Malawians and visitors in the city of Lilongwe have a chance to sample authentic traditional Malawian food at a trendy restaurant located at Pacific Mall, Area 10 in the capital city
Nthalo restaurant is a newly established food outlet which is being run by former corporate marketer, Janet Kathewera.
Nthalo is a pot used for the cooking of hard starch porridge locally known as nsima which is Malawi’s staple food, largely made from maize flour.
Kathewera said the name reflects the local Malawian traditional food which is a specialty at the restaurant.
This has been enhanced with aspects of Malawian tradition through interior décor using clay pots, woven place mats, as well as the traditional hospitality colours of white on tables cloths and staff uniform.
“Our clientele is the local Malawian, the expatriate community, the international traveler as well as the foodie tourist,” said Kathewera.
She said although Lilongwe has various food establishments, the need for professionalism and authentic local food is still in high demand.
Nthalo offers a buffet style dining experience, embodying the African custom of sharing food at the table, according to Kathewera.
With emphasis on healthier servings and preparation of food that is low in salt and oil, Nthalo gives its clients the taste of a proper home cooked meal.
“We have options for everybody, including diabetic people and those with a passion for rich foods. The boiled local chicken is delicious,” said Kathewera.
She said the focus is also on greener cooking methods and a total selection of organic foods.
The establishment of the restaurant was a result of “a woman’s pursuit of herself”.
“Having held some key positions as marketer in some of Malawi’s big corporations, I came to a standstill. But I have always loved cooking and I realised that food is my passion and my passion needed a home,” explains Janet.
“People actually ask me if I am an artist because I have done the shop interiors myself. My response has become food brings out the best in me,” she said.
Meals served include breakfast, offering a mix of international and local options, lunch buffets where people gather to share a meal as well as an ala carte experience for dinner.
“We have tried to turn this place into a home,” said Kathewera.
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