Artistic dècor, tasty dinner elevate date night at Sikia

Soup duo and pork medallion at Crowne Plaza, Sikia Restaurant. PHOTO | COURTESY
Soup duo and pork medallion at Crowne Plaza, Sikia Restaurant. PHOTO | COURTESY 

My first time at Sikia was during the South African Wine and Food festival last year. The memory of the fantastic meal and great time I had came back to me as I walked in during my most recent visit.

During the festival, I had grilled ostrich glazed in red wine balsamic reduction sauce and I have not encountered such a unique flavour anywhere else. I looked forward to sampling their a la carte menu and to experience Chef Fred Ntare’s remarkable passion.

Located on the Mezzanine floor of Crowne Plaza, Sikia’s ambiance expresses hushed sophistication and elegance. The restaurant exudes warmth and comfort with plush armchairs and dim lighting which casts a romantic feel.

Original African-themed paintings brighten the muted brown tones of the room and the soft instrumental music playing in the background provides the perfect ambiance.

Culinary art

Chef Fred’s creativity was evident from the moment we uncovered the shiny domed cloches. To think that we were going to devour what was before us was saddening. The plating of every meal was nothing short of magnificent. So much so, that before we dug in we requested if we could meet the talent behind such beauty.

Between the six of us, our starters featured the soup duo, garden salad, crab and mango salad, chicken galantine, fried calamari and Vol-U-Vent of mushroom ragout (light pastry cups filled with assorted mushrooms simmered in seasoned cream accompanied by a salad of herb-grilled vegetables). The soup duo was a double act of vanilla-scented butternut cream with a rich green asparagus puree. The lovely colour combination stole our hearts and the richness crowned it all.

Succulent duck

After such exemplary starters, we couldn’t wait to see what the mains had in store for us. They included the flambéed duck, roast baby chicken, prawn masala rice and the pork medallion which were served with a sweet potato mash. The succulent flambéed duck was the favourite dish of everyone at the table. The duck breast was slow-roasted, flambéed in cointreau and served on a sweet cherry sauce, a perfect way to set the pace for a romantic evening.

Before dessert arrived, Chef Fred came out to meet us with his team. He briefly shared his story of how he became a chef at Sikia and introduced two of his sous chefs, Ken and Nicholas.

Signature dessert

For dessert we had the Sikia crepe (orange flavoured crepes encased with vanilla and strawberry ice cream) Crowne chocolate, tiramisu and the apple flan with almonds, topped with vanilla foam. The Crowne chocolate, Sikia’s signature dessert, was a velvety rich dark chocolate torte coated with bittersweet chocolate and almond flakes.

We capped off our night on a boozy note as we sampled the Magnum Recharge and the Cruze Latte, sweet and creamy boozy coffees from Baraka Restaurant on the ground floor. If you like a kick in your coffee, then a visit to Baraka should be your evening plan to enjoy these boozy coffees at only Sh500.