I know, you’re wondering what a vegetarian like me was doing at Nyama Mama; as the phonetically-pleasing name suggests (for non-Swahili speakers, it literally translates to Mother of Meat), I was drawn to the beautiful aesthetics because I assumed the food would obviously not be for my dietary requirements.
Well, I was proved wrong and I spotted several dishes that intrigued me, like the Ugali Fries with Garlic Sauce (which I recently tried and relished).
But I had recently visited the Nyama Mama Delta branch for breakfast with Diva and my two cousins. And it was quite a meal!
Upon reaching the upper-level parking lot, I noted that Nyama Mama Delta is located below Buddha bar, right opposite the Delta Towers itself. As we strolled through the outside seating, I noticed the large colorful wall murals and the wooden furniture.
As we reached the indoor seating, there are two entrances. One leads to the wash basin and the area near the open kitchen and the bar, whereas the other, with the ramp, is a larger seating area complete with lounging sofas decorated with vibrant, colorful kanga printed pillows. I also loved how dynamic the kanga (Kenyan cotton fabric) lamp shades looked. So, the kanga motif didn’t go unnoticed.
Once Diva notified the staff to open the door that has a ramp, we took a table indoors as it was quite chilly in the morning. I felt as though I was in someone’s home as there were little knick-knacks like Milo tins, flour sacks and sugar bags on a shelf.
We could see the larger lounging area on one end and we could also see the bar with the iconic metal Vikombes (metal mugs popular in Kenyan homes) hanging, ready to serve their signature cocktails and the open kitchen where we could watch the talented chefs cook.Ravenous, we swiftly ordered after a quick perusal of the menu. I know it was a little too early to have a cocktail but I really wanted to try the much-raved about charcoal cocktail, so I got the Charcoal Pit from Mama’s Medicine section, Now, I’ve had activated charcoal before from my mom’s extensive medicine kit and it can do wonders on a sour tummy day. However, what I really had meant to order was the Charcoal Martini. Perhaps, I shouldn’t have ordered a cocktail if I wasn’t even fully awake😜
The Charcoal Pit, with Charcoal infused Hennessey VS & Martini Rosso, silver needle tea, and chai bitters, was served in a glass bottle. A strong, spicy drink, it is not for the lighthearted, that could easily warm an ice-cold soul. Cue Christina Perry’s Jar Of Hearts.Diva and my cousin ordered hot drinks – a Mocha and Hot Chocolate. And my other cousin, Rushab (an incredibly-talented drummer, btw), ordered a Nutty Rock milkshake with Coffee macadamia nut milk, malt beverage, Kisampa honey syrup, banana and hazelnut ice cream, topped with popcorn. He added the optional bourbon. I had to try it and it was delicious with the malty taste pairing well with the caramel popcorn.For her meal, Diva got a Mama’s Cheese Pie with Mama’s Pili Pili Sauce that was oh so warm, flaky and cheesy. Freshly baked, this was so delicious. And the Pili Pili Sauce was divine. In fact, we even took one home for Mom and she fell in love with that addictive Pili Pili Sauce.My cousin got Pancakes with Chocolate Chunks topped with a drizzle of maple butter syrup. American-style, these pancakes with chocolate bits came drowning in the sweet, buttery syrup. She polished her plate clean so they were obviously really good.Rushab, on the other hand, got a little distracted by the Dessert Menu so he got the Chai Mandazi Ice Cream Sandwich as his brunch meal. The two warm, freshly-made mandazis sandwiching chai flavored ice cream looked delicious. And despite being a self-proclaimed dessertarian, I couldn’t bring myself to try the dessert, and especially as I had stuffed my face with my huge breakfast.I had the Brioche French Toast with caramelized bananas, candied roasted pecans, and maple butter syrup. It was so so good. The rich French toast tasted like fried up cinnamon cake and while I didn’t quite enjoy the caramelized banana, I loved the crunchy, roasted candied walnuts and the buttery maple syrup. I enjoyed my dish thoroughly, but I couldn’t finish the massive (in my terms) portion.Our friendly and efficient server made sure all our whims were met, and in such a gorgeous, aesthetically-pleasing restaurant, the food and ambiance blew our expectations.
Expect the extraordinary at this modern African roadside diner and you’ll fall in love it!
Unless otherwise stated, photos courtesy of Diva Shah