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HomebusinessKenya Kitchen: Exotic Kenyan-Owned Restaurant in London Where Raila Dined

Kenya Kitchen: Exotic Kenyan-Owned Restaurant in London Where Raila Dined

Kenyans in the diaspora continue to fly the country’s flag higher. London, England is home to a Kenyan-owned restaurant, Kenya Kitchen, where ODM Leader Raila Odinga and his entourage dined during his visit to the UK last week.

Nairobi senator Edwin Sifuna was among the leaders in in Odinga’s entourage. He was full of praise for the restaurant for exporting Kenyan culture to the UK.

In December 2022, the restaurant hosted a delegation of Kenyan MPs led by National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula. Wetangula later took to X to talk about their amazing experience and also congratulate Small for her entrepreneurial spirit.

The visit to Kenya Kitchen, a restaurant in North London run by a young Kenyan lady Ms Margret Small, was the highlight of the trip. Her dedication and perseverance in making ends meet despite living far from home inspired us,” the speaker wrote on X.

ODM Leader Raila Odinga with his entourage outside the Kenya Kitchen restaurant in London, U.K.
ODM Leader Raila Odinga with his entourage outside the Kenya Kitchen restaurant in London, U.K.

Kenya Kitchen started off as one of the first small Kenyan cuisine serving restaurants in Edgware and slowly grew to an Internationally recognised brand representing homemade, fresh, tasty Kenyan meals.

The eatery serves a wide variety of meals of which some are Halal and Vegan friendly.

Kenya Kitchen is owned by Margaret Small.

Background

Small was brought up in Funyula, Busia County. She relocated to the UK to reunite with her father when she was 14 years old. He is an accountant.

She experienced a culture shock and had to quickly adopt. Everything seemed foreign for her, ranging from the transport system, food and even language. The father, Kennedy Bwire enrolled her for an online language class which boosted her English.

She then went in for secondary school education and thereafter pursued education. However, she had a passion of cooking and would juggle between the two.

ODM Leader Raila Odinga poses with Kenya Kitchen proprietor Margaret Smalls.
ODM Leader Raila Odinga poses with Kenya Kitchen proprietor Margaret Smalls.
Online food venture 

Due to a substantial number of people who have busy schedules in London, Small realized that there was a market niche for selling food online. And she had a plan: mastering a variety of recipes and cooking the most delicious cuisines.

Her expertise would pay handsomely as she created a loyal base of raving fans. She ended up receiving numerous positive feedback and referrals. She once sold her food at an event and the people were impressed.

She used to sell food online, and the demand was growing. In 2019, somebody saw her work and invited her to sell food at an event. The food was sold out. People suggested then that she start selling her food because people love it,” reveals her dad.

Kenya Kitchen 

Small’s father laid ladder for her daughter when she needed the capital to start her restaurant. He also helped in beating the painstaking process of applying for various licences and certificates.

The 30 year old’s idea was to sell traditional Kenyan foods which were quite unknown in the UK.

I felt that there is a gap in the market for Kenyan food. There were so many cuisines out there that were not Kenyan. Given the fact that we have so many tribes in Kenya and each has its own cuisine, those are the kind of the things I just wanted to tell people our story through food,” she told Chams Media.

Kenyan Kitchen sells ugali, tilapia fish, sukuma wiki, githeri, matoke, viazi karai and nyama choma. Small sources the food from the local market with some of the spices originating from Kenya.

Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna enjoys a beer at the Kenya Kitchen in London, UK.
Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna enjoys a beer at the Kenya Kitchen in London, UK.
ODM Leader Raila Odinga with his entourage outside the Kenya Kitchen restaurant in London, U.K.
ODM Leader Raila Odinga with his entourage outside the Kenya Kitchen restaurant in London, U.K.
Part of the menu at Kenya Kitchen.
Part of the menu at Kenya Kitchen.
Part of the menu at Kenya Kitchen.
Part of the menu at Kenya Kitchen.