England has some of the best curry
houses in the world but, in my experience, Kenya
easily matches, and even beats, England.
The Indian restaurants Iíve been
to in Mombasa have been fantastic.
We share another foodie bond Ė
the institution that is Little Chef.
In Kenya we have Little Chef and
Big Little Chef, both in in Mtwapa.
In Britain there are 162 Little
Chefs, and theyíre based in motorway service
In my mind motorway service
stations are like embassies, a magical no-mans
land where the normal rules of the country donít
With their identikit layouts
they exist in self-contained bubbles, and at the
heart of these bubbles is Little Chef.
Everyone in Britain hates Little
Chef except for me and Heston Blumenthal.
People look down on the chain Ė
they think itís cheap, has rubbishy food and is
out of date.
I see it differently.
I grew up in a family that didnít
drive, so I rarely got to go to motorway service
stations and Little Chef.
As a result, for me, those
breaded mushrooms and paper place mats in red
gingham are utterly exotic.
Heston Blumenthal is a three
Michelin-starred chef famous for cooking with
Bunsen Burners and test tubes.
Itís known as molecular
gastronomy and is all the rage.
New dishes heís invented include
snail porridge, bacon-and-egg ice cream and chips
made with hay.
Little Chef asked Heston
to give them a make over, but in the end they
decided he was too fancy for them, and they went
back to the good old ways of the breaded
mushrooms and the paper place mats.
I pray that Heston doesnít
have his eye on Little Chef Mtwapa Ė
that cabbage and that chicken donít need
changing at all.
Iím looking forward to going
to Little Chef when Iím back.
And maybe dancing at Big Little
you read it first at coastweek.com