So your flight has been delayed and now you are stranded at JKIA not knowing what to do or where to go. A quick check on Google Maps shows Mombasa road is a red zone, there’s no way it would take you any less than two hours if not more to get to the Nairobi CBD. Search results of where you can go within the airport include Lazizi Premier Hotel which has now rebranded to Crowne Plaza Nairobi Airport. It is located on the first freight lane and has three restaurants you can go have a meal, all the stress from the news of the flight delay got you hungry anyway.
I personally didn’t have to deal with any flight delays but I did find myself Kitchen 9 restaurant at the Crowne Plaza Nairobi Airport. My mission was to experience a wine paired dinner. Along with my three colleagues, we took the road trip to the airport on a busy Friday evening.
Soft jazz tunes, bright lights and an airy relaxing ambiance welcomed us to the spacious ground floor hotel. A few tables were occupied by what seemed like travelling business executives enjoying dinner before they capped off for the night. Steve, a jolly and very informative server approached our table with a special set menu. Orders were placed, preferences notified and shortly after, our first course arrived.
Roma Tomato and Buffalo Mozzarella, a cold starter served with olives was a refreshing start of the evening, the bocconcini and pesto dressing seasoned the dish so well it harmonized perfectly with the chilled glass of the Hardys Sauvignon Blanc.
Kung Pao Chicken served with garlic naan, was a delightful treat my tastebuds are still yearning for. The thick sweet sauce attributed to brown sugar, white wine and soy sauce carried all the flavour making the dish a hearty meal. Cashew nuts, chicken pieces and peppers all brought a little fun on the plate with the combination different textures. Using the garlic naan to soak up the sauce, it was a meal I really wanted to clear but my already stuffed stomach thought otherwise. This was paired with the Tilia Chardonnay, a white wine whose spicy finish balanced greatly with the sweet dish.
The fragrance of the Thai Green Chicken Curry served with steamed rice invited us to pause and fill our nostrils with its delicious vapours. Green and creamy, it was served in a pot that could easily satisfy two people. It was a flavour-packed meal that warmed me up from inside. It was a little hot for my palate though and had it been a bit less fiery, it might have been the crowning dish of my meal. However, the glass of Tilia Chardonnay came in handy, cooling off the extra heat. Mindful to leave a bit of space before dessert, we decided to refrain from finishing off the dish to leave space for dessert. Because of course, you should never lack space for dessert.
Apple pie with vanilla ice cream crowned our evening. We tucked into the thick crust filled with sweet and warm apple filling, happy to have left some room for this comforting, sweet dessert. It was paired with a similarly sweet, golden yellow, white wine, the Frontera late harvest.