Lunch today was at 𝗔𝗳𝗿𝗼𝘀𝗶𝗮𝗻 𝗪𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗻 𝗙𝗼𝗼𝗱 kiosk at the Kompleks Makanan Persiaran Gurney (Gurney Drive Food Complex) run by the personable owner-chef Syazana Khan, assisted by her husband, Fairuz.
Tall, statuesque Syazana Khan is half-Zambian, half-Malay. She owed her exotic looks to her Zambian mother, Beryl Yvette Howes, who descended from the Ndebele tribe of Southern Africa, renowned for their artistic talents, their painted houses and colorful beadwork. As a child, Syazana’s mother nicknamed her “Booma”, meaning ‘chubby doll’ in their native Bantu language. Her regular customers still called her by this nickname today!
Her mother’s English surname was due to her great-great-grandfather, Harry Scovell Howes, an English adventurer who’d settled in Rhodesia (modern-day Zimbabwe) and married an Ndebele tribal princess (Syazana’s own maternal great-great-grandmother!). Syazana’s father, Mohamed Rabbiyal Khan, is a Penang-born Jawi Peranakan, with Malay, Punjabi and Afghan roots.
Syazana named her food kiosk “Afrosian” to reflect her African and Asian parentage, and draws upon her rich, mixed heritage to provide the inspiration for her food offerings.
The 𝗔𝗳𝗿𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝗿𝗶𝗰𝗲 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗽𝗶𝗿𝗶-𝗽𝗶𝗿𝗶 𝗴𝗿𝗶𝗹𝗹𝗲𝗱 𝗰𝗵𝗶𝗰𝗸𝗲𝗻 is an obvious nod to her Southern African roots – the early Portuguese settlers arrived in Africa with chile peppers (known as ‘piri-piri’ to the Swahili tribesmen). The chicken needs to marinate for at least four hours before being grilled.
The succulent grilled chicken drumstick I had was smothered with a lightly-spiced, pureed capsicum sauce.
African Rice with Piri-piri Grilled Chicken. The bowl of chickpea-based gravy is drawn upon the North African 𝙡𝙖𝙗𝙡𝙖𝙗𝙞 soup.
Syazana offers a variety of cakes, but the favorite one among her regulars is the 𝗣𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗮𝗻 𝗰𝗼𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘂𝘁 & 𝗚𝘂𝗹𝗮 𝗠𝗲𝗹𝗮𝗸𝗮 (palm sugar) 𝗖𝗮𝗸𝗲.
Afrossian Western Food
Kompleks Makanan Persiaran Gurney (Gurney Drive Food Complex)
10250 George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Tel: +6012-440 6515
Opening hours: 8am to 5pm, Mon to Thu, Sat & Sun. Closed on Fridays.