Five senses restaurant combines locally-sourced ingredients with the French style of cooking through the concept of food and wine pairing.
By Eugine Madasi
Galana Plaza in Kilimani may look like your average neighbor-hood mall, but it has distinguis-hed itself as the host of two of thevmost glamourous nightspots (B-Club and Kiza) in Nairobi. The latter run an African-themed res-taurant that I highly recommend, but as I would learn recently, on the mall’s second floor lies Nair-obis best kept secret.
Five Sense Restaurant, which opened its doors in June 2018, is a fine dining French restaurant that combines locally-sourced ingredients with the French style of cooking through the concept of food and wine pairing. Its owner, Kilimani Kiarie, brings on board the fine art of French coo-king using locally sourced ingre-dients.
‘Chef Kim’ as he is more commo-nly known, undertook culinary studies in Kenya, Switzerland and honed his skills in France, a country renowed for its gastro-nomy. In France he particularly liked the concept of fine dining, and pairing food and wine.
I was in to try out their latest menu inclusion that he and his mentor and tutor Chef Xavier Bouriot, have put together. The latter, the Founder of Paris-based Cooking Training Consulting Company that specialises in trai-ning chefs in the French cooking style for efficiency in the kitchen, excellence and product optimisa-tion, is a big deal.
Besides his over 32 years’ experi-ence, he once worked under famous chefs including Guy Savoy and Alain Senderens and after many years of cooking for guests became a Chef Trainer and Consultant with Alain Ducas-se Company ADF where he met Chef Kimani. I wander in on a Wednesday afternoon and frien-dly staff who welcome me let me in that the restaurant is popular in the evenings and recommen-ded that patrons reserve space to snag a table easily.
1. Poached king prawn starter, paired with Moet & Chandon Imperial Brut.
2. Five Sense restaurant sitting area.
3. White snapper confit main, paired with the pak-chol and champagne sauce.
4. Tuna Tartare amuse bouche that consists of green pea mou-sseline with mild Wasabi flav-our.
Five sense’ ambience is relaxed, infusing the feeling of being out-doors in the modern expression of fine dining through the interi-or architecture of our restaurant. As you take your seat, their open kitchen takes centrestage, allow-ing your sense access to the vari-ous sights, sounds and smells, as their chefs prepare your meal. While the restaurant décor pro-vides visual and sensory stimu-lation with the different colours and textures, the ambient back-ground music sets the mood and encapsulates the Five Senses Exp-erience. Not one of the most spa-cious of spaces, but they have made great use of mirrors. The ancient replica wall clock that mimics ancient brass piping system is a particularly stand out feature of the restaurant. I shou-ld have taken a selfie beside it.
My highly ballyhooed meal was a pairing with Moët & Chandon, the champagne of success and glamour since 1743. To start diners of was the aptly named Tuna Tartare amuse bouche that consisted of green Pea Mousse-line with mild Wasabi flavour paired with Moet & Chandon Nectar Rosé. This was followed by a poached king prawn starter. While it appeared simple in its appearance, the flavor and texture of this dish were complex and reflected great creativity inc-orporating light granny apple jelly and fennel shaving. Adding to its flavour was a Moet & Chan-don Imperial Brut.
HIGHLIGHT OF THE NIGHT
The highlight of my night was the signature white snapper confit main paired with the pak-choi and champagne sauce. The duo really outdid themselves with this dish and made me contemplate relegating steak to my second-favourite serving. The sause was as they say ‘to die for’ and was paired with Moet & Cha-ndon Nectar Imperial. I do not have a sweet tooth so mango tartare, purple basil, lime and goat cheese sorbet was a perfect conclusion to this meal. In keep-ing with the theme, it was paired with Moet & Chandon Rosé Imperial.
Don’t let appearances fool you, Five Senses might not boast the biggest name or space but they are a restaurant to look out for. This place definitely stimulated my Five Senses is perfect for anniversary and birthday dinners.