How convenient that this post would fall on Kenya’s Independence Day which I had no idea was today until this morning while scrolling my Instagram timeline. HAPPY Independence Day Kenya!
Anywho, my bestie (pictured below) and I celebrated her 29th birthday at Swahili Village in Beltsville, Maryland. My bestie wanted to dine there and since it was her birthday, we did! This is our second time dining at an East African restaurant together. We dined at the Ugandan restaurant Little Kampala Grill in October (see here).
The Birthday Girl!!!
Sidenote: Her hair is SO CUTE! It was done at the N Natural Hair Studio.
My First Impression/Thoughts
- This place is LIT! The atmosphere was lively AF (lol, watching too much Insecure). Afrobeats jazz is lightly playing in the background (major plus), lots of people and yea lit AF!
- This place is big. Looks like a hole in the wall from the outside but it’s not. It’s very spacious.
- Okay Swahili Village, looking good!
What We Ate
They were sooo GOOD! I’m still thinking about them and that sauce on the plate was so DELICIOUS! I wiped it clean off the plate with my samosas. And yes that is ground beef, yummerZ!
We both ordered the tropical splash which I hated at first. But it grew on me once I mixed it around with my straw. I would NEVER order it again though. We both needed something stronger than that. It tasted like juice. #BOO
I should’ve followed my gut and order the margaritas which looked so LUSH! But it was $15 and I couldn’t spend $15 on a drink. The tropical splash was $7.00 and tasted like it..lol
Lesson of the night: You get what you pay for.
Okay so my best friend ordered a whole fried tilapia fish (pictured above) and not the fish fillet.
FYI: However, order the fillet instead (pictured here) because the whole fried fish (pictured above) has TOO MANY BONES! Ugh! Barely any fish, just bones (don’t let the size fool you).
Other than that, the coconut curry stew it was smothered in was good. My bestie let me taste some. I tasted the fish only, not the rice. The coconut curry stew had a subtle flavor which I appreciated. Sometimes the spices and seasonings in West African dishes can be overbearing
AF and hella strong. This was just right! I am sure it tasted even better the next day once the seasoning settled. It came with two sides. She chose white rice and a chapati.
Mchuzi Wa Ndengu / Lentil Coconut Stew
I ordered this from the vegetarian side of the menu. I wasn’t in the mood for eating heavy. I was already full from the samosas. This stew was sooo yummy, warm and creamy. I know my picture of it above it isn’t appealing but TRUST me, it was delicious and fufilling.
It came with one side but my SWEET waitress let me order an extra side for free! I ordered chips aka fries and chapati. The fries were delicious and they were giving me Popeye’s cajun fries minus the heacy seasoning (which I actually don’t mind when it comes to Popeye’s cajun fries). The chapati was so oily! However, just about all the chapati’s I’ve ever eaten were always oily but at least they tasted better :-/ However, I think I’d still order it again and just bring paper towels (in my purse) to pat it down with. Yes it was that oily, like clog your arteries oily. That’s what I did the next day when I ate it. I patted it down with paper towels.
- If you eat meat, ORDER THE SAMOSAS! So GOOD!!! Fried to perfection!!
- DO NOT order the whole tilapia fish! It’s just bones!
- Food came out at a reasonable time but the service needs improvement. It took too long for our waitress to greet us once we were seated and that was the case for the table next to us. We were just waiting!
- Servers should be more knowledgable. Our waitress was really young and didn’t know as much about the menu or the drinks.
- It gets really noisy after 10 or so. It was so noisey that my BFF and I couldn’t even hear each other. The music was too loud. It was no longer afrobeats jazz playing lightly playing in the background. It was afrobeats BLASTING.
- It’s a nice spot for a birthday shindig. There was another girl there celebrating her birthday. The servers even came out and singed happy birthday to her. She brought her own cake and had a lot of guests at her table.
- They didn’t have barbeque sauce. MAJOR TURN OFF!!!!!! Ugh!
All in all, the bopsie twinZ will definitely return!!! We gave it 3 stars out of 5.
I am so happy I ordered authentic Kenyan food! YAY me!
I love how African restaurants in the DMV are stepping up their game!! I am here for it and I will support it!!
Have you ever been to Swahili Village? If so, what’s your favorite thing to order?
Share below in the comments and thank you for reading!!! 🙂