Christmas means different things to different people. For some its Christmas trees and lots of tinsel and for others, it is travelling around with their loved ones. For me, this is the season of decadent food and impressive desserts. Mince pies, steamed pudding, cranberry-based sauces and a centrepiece dish that leaves your mouth watering the minute you see it. All this and more shared over a table spilling over with love and banter make for great festive memories.
Unfortunately, we all are not master chefs in the kitchen. I cannot tell you how many turkeys I have dried out trying to achieve a tender well-cooked bird with crispy golden brown skin to place at the centre of my Christmas table. Instead of making any more turkeys suffer at my hands, I opt to eat out with my family and enjoy the fruits of someone else’s skilled labour. Look for my head bobbing up and down buffet isles in restaurants and hotels around Nairobi because I love a well thought out buffet. Combine the words ‘Christmas’ and ‘buffet’ and you already have me sold.
My love for festive buffets found me at the elegant Radisson Blu Hotel at Upperhill in Nairobi ready to try out not one but two holiday buffets. The Chop House is setting up to get everything right with their festive menu that looks like it came straight out of a Christmas card. If you think the interior of the hotel and restaurant are stunning then you will be blown away by this eight-course Christmas and New Years Eve menu.
The sumptuous feast begins with starters which consisted of ginger, lemongrass, lime, chilli marinated crab and avocado rolls, smoked salmon with celery & green apple jelly, black tuille, horseradish bubbles and aged prosciutto di Parma with crushed macadamia nuts, borage flower and rocket leaves. If all that sounds like a mouthful, then know that is a delicious one.
You will have to stop yourself from filling up on starters because the main course is just as generously portioned. The main star of the meal is the turkey which was expertly slow roasted to buttery moist perfection and paired well with a generous pouring of the strong cranberry, red wine and gravy reduction.
Fill your plate with sautéed long beans, fondant potatoes with thyme, sage, sultana, hazelnuts, granny smith apple and bread stuffing and cream cheese and chives from the Christmas menu.
The sweet treats at the end of this red and green road is a yule log cake with vanilla frosting and a traditional Christmas pudding with brandy cream sauce both straight out of an Instagram post. They may look too good to eat but that should not stop you from cutting a slice or two.
Bring your family along and enjoy their Christmas menu at Kshs. 5,500 per person. All these delicacies are available on their New Years Eve menu as well as the dishes listed below at Kshs. 10,000 inclusive of their Great Gatsby-themed New Years Party.
New Years Eve Menu
Ginger, lemongrass, lime, chilli, marinated crab, rolled in avocado, with iodized aioli
Smoked salmon, celery & green apple jelly, black tuille, horseradish bubbles
Aged prosciutto di Parma, crushed macadamia nuts, borage flower, rocket leaves
Pickled herring, wild marine garden, caper berry, dill & grainy mustard
Goat’s cheese salad with kalamata olives
Marinated beetroot, chevre & orange segments