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Food & Drinks

Dinner is Hockey and Slow-Roast Pork

Piri Piries Restaurant in Diani
Piri Piries Restaurant in Diani where guests play hockey and petanque. PHOTO | EAUNICE MURATHE| NMG 

Sometimes we get bored sitting in a restaurant and waiting for food. Sometimes we get bored waiting for food to digest after eating. But at this restaurant in upmarket Diani, you play after eating or vice versa.

Piri Piries Bar and Restaurant is like a social hub for people who love good food, banter and games.

It is a stylish eatery where diners play Pétanque, a game of throwing balls and hockey. And every first Tuesday of the month, there is a quiz night.

“Every Friday, we play hockey at the car park. The adults play first then the children join us. You do not necessarily need to know how to play, we teach you,” says Tracy Pirie, who co-founded the restaurant, bar and coffee shop about two years ago, with Kathryn Robertson.

At the restaurant, Pétanque is played on Saturdays. Pétanque is a popular game in France but it has spread to other countries. To play it, all that is needed is a friend or two, an open space and boules game set.

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Pork belly

Two teams play against each other and the boules used depend on the number of players.

The teams decide who is going first; a player throws the jack and players in the other team aim from a designated throwing spot. After all the boules are thrown, the team with the closest boule receives a point for each boule that is closer to the jack than their opponents. The team that gains 13 points first becomes the winner. Besides the boules games, there are Karaoke and film nights.

Tracy who has lived in Diani for 40 years says Piri Piries was an old restaurant that has had many previous owners.

“We did a lot of renovations, including adding an outside seating area and a children’s playground,” says Tracy.

They mainly serve British cuisine, but on occasions they have French, German, American and Kenyan dishes.

“We serve national staples especially on public holidays in different countries,” she said.

During the 2019 Rugby World Cup, she plans to serve foods from countries whose teams are playing. For Bastille Day and US' Independence Day, she also made meals to mark the holidays.

To whet the diners' appetites, she sends out newsletters every month on the planned menus.

In her kitchen, she has hired a Kenyan chef, Gershom Onsare who has mastered the art of whipping up different dishes.

Chef Onsare, who developed a passion for cooking as a young boy says he is always experimenting with new culinary fusions and delights.

His favourite meal is a slow roast pork belly, a meal he first tried in a restaurant in Dubai where he was working.

He says to make a perfect pork dish; you first remove the skin and marinate it with garlic, black pepper, paprika and oil. Then give it a nice seasoning with black pepper and salt.

“Pork belly is quite fatty so ensure it has enough seasoning and slow roast it for two and a half hours in the oven. While roasting cover it with two layers of aluminium foil to prevent it from getting burnt,” says Chef Onsare.

He usually serves it with tamarind sauce accompanied with cauliflower mash. Also, roast the pork skin and serve it crispy on top of the pork belly.

Besides the steak piri pirie that is also a favourite among diners, there is meatless options such as sticky sesame cauliflower. They also serve macaroni and cheese.

There is an outdoor area where guests dine under the stars. Inside the restaurant, the owners have hang bottle lights fittings.

“The bottles used as decorations are made from recycled glass. When they light up at night, they are attractive and create warmth,” says Tracy.

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