Chinese treat at the Suli House

Thursday, October 14th, 2021 00:00 |
Freshly-prepared Swahili beef pilau dish. below: Chicken stir fry with noodles. Photo/PD/JASMINE ATIENO

Who would have known that there was such a beautiful place to hangout and actually enjoy a variety of cuisines right in the heart of Kilifi?

Actually a lot of hotels around offer mostly seafood and these would maybe excite international guests.

But for locals, we truly love to take a break from the fishes. So, I am always hunting for unique places that serve other foods, and that is how Suli House was recommended to me.

Suli is the Swahili name for swordfish, famous for its long flat pointed bill; it’s actually very dangerous when it is harpooned.

As the hotel manager Steve shared, the name has sentimental value and it brings a homely feel.

Well, for someone who lives at the Coast and sampled almost all types of fish, I don’t get too excited about having fish for lunch.

I was hoping and crossing my fingers that fish would have nothing to do with our lunch. But I have to say, serenity!

The place is as green and flowery as paradise, with a large pool for the hot afternoon breaks. It also has cottages and villas.

Getting set

Chef Iddy Katana is getting ready to prepare our meals and luckily, one of his favourite cuisines to prepare is Chinese.

But we are excited to hear it’s not the big swordfish. He is also happy to have some company in the kitchen as he gets everything ready.

“The dish is not just one of the easiest to prepare in a short time, but also one of the best because it has everything in it; starch, proteins and vegetables,” shared Katana, as he sorted out the ingredients that included carrots, celery, leeks, green pepper, yellow pepper, baby marrow, chicken (main ingredient), noodles, ginger, garlic, onions, olive oil and dark soy sauce for dressing.

“You can use any soy sauce, but I prefer the dark one because it changes the colour of the food so that it’s not too white,” he adds.

Whetting the appetite

The chicken is cut in stripes and this also applies to the greens to maintain some sort of unison—probably with the noodles.

The olive oil is put in a pan and pre-heated. It has to be very hot so the meat does not stick to the pan.

Then the chicken, ginger, garlic, onions and salt are put in. The mix is fried for two minutes while stirring.

The greens are then added in while still stirring and let to cook for another two minutes.

Then water is heated in a separate pan and where two tablespoons of cooking oil are added.

The noodles are put in the boiling water and let to cook for two to three minutes.

This could be done while simultaneously frying the chicken. Once it’s well cooked, the water is sieved and the noodles are added to the chicken, while adding the soy sauce to get the desired colour.

Some sesame is sprinkled on the mix and the food is ready to be served.

My favourite thing about this meal was specifically the ratio of chicken to noodles, and how fast it cooked.

It was ready to be served in less than 10 minutes. It is also favourable for children, considering the balance in ingredients. Fortunately, there was some pilau available too for the Swahili dish lovers.

Suli House has gained so much love from food enthusiasts. It’s located at Mnarani, right before you cross the Kilifi bridge; about an hour’s drive from Mombasa.

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