I’ve been on the road for a few days, and getting food sometimes has proven interesting, if not difficult, mainly because we might have been less prepared, or that we forgot to make some purchases.
More often than not, we end up eating bad food along travel routes, and you’ll have the driver stopping every hour to let someone use a public bathroom, or a bush. The most common ailment of a trip is a running stomach.
So this time when we traveled, we were lucky to have most of our meals at the places we were staying. From sumptuous welcoming and filling lunches, to light dinners, and hot breakfasts, hotels have perfected the art of making sure their guests are well fed, if not fattened.
Last night found us in Nyeri, with hungry bellies, and some fatigue induced crankiness on my part. It was not the night to go hunting for places to eat. Until someone remembered a little place they had wandered through before, and we opted to try it.
Bahati Bar and Restaurant is a little place off one of the main streets of Nyeri town, hidden behind a short alley walk and stair climb. Off one doorway, you glimpse the hot jiko furnaces belching smoke and that might be enough to make you turn back. Into the main doorway is a simple and unassuming room with a bar at the end. There is only two wait staff, so you have to wait your turn. They do see their clients walking in though, and in two minutes, one is there to get your drinks order.
When we placed our order, we asked for the Kuku Special. One of us had had it before, and promised that given the hardy foods our Kenyan bellies had had before, we wouldn’t fall ill, and we would be full to the maximum. We placed our trust in him, and in so doing, I must say, he was right. Service did take a bit of time though; you have to be patient a while especially if it is late in the evening.
When they brought the platters of food, they were heaped with a mixture that can only be termed as “Special”. A whole chicken cut into regular portions, on a platter heaped with French fries, sliced tomatoes, boiled green corn and chapati hidden underneath it all, with a hint of pepper. In general speak: Chipo, kuku karanga, nyanya na mutungo, na chapo zimekatakatwa.
I’m telling you, there’s nothing like it. I remember licking my fingers in delight, and wanting to eat a little more off the platter, till I had to admit to myself that my stomach couldn’t handle more. And given the looks from the rest of the guys, they were in the same predicament.
So when in travelling, sometimes it’s great to get advice from someone who had been in that town before. You never know; you might get a delightful, wholeheartedly Kenyan surprise.