So – remember that onion that I compared myself to in my post on Paris Letters? Yes, the “me” that I compared to an onion’s various layers? Well, this post is yet another sneak peek into what this Wanderluster gets up to, when back at home base in beautiful Kenya!
I absolutely love exploring a country through taste, and I find that one of the best ways to dive into a cultural experience is through the culinary offerings it has – be it street food, restaurants, cafes and bistros or fine dining.
My absolute favourite type of culinary experience though, has to be elaborately created menus that showcase a country – and if they are paired with wines – then even better! I have had several memorable meals in various countries that I will share with you in upcoming posts (stay tuned for my fine dining experience in a Castle in Slovenia) but, closer to home – you can imagine my excitement when my husband (who knows my passion for all things wanderlust) surprised me with a dinner date last night, at the Dusit D2 Soko which was celebrating the annual festival of Goût de France – or Good France! Read on to find out what this was all about.
So, Goût de France is a festival that is celebrated to usher in Spring, celebrated annually on 21st March. The history of this event is quite fascinating – but the long and the short of it is that once a year, on the same day, over 1000 chefs come together with over 1500 menus celebrating French Gastronomy, worldwide! What a unique opportunity to sample some amazing French cuisine! For me, this was an opportunity to travel to France through my taste buds, sat right here in Kenya on a balmy, warm summers day -Europe may be experiencing its first days of Spring, but here in Kenya, we are in the throes of summer!
Chef Anton Gasnier, executive Chef at Dusit D2 Nairobi created a menu that certainly tantalised my taste buds, gave me a food coma and left me wanting more.
We started off the evening with slivers of smoked kingfish with pickled squash, asparagus and poppy seeds. I thoroughly enjoyed the delicately smoked fish, though I did find the pickled condiments to be a tad bit too tangy for my liking.
The soup course – rustic white bean soup with gammon ham and perfectly little cheese toasts with ooey gooey melted cheese totally made up for any remnants of tang from the appetizer. This is everything a comforting soup should be – creamy, hearty and full of flavour. And the portion was generous – if this were a regular item on the Soko menu, I would certainly be a frequent consumer! We paired the first two courses with an Australian Chardonnay, which actually complemented both the fish and the soup really well.
The piece de resistance though, was the main meal itself. Grilled aged rump steak with a mushroom rub, served with aligot style potato and a Côte du Rhône sauce. I can still taste the delicate yet grassy, meaty flavour of the steak, which was made even more earthy by the mushroom rub, paired with a lick of the chocolatey, rich sauce and a forkful of the decadent cheesy garlicky potato – my taste buds were singing their own opera. I actually said to our waiter, Anton that if this were a dish featured on the Soko menu – I would be there in a heartbeat every week just to experience this taste sensation on a regular basis!
The cheese course was a great palette cleanser to the rich main – a beetroot macaron with a goat cheese centre, and a green salad with walnuts. Given that the day before was international macaron day – I was more than happy to be getting my fix! An interesting combination though the goat cheese was a tad bit too “goaty” for my liking. I polished it off nonetheless – no point in wasting good food now, is there?
Chef Anton came out at this point to say hello, and now I wish I had taken a picture with him but I wasmesmerised with the passion in his voice as he explained his menu. By the time the desert course arrived, I was well and truly in food coma heaven. A light iced milk chocolate parfait – which was actually more like a mousse, with cooling coconut sorbet . And washed down with the remnants of my glass of Cabernet Sauvignon – was a great end to a fantastic meal.
I must say that having been to Paris and been disappointed with the Parisian love of steak frites – maybe I was eating in the wrong places but if you have read my post – Footsteps in Paris, you will know that my hopes of eating rich cassoulets, coq au vin and Poisson with beurre blanc a la Julia Child were totally dashed! Well – I am pleased to say that my faith in French gastronomy was totally restored by Chef Anton and his team last night – and the icing on this cake is that the faith was restored – not in Paris but in my own beautiful country!
Now for the legalese (the legal eagle in me has to come out!) – this is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. I am not a food critic or a food blogger – this post is simply a glimpse into my culinary escapades as a Wanderluster, and expressing my delight that I can wanderlust through food right here at home!
I do hope you enjoyed this –let me know in the comments below and if so, stay tuned for some more posts on my fine dining escapades while setting footsteps across the globe!