Food & Drinks

Chef char-grilled meats you’d be obsessed with

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Chateaubriand served with plantain at Kilele Nyama, Ibis Styles Hotel in Westlands, Nairobi. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG

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Summary

  • The char-grilled meats are part of the rejigged menu at Kilele Nyama restaurant, Ibis Styles.
  • Targeting the Kenyan palate, the restaurant is serving beef steaks, roasted goat, kienyeji chicken, roast chicken, whole fish, showcasing the best of non-vegetarian options in the city.
  • The Chateaubriand, served with my choice side of plantain fries and spinach, was brought on a cutting board. It arrived pre-sliced showing off the marbling of the meat as well as a pink interior.

Chef Ian Iganza, a sous chef at Ibis Styles has perfected the art of toying the line between charred and burnt, bringing out the earthy notes in meats, with a charged exterior and a perfectly medium-rare centre.

He grills the meat on an open flame, rendering out the fat into the fire, cooking the meat in a combination of heat and smoke, which adds to the flavour.

The char-grilled meats are part of the rejigged menu at Kilele Nyama restaurant, Ibis Styles.

Targeting the Kenyan palate, the restaurant is serving beef steaks, roasted goat, kienyeji chicken, roast chicken, whole fish, showcasing the best of non-vegetarian options in the city.

The Chateaubriand, served with my choice side of plantain fries and spinach, was brought on a cutting board. It arrived pre-sliced showing off the marbling of the meat as well as a pink interior.

I skipped the spinach, savouring the steak with a peppercorn sauce.

Chef Ian has mastered the art of seasoning his meats as no bit is devoid of the salty flavour. The flame-grilling also ensures that the fats are fully rendered, meaning no greasy aftertaste is left on the palate after a meal.

My first meal at the restaurant was a month back, trying out the T-bone steak, which is no longer on the menu. Just as with the Chateaubriand, the T-bone had the right amount of salt permeating the meat to the bone.

With the new menu, the portion sizes seem bigger and there are sharing platter options with assorted meats in each serving. The sides feature plantains, sweet potatoes, French fries, and seasonal vegetables. For the second meat, we try out the roast chicken. It tastes like kuku choma, only there is an upgrade on the flavour profile. The roast chicken comes perfectly grilled with the burnt beats adding smokiness and coated in lemon and herb mix.

The nuances of barbecue sauce, rosemary, and tomatoes penetrate to the bone eliminating the flavour vacuums you would find in the chicken breast.

The chicken comes with varied sauce options from lemon and herb and peri peri either mild or hot. The peri peri sauce satisfies the chilli kick.

The portions are generous which is essential when it comes to good meat serving. For instance, the Chateaubriand steak is 600 grammes and comes with two sides which means you can share the meal with two people or order on separate dishes and swap pieces for tasting.

The only menu items where Kilele falls short is the non-alcoholic pinacolada. It lacks the creamy element and neither the pineapple nor coconut seem to come out as dominant flavours.

The replacement virgin mojitos hit a better note with the balance between the elements and have the right amount of mint and lime to complement the meal.

There are other options on the menu beyond meats including burgers, wraps and salads.