Tasting the local food is one of the most exciting experiences one could have while visiting a foreign place! Thankfully, the menus across the JG Black Book Collection offer guests a selection of the most authentic dishes of their region. We’ve compiled a list of culinary trademarks that the properties are serving up, each one sure to delight diners and take them on a delectable adventure.
1. Squid Ink Spaghetti at Hotel Fortyseven: Offered at Hotel Fortyseven’s roof garden restaurant, Circus, this marvelous pasta dish is perfect for seafood lovers, as the squid ink spaghetti is topped with rock lobster and baby fennel. Traditionally, squid ink is used to add a silky black hue to classic egg pasta, giving the dish a very unique look. Don’t miss out on this distinct Italian pasta!
2. Rolex at Volcanoes Safaris: Rolex is a popular Ugandan street food that combines an egg omelette with vegetables, all wrapped up in a chapati. The dish was originally called rolled eggs by local vendors but because of the way the words fell off the Ugandan tongue, visitors heard rolex and the fun name was invented. This delicious dish is also known as the Ugandan Burrito and can be enjoyed at Bwindi Bar in Buhoma.
3. Umm Ali at The Chedi Muscat: Umm Ali can be simply described as a combination of bread pudding and baklava – it is a very rich, almond and pistachio delight. Though it originated in Egypt, this sweet pastry pudding is a popular dessert in most Middle Eastern countries. The name of the dish literally means ‘Ali’s mother’ (Ummi = mother), and is said to be her own recipe. Made of puff pastry, milk, double cream and nuts, it is sometimes topped with raisins, powdered sugar and coconut flakes and best served with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
The crafty pastry chefs at The Chedi Muscat have mastered the authentic recipe. The dessert is available all year round at The Restaurant or during the cool months at the open-air Arabian Courtyard. Served warm right out of the oven or cold out of the fridge, be sure to treat yourself during your next visit to The Chedi Muscat!
4. Mozambique Miamba Prawns at Azura Quilalea: In the traditional spirit of Mozambique, Azura Quilalea delights guests with this locally inspired dish known as Mozambique Miamba Prawns. This dish is full of flavor, calling for ingredients such as chiles, cloves, lime, potatoes, eggs, cabbage and local spinach. The prawns are marinated, grilled and then served on a platter with the salad. This meal is guaranteed to tantalize your taste buds and have you coming back for seconds.
5. Rijsttafel at The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah: Dutch settlers were so impressed by Indonesia’s delicious flavors that they created an elaborate ritual meal known as rijsttafel, a Dutch word that literally translates to ‘rice table.’ Luckily for modern food aficionados, rijsttafel survived Indonesia’s independence and today, is served as small side dishes that convey the archipelago’s many tastes, textures and degrees of spiciness.
Indonesian rijsttafel at The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah pays homage to this rich culinary tradition, with nine classic and sumptuous Indonesian and Balinese dishes available for lunch or dinner and served at The Restaurant or in the villas.
6. Chilled Pea & Mint Soup at Various Elewana Properties: Kenya’s great fertile land yields some of the freshest produce in the world, which is exported to the finest restaurants in Europe on a daily basis. Elewana takes advantage of these resources, using the fantastic green peas and mint to create a refreshing chilled soup paired with grilled asparagus, Parmesan crisp and quail egg. Served at Lewa Safari Camp, Loisaba Tented Camp, Sand River Masai Mara and Tortilis Camp, this meal is a great way to start your warm, sunny afternoon on a safari.
7. Mbuzi Choma at Various Elewana Properties: A celebratory dish in the Kenyan culture and more sought after than the finest of lamb, Mbuzi Choma (grilled goat), is served at weddings, birthdays, family gatherings and local eateries. Elewana has taken inspiration from this tradition and serves a slow roasted goat that has been cooked on an open fire for 8 hours. Cooking the meat for such a prolonged period yields not only a tender and succulent meat, but also adds a smoky aroma from the open fire. The meat is seasoned with a dry rub made of coriander seeds, cumin and fresh rosemary, adding distinct flavor. And here’s an insider chef’s tip – brushing the goat meat with some olive oil and lemon juice in the last hour on the fire adds even more flavor and gives it a great shine. Mouth-watering stuff!
8. Braised Beef Samosa at Various Elewana Properties: With a large population of Indians in Kenya and an array of spice farms on the East African coast, samosas have made their way into the Kenyan food culture and can be found on almost every street corner. A variety of Elewana properties serve these crispy, spicy and flavorsome snacks with a side of Kachumbari (Kenyan tomato salsa with fresh chilies and sweet red onions), mango chutney and fresh lime wedges for extra zing.
9. Bento and Teppanyaki Cuisine at Velaa Private Island: Tavaru Restaurant at Velaa Private Island offers distinguished food and a new menu that celebrates Bento and Teppanyaki grill cuisine. Tavaru’s new concept pays tribute to local chefs and their flavorful expert skills, showcasing the master in craft and innovation of bold, creative dishes.
The gastronomic journey starts with a choice of organic miso soup , unagi or vegetarian maki, followed by a variety of main courses including Teppanyaki meat, seafood or mixed platters, as well as a vegetarian option, all accompanied by a selection of the finest sauces, rice and vegetables. Each option also includes a delicious dessert to enhance and complete the unique flavor of each meal. Indulge in the fascinating experience that Tavaru offers during your next trip to Velaa Private Island!