FINE DINING ON A FARM.
Hey there! Welcome to this post and thank you so much for stopping by!
It has been a while since I did a restaurant review. Before Christmas, I got to visit a restaurant called 45 Degrees Kitchen in Garden Estate. To get there by matatu, board a Thika Road matatu with Roasters as one of its stops and then ask to be dropped at Garden Estate/Naivas/Roasters, and take a motorbike to 45 Degrees (they know). You should pay 50/=. for the motorbike ride. In case you need to know how to get to other restaurants I have reviewed by matatu, comment on the restaurant post, and I will respond and update the post with the necessary information.
When I spoke to Harold, the owner and chef of the 45 Degrees Kitchen, he was a little skeptical that my following wouldn’t be able to afford what he offers at his fine dining restaurant. Nonetheless, he still allowed me to review one of the few fine-dining restaurants we have here in Kenya. Look at how beautiful this set-up is. The design of the wooden chair with a red cushion complements the red napkin set on the table.
Harold Sena-Akoto is a world-renowned chef. All dishes he prepares, have a story and his culinary experience is far much older than I am. Harold is Ghanaian, but grew up in the States, studied culinary arts in Rome, worked in top restaurants and even made some of the kitchens he worked in, recognised for their food. From Toronto to Montana and even Carlifornia, chef Harold is now in Kenya to showcase his 30 year culinary experience through his fine dining restaurant co-owned with his wife, Rose. See more of his accomplishments here.
Three years ago, Chef Harold moved to Kenya with his Kenyan wife; Rose Wahome and their daughter, to show Kenyans exactly what fine dining looks and tastes like in their eyes. The team effort by the couple, to make this restaurant a success, is one to look up to. Rose manages the accounts while Harold ensures his guests keep licking their fingers and coming back for more! Harold and Rose, both love wine. Therefore, finding wine pairings for each of their menu items is something they enjoy and get to do together.
The two, set up their restaurant on an old poultry farm that belonged to Rose’s parents and did very little to disturb the environment. No chandeliers, expensive decor or a western design in their Kenyan fine-dining restaurant. Harold and Rose wanted to use locally available materials to make it look as simple and unique as possible. Therefore, they settled for a rustic look, rather than a sophisticated, elegant design that most Kenyans (me included) consider fine dining. That not withstanding, they are still able to have a full house every single day!
This just goes to show that people actually appreciate this easy-simple design rather than the hotel-like setting. In fact, I think tourists especially, prefer to see this farm-setting instead of the elegant setting they are very familiar with. The farm/forest-like environment makes it quite an experience. It is silent, warm and homey. I prefer this to large hotels where you don’t see or hear much but have a beautiful plate presented to you. In the picture below, if you look hard enough you will see “KITCHEN” which is exactly where the kitchen is.
There is both indoor and outdoor sitting, with the outdoor sitting holding more people. There is also a private-like sitting area upstairs with a view of the 45 Degree Kitchen farm and what was once, a poultry farm. Did I mention that the structure was once Rose’s childhood home? I mean this couple is really setting the bar high in terms of the history of their restaurant.
Who would have known that her childhood home would one day be the best fine dining restaurant in this country! I must warn you though, the steep spiral staircase to the private area is quite daunting. I think the outdoor sitting area, is way better; so you need not to worry about the stairs.
The use of locally available materials, is not only seen in the design, but also in the menu as well. Surprisingly, Harold doesn’t employ people who have been trained professionally to wait tables or even cook. He gives those with interest a chance to learn and develop the skill, under his very experienced hand.
This gives people a chance to learn in Rome, U.S.A, Italy and France through him. Not only is this chance available to those who want to learn, but it is also available to children, and trained professionals. Harold conducts a hands-on holiday cooking class program for children and also trains experienced/training chefs who are up for the challenge and would like to learn from him.
He is a very pleasant fellow I must say. Which experienced professional do you know, will refuse to work with experienced people like themselves? Very few, if any! Congratulations Rose and Harold, on this kind gesture. May you touch several lives and help people discover their talent.
See this outdoor set-up below. Copper seats, rustic wall and a red floor. On the other side, you see the large potted plants and a drum filled with firewood. Maybe they are heaters. I am not quite sure. I forgot to ask about it.
The board seen above is for children to use. 45 Degrees actually ensures children are well taken care of in the menu and even after they eat.
Their ingredients are all fresh produce from their farm or other farms in the country. 45 Degrees has made a point of sourcing everything locally, hence promoting local businesses. What is not available locally, they make in their kitchen with local produce. This alone makes the food slightly more expensive than most restaurants. They don’t pump their customers with chemically filled food but believe in fresh and natural products that don’t have a negative effect on your health in the long run.
As an upcoming chef, I am so grateful and privileged I got to meet Harold because he made me believe that there is no dream too big. Believe in your craft and don’t stop until you get what you want and/or deserve. Who would have known that some of the most influential people in the West, would sit down to enjoy an exquisite meal by an African or have their restaurants recognised as the best eatery because they had the very talented Chef Harold on their team?
Harold doesn’t take shortcuts. Instead, he takes pride in ensuring his customers get what they have paid for. One thing that I believe is worth mentioning, is the plates they use. Have you ever seen such pretty unique plates? You know what, I won’t even go into that, because I will be tempted to talk about the food, and I really want to save that for the food post. You are not even ready for what I am about to show you guys! Stay tuned!
For more information on 45 degrees or even to make a reservation, call, 0705150898 or visit their Facebook page.
Thank you so much for stopping by!