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Feature: Tin Tin, popular Chinese restaurant wins hearts in Nairobi

Xinhua,January 01, 2018 Adjust font size:

NAIROBI, Dec. 31 (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."

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.

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. Enditem