Nairobi is filled with hotels that have a variety of restaurants which have left its residents a little bit sceptical when grand claims of authenticity and culinary excellence are made. Villa Rosa Kempinski has been around for 7 years and it has made its mark in Nairobi with excellent service. In order to appreciate the different media that have supported them since its opening, an intimate dinner was held at the Lucca restaurant.
If you have not been to the Lucca restaurant before, you have not experienced good Italian food and the unmatched service of Villa Rosa Kempinski staff. It all starts as you walk in. The restaurant interior matches the delicacies that Head Chef Carmine De Filipo effortlessly produces in his kitchen. Calm hues of cream and red-brown brick details make an effort to transport you to the hotel’s version of Little Italy.
Once we were seated the real experience began. Our starter was simple and consisted of a bread basket and a cold cut platter, also known as antipasto. It was made up of thin slices of cold ham, salami, prosciutto and cheese that rested daintily on top of a wooden board that we thought would make a great rustic addition to any home kitchen.
This light starter left us with plenty of room for the Italian feast that was presented as the main course. Out of all the offerings we were only able to eat the authentic Italian pizza with its simple toppings and fluffy crust, seafood risotto made up of fluffy rice, calamari, clams, codfish and tomato concise sauce and finally chicken that was expertly seared with a crunchy exterior and moist, flavourful interior complemented by a creamy mushroom sauce that had the right ratio of cream to mushrooms.
Keeping in mind our almost full stomachs, dessert was served on one plate with miniature versions of Lucca’s array of desserts featuring the classic Italian tiramisu that cleansed our palates and was the perfect way to end our meal.
We can’t forget to mention the wine expert, Silas Ndungu, who kept our glasses full and palates in awe with his wine pairings. Each meal was paired with a wine that accentuated all the flavours and had us noting down a couple of favourites. Our stand out wine of the night was the Tomasi Soave Classico which was the first wine served. This crisp and dry wine paired well with the light starters and would be the perfect drink during these hot Nairobi afternoons.
Here’s a fun fact we learned during this delicious feast: There’s nothing wrong with mixing red and white wines during your meal. Drink some water in between each glass to cleanse your palate then enjoy.