Trademark Hotel’s New Open-Grill Brasserie

A few articles ago I wrote about the swanky extension of Village Market. As I moseyed around the food market and explored various other attractions of the complex, I noticed the leafy terrace of a restaurant on the second floor. After a quick peek inside, and a scan of the menu, I made a mental note to come back to try it out.

The restaurant is called Harvest, and it belongs to the new 215-room Trademark Hotel. It’s described on the Trademark website as an open-grill brasserie, ‘inspired by a Kenyan’s true love for meat’. And there are plenty of meaty dishes to choose from on the à la carte menu, including a selection of starters and mains ‘from the land’ and also ‘from the sea’.

Here are a couple of particularly enticing examples: the beef brisket – slow cooked with aromatic herbs and spices, potato aligot, champignon au jus, cayenne roasted onion, vegetables and cooking juices; and the ruby snapper saltimbocca – with sage tempura, crispy parma ham, red wine risotto, green pea casserole and green pea coulis.

Harvest also recently introduced an expanding grills menu, with a range of steaks, seafood, pork and chicken dishes, accompanied by a variety of inventive sides like fried marinated potato skins, and sweet potato mash with feta and coriander pesto. There is a good selection of vegetarian options on the à la carte menu, too, including a number of Mexican, Italian and East-Asian inspired dishes.

When we were there for dinner last Saturday, my fiancée and I shared an indulgent starter of baked provolone cheese with a thick slice of grilled multigrain bread. She then opted for the mushroom and goat cheese quesadilla, with guacamole, corn salad and French fries

I couldn’t resist the 200 gram skirt steak off the grills menu, with green peppercorn sauce, and a side of triple-cooked fries with truffle mayo. It was also the cheapest of the steaks at Kshs 2,200. The most expensive is the Kshs 6,400, 800 gram tomahawk steak, although that apparently serves two people. The prices of the mains on the à la carte menu generally range between Kshs 1,000 and 3,000.

Our food was well presented on heavy slabs of slate, and in miniature copper saucepans, mirroring the clean, sharp lines of the restaurant’s décor. Scattered tin watering cans, buckets, plants and other garden paraphernalia accentuate Harvest’s farm-to-fork ethos. Patches of hanging Edison bulbs and wood-cladded columns improve the interior further.

The restaurant was full last Saturday evening, but the tables and chairs are spread out across a large space, so we didn’t feel cramped. Open, too, is the kitchen, with a row of wide, nyama choma style grills at the front. Beside the kitchen is a well-stocked wine cellar, and next to that is a lounge and bar area.

For dessert we shared a decadent dish called ‘strawberry pistachio’: glazed strawberries, pistachio and white chocolate ganache, pistachio almond biscuit and vanilla ice cream.

After our meal, I had a brief chat with Trademark’s Food and Beverage Manager, Chandra Shah. He said that the restaurant’s Italian Executive Chef, Luca Pintus, is also in charge of the kitchen at Trademark’s sister property, Tribe Hotel. He then said that a number of other eateries will be opening soon in Trademark, including a tea room and a pool restaurant. He outlined future plans for Harvest, too: a Sunday lunch grill with bottomless bloody marys.

If you would like to try out the restaurant for yourself, I would recommend booking in advance through 0730 886000. And if you’re planning on tackling that giant tomahawk steak, I should also mention that the grills menu is currently only available from 6pm to 10pm daily. For more information about the restaurant and Trademark Hotel, visit www.trademark-hotel.com, email harvest@trademark-hotel.com, or follow them on Instagram @harvestrestaurant_.

Published in Kenya’s Sunday Nation