Swahili Village Bar & Restaurant: A lil taste of Kenya

I must admit, since Christmas 2010 when I visited Kenya, I have been missing certain Kenyan foods- and I’ve also been glad to be rid of certain food (nyoma choma).

So it was a special occasion when I went to a Kenyan restaurant in D.C. called Swahili Village Bar & Restaurant.  It took us an hour and 20 miles to go 24 miles. But it was completely worth it! It was cozy, had AMAZING food and it was cheap (by American standards).

My friend and I started off with Bhajia and Samosas. The samosas were great. Tasted just like when I had them in Kenya- so juicy, flavorful and succulent. I never had Bhajia (spicy fried potato chips) before, but it was so good.

Then we moved on to Samaki Kaanga (spicy Tilapia), Ugali, Ndizi Kaanga (plantains) and Sukuma Wiki (collard greens with onions). We had water and a mango/yogurt smoothie to drink.

It was quite a sight watching my friend attempt to get the bone out of the fish.  The people in the restaurant all starred at us in amusement.  At one point, I asked our waitress if there was a trick, she said there was, then snickered. But didn’t tell us what it was.

We were so completely full; we could not finish everything! The amazing thing about everything was it was only $30 (so $15 bucks each)! Not bad at all, considering we went home with a lot of food.

It was so good. Definitely just as good as I remembered it in Kenya.  The journey made me nostalgic for a vacation I didn’t completely appreciate until I was already back in the United States.

While I was in Kenya, I was so focused on how it was not like America, and all the amenities, foods, etc Kenya was missing, that I truly did not get to appreciate and experience its culture.  However, once I returned to America, I began to realize what an amazing opportunity I had- and nearly missed.  The beauty of Kenya is truly unlike anything I’ve seen before.  It was so surreal, peaceful and beautiful, without all the major towers that dominate the cities or the money hungry individuals plaguing the streets.  No, Kenya’s beauty was natural.  Kenya’s food was so fresh and delicious, it has ruined having certain foods, namely fruits, in America.

All in all, I’d say the hour and 20 minute journey to Beltsville, MD was worth the long drive! It was simply amazing, and although it did not have Picana Mango, I must say the rest of the food did make up for it!


About Haley Behre

I graduated from Syracuse University in December 2011 with majors in newspaper journalism and women and gender studies. Using these majors, I aspire to become a journalist who writes about human rights issues. I have held internships at the Syracuse New Times, Dash Media PR Firm, Syracuse Post-Standard and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. I also had an internship at the Not For Sale Campaign Syracuse chapter, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating human trafficking. I was born in Seoul, Korea on September 30, 1990 and moved to the United States before I was one year old. When I was 8, my family and I moved to Norwich, England for three years. While I was here I was immersed into a new culture and got to experience many things other children my age do not get to. Over the three years, I visited Ireland, France and the Netherlands several times, and Belgium, Wales and Sweden once. In the winter of 2010, I got an amazing opportunity to visit Kenya for a month. This was by far the single most eye-opening experience of my life thus far. The natural beauty of the landscape and its people do not compare to anything I have seen. I currently intern for the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press in the hopes of getting a full-time job at a newspaper or non-profit after.
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One Response to Swahili Village Bar & Restaurant: A lil taste of Kenya

  1. Pingback: In Chie’s Kitchen: Sukuma Wiki (Collard Greens) | Nutrition in the African Diaspora

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