By Travelog Writer
Galana Plaza in Kilimani may look like your average neighbourhood mall, but it has distinguished itself as the host of two of the most glamourous Nairobi night-life hotspots (B-Club and Kiza) in Nairobi. The latter runs an African-themed restaurant that I highly recommend, but as I would learn recently, on the mall’s second floor lies the capital’s best-kept secret.
Five Senses, launched in June 2018, is a fine-dining French restaurant that combines locally sourced ingredients with the French style of cooking through the concept of food and wine pairing.
Its owner Kimani Kiarie brings on board the fine art of French cooking using locally sourced ingredients. Chef Kim, as he is commonly known, undertook culinary studies in Kenya, Switzerland and took it a notch higher in France, a country renowned for its gastronomy.
I was in to try out their latest menu that Chef Kim and his sensei Chef Xavier Bouriot, have created.
Besides his over 32 years’ experience, Chef Xavier is a big deal. He once worked under famous chefs including Guy Savoy and Alain Senderens and after many years of cooking for guests became a Chef Trainer and Consultant with Alain Ducasse Company ADF where he met Chef Kimani. He is presently the Founder of Paris-based Cooking Training Consulting Company that specialises in training chefs in the efficient French cooking style for in known for product optimization.
I wandered in on a Wednesday afternoon. A friendly member of the staff welcomed me to the restaurant. He recommended that patrons reserve space to snag a table easily.
Five senses’ ambience is relaxed. The interior architecture gives you the feeling of being outdoors - a modern expression of fine dining.
As you take your seat, their open kitchen takes centre stage, allowing your senses access to the various sights, sounds and smells, as their chefs prepare your meal.
While the restaurant décor provides visual and sensory stimulation with the different colours and textures, the ambient background music sets the mood and encapsulates the Five Senses Experience.
Not one of the most spacious of spaces, but they have made great use of mirrors. The ancient replica wall clock that mimics ancient brass piping system is a particularly standout feature of the restaurant. I should have taken a selfie beside it.
My highly ballyhooed meal was a pairing with Moët & Chandon, the champagne of success and glamour since 1743. To start diners of was the aptly named Tuna Tartare amuse-bouche that consisted of green Pea Mousseline with mild Wasabi flavour paired with Moet &Chandon Nectar Rosé.
This was followed by a poached king prawn starter. While it appeared simple in its appearance, the flavour and texture of this dish were complex and reflected great creativity incorporating light granny apple jelly and fennel shaving. Adding to its flavour was a Moet & Chandon Imperial Brut.
The highlight of my night was the signature white snapper confit main paired with the pak-choi and champagne sauce. The duo really outdid themselves with this dish and made me contemplate relegating steak to my second-favourite serving.
The sause was as they say ‘to die for’ and was paired with Moet & Chandon Nectar Imperial. I do not have a sweet tooth so mango tartare, purple basil, lime and goat cheese sorbet was a perfect conclusion to this meal. In keeping with the theme, it was paired with Moet & Chandon Rosé Imperial.
Don’t let appearances fool you, Five Senses might not boast the biggest name or space but they are the restaurants to look out for. This place definitely stimulated my Five Senses. It is perfect for anniversary and birthday dinners.