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Most popular 'Tin Tin' Chinese restaurant wins hearts in Nairobi | Coastweek

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- According to Henry Tin, the restaurant owner, Tin Tin Restaurant was established in 1978 at the heart of the Nairobi Central Business District, upholding Chinese cuisines while incorporating Kenyan preferences. For years, Tin Tin Restaurant has become a defining part of the city’s landmark — Kenya International Conference Center (KICC), attracting lots of office workers nearby and even presidential patrons. PHOTOS - TIN TIN RESTAURANT NAIROBI

Most popular 'Tin Tin' Chinese restaurant wins hearts in Nairobi

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- 'Tin Tin', a Chinese restaurant located in central Nairobi, has been serving local Kenyans for nearly four decades with its zestful dishes and a unique cultural background.

"This is a restaurant definitely worth a try," says Steven, a local resident in his 30s, to Xinhua. "It has provided Chinese food since my grandfather’s time."
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According to Henry Tin, the restaurant owner, Tin Tin was established in 1978 at the heart of the Nairobi Central Business District, upholding Chinese cuisines while incorporating Kenyan preferences.

For years, Tin Tin has become a defining part of the city’s landmark — Kenya International Conference Center (KICC), attracting lots of office workers nearby and even presidential patrons.

"The former President of Kenya, (Daniel) Moi, was a very good patron for us.

"He comes almost once a month here and pay always in cash.

"Then (former President Mwai) Kibaki and now (President) Uhuru (Kenyatta).

"They all like to enjoy our food," says Tin.

"Former President Moi really likes our chicken wings.

"He ordered this dish every time.

"He even asked us for the cooking tips," adds Tin.

Danis, an office worker of an insurance company near the KICC, says he is a frequenter of the restaurant, which is conveniently located inside the KICC.

"It is the only Chinese restaurant in the highly competitive downtown area.

"Besides, its food has been adapted to our taste," says Danis.

"My favorite dishes are fried shrimp and fried pork, which you can also find in a Kenyan restaurant."

High quality food consistently served over the decades has helped maintain a loyal clientele, says Enoch Kivunaga, Senior Chef of Tin Tin.

"My experience depends on the customer.

"If I cook good food they always come back, no matter they are presidents or ministers," says the chef.

Facing challenges from other outlets in the new era, the restaurant has modified its business strategy by including outside catering into its services.

"We should be able to supply a meal in that 250 kshs (about 2.4 U.S. dollars) to 300 kshs range in mass and work out the logistics to move around to offices," says Jamie Pujara, Tin’s nephew and business partner.

 

Most popular 'Tin Tin' Chinese restaurant wins hearts in Nairobi | Coastweek

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  'Tin Tin' Story Began Many Years Ago ...

In order to recount the history of 'Tin Tin', one must trace the roots of the founders James and Anna Tin.

During the early 1940’s, with World War II at its peak and the imminent invasion of the Japanese army into Hong Kong, Jame’s mother insisted that he leaves home to settle in another country.

At only twenty years of age, James left on board a ship and landed in Mombasa in 1940, the last port of its destination.

In an unfamiliar world, without any knowledge of the local language, he was later employed by a British Company called African Marine & General Engineering Co. Limited.

It was here that he worked for the next 40 years of his life.

James met and married another immigrant from Hong Kong, Ann Wong, who had moved to Kenya with her family.

In 1946 the married and had four children who were born and raised in Mombasa.

In 1977 James retired, being an enterprising man, over the years he had invested time in the Shanghai Restaurant in Mombasa, and Anna managed the entire kitchen staff.

In 1978, together with his wife, they embarked on a new adventure and moved to Nairobi to start up a Chinese restaurant in the newly built Kenyatta International Conference Centre.

Anna was an amazing cook and devoted her time in training the Kenyan chefs to prepare and cook Chinese cuisine.

On April 1st 1978, Tin Tin Restaurant opened its doors to the public.

Together with their children, in laws and dedicated staff, James and Anna transformed Tin Tin into one of Nairobi’s landmark restaurants.

The sumptuous menu represents years of hard earned experience and dedication to quality and it continues to deliver the highest standards to its diners.

 

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Most popular 'Tin Tin' Chinese restaurant wins hearts in Nairobi | Coastweek

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Besides affordable food, Tin Tin also aims to enhance its level of professionalism and to have better business management systems, says Pujara.

Tin says he speaks Swahili well and perfectly pronounces indigenous names, a fact that shows the Chinese culture and its Kenyan counterpart are quickly merging.

"I am a Kenyan Chinese. I love both two great countries," says Tin.

 

             

 

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