By Mark Kivuva.
In a world where dining has become more than just a necessity, but an art form in its own right, The Chophouse Restaurant, based at the Radisson Blu Hotel, stands at the centre of culinary artistry. Recently, I had the privilege of being invited to an exclusive menu tasting curated by the restaurant’s executive chef, Wayne Walkinshaw, and it was nothing short of a culinary journey.
The event was graced by the presence of media personalities Anita Nderu and Maureen Waititu. Content creators Keah Shiveka, Miquel Wakubwa, and Diana Ingosi, were also part of this experience. The stage was set for a memorable afternoon, and it did not disappoint.
Upon arrival, we were welcomed with a refreshing array of beverages, including a virgin Mimosa and sparkling water, which took an extraordinary twist when paired with a slice of lemon.
The ambience was carefully curated to complement the cuisine, with cool, calm, and soothing music filling the air. The restaurant’s surroundings were decorated with tasteful sculptures, adding to the overall aesthetic appeal.
The highlight of the afternoon was, of course, the 7-course tasting menu crafted by Chef Wayne Walkinshaw. Each course was a masterpiece in itself and as we savoured each course, we washed down our throats with a selection of both red and white wines, perfectly chilled to enhance the flavours.
Our culinary journey began with the Amuse course, featuring roasted butternut risotto, artichoke, feta, sautéed mushrooms, mushroom jus, toasted pumpkin seeds, and brown butter. This starter set the stage for what was to follow.
Next up was the Crab Involtini, a tasty fusion of the Mombasa crab, beef carpaccio, tapioca cracker, green mango liquid gel, avocado, soy pearls, and pea tendrils. It was a harmonious blend of land and sea.
The Octopus course followed, featuring carpaccio, char-grilled tentacle, caper oil, roasted red pepper purée, microgreens, mustard potatoes, and black garlic. This dish was a testament to the restaurant’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of traditional flavours and textures.
For those who appreciate the rich flavours of traditional cuisines, Skildpadjies was a remarkable creation. This course consisted of lamb liver, caul fat, toasted brioche, tomato jam, charred leek purée, and oxtail jus. It was a contemporary twist on a classic South African dish.
The Chicken course featured a confit thigh stuffed breast, coconut-flavoured cassava ‘briquette,’ tarragon gravy, confit onion, and wild mushrooms. This dish seamlessly blended the flavours, resulting in a truly memorable culinary experience.
Rib Eye (wet and dry-aged)
My personal favorite was the Rib Eye (wet and dry-aged) course. It was a masterpiece containing bordelaise, black garlic, pearl onion, and potato purée, highlighting the superior quality of the restaurant’s ingredients.
Matcha Tea Cheesecake
As we reached the grand finale, dessert was served. The Matcha Tea Cheesecake was a delightful conclusion to our culinary journey. It featured candied berries and passionfruit liquid gel, providing a sweet and tangy note that perfectly complemented the savoury courses that preceded it.
The Chophouse Restaurant delivered an unparalleled dining experience. Chef Wayne Walkinshaw and his team are truly dedicated to pushing culinary boundaries and the restaurant’s commitment to excellence make it a must-visit destination for anyone who appreciates the art of fine dining. From the carefully crafted menu to the exquisite ambiance, this exclusive menu tasting was a testament to the restaurant’s status as a culinary gem.