It’s always a pleasure to stop by the ultra luxury cum boutique, yet fully-fledged hotel dusitD2 Nairobi, and the recent launch of a culinary experience dubbed ‘New Delhi Meets Bangkok’ was honestly no different, this past weekend.
The delectable voyage employing the very capable partnership of Qatar Airways sought to bring two top chefs to the safari capital of the globe, in a taste bud fusion of dishes that explores Thai and Indian fare like never before seen here, as far as I can tell.
Chef Pairote Pimswat from Bangkok and the Award Winning Chef Nishant from New Delhi, whose humble achievements include having prepared a favourite for the Japanese Prime Minister, are the transitory resident kitchen craftsmen who will churn out the dishes they’ve mastered at dusitD2 Nairobi up until Sunday June 26th 2016.
It couldn’t have been said better than what dusitD2‘s General Manager, Michael Metaxas had to say, “We are proud to host this event, where chefs/connoisseurs of great food from India and Thailand will come together to celebrate the excellence and creativity of cuisines from the two traditions.”
While open to all, dusitD2 targets the affluent and middle class Nairobian, cocooned away from the hustle and bustle of the city; you’ll immediately notice the succinct aura of a secure and peaceful haven off the leafy suburb of Riverside Drive. It’s honestly a marvel at the tranquility one experiences only a stone’s throw away from the heart of the city’s pulsing social scene, the Westlands circuit.
While possessing the flare of other leading 5-star hotels, dusitD2 retains its silent exuberance without a regular DJ event or social hangout. The furnishings and interior fittings play some sort of trickery to the eyes – it seems like a fairly simple enough blend of trinkets and available mouldings, but appreciating the play of fabric, textures and lighting, itself offered in lamps of all shapes and sizes, is immediate. It’s fortitude of relaxation and subtle luxury with attention to the details. Nonetheless, something the Manager is proud of is a fairly recurrent Arts market and display that showcases some of the best local art pieces.
The starters we were served at the onset was the fresh rice paper vegetable roll, a favourite for the vegetarians and the carnivorous alike, and especially when dipped in the mint chutney. I enjoyed the mix of simplicity and complexity in the presentation of the starter, which was easily a finger food as it was one for a high palette – we weren’t shy grabbing the vegetable roll, dipping away and chomping on. The Wine Shop, who are officially supplying meal accompaniments with savory quenchers, paired the dishes at the onset with rose. This transcended into the soup category where a thick yet slightly salty chickpea and pumpkin soup was served, with lemon grass skewered lychees.
“Cooking for me is giving a gourmet experience to my esteemed guest. I always allow my food to speak for my repertoire. Since I am a sustainable chef, I use local ingredients to cook in an eco-friendly environment,” said Chef Nishant ahead of the event.
And the crispy fried tilapia ‘bhajis style’, which was rather expertly yet perplexingly moulded into a bowl-like shape, spoke volumes on its own, at the prowess of the chef. Topped with Indian sweet and sour pineapple, its a must-taste delight. In the main course segment of the meal, twice baked chicken tandoori with broccolini (which I often hate yet loved at this particular sitting) and Tha herbs, together with Thai green curry with Indian greens and chick peas were served. I didn’t have a chance to sample the latter, because by then I was absolutely stuffed, but I heard it was one of the best on the table.
A personal favourite of mine was the seafood fried rice with pineapple and saffron, which was paired well with a dash of Souvingnon white wine and a gentle yet profuse smile on my face. Chef Pairote also expressed optimism that guests to the event will be satisfied with the rich menu on offer,saying that “Thai food is loyal to traditional Thai herb which is very simple, aromatic and spicy. Thai food embraces pungency balance of flavors and depth create delicious and aromatic memories and I am certain guests will find it very delicious.”
He should definitely know what he’s talking about, since Pairote won the Gold Award at Park Hyatt Dubai Hotel which specializes in Thai cuisine.
New Delhi Meets Bangkok is an invite-only (or reservation based) event targeting 70 guests per lunch and dinner sittings, respectively. Some lucky dinners at dusitD2’s Soi Restaurant will get to win a holiday for two to either Bangkok or New Delhi during this 9-day event, after filling in a short questionnaire. This prize will be aboard Qatar Airways of course, a global airline that prides itself as giving ‘exceptional’ inflight experiences. The airline provides its passengers on-board cuisine from Michelin star chefs, Giorgio Armani amenity kits and Missoni sleeper suits for Business Class passengers, and up to 3,000 inflight entertainment options with free Wi-Fi for the first 15 minutes on all connected aircraft.
Qatar Airways Senior Manager Africa, Rola Obeid says: “Our partnership with dusitD2 Nairobi is in line with our commitment towards redefining luxury and providing our customers with the best experience on-board. In line with this, we are delighted to bring to Nairobi cuisines from two of our popular markets – India and Thailand. As a truly global airline we understand that beyond superior service, travellers also want to enjoy the journey of exploring new tastes and cuisines from around the world.”
Don’t miss out on this culinary jaunt that’s certain to expand the realms of your palette. It was a joy experiencing these hand crafted dishes, which the chefs insist use minimal to no oil, yet come out tastefully tantalizing. ANd it’s not too expensive either, all taxes and costs inclusive, individual offerings range from KES 650 to KES 2250.
| New Delhi Meets Bangkok runs from June 18th-26th at dusitD2 Nairobi’s Soi Restaurant. Reservations are a requirement. For more details contact (+254) (0) 204 233 000