MU­SIC FOR THE SOUL, TASTY FISH, ATASHANTI

Business Daily (Kenya) - - EAT OUT - Jack­son Biko

I go for the ish and the greens. Now I go for the band as well.

Let’s see the things that haven’t changed: It’s still on Muthangari Gar­dens. Their fish is still heav­enly and so is their plan­tain and pepe soup.

It’s still pop­u­lar with West Africans be­cause, well, it’s still a West African haunt. It’s still chill and grown up be­cause the younger chaps hate to sit still and Ashanti is where you sit still. So what has changed? First, there is a new car wash at the cor­ner of the com­pound. Then there is a shop that sells mod­ern African wear. If you don’t like what’s on the rack, a West African guy will quickly run a tape­mea­sure against your body and you will be sorted. Then they ex­panded it. Sort of. There are two large sit­ting ar­eas that were not there the last time I vis­ited. So, more room.

Fi­nally, there is a new band every Satur­day af­ter­noon called Imani with two peo­ple; Paula on the mi­cro­phone and a gen­tle­man on the in­stru­ments. They are very good. She sings like a lonely bird out on a flat top aca­cia and he plays like a man play­ing for his own wan­der­ing soul. To­gether they are dy­na­mite. They play old ren­di­tions, like ‘Care­less Whis­pers’, Bil­lie Jean or some­thing from Daudi Kabaka. The band has trans­formed Mama Ashanti on Satur­day af­ter­noons, mak­ing it a place you want to while a lazy af­ter­noon with friends over food and later drinks. The best seats are usu­ally the main sit­ting area, un­der the um­brel­las. Those go first, so call­ing to re­serve ahead al­ways seems like a great idea. There is more sit­ting in­side the build­ing and also at the ve­ran­dah. (Not bad ei­ther.)

I used to go for the fish and the greens. Now I go for the band as well. Plus it’s a ma­ture crowd, no heck­lers. There will be a few loud peo­ple, but only in their dress­ing. You know how West Africans are.

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