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The Nairobi Japanese Food Festival: A Review

written by Yummy Team 2nd May 2019

The Yummy Team made their way to Nyama Mama at Delta Towers to try out the fusion menu at the Nairobi Japan Food Festival that happened on 26th to 28th April 2019.

Nyama Mama has been a favourite dine in from when it opened its first outlet. It has come to be known as the spot to get creative local delicacies such as chapati quesadillas and ugali fries. It makes sense then that this was the restaurant that hosted the Nairobi Japanese Food Festival which was a brand-new culinary experience by integrating Japanese ingredients in Kenyan cuisine.

The menu included products from Japanese companies S&B Foods and Yamasa that were Kombu Tsuyu soy sauce, wasabi, yuzu and curry powder. Executive Chef of Nyama Mama, Mr Lesiamon Sempele came up with the entire menu and found a way to marry together the unique flavours from both country’s cuisines.

The menu may have sounded both familiar and foreign but after tucking into it we realised that it tasted just like home.  The Kombo Tsuyu flavoured meat roll-ups were sweet, very similar in taste to teriyaki beef, with a potato and green bean filling. Only two rolls up were plated but they were, in our opinion, the perfect starter.

Kombo Tsuyu flavoured meat roll-ups

The second starter option was a refreshing garden salad with fried tofu and wasabi mayonnaise. You can’t go wrong with fresh vegetables as a stater but what elevated this dish was the wasabi mayonnaise. Any Japanese foodie fan has had their encounter with this unassuming green paste that is usually plated in a discreet amount. The burning sensation you might be used to feeling when you taste wasabi but this sauce that was generously drizzled all over the salad brought a whole new flavour profile with it. It added salt and spice to the mayonnaise which made this salad anything but boring. If we could have bottled it and taken it with us then we would have.

Garden salad with fried tofu and wasabi mayonnaise

Onto the main dishes which consisted of Japanese goat curry with cheesy mukimo and avocado and Japanese beans curry with cheesy mukimo and avocado. The presentation was simple with the curry tucked under layers of mukimo, cheese and avocado. Honestly, the thought of combining cheese and mukimo may never have occurred to any of us but Chef Lesiamon found a way to make mild cheddar and regular mozzarella blend beautifully without taking anything away or overpowering the mild taste of mukimo. The Japanese bean curry could have tasted like nothing special however the addition of the golden curry spices gave the stew a depth of flavour that had us scraping the bottom of the bowl for more.

Japanese beans curry with cheesy mukimo and avocado

The bowl of curry itself was a generous portion so we asked for a side of the goat curry and we were not disappointed. The goat curry was just a flavourful as the beans curry with the goat cooked to tender perfection.

A sample of the Japanese goat curry

If you’re curious about these products, they will be available at Zucchini ABC until 4th May 2019. Try out the golden curry spices, teriyaki sauce, Kombu Tsuyu soy sauce, yuzu juice and so much more. If not then keep your fingers crossed that Nyama Mama and Chef Lesion bless us with this menu selection again!

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