It is a single room thatched with coconut palm fronds, famously known as makuti, with an open entrance and a large menu that can be mistaken for a door.
On the menu are some of Kenya’s favourite meals, but with wrong spellings! And going by the food prices, this is a common mwananchi’s restaurant just at the centre of Ukunda town in Kwale.
Black teas is for instance spelt as ‘blach tea,’ while ‘giteri’ is meant to be githeri. The cost of food ranges from Sh10 to Sh40 per plate.
My Favourite Place restaurant has a table, with two benches and stools in the middle of what is commonly referred to as ‘mama nitilie kiosk’ (lowly restaurant). The man behind this ‘investment’ is a foreigner from Germany.
“I cook and sell githeri, cabbages, sima, chapati and other dishes and will soon start making pilau,” says 73-year-old Wolfgang Fley, the owner.
Fley works with his 57-year-old Kenyan wife with whom he lives in a rented Swahili house.
He reveals that he was a chef in Germany and cooking is his favourite job.
Asked why he couldn’t establish a nice joint along the beach, Fley responds that, “There are no tourists flocking the Coast currently and Kenyans will definitely buy local.”
He discloses that he established the restaurant in January last year and that most of his clients are local business people in the adjacent Ibiza market.
“Kenyan meals are easy to cook,” says the German as he dashes to get change for Sh500 for a customer.
He says he is surviving on his pension.
Maureen Samuel, the only waitress at the local eatery says she was employed to assist in communicating with customers who don’t speak English or German.
“He does most of the work like washing utensils, cooking and even serving. I also do the same, but mostly for those clients who are comfortable communicating in Kiswahili,” she explains.
Masha Katana is one of the clients we find in the restaurant. He says the food, especially the githeri, is really good.
“The food is good and cheap though the portions are a bit small. Most of us prefer quantity to quality,” says Masha.
He notes that though the play may look run-down, Fley has made it extremely clean and neat.