The foodies gathered around the table at Norfolk, where some may have been Tatu and Lord Delamare Terrace fanatics, the hotel’s flagship restaurants known for their classics and love affair with well-hung meat. But the servers still had no trouble tempting them into eating delicately fried calamari, crisp rocket with beetroot and goat cheese, and even a pizza of sorts.
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts Kenya, Group Executive Chef Karan Suri – the star of the gastronomical event – was undaunted by the Kenyan palate. They were only canapés after all, and the diners, whom by now had awakened taste buds, still had the main event to look forward to. The more seasoned eaters were impressed, but the rest simply had their appetite whetted for a truly excellent lunch.
Suri, 30, was the runner-up for Chef of the Year Award at Taste Awards 2013. His goal for the exclusive lunch was to reveal some of his own specialties, those that have seamlessly been added to the new menus at Tatu and Lord Delamare Terrace.
As of Monday, all of Norfolk’s menus including cocktails, restaurants and even room-service will be refreshed. Aside from uplifting the culinary experience at Norfolk, Suri and his team hope to change the perception of Norfolk being incredibly expensive. With a few price adjustments here and there, even the penny-pinchers will appreciate.
Suri, fresh from his recent travels to Istanbul, Turkey splits his time between Nairobi and his globetrotting pastime. And his new inspiration was clear with the Baked Prawns and Mushrooms with Chilli Butter – a very simple dish, but one that requires finesse to achieve the harmony of flavours that are familiar to the Turkish seaside.
There was the firm Pommery Mustard Fish Tikka, mouth-watering Braised Beef Ribs with a refined-in-flavour East meets West BBQ Sauce, and absolutely delightful Asparagus with Almond Butter. All of which were the new Tatu specialties.
With a gentle squeeze of lemon, the Baked Prawns and Mushrooms with Chilli Butter opened for the Lord Delamare Terrace specialties, followed by a classic Lemon and Thyme Roasted Chicken; which led to a juicy Morendat Beef Burger with aged Cheddar and Onion Jam.
For dessert, fine vermicelli noodle-like strands of filo pastry, wrapped around the warm and gooey apple filling of the Apple Strudel was imaginative in presentation and tasted beautifully with the Vanilla Sauce, the aromas still pungent and fresh from the vanilla pod.
The Classic Tiramisu with Espresso soaked “Savoiardi” was a food admirer’s dream come true. Without any gelatin, the light clouds of pure mascarpone with a light sprinkling of Tia Maria coffee liqueur made from Jamaican coffee beans was the ultimate “pick me up,” setting the stage for a fine cup of espresso to finish off the entire experience.
By far, one of Nairobi’s most talented chefs, Suri’s culinary approach is Zen-like in its calm precision. From its modern plating to the order in which dishes should be eaten, precision and simplicity is what Suri thrives on, and is what will set your next Norfolk experience apart from the rest.