Over the years I have heard so much about the gourmet restaurant that is the Lord Erroll, with their reputation for fancy high teas and a uniquely crafted French menu. In time, the Runda eatery had become that place that I kept saying I would visit but never really managed to organise. As luck would have it, I received a dinner invitation and one Wednesday evening, I made my way to Runda, my appetite in check.
Recently crowned the prestigious Global Award of the Year by Luxury Travel Guide (LTG), the Lord Erroll is named after a British aristocrat and member of the debauched Happy Valley set, Josslyn Victor Hay, the 22nd Lord of Erroll and a notorious philanderer who was murdered while driving his car on Ngong Road, one night in 1941. The restaurant’s serene location in Runda is a residential house that’s been refurbished to fit a bar and lounge on the ground floor that opens up onto plush gardens.
Our group of three walk the red carpet right at the entrance feeling like celebrities arriving for a special occasion. We head to the Highlander Lounge as we waited to be guided to our table. The high back chairs, thick carpet, classic jazz music and black and white portraits of the colonial British era take us on a trip back in time before Kenya gained independence.
We settle in the Lady Idina Claremont hall, a spot usually reserved for conferences and events. Antique fixtures and the stained glass window above us which allows lots of natural light into the room, give the place oodles of character, albeit a decidedly British one.
Excited to learn that we shall be having dishes recommended by the chef, we prepare our appetites ready to discover what their French menu has to offer. Our starters include a butternut soup with parmesan crust and duck consommé celestine with port wine. The yellow, thick and rich soup is a much-needed treat to keep us warm. The two flavours of butternut and parmesan swirl together amplifying each other which results in a long-lasting flavour lingering on my mouth. The duck, pocketed inside creamy ravioli and bathed in the delicious sage sauce was a delight I could enjoy over and over. The texture is just right-not too soft and not too hard.
We nibble on our lemon and mango sorbets, refreshing our palates for the next course. Grilled lamb chops with Lyonnaise potatoes, duck a l’Orange; roasted breasts and leg of duck with orange sauce, and pan-fried king prawns, drizzled with citrus salsa and coconut masala sauce landed on our table. Our host confides that the duck meal is a popular dish at Lord Erroll- a favourite for many patrons.
Duck a l’Orange, a classic French meal, is indeed a treat none of us have ever tasted before. The flavourful orange sauce cuts through the fattiness of the duck and the retained sweetness results in a unique flavour experience. Its accompaniment, Potatoes Dauphinoise is a comforting treat to tuck into on a cold evening. The tender lamb chops fall off the bone on the slightest touch -their juices filling up in my mouth with every chew. The prawns, large and crunchy taste like a homemade Indian curry dish.
After all the indulging, I was sure I’d be going back to Lord Erroll, and next time I’ll be sure to double it up with their high tea.
Winnie Wangui was a guest at Lord Erroll