Chicken n Bhajia.
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After travelling all the way from home to school for one afternoon class. (Most people wouldn’t; but I am that person who is always trying to do the right thing). (I say travelling because, at a particular stage during my journey, hawkers try to sell you biscuits and juice from outside the window). Sweets and water is okay. But the minute you start seeing scones, biscuits and Afia juice, my friend, you are travelling! Anyway, the lecturer only taught for about 30 minutes and was done for the day. You can imagine how I felt after leaving the house before 12, to get to Chiromo before 2; only for the lecturer to teach for 30 minutes. Ah the embarrassment! After my friends laughed at me enough (because they don’t come for that class) and I had consoled myself, I decided to grab something to eat because it was going to 3 pm and I was so hungry.
I go up to Westlands to look for a cheap joint with actual food and come across ‘Caprice frys’ (a fast food restaurant). I don’t mean fast food like where there is a variety of sitting options and you are told to wait 15 minutes as they pretend to cook your food. No! Where you pay through a small window; to a person you can barely see, and go with a miniature piece of paper they call a receipt, to the person behind a counter, and you’re served as you watch. They put the food in black papers and surprise you with the fact that you must go back to the small window to buy sauce as they only provide salt, chilli and vinegar in the weird-looking bottles at the tables. Well, that kind of place.
The chairs at these places are always abnormally high (see contrast in picture above with normal chair) and there are mirrors all round so you feel like the place is big and clean when it really isn’t. You get your food from the counter and if you were privileged enough to afford chicken, then you have another receipt; which you take over to the counter near the door that has that rotating chicken that attracted you in the first place. The guy at the counter pretends to look at the receipt like he doesn’t already know your too broke to afford more than a quarter, then quickly performs some hand acrobatics, sprinkles some salt and cuts up your quarter to several pieces so you feel like you have a lot of chicken.
You then proceed to sit down content with your food, like all the strangers in the restaurant, and open your package with the hope that maybe a stray bhajia is in your chips or vice versa. (I kid you not, this actually excites me). You sit there in silence, staring at yourself in the mirror in front of you as you contemplate your unhealthy eating decisions. You distract yourself with the Nigerian movie going on in the background; that your watching through the mirror because your back is toward the greasy television, threatening to fall from the ceiling or some rusted metal brackets, at any time. You typically don’t watch such things but there is nothing else you can do. So, you actually follow through and are momentarily sad that the evil step mother killed her sons’ wife and …. (Well, you catch the drift). Eventually, either you realise the movie is over and your still seated with empty papers, or you look back at your food and it doesn’t seem to be finishing; yet your already full. You then surrender and leave because your scared you may not be able to stand and walk to the bus stop if you continue or (like me), you pack it up nicely and stuff it in your bag and walk around smelling like fried food.
Back to my actual experience; I went to ‘Caprice Frys’ in Westlands on Mpaka road (near Posta Kenya Westlands). I had bhajia (140/=) and quarter chicken (195/=). My overall experience was good. The bhajias were cooked all through, and had an amazing coriander flavor that is characteristic to this food (most restaurants don’t seem to know that! Some think its just supposed to be round shaped fries.); as well as a hint of chilli which wasn’t overbearing (coming from someone who sneezes a bit when eating lemon herb chicken at Galitos). I think I just have a low tolerance for chilli. Chilli should compliment the food from a distance and not overpower the meal; numbing your taste buds from other flavors such that, you’re eating but you don’t even know what it is anymore, because your mouth is so hot. No thank you!
P.S: (I can confidently say, I have favourite bhajia spot now).
The chicken was good; well portioned (shout out to the guy at the counter with hand acrobatic skills); it cooked all the way through (no red parts) and was tender and moist (not leather like). Chicken can be good if prepared well or can loose all its flavor if overcooked. This one was good. It could have been better but remember this is an affordable fast food joint, not a fancy hotel – so I would let them get away with it. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t choking me, it just could have been slightly better.
Their portions are extremely generous. I ate to my fill and carried some back home that I had as a light lunch the next day. Imagine that!
The place could have been much cleaner and the servers much kinder. I didn’t feel as welcomed as I would have wanted. You must talk to your customer; greet them, and most of all thank them for coming because without me then there is no business. They seemed to have different views than this.
Condiments: Vinegar, Chilli Sauce and Salt. (all in non-related containers)
Their condiments (chilli, salt, and vinegar) should be packaged differently or the bottles be maintained very clean. My goodness! That was a sight to behold. The salt also looked strange. I don’t know if you can tell, it looks like I poured flour on the bhajias, but it’s actually salt. Or so they say it is.
Menu was extensive; however not all items were available. i.e sandwiches, burgers, pies and cake. Food is generally very affordable at ‘Caprice Frys’. Here is a part of the menu that can guide you accordingly:
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What’s your favourite fast food joint?
What do you have when you go there?
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