Its really sad what’s happening in South Africa. Xenophobia makes no sense at all. Brothers don’t kill brothers. I hope the South African government restores order. I love South Africa. I love their people so I hope this is a passing cloud.
I’m not a stickler for wine and food pairing and my penchant for accompanying heavily seasoned red meat with zippy wines like Sauvignon Blanc has caused many a sommelier to cringe. I do, however, like to be armed with knowledge about these things as you never know what may come in handy when chanced with an appropriate occasion. It is no wonder then that I headed out to Que Pasa Restaurant in Karen on 2nd April 2015 for an evening sampling good food and wine; or for-as one stranger seated across from me at the table would state after one too many glasses of Baronne-“an evening being asked if you can smell the watermelon in your wine when all you want to do is drink it!”
We arrived slightly late to find Nederburg’s Brand Manager- Kelvin Wanjira-already walking guests through the appetizer whose accompanying wine was the Nederburg Lyric. Next up was the starter: a crispy Crab with Fennel Salad and Leek Puree that instantly had me crafting a love song in my head. It was paired with the very rich Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Chardonnay. Que Pasa’s in-house sommelier, Lucy Nduma, explained that the choice of this white wine was to dissolve the overwhelming smell from crab. While I definitely heard some murmurs of approval go round the room as one sip after the other was taken, I found the pairing a tad too overwhelming for my palate.
Que Pasa’s head chef Anthony Kimani hit the spot yet again with the main course: Pan-seared Spring Duck with Root Vegetables, Lime Emulsion and Wilted Mushrooms. This was paired with the heavy, bold and masculine Baronne – a very befitting partnership I must say. My favourite wine was however Stein from their Foundation range. It is a blended white wine that is light, fruity and oddly made me think of pop music! Very up my palate’s lane. It accompanied the dessert: a Green Tea and Milk Flan with Raspberry Samosa, Cardamom and Orange Crumble and Horseradish Ice Cream. Kelvin explained that their aim was to achieve varietal appreciation of one of Africa’s most awarded brands of wine and if you didn’t enjoy them all, at least you enjoyed one.
Chef Anthony’s dad was in attendance. There were hugs between the two as we were told that this was actually his first time sampling his son’s menu at the restaurant. The talented chef shed a tear or two as his father expressed his pride. It was truly beautiful. Or I guess after that many glasses of wine, I would find beauty in anything. After that, a fun trivia session ensued where the winner got to walk away with a five liter bottle of Nederburg Cabernet Sauvignon. Overall, the evening was winetastic. Here’s to the next!
You will also find Doreen Wainainah’s take on the food at Caramel Restaurant and Lounge. She talks about their extensive menu and also breaks down the price range for the meals there. Should be worth the read if you’ve been dying to go here.
There’s also pretty good interview on Jägermeister with their marketing manager for Middle East and Africa, Thomas Mannel. Available at all news stands and your favourite vender, make sure you grab your copy of the Business Daily today!
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