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East Africa Chef Magazine Edition 2

Fonda NBO: the soul of authentic Mexican food

In this version, East Africa Chef Magazine options Fonda NBO Restaurant, which is the main Mexican Restaurant in Nairobi in so far as authentic Mexican food is worried. The restaurant, which is located at the Roselyn Riviera Mall alongside Limuru Road, has earned an enormous repute as the first cease for all who need actual and authentic Mexican food.

Our crew met with the Executive Chef of Fonda NBO, Chef Timothy Angwenyi who was greater than glad to host us to lunch as we marveled at the magnificence that’s Fonda NBO Restaurant. This is a singular piece of artwork and a restaurant with a conventional aura of Mexican life-style.

Chef Timothy is joyful to share with us the historical past of the restaurant. Fonda is a synonym to phrases like ‘bistro’ and ‘inn’. However, in Mexico, Fonda started as a spot the place locals (passers-by & neighbors) can get pleasure from authentic food from domestically sourced elements primarily based on age-old recipes (courting again to the Mayan age). This was historically carried out in houses however has now developed to snug upscale environment and even cities.

Authentic home-cooking

Fonda NBO brings that authentic home-cooking to Nairobi with its vibrant and eccentric décor, which features a cranium wall, cobblestone flooring, architectural arches, open kitchen, scrumptious salsas and a Mole Poblano (a mixture of Mexican chilies, nuts, tortillas, dry spices, and chocolate) that impressed us to write down about this institution in the first place.

So what’s a Fonda, anyway? A query at the forefront of most individuals’s minds once they first hear the title of this imposing restaurant.

Fonda in Latin America means various things, relying on which model of Spanish or converse. In Chile, a public gathering to have a good time a vacation is named a “Fonda”. Funnily sufficient, the phrase really originates from Arabic, that means tavern or inn. In Mexico, a Fonda is equal to a “bistro” in Paris or a “trattoria” in Italy. More than that, Mexicans use the phrase to explain a spot the place individuals can get pleasure from recent food from domestically sourced elements primarily based on age-old recipes in informal and cozy environment.

Evolved over time

The quintessential Mexican Fonda developed out of the houses and eating rooms of ladies who would prepare dinner a primary three-course meal for neighbors and passers-by. The Fondas of yore had been homely locations serving traditional food in clay plates on plastic doilies. The high quality of food and worth for cash meant that Fondas quickly got here to dot the streets of each metropolis throughout the nation.

Today, Mexico is full of Fondas and identical to the trattorias and bistros of Italy and France, the idea of a Fonda has now broadened. The new-age Fonda is a full-service restaurant providing the similar high-quality traditional Mexican soul food in informal however extra upscale environment.

The consistency seen at Fonda NBO is un-believable. The colors, supplies used, decor, utensils, structure, and so forth. It is all one. For Fonda, colors of: pink, blue, and yellow are seen all through.

The ‘O’ in the phrase ‘Fonda’ is designed in such a method that it has the restaurant emblem. This emblem is constituted of a ‘molcajete’ which is a Mexican stone device (mortar and pestle) for grinding spices. In it, are chilies formed in an ‘X’. Chilies are crucial in the cooking of almost all Mexican meals.

“In as much as everything at Fonda NBO accurately depicts a restaurant in Mexico, all materials were sourced locally,” says Chef Timothy. “An integral part of Fonda is its commitment to buying local products; be it potters, carpenters, glassmakers, artists, etc., it is all local.”

Locally sourced

Chef Timothy and his superb crew are conserving issues native with chilies from Mexico, however grown in FONDA’s personal farm in Kenya. From the earthen crockery to the whimsical artwork items on the partitions to the hand-painted tiles, the house owners of FONDA have painstakingly sourced all the pieces from Kenyan artisans. Located at Rosslyn Riviera Mall, it’s undoubtedly value the journey. Try the Mole Poblano de Pollo, and the Uchepos, which is sort of a candy corn tamale.

The setting of a typical Fonda in Mexico is alongside the streets. This method, the place is usually busy and has different outlets surrounding it. This has been proven at Fonda NBO via the open show with branded ceramics, glasses, tiles, and clay utensils.

There are three sitting areas at Fonda: El Mercado, La Veranda, and La Zona Cultural. El Mercado is the space you meet when you stroll into the restaurant. The design permits visitors to really feel the hustle and bustle of a typical Mexican market. The open kitchen provides the visitors an opportunity to see how proficient cooks put together the Mexican dishes. While in your excessive seat at this lengthy farm desk, you get to see the entire Fonda kitchen; which we should say is, glowing clear.

Second is La Veranda that homes the bar and several other tables and chairs. This space appreciates traditional Mexican structure and provides the visitors an opportunity to expertise a Mexican outside sitting space. The well-known inspiration wall set on a shiny yellow wall attracts all the consideration. The black and white photos of Mexicans doing varied actions that revolve round the form of food put earlier than you had been taken by the administrators on their quest to be taught extra about Mexico, the individuals, food, and eating places!

A certain dedication

Eventually, once we sit down for the lunch, Timothy is all smiles for having given us a little bit bit of hindsight on the restaurant. But there may be extra.

“At FONDA NBO, we are committed to delivering Authentic Mexican soul food made from the finest of locally-sourced organic ingredients,” he says with satisfaction. “Here you will embark on a journey to Mexico that is at once exciting and homely. Wholesome, authentic, and intensely flavorful dishes and drinks served in traditional pottery and glassware will titillate all your senses. The warm comfortable, rustic family environment is reminiscent of both today’s and yesterday’s Mexico.”

Around the world, individuals usually discuss Mexican food as a singular culinary idea; the actuality is that there is no such thing as a such factor as one sort of Mexican food. The depth of this delicacies, which was listed as an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2010, wants time to find, savor, and revel in. Fonda NBO hopes to provide you that point.

“Our hope is that we can finally make the intricacies of this food an adored cuisine in Kenya and over time showcase the depth that is “Mexican Food”. Mexican delicacies is a worldwide food development that has seen its reputation develop strength-to-strength because of its avenue food enchantment, conventional culinary strategies, and distinctive elements. It’s the “in” factor proper now,” Chef Timothy provides assuredly.

Finally in Nairobi

At the East Africa Chef Magazine, we’re joyful to report authentic Mexican food has formally arrived in Nairobi! No, we aren’t speaking about simply burritos, guacamole, refried beans, tacos, or nachos. Think past the fast preparation dishes which have been popularized already. Traditional Mexican culinary strategies are time-consuming, labor-intensive, and require many elements.

Rich, thick, advanced, chocolate-tinged, and roughly 30 elements make up Mexico’s National Food, Mole Poblano. The preparation of this concoction normally begins a day forward: chopping, grinding, roasting, and mixing. The aromatic sauce is then boiled for hours and decreased to a thick, fragrant, subtly candy and savory sauce that’s good for a juicy roast hen thigh or in some scrumptious tamales steamed in banana leaves.

Mexican delicacies is huge however all characteristic the use of recent native elements and conventional preparation strategies.

The benefactors of Fonda NBO, Roho Hospitality Ltd have continued to speculate closely in the Restaurant to make sure the idea utterly resonates with their core values. The heat, casualness, the freshly cooked food, utilizing age-old recipes – there couldn’t have been a extra good match.

“At Fonda NBO, we have specifically taken the essence of what a Fonda is and brought it to Kenya – the care, affection, and attention to detail will hopefully be evident to all our guests – in the preparation of our food, in the way we have designed the restaurant space.,” says Chef Timothy. “Our goal now is to make Fonda NBO, the best neighborhood Mexican restaurant in the city – a place you can turn up to in your sweats and a t-shirt, a place you go when you want to go out but still be at home.”

A luxurious meal

It can be unusual if we didn’t indulge you a little bit on what Chef Timothy served us for lunch. For the most important author of the story, there was a luxurious serving of Filete De Res, which is principally marinated beef filet served with Mole Poblano, lentils, inexperienced beans, papas (potatoes) and three tortillas. Tortillas are comfortable and nutritious flatbread constituted of nixtamalized dry corn kernels.

The author’s colleague was served with hen, rice and beans, and three tortillas. But earlier than this heavy meal, we had been entertained to a bowl of freshly-made crisp tortilla chips. We had been wowed by the authentic style of this meal. We devoured it with pleasure, figuring out all too nicely that we had been bought on the menu. We promised to come back again for extra.

Chef Timothy was nonetheless form sufficient to expose additional info which we discovered very helpful. He mentioned in each Mexican meal, you’ll not miss some key elements together with the Mole Poblano, which is made of 30 elements as revealed. There are lots of chilies in there. You may also not miss beans and corn. Other elements will solely rely upon the dish or the serving.

He’s additionally glad that there’s nice teamwork in the Fonda NBO kitchen, and the cooks have developed a powerful and closely-knit working relationship, which has ensured they’re very profitable at what they do.

“We are a great family here in our kitchen. That has made our engagement very fruitful and exciting. All the kitchen staff members are happy because we inspire and motivate one another a lot,” he concludes as we rise as much as depart.

As we’re escorted out of the restaurant, we’re certain there’s a subsequent time at Fonda NBO as a result of the authenticity of the Mexican food right here is outstandingly exemplary.

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