While I’m not a vegetarian, I also don’t eat beef or large quantities of meat. I’m just not a huge meat eater (unless of course it’s bacon; I’ll always eat bacon). I was glad to see so many vegetarian options in Nairobi!
For lunch, the office team often eats at a local place called Diners Grill (in Nairobi, Kenya), just a couple of blocks from the office. Clearly a local establishment, Diners Grill offers fabulous Kenyan food with a home-cooked flare. I’ve enjoyed going here for lunch (most every day!) during my stint in Nairobi. The bonus in addition to the great food and homey atmosphere is that the vegetarian meal costs KES 200, or about USD $2.35. the meat options cost around KES 350, or about $4.05.
Yesterday’s lunch included sukuma wiki, ndengu, pilau (rice cooked in a seasoned broth), and mashed potatoes with peas and carrots. The food is delicious! While there are several meat dishes available (beef, chicken, and usually a fish), I stuck with the vegetarian options.
Sukuma wiki, a dish of cooked collard greens, is one of the most popular Kenyan vegetable dishes and seems to be available everywhere, including daily at Diners Grill. Ndengu is bean stew made from mung beans. I’m not sure of the others beans and vegetables that are in the dish—I think you can vary it as you like—but each day I was at Diners Grill I had some bean dish such as ndengu or maharagwe (dish of red beans cooked in coconut milk).
Ugali is the other dish I got to try this week. A staple in the local cuisines of the eastern Africa Great Lakes region and southern Africa, this dish is made of maize flour and cooked with water to be a doughy consistency. I saw locals eating stew with the ugali much the way Indians would eat curry with naan. Ugali can also be made with another starch instead of maize flour, but typically has its own regional name when prepared without maize flour.
If you get to Nairobi, you should definitely check Diners Grill out if you are interested in a delicious local dining experience.
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