Mukhy’s grilled tandoori chicken and sauces you can’t resist!

By Mark Wiens 12 Comments
A view to cherish
A view to cherish

It’s a beautiful view, sitting on a plastic chair in front of a piece of street-side grilled chicken with a trio of unknown sauces to explore.

And that’s exactly what I faced when I sat down for a quick afternoon snack at Mukhy’s Cafe in Stone Town, Zanzibar.

The universal street food cabinet
The universal street food cabinet

When you approach Mukhy’s Cafe, you’re greeted by that universal street food glass cabinet full of tempting things waiting to be ordered.

Pre-made burgers, egg chops, a stack of the red beautiful chicken, and a pile of greasy fries sitting next to sticks of mishkaki. You could order chips mayai, grab some other street food snacks, or just go straight for the chicken like I did.

Restaurants in Stone Town
Tastes Great!

When the chicken supply runs low, you’ll see the chefs on the busy street side grilling up a fresh new batch – and the smoke that pours off the grill  smells amazing.

If you arrive in-between rounds, you won’t find the grill on the sidewalk, but you’ll just see the stack of bright red charred chicken with a little green sign above that reads “TASTES GREAT!” – how could you say no!?

Malawi Street is always busy and loud
Malawi Street is always busy and loud

You would never know from the street-side, but Mukhy’s Cafe actually has a nice little seating area with a few tables once you enter.

It’s sheltered by a piece of canvas, sponsored by Coca Cola, and adjacent to the road that carries loads of traffic and is always loud and action packed.

Grilled tandoori chicken at Mukhy's Cafe in Stone Town, Zanzibar
Grilled tandoori chicken at Mukhy’s Cafe in Stone Town, Zanzibar

My first time to eat at Mukhy’s Cafe, I had just eaten a rather large feast at Lukmaan restaurant, so I wasn’t overly hungry to say the least.

But the smell of the chicken, and the friendly staff that invited me in, were quite enough of a draw.

Mukhy's Cafe
That first bite is amazing, but then you taste the sauce… and it gets better!

I refrained from ordering the chicken and chips combo plate and just went for the grilled tandoori chicken alone.

They tossed it on the barbecue for a few seconds to warm it up, and then delivered it on a platter with a little shaved cabbage on the side.

My first bite of chicken was fantastic.

A beauty of a piece of chicken
A beauty of a piece of chicken

Real tandoori chicken should be cooked in a clay oven known as a tandoor.

This was a similar recipe, influenced by the great Indian chicken dish, yet instead it was grilled over high charcoal until cooked and slightly charred on the outside.

Amazing sauces
Amazing sauces

Sauces you can’t resist…

One thing is sure about house made sauces filled into old used plastic soda bottles; it’s always a fun adventure to sample.

It’s kind of hit or miss if they are actually good or not though.

Sometimes they are just generic manufactured sauces (like Peptang tomato sauce), and the restaurant purchased in bulk so just uses the bottles for each individual table.

But sometimes you get sauces that are absolute gems, like the ones served at Mukhy’s Cafe.

I can’t assure you they were completely sanitary, but I can assure you I’ll never forget the taste of them, especially that greenish yellow sauce with the tiny red specs in it.

It was absolutely incredible, a blend of mostly chilies and garlic. Whatever it was, it was irresistible. I drizzled it generously onto each and every bite of my chicken, elevating each bite to pure enjoyment.

Mukhy's Cafe
Look for this sign

Don’t worry, despite their sign being in past tense (specialized), they still specialize in tandoori chicken – it’s not a thing of the past – their chicken is still going strong and tasty!

What to eat: Chicken and chips (6,000 TZS) or mishkaki and chips
How to get there: From the Stone Town ferry terminal, walk away from the ocean on Malawi road. Around 30 meters, on the right hand side, just before you get to Zenji Hotel, you’ll see Mukhy’s.
Open hours: 7 am – midnight, but very informal hours, they are open most of the time is what the owner told me.

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12 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • High Rated Gabru

    3 years ago

    WOW!! Keep writing.

  • Vishal

    4 years ago

    Great content guys. Keep it up.

  • Jamie Gault

    10 years ago

    Hey Mark,
    Excellent post, definitely feeling the hunger rise up inside right now!
    I have never set foot in Africa before and the more I read through your site the more I wonder what’s taking so long.

    Can’t wait to check it all out!

  • Fanny

    10 years ago

    I love food, i am very foody

  • Mynos

    10 years ago

    Salut Mark, j’ai découvert ton formidable blog il y a quelques mois et je me suis décidé à t’écrire quelques mots ce soir. Tout d’abord, excuse moi de ne pas faire l’effort d’écrire en anglais au risque de ne pas retranscrire correctement mes pensées (je compte sur les traductions sur internet pour que tu puisse comprendre un peu mes propos). Je voulais juste te dire à quel point j’appréciai chacune de tes vidéos, tes articles, ta manière d’aborder avec passion et respect tous les mets que tu goûte, et cette façon unique de le partager avec tes fans (moi le 1er !). Chaque plat est un vrai voyage, une vraie poésie, que seule une personne passionnée comme toi sait décrire à nous en faire saliver. Même si nous ne sommes pas nous même devant ces plats, le simple fait de te voir les déguster nous donne une vraie idée que cela peut être, et on se dit “quelle chance il a”. Je n’ai pas beaucoup voyagé et à chacune de mes destinations lointaines (notamment le Vietnam), je n’ai jamais osé le street food, me contentant de choses standards, soit dans des restaurants assez classiques ou des fast food. Mais désormais, après avoir vu des dizaines de fois tes vidéos, je n’ai qu’une seule envie, c’est de m’aventurer dans les petits stands de rue, quels que soient les pays, pour m’imprégner de leur véritable identité…ce que l’on ne trouve pas en France par exemple. Bref, un très grand merci à toi Mark de partager autant de passion, de nous donner envie de voyager et de découvrir des choses différentes et délicieuses. Je resterai fan de ton blog pendant encore très longtemps, et s’il y avait une chose qui me tiendrai à coeur aujourd’hui, ce serait un jour de manger un bon plat avec toi histoire de voir pour de vrai ton expression de visage (unique et tellement attachante). Continue à nous passionner et nous faire rêver 🙂 Amicalement.

  • Tony

    10 years ago

    lol I just noticed that the water shipped there all the way to africa is from thailand (the aro box)

  • Masinde Odera

    10 years ago

    That looks so good, the fact that they specialise in tandoori chicken almost demands that I try some! Keep it up Mark!

  • Juan

    10 years ago

    wow, Grilled tandoori chicken is really yummy. In Malaysia I like eat Grilled tandoori chicken at Restoran Kapitan

    • Mark Wiens

      10 years ago

      Hey Juan, glad you love it too. Thanks for the restaurant suggestion!