What we love about home is the comfort, company and having a dish prepared in a manner that makes one feel just at home. Many people in the working-class and those who are miles away from their zones of comfort have been deprived of this privilege. The digital world too has had its influence by having people glued to work and leaving them with minimal time to prepare their homely dishes.
Worry no more, as Pepata Traditional Restaurant has stepped in to take away the guilt of eating out and feeling guilty every time you come home late. At Pepata it is home away from home. Situated in the city centre next to the National Theatre of Namibia, the baby in the hospitality business is slowly but surely building a reputation of a preferred second home.
Pepata’s traditional menu is tailored to bring you in touch with your home feel while at the same time having a meal close to what you would eat at home, if not better. The restaurant opened its doors in 2015 and those in the know will tell you just how much Namibians are starting to appreciate their traditional cuisine.
“People love ‘matangara’, dry meat, mopane worms, the river brim fish and the favourite marathon chicken. But there is more. We try to keep our meals very homely. People are busy and have hectic lifestyles, so they want to be able to go somewhere to grab a meal and still feel at home,” said Joolokeni Nambahu from Pepata. While explaining the importance of serving healthy dishes, Nambahu believes that it is a priority for customers to get what is worth their money. In addition, the restaurant has a dynamic young team trained to provide customers’ preferred service.
“Our meals are very healthy and guilt-free. You can eat with us from Monday to Sunday and you will not pick up a ‘kapunda’. We cook with natural ingredients and little preservatives. Besides the quality, we also have reasonable prices. You can have a decent full meal for less than N$100.”
She adds, “Traditional food is healthy. We actually never had these health problems when we just ate our traditional food.” In modern societies, it is no secret that traditional dishes are hard to find. And it is for this reason that people always want to go back home during holidays to have their favourite dishes. To this Joolokeni says – “ours is to make you feel at home. We will bring the village to you.”
To serve diverse cultural dishes, Pepata has over the years expanded their menu to include your normal African dishes and all guests such that the restaurant becomes a hub of trying and learning about other cultures’ dishes. The restaurant serves normal English breakfast. They also serve lunch buffet for people who only wish to grab their lunch and rush back to work. The restaurant is open from 08h00 to 00h00 during weekdays and 09h00 to 02h00 on weekends. They are open to host your normal birthday party, corporate events and other functions. With the world going digital by the day, Nambahu emphasized that it is important for people to keep their cultures and celebrate that of others too.
“We need to go back and preserve what we used to eat. Not only is it healthy but it celebrates who we are. We need to preserve our cultures, appreciate our own food and teach the world what we eat.
At Pepata, our aim is to have diverse cuisines of most Namibian cultures,” says Nambahu, adding that they want everyone who walks into the restaurant to feel at home.