The Kenyans love their goats. And they like them grilled and chopped up into little pieces. They call it Nyama Choma – grilled meat.
Yesterday, I headed with some friends to a place called Olopolos (pronounced olepolo) south of Nairobi in the Ngong Hills. You won’t find this place in a tourist guide, but it is well known to locals – both for its meat and its location. On a ridge overlooking the Ngong Hills, it stradles the boundary of the central highlands and the Great Rift Valley – with the sun setting over sweeping views of the latter.
The place is run mostly by the Masaai, who rule the Rift Valley. Attesting to its popularity, it was packed with Kenyans partying or out on a date. It also had a healthy presence of hawkers selling trinkets and some interesting odds and ends – lion’s furball, herbal aphrodisiac, and masaai headgear – another good sign.
In passing, I must mention the sense of deja vu I had upon arriving. My first view was of a group of partying Kenyans, with their car open, loud music blaring, and loads of beer and meat for everyone. If the people weren’t black, I would have sworn they were Punjabis – stereotypical one’s that we in Delhi like to call puppies. Then it dawned on me – there are too many similarities between Punjabis and Kenyans. We like to live ostentatious lives, spend money, and enjoy every moment. Too bad the Kenyans will never admit it.
There is another place, on the same road, called Olonana Country Club. Placed higher on the ridge it has better views, but reputedly not such good meat and is frequented more by expats. To my passing glance it seemed empty. Olopolos rules the landscape here, and is worth going to for the atmosphere. Just remember to take plenty of toothpicks.