In order to recount the history of Tin Tin, one must trace the roots of the founders James and Anna Tin.
During the early 1940’s, with World War II at its peak, many young men and women around the world were fleeing their homelands in search of better pastures. Convinced that the Japanese were planning an attack, James’s mother convinced him to leave Hong Kong. At only sixteen years of age, James left his family and friends and boarded a ship to India. Upon arriving in Bombay (now Mumbai), James took one look around the port and decided to get back onto the ship and see where the ship would take him. The next port of call was the white sandy shores of Mombasa, so James, convinced his destiny lay there, decided to disembark in December of 1940.
James was penniless and in an unfamiliar world without any knowledge of English or Kiswahili, however he was lucky enough to find work as an apprentice in the shipyard. It was here that he would spend the next 40 years of his life honing his craft and becoming an engineer with African Marine & General Engineering Co Ltd.
At the time, very few Chinese families lived in Kenya, but James fell in love coincidently with another immigrant from Hong Kong, Anna, who had moved with her family in 1939. In 1946, they married and subsequently had 4 children who were all born and raised in Mombasa.
In 1978, James retired from the African Marine, however being an enterprising man, had over the years invested a lot of time in the Mombasa Shanghai restaurant. Together with his wife, they embarked on a new adventure and moved to the bright lights of Nairobi to open the first Chinese Restaurant in the newly built Kenyatta International Conference Centre. Anna dedicated her time to teaching Kenyan staff the delicious Chinese delicacies that she had learnt to cook from her mother, and James managed all the staff.
On April 1st 1978, Tin Tin Restaurant opened its doors to the public. Together with their children, in-laws, and dedicated staff, James and Anna transformed Tin Tin into one of Nairobi’s landmark restaurants. The sumptuous menu represents years of hard-earned experience and dedication to quality and it continues to deliver the highest standards to its diners.