The Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) summit will be held for the first time in Africa since its inception in 1993. The summit will be held from 27th- 28th August here in Nairobi at the Kenya International Conference Centre (KICC). The main agenda of the summit is to identify common priorities for accelerating sustainable development where thematic issues including but not limited to: industrialization, health and social stability will be discussed.
With the many delegates from several Asian countries visiting Nairobi, having food from home is bound to make their stay more pleasant. It is for this reason that 88 Pan Asian Restaurant at Villa Rosa Kempinski are having a special TICAD menu featuring unique Japanese dishes spread out over nine course meals available for lunch and dinner from 22nd – 29th August and also to have locals experience authentic Japanese cuisine. All dishes have been prepared in the Kaiseki style of cooking which is focused on eating what is in season at the moment and what is grown where you are at the time.
There will be four different nine course menus served over the course of the week with the menu being changed every two days. The nine course menus have been crafted according to the different seasons; spring, summer, autumn and winter by two remarkably talented Japanese chefs; Chef Seiki Kikuchi and Chef Koji Tashiro. Chef Seiki became a head chef at only twenty five years of age and runs Washoku Izakaya restaurant in Japan with his wife and Chef Koji Tashiro is a high profile chef in Japan and was invited to the Japan Food Festival in Milan in 2015 where he displayed his culinary prowess by creating new generation Washoku. The menus that they have created are all unique and have never been showcased in Nairobi before.
I had the pleasure of experiencing the nine course meal on the spring menu over lunch this past week and I left feeling not only satisfied but excited having experienced authentic Japanese dishes made by celebrity Japanese chefs. From the starter options I loved the mixed salad with young squid and seasonal vegetables with Japanese-spiced miso. The salad was served in a base of spiced syrup where the sugary taste from the signature Japanese spice Kinome merged perfectly with both the green and white asparagus resulting in a unique flavour.
The main options were light and came in just the right portions that fill you up gradually with each course. The light stew made of baby potato dumpling and minced chicken served with clear ginger gravy was like nothing I had ever tasted. The ginger gravy gave a fantastic kick to the meal and the dumpling was soft and delicate with delicious chicken filling inside. Dessert was my favourite meal; a thick ice cream made from mascarpone cheese ,topped with green tea syrup and garnished with strawberries.
Each meal from the starters and the mains was beautifully presented and garnished with edible flowers. The fact that we sampled the entire nine course menu over a span of two hours during lunch proved that the servers and chefs were well prepared and may make it possible for you to enjoy the experience and leave in time to attend to pressing matters in the office.
With three days left, I highly encourage you to visit 88 Pan Asian Restaurant for a chance to experience unmatched authentic Japanese cuisine. Trust me it will be an experience that will remain embedded in your mind for a long time.
The 88 menu features delicacies with influences from Thailand, China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Japan. A delectable menu prepared by their two expert chefs features meals prepared using both locally and internationally sourced ingredients. If you are looking to try something new or are looking to take a gastronomic culinary journey then this is where you should be.