After a short break, Zanzibar Gourmet hosted an evening to remember on 11th February 2017, which marked the relaunch of the monthly gourmet events and kicked off the year with an impressive 7 course taster menu against the backdrop of a warm evening in Zanzibar’s Stone Town.
Hosted in one of the island’s best restaurants, Taarab restaurant, on the 5th floor of the prestigious Double Tree Hilton, the evening started with glasses of champagne served by the hotel’s equally bubbly but discreet staff. Guests mingled and caught up as previous attendees to Zanzibar Gourmet met again.
On the second day of East Africa’s best music festival, Sauti za Busara, the evening air was filled with much celebration, and while crowds enjoyed the sounds of East Africa, a smaller group on a balcony enjoyed Zanzibar’s best food offerings.
The dinner kicked off with an amuse bouche of Benitier & Palm Heart Ceviche with orange caviar and a micro green salad. Served in a Benitier shell, this refreshing start to the meal was delicately balanced, fresh and a hint of sea saltiness.
Next was the starter of cured lobster and Lobster Bavarois with Lumpfish Caviar. The macaron served as part of the dish brought out the sweetness of the lobster while the toasted pumpkin seed and argan oil dressing added welcome smoky notes. This was shortly followed by a Saffron Crab Bisque that was a hit amongst guests. Served in a coconut shell, the coconut foam complimented the crab beautifully.
Each dish of the evening was paired with carefully selected wines including Cathedral Sauvignon Blanc, Swartland Bushvine Chenin Blanc and Amarone della Valpolivella
The hosting chefs Mayaven Alankalee and Shafeek Peerbocus (Doubletree) in cooperation with Chef Jakub Janda (Tulia) and Chef Jussi Husa (Essque Zalu) created an experimental and well thought out menu, which was much appreciated by the guests.
The forth course of the evening was the Pan-fried Red Snapper with Basil Crustacean Emulsion – another well crafted dish with a range of textures that made it an absolute pleasure to eat.
The hibiscus and ginger sorbet was a welcome palette cleanser and was quickly followed by the Roasted Pork Belly with anise Carrot Puree – Pork belly that was evidently cooked long and slow accompanied by surprisingly light pork crackling, slightly spiced carrot puree and dauphinoise potato.
The dessert that marked the end of the spectacular feast was a Raspberry and Mascarpone Crème brulee. A dessert loved by many, this included a twist of a lightly caramelized topping and brandy poached raspberries. The mascarpone made this decadent dessert even richer, and accompanied by a glass of Spier Cap Classique Sparkling, the evening couldn’t have ended better.
All in all it was a splendid evening of impressive gourmet food, great company and finished off with a visit to Sauti za Busara. A great start to 2017 for Zanzibar Gourmet; if this is how the year is starting, it can only be assumed that the events to come will be equally outstanding.