It appears gone are the days food business used to cash in on their neighbourâ€™s menu.
Area 18 Restaurant in Malawiâ€™s capital, Lilongwe, is aware that classy customers no longer judge a restaurant by how much its meals resemble those in the cafe next door.
For a difference, the outlet provides a wide range of meals in a traditional set-up rarely seen nearby.
The eatery strives to maintain Malawian culture. For instance, the use of water tumblers is optional. Customers use gourds to tap water from big pots which act as a refrigerator.
The official language in the eating hall is vernacularâ€”at least among the seven waiters at work.
Â Even restaurant director Stella Nanthambwe is always in the kitchen ensuring that meals are delivered on time.
The dishes include nsima, macaroni or rice with the likes of nkhwani wotendera, chisoso, bonongwe, therere, chigwada and other traditional delicacies.
They also serve roasted Chambo, grilled local chicken and a variety of Chinese and English foods.
Prices range from K500 to K800, but you pay a little more when you go for takeaways.
Those who like thobwa are welcome. There are beautiful outdoor tables which allow customers to enjoy fresh air while taking meals.
It is always open from 7am to 9pm.