water because it hot but if you are a fan of chilli it works out well as the watermelon acts to compliment the chilli.
One of the things that looked weird but I ended up loving was the grilled halloumi with Sukuma Wiki and Tree Tomato chutney. You are supposed to make it into a sandwich and it was surprising and delightful. As said Director at the Good Earth Group PK – Priyan Kolapara said you will either love it or hate it. I loved it.
I am still after all these years a big fan of rice and milk so I really appreciated the Coconut Rice with Pineapple Rum Sauce. It was yummy.
The New York Style Cheesecake and Berry compote was great. There was also another cake which I can’t remember the name but that just melted in my mouth. Definitely a great pick for people with a sweet tooth like me.
There was also corn on the cob with chilli powder and lemon. I didn’t try this but everybody liked it.
The Pork Ribs and masala fries were the highlight of the evening. Talk about delicious. I was left regretting why I had eaten so much already. The ribs had been marinated in a secret sauce and they were finger licking good. If there is one thing that will take me to Nyama Mama it is these ribs. Perfection. I also loved the masala fries that were on the sweet side. A great accompaniment. Although there were other accompaniments like Mukimo I was too full to try because I knew there was dessert.
One of the things that made the food stand out was the sauces. Mama Nyama has experimented with different sauces and they really made the meals pop. They included the Tree Tomato Chutney, Mama BBQ sauce, Mama’s Homemade Ketchup, Chermoula, Smoky Mayo, Garlic, Pineapple Chutney, and Mama’s Hot Chutney.
The chef of Nyama Mama is Christopher Lewis who is from the US and was recently headhunted from Dubai. Christopher has been working on changing the menu to give Kenyan dishes a different flavour. He has been working on putting together a menu that will challenge Kenyans to look at food in a different way. One of the things he has been experimenting with is the tree tomato. It took him 3 months to get the Ugali Chips recipe just right.
Mama Nyama has really gone out to challenge the status quo in Kenyan cuisine. I am loving the efforts. One of the interesting things about the grilled meat is that it is not done over coal but it is done on a lava stove that still allows the meat to come out with great flavour.
We had four different cocktails and I have to say they have interesting flavours. I had to stop at cocktail number three because they pack quite a punch. The cocktails the Blue Mount, Mama Mule, Hot Mama and Lion’s share take advantage of locally available ingredients like fresh ginger, pineapple, and watermelon.
The price range starts from around 250 for starters. The main meals cost between 750 to 950 which is reasonable for Yaya Centre. A half rack of bbq pork ribs which you must try goes for Ksh. 950.