FANCY 4 COURSE MEAL WITH WINE PAIRINGS.
Hey there! Welcome to this food review and thank you so much for stopping by.
As promised, here is the food post accompanying the 45 Degrees Kitchen Restaurant Post. The famous 45 Degrees Kitchen is one of the only fine dining restaurants we have in Kenya and I hear, is named after the 45 degree angle that most chefs sharpen their knives at. The rustic restaurant with a simple design offers dishes founded on American dishes and greatly influenced by the Italian and French Cuisine.
45 Degrees is located on Marurui Road in Garden Estate, and is open from 12 p.m to 3 p.m for lunch and from 6 p,m to 11 p.m for dinner on Tuesday to Saturday. They remain closed on Monday and are open from 12 p.m to 8 p.m on Sunday.
To showcase the best of 45 Degrees, chef Harold offered me their 4 course meal with wine pairings at 5,950/=. The same 4 course meal can also be offered @ 4,950/= without wine and has vegetarian options in each course. In addition to the 4 course meal option, there exists a normal menu you can order single dishes from. However, Harold advised, that it tends to be a bit more pricey but comes in LARGE portions. I ‘ll leave the menu below and let you decide.
All dishes come with wine suggestions. Please note, the menu changes often due to the use of fresh, locally available, organic produce. Besides, this is a fine-dining restaurant, Chef Harold must showcase his culinary talent with several menus. Therefore, you may return and find a slightly different menu.
When I went, I didn’t see a bar. However, on the menu, there exists a wide variety of beverages to choose from, with wine featuring at the top, followed by whiskeys, tequillas and cocktails. Luckily for the non-alcoholics and even children, fresh juice, soda, tea and coffee are available.
Remember how I fell in love with the plates in the last post? Allow me to say that this restaurant has some of the best plates (design, colour, texture) that I have ever seen. At this rate, we will never start talking about the food. So lets get to it. Shall we?
Lobster bisque and tarragon paired with Naked Grape Pinot Grigio Carlifornia.
Here, lobster (sea creature) is used to make a thick, creamy soup (bisque) that is packed with flavour! Naked Grape is a fresh, fruity-citrus wine that isn’t too strong. P.S: My new favourite! Lobster or rather, any seafood, has a very strong, distinct, taste. Those who have been to City Market can attest that all you ever smell, is fish. You can imagine a thick fish broth whose colour and consistency, closely resembles the famous butternut soup most of us are pretty familiar with.
Tarragon is a herb with a subtle but very distinct taste. I can’t quite compare it to anything actually. I thought it was very bold of them to combine two strong flavours. However, the lobster taste was still well pronounced, with the tarragon only featuring mildly.
The combination of flavours in the soup complemented the wine very well! Like I said, the wine was fresh and citrus-y. We all know how well lemon and citrus-flavours go well with seafood. I mean fish without lemon is just not fish! At least in my book. Oh! and guess what? A large slice of garlic-butter bread was served with this generous portion of soup that had sizeable lobster chunks in it! Amazing. Right?
I must say: I was both sold and extremely stuffed after this dish. I mean, WOW! On to course two…
Local crab cake with cucumber plus avocado and garlic olio paired with Fetzer Eagle Peach Merlot Carlifornia.
In this course, we have another sea-food inspired dish. Crab cake is a fish-cake with crab meat, mayonnaise, red peppers, breadcrumbs eggs and so much more! In Harold’s Kitchen, they ensure to make the cake mainly out of fish and not breadcrumbs like many other chefs do. It is then well-cooked but not over-cooked to the extent of resembling a leather-like flat taste. The texture was soft but not too soft and peppers were still crunchy. Not only were the peppers inside the cake crunchy, but also, the outer coating of the cake! You now see why a few breadcrumbs are good. If they were more, then the cake would have been extremely dry inside and the crunchy outer covering, too crunchy.
Harold’s crab cake was set on a vegetable-salad base of cucumber, onions, peppers, avocado and fresh herbs. The vegetables were then tossed in a light creamy dressing of mayonnaise, garlic and very little oil and a creamy dressing (looks like 1000 island) that was used to decorate the plate, as well as give the cake a nice sauce (at least that’s what I used it for).
Being that Merlot is a red wine, I was shocked to see a pairing with such bold flavours (crab). I was pleasantly surprised, the combination worked very well. This particular red wine is not overpowering in flavour but has a mild berry taste that contrasted very well with the tangy peppers in the salad. I think this couple (chef Harold and his wife) deserves a wine-pairing award!
Mongolian Lamb with mushroom risotto and pan jus paired with 2010 Valley Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon.
Lamb cooked the Mongolian (Mongolia is a country bordering China and Russia) way, served with risotto rice – creamy rice that doesn’t use usual rice grains; often made on its own, or with additions such as garlic, cheese, prawns, mushrooms etc. The dish was served with some green asparagus that truly brought the plate to life.
Pan jus refers to the sauce/juice from the meat used to make a gravy. In this case, it was thick, sweet and very delicious! I would eat plain risotto with this lamb pan jus and be content with life! The lamb chop was cooked to medium rare with some fat left on the meat to ensure moisture and flavours were retained. Not all fat is bad guys!
Mushroom (I believe it was shiitake) risotto was very creamy but could have been a slightly bigger portion of rice and less of mushroom, or even have the mushroom sliced. Personally I love mushrooms. These mushrooms, however, (maybe it was the way they were cooked) didn’t excite me so much. I felt they were too large since they weren’t sliced, and were tough, so, stayed in my mouth for ages, before swallowing. Since it is creamy, and the lamb was juicy, one really didn’t need extra sauce/gravy. I loved the asparagus because it was fresh and crunchy!
Cabernet red wine gave a very nice combination. On its own, I couldn’t quite place a distinct taste. However, with the lamb, I felt like it gave a nice base for one to taste the rich marination juices used. BEST LAMB I HAVE EVER HAD!
This was not part of the 4 course. However, Harold decided to make it for me as a bonus. How nice!
Surf and Creek – Petite Fillet aged 14 days with Malindi Deep Sea Langoustine + Pan Jus + champagne cream paired with 2012 Crimson quartz blend, Carlifornia.
Petite fillet refers to beef shoulder while langoustine is cooked lobster. The sauce coated in the lobster was champagne based, and the accompaniment was an interesting potato dish. The plate was decorated with carrots and asparagus.
The potato was mashed and had a crunchy bottom base. In fact, you can think the base was cooked prior, then filled up with creamy, well-seasoned mashed potatoes. However, that isn’t the case. I honestly don’t understand how a fried potato and a mashed potato can be together. My mouth truly approved of the smooth-crunchy texture combination.
Lobster has very little meat, and lots of shells and bony structures. Trust you me, the manoeuvre to get to the meat is definitely worth it. In fact, I wouldn’t really call it a manoeuvre. It’s simply a new way of eating. You don’t eat the whole thing. I think you will choke if you do. Lol. Allow me to explain.
Twist the head and tail off, to remain with the body, then remove the shell, and eat what is in there. In our case, what is to be eaten is covered in sauce. Be sure you’re ready for this process before ordering this dish. The meat tastes so good though. It’s definitely worth the process! Who knew, creamy sauces went with seafood or even that you can have champagne in a sauce instead of a glass. Fine dining at its best! The langoustine was charred slightly to give a nice smoky flavour that made it all the more delicious.
This Kitchen has mastered the art of creamy mashed potatoes! They were not runny, but flavourful and soft. No need to soak your mashed potatoes in gravy and drizzle so much salt, before you can eat them.
The petite fillet, just like the name suggests, was very tender. The beef slices coated in pan jus were lightly seared medium-rare to allow meat not to dry up. I loved it! The flavours it was made with came together so well without overpowering the fish flavour giving a perfect fusion. Honestly, I was pleasantly surprised. Meat and fish! WOW!
The red wine, which is considered a strong, intense flavour, created a bridge between the beef and langoustine. However, it wasn’t my favourite pairing.
COURSE 4 – LANDING
Flourless Chocolate Cake with chocolate dipped strawberry paired with Five Tawny Porto Portugal.
Who knew a flourless chocolate cake could taste just as good as one with flour? I mean, wow! (I’ve said that a lot in this post!) It’s cause the food was that good! I was pretty skeptical about it at first, but it turned about to be one of the moistest cakes, I have ever had the pleasure of eating. By now, I am sure you know how much I love moist cake.
The cake had a texture that was in between a chocolate sponge cake and a brownie. Definitely for chocolate lovers! The strawberry dipped chocolate was simply delicious. I used to see this in Romance movies and think “They are so extra.” Hmmmm you don’t even know how good chocolate and strawberries is. Okay, well, maybe you do, and I’m just late to the party. I wish it was more than one though.
In addition to the cake, there was a fried choux dough (mandazi-like). It was light, airy and subtly sweet. Definitely loved the combination of it with the fresh, diced strawberries. The plate had a whipped cream base and cocoa powder too! It was a guilty pleasure for sure!
I think wines paired with dessert are always strong, that’s why you’re given only a little of it. However, you never feel the alcohol because of all the sugar from the dessert. The pairing therefore was great!
That’s all I had for you today. Thank you so much for stopping by!
Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below. In case you’d like to see another food and wine pairing I did, at Picazzo Restaurant, click here.