Day: January 12, 2020

Kenyan Themed Restaurant Overwhelming US Capital


By EZRA MANYIBE

Located at the heart of Washington, District of Columbia, USA is a restaurant, Safari DC famed for the Kenyan cuisines it dishes out and is the only Kenyan themed eatery in Washington DC.

The restaurant has hosted a number of prominent persons from Kenya when they made their trips abroad, most notably President Mwai Kibaki, ODM leader Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka, Keneth Matiba, and Mama Sarah Odinga the Standard reported.

Many people that have visited the restaurant, shower it with praise stating that it gave them a taste of Africa and the zeal of African food. It has established itself as a fan favorite among Kenyans and Africans in the larger DC metro area.


“Once you walk in here, you are an African and we love to eat, talk politics and interact with each other,” Everitus Kalaba then a Consular official from Zambia described the restaurant.

The restaurant was founded by William Mukabane and his wife Alice. Coincidentally, Mukabane left for the US to pursue the American dream the same day President Jomo Kenyatta passed on, August 1978.

After doing manual jobs at various restaurants, he pursued hotel Management and classical french cuisine, served as a chef and later branched out to start the restaurant.

A yearn for Kenyan food ignited the desire to establish a restaurant majoring in African delicacies.

Talks of the restaurant as an authentic Kenyan cuisine joint attracted people across Washington DC, inking its name among fan favourites.

A corner of the restaurant is dedicated to US’s 44th President Barack Obama and was christened the Obama shrine.

During Obama’s inauguration, it hosted his grandmother, Mama Sarah Obama and several Kenyan dignitaries who were set to attend the function.

A section of Safari DC, a Kenyan-themed restaurant in Washington DC.
A section of Safari DC, a Kenyan-themed restaurant in Washington DC.
She came in at around 10 am and left at 3 pm. I treated them to Tilapia, Samosas, Kenyan sausages, chapatis, nyama choma,” Alice recounted.

The hotel features cuisines such as grilled meat, staples such as collard greens, cassava, and grains.

In 2017, the restaurant was acquired by David Laichena, a Kenyan, and he along with his partner continued the Kenyan theme for the restaurant.

According to American publication Petworth news, some of the chefs at the restaurant are Kenyans. And Laichena constantly liaises with the Kenyan embassy to import Kenyan chefs for the restaurant.

For its African dominated menu, the restaurant imports a majority of the foods from Kenya. Kenyan tea including spiced masala tea, Arabica coffee from Kenya, Tilapia from lake victoria, Farmer’s choice pork sausages.

The soothing Kenyan music that plays in the background adds to the African experience the restaurant’s clientele seeks.

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