Authentic Japanese menu takes over 88 Restaurant

Japanese cuisine prepared in the Kaiseki style.  PHOTO | COURTESY
Japanese cuisine prepared in the Kaiseki style. PHOTO | COURTESY 

With many people from Asia visiting Nairobi for the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) summit, having food from home is bound to make their stay more pleasant.

It is for this reason that 88 Pan Asian Restaurant at Villa Rosa Kempinski is having a special TICAD menu featuring unique Japanese dishes for lunch and dinner from August 22 to 29 and also to have locals experience authentic Japanese cuisine.

All dishes have been prepared  in the Kaiseki style of cooking which is focused on eating what is in season and what is grown where you are at the time. There will be four different nine-course menus served over the course of the week with the menu being changed every two days.

The nine-course menus have been crafted according to the different seasons; spring, summer, autumn and winter by two remarkably talented Japanese chefs; Chef Seiki Kikuchi and Chef Koji Tashiro. Chef Seiki became a head chef at only 23 and runs Washoku Izakaya restaurant in Japan with his wife.

Chef Koji Tashiro is a high profile chef in Japan and was invited to the Japan Food Festival in Milan in 2015 where he displayed his culinary prowess by creating new generation Washoku. The menus that they have created have never been showcased in Nairobi before.

I had the pleasure of experiencing the nine-course meal on the spring menu over lunch this past week and I left feeling not only satisfied but excited having experienced authentic Japanese dishes made by celebrity Japanese chefs.

From the starter options, I loved the mixed salad with young squid and seasonal vegetables with Japanese-spiced miso. The salad was served in a base of spiced syrup where the sugary taste from the signature Japanese spice Kinome merged perfectly with both the green and white asparagus resulting in a unique flavour.

Two hours

The main options were light and came in just the right portions that fill you up gradually with each course. The light stew made of baby potato dumpling and minced chicken served with clear ginger gravy was like nothing I had ever tasted. The ginger gravy gave a fantastic kick to the meal and the dumpling was soft and delicate with delicious chicken filling inside. Dessert was my favourite meal; a thick ice cream made from mascarpone cheese, topped with green tea syrup and garnished with strawberries.

Each meal from the starters and the mains was beautifully presented and garnished with edible flowers. We sampled the entire nine course menu over a span of two hours during lunch. You can enjoy the experience and leave in time to attend to pressing matters in the office. With three days left, I highly encourage you to visit 88 Pan Asian Restaurant for a chance to experience unmatched authentic Japanese cuisine. Trust me it will be an experience that will remain embedded in your mind for a long time.