Kenya’s ‘Winter’ season is officially here and with the latest weatherman’s report stating that it will get colder in the coming months, heavy knits, jackets, boots and sweaters will form the most part of our daily attire for the next three months. While increasing your Vitamin C uptake, taking lots of warm drinks and keeping warm is highly advised, a thick bowl of a rich, creamy soup will go a long way in keeping the cold at bay.
My experience with soups at various restaurants and hotels has been what I prefer to call as normal. Most restaurants serve up the same types of soups. The chances of not finding a restaurant that doesn’t have tomato soup or butternut soup in their starter menu are minimal.
These low temperatures had me reminiscing about a soup I had at the new hotel at Two Rivers Mall called City Lodge. It is part of the South African chain of hotels and it is so new that at the time of my visit they hadn’t created a full menu for their all-day dining restaurant known as Hashtag Café. Their Head Chef, Eric Mwendwa was looking to have some people over to taste some of the dishes they would like to include their menu and my colleagues and I happily volunteered.
We had a special set menu crafted for us which included Mushroom Soup and Greek Salad for the starters, Sirloin Steak, Molo Lamb Chops, Chicken Teriyaki and Grilled Fish for the main course options and Carrot Cake for dessert.
Being a spanking new hotel, it was no surprise to arrive at an empty restaurant. There was, however, a wine tasting going on in one of their meeting rooms, something I gathered happens every Tuesday from 6pm and each week they taste different wines from different regions.
Shortly after our arrival, the polite and attentive servers took our orders. Being a group of eight people, all the items on the menu were ordered. The mushroom soup was the favourite of the table, a memorable start to our dinner.
Served in a significantly larger plate than a soup bowl, the soup came in a generous serving, with streaks of cream in the middle. The first scoop revealed a creamy, earthy flavour with a rich texture. My excitement at the pleasant taste was evident with how fast I kept dipping the spoon for more scoops. The cold outside had nothing on me after clearing my entire plate of the warm soup.
Sad that the soup was over and accepting that we had to have the main course options, I indulged in the chicken teriyaki served with steamed rice. The juicy and tender chicken pieces were glazed with the teriyaki sauce which I found more sweet than savoury. The dish would also have done with a little more sauce to counter the dryness. The Carrot Cake was served with warm custard sauce, a flavour combination that married beautifully, transforming the meal into a comforting treat.