Love on a plate: Fairview Hotel's five-star dishes to crown Valentine's day


Smoked Lamb loin at Fair View Hotel in Nairobi on January 31, 2024. PHOTO | BILLY OGADA | NMG

Red roses are nice, but a culinary symphony is more divine, where each dish is made and hearts are mend, a savoury dish I would recommend.

Whilst red roses are typical for Valentine's Day dinner, flowers and a hearty meal in a five-star hotel are nicer.

When the clock strikes midnight on February 14th, love is thick in the air and hearts yearn for connection, Fairview Hotel's top chef is readying his tools to create a mouth-watering dinner for the love sick.

The height of romance is crowned on this auspicious night after enduring the flurry of romantic gestures and heartfelt expressions during the day. There's no better way to end the night than by indulging in a tantalizing meal.

With a nicely lit dinner table, Chef Kabelo Mooketsi is serving a hot plate of love to cupid-struck lovers on Valentine's Day.

The South African-born chef leads a team of culinary experts in the Fairview Hotel’s kitchen to curate specialities across all menus and for all taste buds.

"The most prominent person we've cooked for at Fairview is the Italian President who was here last year around March," says Chef Mooketsi.

The chef is on a mission to bring back the chef's table in Nairobi.

This Valentine's he is among the chefs preparing delicacies for lovers such as beef, fish, and cocktails.

Chef Mooketsi is serving a seven-course meal sourced from his garden just outside where we are sitting at the atrium.


Executive Chef Kabelo Mooketsi at work at Fair View Hotel in Nairobi on January 31, 2024. PHOTO | BILLY OGADA | NMG

The Valentine's Day dinner on the red-petalled rose table is set at the Giuseppe atrium with an open kitchen overlooking the organic garden.

We have a taste of what lovers would eat this Valentine's Day.

First, we are served Amuse Bouche, which is spicy mayo and potato arancini.

The tingly feel of the potato dipped in mayo as our starter paired well with a glass of sparkling white wine or water.

After minutes of enjoying the delicacy and engrossing conversations at the table, the chef beckons us to ready for our second plate.

Next, we are served beef tongue and cheeks accompanied by polenta.

The finely plated beef tongue and cheeks took us by surprise. It was as tender as sun-smitted dew.

"Polenta is like Italian ugali, however, it is softer. I believe you can taste the traces of flour," adds Chef Kabelo at the table.

Palette cleansing

We are also dinned on Italian scallops and cheddar cheese and cleanse our palette on dragon fruit.

"Next we have smoked lamb loin, some corn and papaya and angel hair. This loin was smoked for six hours and cooked in three different ways," adds chef Kabelo.

"Had I cooked it further it would burn, enjoy."


Trio Dessert at Fair View Hotel in Nairobi on January 31, 2024. PHOTO | BILLY OGADA | NMG

The smoky feel of the meat fills our nostrils and is softer than we expected and very poetic.

We sink our teeth into the loin appreciating the lengthy process of preparation and presentation.

"The menu inspired by all the places I've been and the suppliers who have become like family to me, showcasing this is very dear to me" adds the chef.

"I present fried jasmine rice, Thai curry sauce and fish fillet as your main course."

This was accompanied by asparagus, baby carrots, bassle back potato and baby corn.

For dessert we were treated to the trio; lemon cheesecake with silky salted caramel mousse and hazelnut strussel on beetroot dust and strawberry jelly.

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