You can order githeri, skuma wiki and ugali for a traditional and nutritious meal.
Githeri is stewed with beans and large grains of white corn. Skuma wiki is a Kenyan preparation for cooked kale or kale, a leafy green chopped and seasoned with cumin and coriander. Ugali is a staple food made from cornmeal boiled to a firm, dough-like consistency. It doubles as a serving utensil. Pull a little ugali from the round white mass, roll it into a ball with your fingers, make an indent with your thumb, and use it to scoop out a little skuma wiki.
Among the meat options, you can try the slightly spicy pork or beef sausage (Kenya brand Farmers Choice), or try the nyama choma (meaning “roasted meat” in Swahili) with a choice of beef or chicken. However, my choice is goat stew. Bite the meat off the bone and enjoy a rich soup seasoned with tomatoes, peppers and spices.
The restaurant’s whole fried tilapia is crispy on the inside, but it’s even more impressive when served with a piping hot sauce. Made with tomatoes, coconut flour, curry powder, onion, coriander and pepper, it has a lovely body, smooth texture and a subtle, subtle flavor.
A handful of menu items reflect Indian influence on Kenyan cuisine, dating back to British colonial times when people from the Indian state of Gujarat settled in East Africa. Samosas, chapati and savory basmati rice are some of the main dishes at Jambo Grill.
Curry puffs feature beef and chicken fillings packed tightly into triangular pockets. The beef curry samosa was extra juicy and well seasoned.
Karinge said pancakes were the first thing her late mother, who was also a chef, taught her to make. These buns are pan-fried to crisp the edges while remaining moist and doughy on the inside.
You can never go wrong with coconut rice or meatloaf. The former imparts a delicate coconut flavor to the grain, while the latter is reminiscent of savory dirty rice, thanks to the pilau masala spice seasoning—a blend of cumin seeds, black pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves.
Two dishes I can eat every day are irio (a starchy green pea and mashed potato) and kachumbari (a salad of tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and lemon)—easy and satisfying.
While the restaurant doesn’t currently serve desserts, Wanja said she uses her pastry talents to make cakes on weekends.
While Jambo Grill offers takeaway, I’d recommend eating in, even though the 6-table, 22-seat restaurant is modestly decorated (Kenyan decor is planned) and the food is served on disposable plates. When a Karinge or Wanja brings a dish to the table, lively conversation inevitably ensues, which can be an educational opportunity for those wishing to familiarize themselves with traditional Kenyan cuisine.
Jambo Grill is affordable, nutritious food you won’t find anywhere else.
2 out of 4 stars (very good)
food: Traditional Kenyan Food
Serve: Personable, no-frills vibe, order at the counter
Recommended dishes: bhajias, beef samosas, githeri, irio, ugali, pilau, coconut rice, skuma wiki
Vegetarian dishes: bhajias, githeri (without beef), homemade salads, ugali, irio, kachumbari, french fries, chapati, pilau (vegetarian on request), coconut rice, plantain, cabbage, skuma wiki
price range: $$
Hour: Tuesday to Sunday 11am to 8pm
Parking: free parking
Marta Station: No
Outdoor dining: No
take out: Yes (order in person or by phone), no delivery
Address Telephone: 2555 Delk Road SE, Marietta. 470-919-6046