wgNetworks Quest for Nairobi’s Best Burgers: Mama Rocks

Quest for Nairobi’s Best Burger: From a Food Truck to a Restaurant, Mama Rocks Takes the Leap of Faith

Parked at the serene Alchemist Bar in Westlands, Nairobi, behind the yellow double-decker bus is a food truck with some of the coolest peeps I have ever met in this city. Welcome to Mama Rocks Burgers Food truck ( restaurant in a few months!). Whats Good Studios has been tracing the journey and this week they are ready to screen the docu-series journey!

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Before we start off! This is highly classified kitchen information! Nairobi has burgers for every taste, heck we know that already, how is that classified information? Patience my friend. Now, two sisters, Sam and Natalie, who grew up in a mixed Kenyan and Nigerian family in London are determined to take the leap of faith journey from their food truck into managing a fully fledged restaurant somewhere undisclosed in Kilimani, and Whats Good Studios is following the process, the ups and down of starting a new business in Nairobi and the lives of the two sisters journeys in a reality like TV show shooting.

Dear die hard Mama Rockers! In the run up to the opening of Mama Rocks 2, due to open in just a few short weeks, please join us this Thursday 9th November @alchemistbar254 for the screening of a new series from What’s Good Studios – ‘Mama Rocks Doc’, hosted by @barakjacuzzi The docu-series premieres officially next week Wed on What’s Good Networks' Facebook page… Follow us the founders as we embark on a journey to open a full scale restaurant, juggle on-going responsibilities of managing the existing food truck and trying somehow, to have a personal life too 🙂 On Thursday between the hours of 5-7pm we are offering 2 for 1 burgers(!) and @alchemistbar254 has select 2 for 1 cocktails…Woot!! Screening starts 7:30pm sharp, so don’t be late! And to top it all off, after the screening, our friend @mixmasterlenny will provide the tunes that will make this the ultimate Mama Rocks party! Entry: Free!!!! Feel free to share this with your people. The more the merrier! Hope to see you there! #MamaRocksDoc #PoweredByWhatsGoodStudios #mamarocksgbk

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Naturally, I choose my burger but on this day, I allow my full-time foodie counterpart, Leila Awuor to pick the menu. Her choice, Maasai Mango. We get our seats near the bar and wait for the burgers.

This is the second time we meeting with the sisters who run Mama Rocks. Earlier we met in 2015 at Utam Festival and I begged them for a job as a social media and content marketing associate for their brand. But that is a story for another day.

Researching about their backgrounds. Born and raised in the UK, founders Samantha and Natalie Mwedekeli were once both busy at their respective 9 to 5 jobs.

At Mama Rocks we often joke and say, “If a plantain could talk it would scream ‘I am not a banana!’” The banana and the plantain are as distant in their relations as the classic burger is to its gourmet brethren. They may look the same but they were in no way created equal.

Here at the Mama Rocks food truck, my sister Samantha and I follow a gourmet philosophy which we exercise down to every last ingredient on our menu. – Natalie

Samantha studied law but after doing some work experience realised her heart wasn’t in it. She then began working with a homeless charity and rose through the ranks to become a trainer in the HR department. Nathalie with a management degree was a big fan of creative side of businesses.

With a love for Kenya and a business idea, the duo was ready to embark on the next step. Move to Kenya (where their Kenya/ Nigeria parents had relocated) and set up a food truck business.

With a catchy name that is relatable to Nigeria and Kenya, and no stress of venue leases for a restaurant idea, the truck offered the best escape. The infamous moving art truck now a favourite with many gourmet lovers.

The miniature kitchen truck is home to urban Afrocentric artwork with images of African greats from Fela Kuti to Desmond Tutu and catchy captions in Swahili.

According to a post on EatOut, Sam and Natalie agree they were lucky to find the communal space at The Yard in Westlands. Originally, they intended to open a restaurant, not a food truck, but as circumstances changed and finding a piece of land in a prime location was challenging, they adapted. Their location changes may have been a blessing in disguise. The Yard is home to The Bus and The Alchemist bar as well as other eateries, making it a lively destination on weekdays and weekends. The venue hosts events ranging from doggy socials to dub reggae nights, bringing in an eclectic range of individuals who try (and love) Mama Rocks burgers.

The Yard is home to The Bus and The Alchemist bar as well as other eateries, making it a lively destination on weekdays and weekends. The venue hosts events ranging from doggy socials to dub reggae nights, bringing in an eclectic range of individuals who try (and love) Mama Rocks burgers.

Their hipster staff and amazing smiles make the wait for the Mango Maasai burger a perfect one. But what makes the burgers and any meal you pick a memory is the mere fact that if carries a history with it. The girls grew watching their grandma and mother prepare nothing but the best.

Now, it seems like the sisters are ready to embark on that earlier dream of owning a restaurant. And the time looks fruitful too. This year they played hosts to Nairobi Burger Festival and already there is word that they have been suggested as 2017 Food Influencers for EatOut’s Yummy Magazine and they have been featured in the Kitchen Confidential segment for this month’s issue already.

So, this Thursday, if you will be down at The Yard aka The Alchemist Bar in Westlands, kindly make sure to pay a visit to Mama Rocks for the screening. Before that, catch thee girls on The Hump Show tonight. You will not miss the truck, yet!

Soni Side UpCover Image credited to SoniSideup.