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Dec 28, 2009 06:32 PM

Durham - rumours of Kenyan food?

I was speaking with a woman who is a Kenyan now living in the Triangle and asked her if there was a place that served Kenyan food in the area. She said there is a restaurant called Safari in Durham that has Kenyan food.

I did a search and found a Safari Cuisine mentioned, but could not find a web site.

Does anyone have any information about this place?


Edit: I found this mention by the Independent from 2003, hoping for more recent info though!

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  1. I haven't been, but a friend has and she loves it. I think she said it is near Watt's Grocery. Sorry I don't have anything more than that.

    1. It's on Broad Street just South of the intersection with Club Boulevard on the same side of the road as Watts Grocery and Broad Street cafe.

      I've been once for lunch.

      It was okay.

      Service was slow and the prices seemed high. I think it was around $9 for a plate of curry with no accompaniments. I've been told it's more expensive for dinner.

      I'd describe what we had as kind of bland Indian food, but maybe we didn't order the best items.

      There were some people who were probably Kenyan that came in significantly after we did but got their food before we did.

      That always bothers me.

      I'm sure it's a cultural thing but my culture is to not go back to restaurants that do that.

      2 Replies
        1. re: ToothTooth

          Yes, I was thinking of Palace International.

          Sorry about that.

          I doubt Safari is still open as the last African restaurant downtown was Palace International and they were closed for a few years before moving to the current location.

          I'm not sure they are Kenyan, either.

          Found a phone number for Safari if they're still open; the website doesn't exist:

          Safari Cuisine - A Taste Of Africa
          101 East Chapel Hill St
          Durham, NC 27701
          (919) 680-2170

          Safari closed in 2006:

      1. Thanks to all of you.

        When she was describing dishes and mentioning the breads that are served with them I commented that there seemed to be some Indian influence - and she agreed.
        We have been having quite a few Kenyan ladies coming in so I'll keep my ears open in case there are new options.

        ISTR a mention of a place that was all African food, highlighting specialties from all over the continent. I think it was in Durham but don't remember any other details.


        7 Replies
        1. re: meatn3

          There was a place called Mawa(My Authentic West African) in Raleigh. I believe it moved to Morrisville. I haven't been, but some of my coworkers have spoken well of it. IIRC they have stuff from outside of West Africa, including Kenya.

          Edit: It's listed in Google as Mawa Taste of Africa, in Morrisville.

          I'm surprised that there isn't more African food around NC, as there is a pretty decent sized population of African immigrants. There are a lot of Sudanese in Greensboro in particular.

          1. re: Naco

            That is the place I read about! Thank you!

            I found their website - they indicate they are in the process of moving to N. Raleigh. I signed up for mailings, so I'll post once I hear more.

            Perhaps we will see an explosion of African restaurants in a few years?!

            1. re: Naco

              Mawa in Morrisville closed a few months ago. I had been there for lunch and was looking forward to going back for dinner to have acara which were not served at lunch. These are hushpuppy like fritters made from black eyed peas or white beans that are similar to Brazilian acaraje. I had an excellent chicken dish for lunch and a nice discussion with the owners about acara and acaraje.

              The restaurnat info on the website has not been updated for a while - it had the same message about the new restaurant in Raleigh back in the beginning of October. I hope it's still on the way.

              1. re: boaviagem

                I wonder what's with all the moving around. Weren't they originally in north Raleigh, before moving to Morrisville?

                1. re: Naco

                  I just received an E-mail from Mawa. The restaurant is reopening 8/2/10 in Morrisville. They will also have a banquet hall in Raleigh on Capital Blvd. for catered events.

                  Here is a link:

                  The menu looks interesting. I hope to try them soon! This could be a fun chow group excursion!

                  1. re: meatn3

                    Didn't C&T Wok move into that space? I hope they aren't closing because that place is delicious.

                    1. re: mclp

                      Mawa is now at another location in that plaza, C&T Wok is still there!

          2. I live on the same block as Palace and have eaten there many times. I've only had the vegetarian dishes, but those are delicious. I brought a very devout gourmand to eat there once, and he said the tilapia was the best he'd ever had. I'm fondest of the groundnut soup. The collards are excellent too. Order water or beer to drink, though, as the coke is always stale. Other than that, high marks. The proprietress (Kenyan) and staff are all very nice.