Mama Nilishe: A Piece Of Pwani In Nairobi

If you are a lover of Swahili food, this article is for you.

Also, if you are not, something is off and you need to read this and change your ways. How can you not love Swahili food? Who hurt you?

Mama Nilishe isn’t just a Swahili food restaurant, it’s an experience.

It’s mid-morning on a Monday and an assignment has us along Ngong Road.

Hunger won’t let us prosper so we walk right into Prestige to get some breakfast but something just doesn’t sit right.

An idea is born and we agree we could actually do with a meal. Pete is over-smiling at this point, Sia looks concerned and unsure.

But seriously when have I ever misled anyone on food? I’m however concerned about the walking distance.

Ten minutes later we walk into Mama Nilishe. The sweet-smelling aroma of the spices, the Taarab music, and the dancing staff all usher you in.

All skepticism is now out the window and I’m certain that the food is legit coastarian.

Don’t you just hate it when Njoroge sells you fake pilau? Those days are over, this place is all that and a bag of mahamris.

It’s Friday and there is only one item on the menu, Biriani. Your options are either beef or chicken biriani.

We all settle for the chicken biriani and our server assures us that it’s the kind that falls off the bone.

Guys, I wasn’t ready for what they placed on the table. It almost looked too good to be devoured.

The meal is served on a wooden plate that says authentic!

The rice lays delicately on the plate surrounded by the most beautiful thick and aromatic sauce I have ever seen. Don’t get me started on the chicken, let’s just sum it up by its generosity.

We ask for the house chilli just to add a bit of heat but trust me it’s not necessary. The food is perfectly seasoned.

The rice was fragrant, the chicken tender, moist and you could tell it soaked in the spices. The kachumbari on the side completed the meal. The onions brought in the sweetness and crunch that balanced out the meal perfectly.

Your tastebuds are in for a beautiful surprise.

The portions are super generous, it took us several breaks in between to finish the food.

To wash down the meal we ordered tamarind juice. I kid you not, this is the best Ukwaju juice I have ever tasted in my life. It felt amplified with some notes of cardamom and spices my tongue is yet to decipher.

I rate this place an 8/10. The ambiance is amazing, it gives those Pwani vibes. The food was worth every dime, that has to be the most value I have received for 550 bob.

The service could improve though, our servers kept forgetting our orders which can be quite frustrating.

We also wished we could have gotten more variety to sample. Some starters and dessert options would really crown this experience.

All in all, Mama Nilishe is worth the hype and is definitely a new favorite for us.

Am a Writer & Entrepreneur. Passionate about life and good food!